Chamomile for treating Anxiety Symptoms Concord NC
Genesis Eye Center
Chamomile for treating Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety is an emotional state commonly caused by the perception of real or potential danger that threatens the security of the individual. Everyone experiences a certain amount of nervousness and apprehension when faced with a stressful situation. Usually, the response is reasonable and adaptive, and contains a built-in control mechanism to return to a normal physiologic state. It is when anxiety states become excessive or prolonged, particularly if it produces such psychological and physical stress that the patient cannot perform the activities of daily living, that medical help should be sought. Anxiety disorders are among the most frequent mental disorders encountered in clinical practice. Approximately 8% of the population will experience at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Unfortunately, the majority of patients with anxiety disorders receive no professional treatment.
Chamomile has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries. It is most frequently used as a mild sedative for individuals with minor anxiety or nervousness. It does not induce drowsiness or impair motor activity. Chamomile has also been used to soothe digestive upset and is considered a carminative (anti-gas) agent. Chamomile has been used topically for various conditions such as acne, infections, burns, and wounds. Chamomile also has been reportedly used as an anti-infective agent against strains of staphylococcus, streptococcus and candida. Chamomile oral rinse is used in Europe for aphthous mouth ulcerations, especially associated with chemotherapy and radiation. However, one study did not show benefits when using chamomile oral rinse in treating 5-FU-induced oral mucositis.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled efficacy and tolerability trial of chamomile extract therapy in patients with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The trial included 57 patients with mild to moderate GAD who were then randomized to either double-blind chamomile extract or placebo therapy for 8 weeks. The researchers found that the group taking chamomile showed a significantly reduced score on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale compared to the placebo group and suffered no more side effects than those taking the placebo treatment. These results indicate that chamomile may be useful in the treatment of GAD for patients with mild to moderate symptoms although further studies are needed to confirm these findings.1
1 Amsterdam JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009:29(4):378-82.