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Herbal remedies backed by study

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A research organisation has given its backing to two herbal remedies that have been used for hundreds of years as a treatment for anxiety.

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The Global Neuroscience Initiative foundation, a non-profit charitable group based in Los Angeles, found “strong evidence” from pooled results of 24 studies, involving more than 2,000 people, that passionflower extract and kava combat anxiety disorders.

Researchers also concluded that a combination of amino acids L-lysine and L-arginine can be effective in treating anxiety. But they said St John’s Wort, traditionally taken to counter depression, and magnesium supplements were not effective.

Study leader Shaheen Lakhan told Nutrition Journal: “Our review and summary of the literature on herbal remedies and dietary supplements for anxiety should aid mental health practitioners in advising their patients and provide insight for future research in this field.

“We found mixed results - while passionflower or kava and L-lysine and L-arginine appeared to be effective, St John’s Wort and magnesium supplements were not.”

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  • What of the placebo effect?

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