In a clinical study, ginkgo biloba extracts were shown to activate GABA pathways and act like a benzodiazepine and reduce anxiety in patients with GAD.
ASHWAGANDHA (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is an herb with anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating qualities. It has also been shown in clinical studies to reduce anxiety in patients which were divided into two groups and were either provided psychotherapy or treated with ashwagandha. In this case, the ashwagandha treated group demonstrated a greater reduction in anxiety parameters compared to those receiving psychotherapy.
Kava is a preparation from the plant Piper methysticum. Of all of the anxiolytic herbs, it is the most studied and also demonstrates the best results against mild anxiety and anxiety disorders in humans. In 1997, anxiety patients were given the kava extract for 25 weeks and compared to the placebo these patients had significantly reduced anxiety.
VALERIAN (Valeriana officiaonalis)
Valerian is a temperate root and has been since the time of Hippocrates. Its root components have been shown to both increase GABA synthesis and decrease synaptic GABA reuptake. These Valerian root extracts have anxiolytic properties for rodents and in people when taken at certain doses daily.
Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. Theanine produces a calming effect on the brain It increases the production of both GABA and dopamine. In a clinical study, healthy volunteers were given theanine and benzodiazepine and subjected to experimentally induced anxiety. The people who received theanine had lower baseline anxiety throughout the trial.
HOPS, LEMON BALM, SKULLCAP, PASSIONFLOWER, ROSENROOT AND CHAMOMILE.
Extracts from skullcap (genus Scutellaria), hops (Humulus lupulus), dried passion flower (genus Passiflora), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) are also all reported to reduce anxiety. Lemon balm increases synaptic GABA and reduced cortisol in animals. Skullcap components, bacalin and bacalein, are GABA receptor agonists and promote GABA activity. Magnolia and phellondendron bark have beneficial anxiolytic effects in premenopausal women. A clinical study shows that dietary supplementation of a rosenroot for 10 weeks reduces generalized anxiety disorder.
Alramadhan, E., Hanna, M. S., Hanna, M. S., Goldstein, T. A., Avila, S. M., & Weeks, B. S. (2012). Dietary and botanical anxiolytics. Med Sci Monit, 18(4), RA40-48. doi:10.12659/msm.882608