There is research being done on the efficacy of assorted herbs and herbal combinations for the treatment of GAD.
As W.H. Auden pointed out, we live in the age of anxiety. Most of us suffer from a certain level of chronic anxiety because modern life is jagged, fast-paced, and divorced from the natural rhythms that tend to create a harmonious inner life. For some, this existential unease goes further and becomes a psychological disorder.
Typical symptoms of anxiety disorder include feelings of tension, irritability, worry, frustration, turmoil, and hopelessness, along with insomnia, restless sleep, grinding of teeth, jaw pain, an inability to sit still, and an incapacity to cope. Physical sensations frequently arise as well, including a characteristic feeling of being unable to take a full, satisfying breath; dry mouth; rapid heartbeat; heart palpitations; a lump in the throat; tightness in the chest; and cramping in the bowels. Anxiety can also give rise to panic attacks. These may be so severe that they are mistaken for heart attacks. The heart pounds and palpitates, the chest feels tight and painful, and the whole body tenses with unreasonable fear. Such attacks can be triggered by anxiety-provoking situations, but they may also come out of nowhere, perhaps even awakening you from sleep. When a person tends to suffer more from panic attacks than generalized anxiety, physicians call the illness panic disorder.
The herbal treatments listed have a had a lot of specific studies done on their efficacy for treating many of the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. But there are many others that may the following are some herbs/herbal combinations that have been studied, but for which there is limited evidence of their efficacy.Treatments include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Valerian
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Kava
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Passionflower
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Lemon Balm
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Gotu Kola
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Skullcap
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Galphimia Glauca
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Linden
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Sage
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hops
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Suma
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Bach Flower Remedies
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Chamomile
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hawthorn
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Motherwort
Effect of Valerian on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Our understanding of how valerian might function remains similarly incomplete. Several studies suggest that valerian affects GABA, a naturally occurring amino acid that appears to be related to...
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Effect of Kava on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Up until 2002, the herb kava was widely used in Europe as a medical treatment for anxiety, based on the evidence of a substantial body of double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. However, because of...
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Effect of Passionflower on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Since people with generalized anxiety disorder often need help quieting their minds and relaxing, the sedative effects of passionflower can be helpful.
Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Passionflower.
Effect of Lemon Balm on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Though the exact reasons are unknown, lemon balm (Melissa) has been show to have anti-anxiety affects in addition to its antiviral and antidepressant properties as well.
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Effect of Gotu Kola on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Used in Ayurveda, Gotu Kola has traditionally been used to treat anxiety among many other conditions.
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Effect of Skullcap on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Often taken with other herbs, skullcap can be used to induce sedative effects which are beneficial for individuals suffering form anxiety. European skullcap specifically has been studied, and...
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Effect of Galphimia Glauca on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The herb Galphimia glauca is traditionally used as a “nerve tonic” by Mexican herbalists.
Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Galphimia Glauca.
Effect of Linden on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Linden flowers are used to treat various ailments including anxiety. (Interestingly, Linden wood is also used for medicinal purposes but not for the treatment of anxiety.)
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Effect of Sage on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Sage has many purported beneficial effects, anxiety treatment qualities among them.
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Effect of Hops on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Germany's Commission E authorizes the use of hops for "discomfort due to restlessness or anxiety and sleep disturbances." However, scientists have had difficulty proving that hops causes...
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Effect of Suma on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
There has yet to be much scientific research on the effects of suma for GAD, but it is recommended by some practitioners.
Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Suma.
Effect of Bach Flower Remedies on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
According to Dr. Edward Bach, the appropriately chosen flower could be used to treat emotional problems, such as shyness, anxiety, and grief. Bach flower remedies are sometimes compared to homeopathy,...
Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Bach Flower Remedies.
Effect of Chamomile on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Chamomile, like many of the herbs listed for the treatment of GAD, is said to produce sedative effects, which can be helpful for persons suffering from anxiety. Though no specific studies have yet...
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Effect of Hawthorn on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Though hawthorn has mostly been studied for its ability to treat congestive heart failure, one studied used it in combination with magnesium and California poppy, and found it to be helpful in...
Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hawthorn.
Effect of Motherwort on Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Germany's Commission E has authorized motherwort for the treatment of rapid or irregular heatbeat caused by anxiety and stress, as well as part of an overall treatment plan for an overactive thyroid...
Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Motherwort.
- Hanus M, Lafon J, Mathieu M. Double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a fixed combination containing two plant extracts (Crataegus oxyacantha and Eschscholtzia californica) and magnesium in mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders. Curr Med Res Opin. 2004;20:63-71.
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Can you add L-theanine to your list of herb treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder? This is a pretty common supplement for this condition. Even my MD knows about it. I was on Neurontin (Gabapentin) for over 10 years for Anxiety. It worked okay, but had terrible side effects. I switched to L-theanine and it works better than Neurotin ever did and I have no side effects. I had to start with 1600-2000 mg of L-theanine per day. Once my body got used to it, I was able to reduce this to 600 mg per day. Please ignore the people that suggest you take 100-200 mg per day -- it takes a lot more than that to have an effect. When I first started my anxiety was pretty high and I would take 200-400 mg every 2 hours or so. I just take 200 in the morning and 400 in the evening now for maintenance. Again -- no side effects.