Double-blind placebo controlled trial of the anxiolytic effects of a standardized echinacea extract.
Abstract: Earlier studies suggested that specific echinacea preparations might decrease anxiety. To further study the issue, we performed a double blind, placebo controlled trial with a standardized Echinacea angustifolia root extract. Participants were volunteers scoring above 45 points on the state or on the trait subscale of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). They were treated with 40 mg echinacea or with placebo tablets twice daily for 7 days followed by a 3 week-long washout period.
Participants were also administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). In the Echinacea group, state anxiety scores decreased by approximately 11 points by the end of the treatment period, whereas the decrease was around 3 points in the placebo group (p< 0.01). The effect maintained over the washout period. The difference from placebo was significant from the 7th day of treatment throughout. Changes were less robust with trait anxiety scores, but the preparation performed better than placebo in patients with high baseline anxiety. Neither BDI nor PSS scores were affected by the treatments.
Adverse effects were rare and mild, and all were observed in the placebo group. These findings suggest that particular Echinacea preparations have significant beneficial effects on anxiety in humans.
Researchers in Hungary recognized that echinacea contained a treasure trove of compounds called alkamides that significantly reduce anxiety. These compounds affect the endocannabinoid system much like phytocannabinoids from hemp. They also attach to CB-1 receptors in the brain to elicit feelings of calm, focus and being in control. They also prevent an enzyme from degrading anandamide, one of our natural cannabinoids that helps us feel calm and at peace.
Initial scientific study found that this specific echinacea extract can match chlodiazepoxide (Librium) for anxiety-relieving results, but unlike the drug, it doesn’t cause serious side effects.
This specialized compound from echinacea works fast, too. In an earlier clinical study, women and men taking this extract (EP107) with diagnosed anxiety felt significantly better in just three days. Plus, the effects improved through the duration of the clinical trial and even for two weeks following treatment, also without causing serious side effects.
This unique botanical extract works fast to stop anxiety—and keeps working strong.
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