Two researchers are trying to find how much truth is there behind the old wives' tale of Chamomile's power as a stress-buster that has been around for years.
In an evaluation for Faculty of 1000, Michael Van Ameringen and Beth Patterson have discussed the first randomized controlled trial of chamomile for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, the study reports that "chamomile extract therapy was found to be efficacious for mild-moderate GAD".
Patients with mild-moderate GAD were included in the study and received either chamomile or placebo. Those that received the chamomile treatment were found to have a significant change in the severity of their GAD.
Van Amerigen and Patterson comment on the results of the study, saying that they "suggest that chamomile may have modest [anti-panic] activity in patients with mild-moderate GAD and may potentially be used in those who are averse to traditional pharmacotherapy".
The findings are important "because many individuals who suffer from GAD do not view their anxiety as a medical condition, [and, therefore,] self-diagnosis and self-medicating with alternative, over-the-counter remedies is common".
Van Amerigen and Patterson said "a big strength of this paper is that the authors took a herbal remedy and subjected it to scientific rigor unlike many 'natural' remedies which have associated claims of efficacy with no supportive data."