Natural remedy could help reduce UK’s anxiety epidemic, suggests new research

anxiety remedies

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the UK,[i] with over 8 million people experiencing an anxiety disorder at any one time.[ii] As prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications continue to soar, new research positions lavender oil as an alternative treatment option with fewer withdrawal symptoms.

The UK has seen a marked rise in generalised anxiety over the past decade, especially amongst younger people and women.[iii]1 in 10 adults are living with a diagnosable anxiety disorder at any one time,ii but this may not paint the whole picture; a recent survey from Kalms Herbal Remedies has revealed that 48% of adults living in the UK often feel anxious, which affects their day-to-day life.[iv]

Kalms’ research is supported by the fact that the number of prescriptions for powerful anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications) has risen sharply over the past 10 years.iii However, not all symptoms and experiences of anxiety warrant this type of medication. Current NICE guidelines discourage healthcare professionals from prescribing potentially addictive medications, such as benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), especially for those at the mild-to-moderate end of the anxiety spectrum.[v]However, with difficulties accessing alternative treatments, as well as limited appointment times, GPs and other healthcare professionals often struggle to give meaningful help to patients.[vi],[vii]

New research suggests that there is a non-addictive alternative to commonly prescribed anxiolytics for individuals. Five double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trials demonstrated the effectiveness of pharmaceutical quality lavender oil, when taken orally as a daily capsule, in the treatment of mild, moderate, and severe anxiety.[viii] After 10 weeks’ treatment, patients with subthreshold anxiety, mixed anxiety and depressive disorder (MADD), and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), reported noticeable improvements to their well-being and quality of life, including anxiety-associated symptoms.viii  

Dr. Martin Burkart, Vice President of Global Medical Affairs at Schwabe Group, and an expert regarding pharmaceutical-quality lavender oil comments:

“There have been several clinical trials demonstrating the effectiveness of pharmaceutical quality lavender oil in the treatment of mild anxiety.[ix] Research suggests its effectiveness rivals that of commonly prescribed anxiolytics like benzodiazepines and SSRIs.[x],[xi] This study is particularly exciting as it demonstrates that pharmaceutical quality lavender oil substantially alleviates anxiety symptoms across all severity levels, without the drawbacks associated with sedation and addiction. The results, together with its favourable tolerability profile, position pharmaceutical quality lavender oil as an effective first-line treatment option for patients, particularly from the mild-to-moderate end of the anxiety spectrum.”

To ensure the best treatment and support, it is essential that healthcare professionals acknowledge different the symptoms, experiences, and severities of anxiety to provide personalised care. This might involve a combination of therapy, medication, lifestyle adjustments, and self-care practices tailored to the individual’s needs.

The anxiety-relieving effects of uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil are available in Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules.

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