echinacea helps treat anxiety

The best known immune herb may be the least known anxiety herb. But new research says echinacea may help anxiety.

The first hint came over 10 years ago. 40mg of echinacea angustifolia extract helped anxious reactions to adverse situations, or state anxiety (Phytother Res. 2013 Jan;27(1):54-61).

Now, two recent studies have added to the evidence. The first placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that 40mg of echinacea angustifolia root extract taken twice a day significantly helped state anxiety. It has less benefit for trait anxiety, or the personality tendency toward anxiety, but was superior to placebo in people with high anxiety scores (Phytother Res. 2020;34(3):660-668).

The second study was also a double-blind, placebo controlled study of Echinacea angustifolia root extract. It included 93 people with mild to moderate anxiety. Although there was no change on Clinically Useful Anxiety Outcome Scale, but the PANAS positive and negative affect scores both improved significantly more on 20 or 40mg of Echinacea. The Echinacea also led to significantly greater improvement in a quality of life assessment of social function. This study adds to the evidence that echinacea reduces symptoms of anxiety and improves emotional wellbeing.

 Affect Disord. October 2021;293:229-237

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For much more on treating anxiety naturally, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

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