A study has found that herbal medicine may be the most effective way to reduce anxiety and improve mood, but there is little research to support the use of the anti-anxiety drug at a given dose.
The research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that when people took herbs, their moods improved and their symptoms of anxiety went down.
The study found that using herbal medicines also made people feel less depressed, and that the mood effects lasted for around five days.
It said the results of the study are significant because it showed that taking herbs can help people with anxiety and depression, but that it does not mean they should use them as a treatment for the condition.
The use of herbs for mood alleviation is still controversial, with some researchers arguing that they are more effective than the drugs themselves.
But Professor David Jablonski, a specialist in the clinical pharmacology of mental health from the University of Leeds, said the study was significant because of the possible impact on patients’ health.
He said that people should still look at the evidence before making a decision to use them, and it was not clear that the herb was the only option for mood relief.
“The fact that the herbs did improve their mood may make the idea that there are alternative treatments very appealing, and so that may be a reason to take them,” he said.
“But the evidence for the effectiveness of herbs is limited.”
The study included 933 people with major depression who were treated with a combination of herbal medicines, antidepressants and anti-nausea drugs, or were given anti-psychotic drugs.
They had to stay in the hospital for up to two weeks before they were allowed to take part in the study.
The results showed that using herbs as a substitute for anti-neurotics reduced the number of people taking the anti and anti and had no impact on their mood.
The team said that the evidence was weak, but said that it did not mean that they should not try herbal remedies for mood and anxiety.
The trial was not an observational study and it did use self-report, but this was a first for research into mood disorders, said Dr Jennifer Le, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University College London.
“It is important that we have a large enough sample size to be able to show that there is a difference between what you might expect to see on an individual basis, and what we might actually see,” she said.
She said that more research was needed before herbal medicines were considered a treatment option.
“In general, I think that it is very important that people understand that there may be other options, like antidepressants and antacids,” she added.
The researchers did not find that the herbal medicines worked better than the antidepressants and that anti-seizure drugs were equally effective.
There are some health benefits to taking herbs, including reducing the risk of developing heart disease and cancer.
But Dr Le said that there was still a lot of uncertainty about the long-term effectiveness of using herbal remedies.
“There is a huge amount of evidence showing that people who take the herb and who have an understanding of the effects that are associated with it can improve their overall health,” she told the BBC.
“What we need to do is have a more systematic, controlled study that gives a clear answer about how long this effect lasts, and whether it is really good or not.”
Dr Le said there were no clear answers yet about the effectiveness and safety of herbal treatments for depression.
The findings come as a new study from the US has found a link between herbal medicines and reduced anxiety in people with PTSD.
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is investigating whether herbal remedies are as effective as traditional treatments for treating PTSD, which has been linked to an increase in suicide and suicide attempts.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is also conducting a study to look at whether the same herbs might help treat depression in people who have not responded to conventional treatment.
Dr Le and her team have now looked at data from nearly 500 people, and they found that the effectiveness was comparable to conventional treatments.
The NIMH and the NIDA are looking at how herbs might be used in the future to help people who do not respond to conventional approaches, such as anti-fear, anti-self-harm and anti social behaviour.
The NHS is looking at a range of approaches to mental health, including prescription-only, and has made herbal medicines a key part of its mental health strategy.