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Natural Remedies Ineffective for Anxiety

A new extensive review of scientific studies on the use of drugs to treat anxiety has found no evidence supporting the use of so-called “natural” treatments in combating the effects of anxiety.

St. John’s wort, kava extract and valerian, herbal remedies touted on the Internet, have not been proven to be effective in treating anxiety, according to Kimberly Zoberi, M.D., Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Additionally, she raised concerns about the safety of valerian, particularly because long-term studies of the herb are lacking.

“Patients should be extremely cautious about garnering medical advice from the Internet,” says Zoberi.

“There is no evidence that those medications are effective. If a patient wishes to avoid drug therapy, her doctor can suggest alternatives such as cognitive behavioral therapy.”

In addition to the findings regarding “natural” treatments, Zoberi compared the differing prescription drug regimens available on the market for patients suffering from anxiety.

According to Zoberi, most physicians recommend selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as a first-line treatment because they are considered safe, effective and less expensive. However, some patients suffer sexual or gastrointestinal side effects.

Zoberi found that medications from the anticonvulsant class of drugs are among the quickest and most effective ways to provide relief to patients in distress without the side effects of other first-line treatments.

The downside is that these prescriptions are fairly expensive compared to other treatments.

Ultimately, Zoberi strongly recommends consulting with a health care professional before beginning any drug regimen for anxiety.

The review article was published in last month’s issue of the Journal of Family Practice.

Source: St. Louis University

Natural Remedies Ineffective for Anxiety

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Natural Remedies Ineffective for Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/04/07/natural-remedies-ineffective-for-anxiety/12656.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.