Chamomile studied as anxiety remedy

October 9, 2012 9:48:55 AM PDT
A long-time herbal remedy known for its soothing qualities is being studied as a serious solution for anxiety.

Dr. Jun Mao of Penn Medicine is leading research on chamomile - Not the chamomile tea you might be familiar with, but high-dose capsules.

Each dose has 1500 milligrams of chamomile, roughly the equivalent of 8 cups of tea.

Dr. Mao wants to find out if the herb could be a long-term remedy for a mental health disorder that is hard to treat.

"Generalized anxiety disorder is one of those mental health issues that is chronic. And even for people who are successfully treated, there's a high rate of relapse, meaning people, when they're staying on one drug for a while, they go back. The drug is no longer effective," says Dr. Mao.

In addition, many medications have side effects patients struggle with.

"Like libido, sleep issue, weight gain. And all those things lead to not perfect adherence and stopping the medications," adds Dr. Mao.

In the 38-week trial, everyone will get chamomile for the first 8 weeks. Then, they'll either continue on the herbal capsules, or get a placebo.

"I think this, if found effective, could be a very attractice potential alternative to the current medical treatments.

For more information on the study, call 215-662-3462, or go to Penn Medicine Research Trials.

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