For many people, psychotherapy and psychiatry are helpful treatments for anxiety. However, some experts believe that the most effective treatment plans for the disorder are inclusive of therapy, pharmacology, and depending on the patient’s needs, individualized complementary treatments.

Psychological therapies and pharmaceutical medicines are traditionally the forerunners of the recommended options for patients experiencing anxiety. Unfortunately, a fair amount of sufferers still struggle with typical symptoms. Some patient and professionals may argue that anxiety disorders are under-treated in most cases. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, it does not stop many patients from turning to nutraceuticals and herbal supplements to mend the disheveled pieces of their mental health.

Anxiety Is Complex

Anxiety is a complicated disorder to treat because the root of it can be difficult to determine. Causes could vary from an underlying medical condition to malnutrition. Each person has a different chemical makeup and other biological variances. Therefore, people may respond to the same medicine, pharmaceutical or natural, in various ways — whether it be receptively or negatively. If a patient is considering alternative treatment with anxiety supplements, just like with a doctor’s suggestion to adjust medication from time to time, the patient may need to do some experimentation before finding the right supplement or combination of natural options.

Are There Any Herbal Medicines That Have Scientific Backing?

According to Jerome Sarris, Ph.D., from the University of Melbourne, there are currently 20 plants that have clinical support for medicinal use to treat anxiety. Among them are galphimia and kava, which has been proven effective for generalized anxiety. There are formal studies that suggest that the use of milk thistle, passionflower, lemon balm, Gotu Kola, Iranian borage, chamomile, ginkgo, roseroot, and skullcap are adequate anxiety treatments. There exist research that has tested sage and bitter orange, showing that they also reduce anxiety.

Studies show that people suffering from cognitive decline and also experiencing anxiety can benefit from using Bacopa. General anxiety disorder (GAD) patients have shown in clinical trials to have some encouraging responses from ashwagandha, but the evidence is still tentative. Kava seems to have the most significant support and most proponents for it being a suitable treatment for GAD. However, recent research indicates there could be a health risk associated with kava, mainly kidney damage.