Harvard Women's Health Watch

Is there a natural remedy for anxiety?


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Ask the doctor

Q. I find myself getting more and more anxious, but I don't like to take medications. Is there an alternative natural treatment I can try instead?

A. Anxiety is an incredibly common problem. Although there are many FDA-approved medications that have been widely studied and proved effective, studies show that up to 43% of patients with anxiety use alternative medicine to treat it. Among alternative therapies, herbal treatments are widely used both for therapeutic purposes and for comfort.

Chamomile, also known by the botanical name Matricaria recutita, is one example. It is well known to many of us who drink tea, not only for its delicious taste but also as an alternative treatment for anxiety. In a clinical trial, chamomile extract was found to reduce anxiety when compared with placebo.

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