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Anxiety study backs herbal remedies

Scientists have supported the use of ancient herbal remedies to treat anxiety in an American study.

According to their findings, which were published in the Nutrition Journal, there is "strong evidence" to suggest that passionflower extract and kava both combat anxiety disorders.

The analysis of 24 studies involving more than 2,000 participants also indicated that combinations of the amino acids L-lysine and L-arginine may be useful anxiety remedies, but herbal medicine St John's Wort, which is commonly taken to relieve depression, and magnesium supplements were not found to be effective.

Study leader, Shaheen Lakhan from the Global Neuroscience Initiative foundation, a non-profit charitable research organisation based in Los Angeles, said: "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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Nutrition Journal