Herbs for Anxiety Mini-Reference | Integrated Counseling and Wellness

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Herbs for Anxiety Mini Reference

The Herbs for Anxiety Mini Reference was created to assist integrative psychotherapists and other health care workers in educating patients and their treatment teams on the potential benefits and risks of integrating 26 herbs into treatment plans.

Introduction

Clinical herbalism should only be practiced within the confines of the federal and state laws in which you reside. If licensed, herbalism should only be practiced under that license, if it is in the best interest of the patient, and if herbalism is within the scope of practice of that license and within your scope of competency. This reference should not be construed as a means of anyone practicing clinical herbalism without the requisite training needed to do so safely.

Instead, this reference is for education purposes only, and should be used to educated patients and their treatment teams on the benefits and risks of herbs according to the empirical literature and experiences of clinical master herbalists. This reference is not to be used to provide patients with herbal recommendations; rather it is to be used to help professionals in their ethical obligation to reasonably support patients in their herbal healing beliefs while simultaneously maintaining patient safety.

The Herbs for Anxiety Mini Reference (HAMR) is as much of a tool to encourage dialog between mental health professionals and patients as it is a source of information. It is recommended that at intake patients are asked if they currently use any herbs or supplements.

When doing so keep the following in mind:

  • Patients' who choose to use herbs frequently do so because of deeply held healing beliefs (Burton, Falkenberg, Smith, Zhang, & Zhang, 2013).
  • Herbs can create clinically significant outcomes in patients suffering from mental and emotional issues (Mischoulon & Rosenbaum, 2008).
  • Herbs can create clinically significant negative side effects if taken at improper doses or if contraindications exist (Ernst, 2003).
  • Drug-herb interactions exist and potential interactions are a primary concern when patients use medications and herbs simultaneously (AARP & NCCAM, 2011).
  • Research indicates that patient compliance to medication frequently increases when herbs are taken at the same time (Sarris, 2007).
  • Research has found that 47% of patients select herbs based off information obtained from the television, radio, internet, or family and friends (AARP & NCCAM, 2011).
  • Outside of a few popular herbs, western trained physicians are rarely educated on the benefits and risks of herbs (Pirotta, Cohen, Kotsirilos, & Farish, 2000; see also Sarris, 2007).
  • Patients frequently do not report their use of herbs to physicians because 1) patients sense that physicians do not have enough time to consider and integrate herbs into their treatment plan, 2) patients assume that because herbs are natural they are therefore safe and have no need to report them to their physician, and 3) patients fear being criticized by their physicians for taking herbs and subsequently being told to stop using them. (Verhoef, White, & Doll, 1999; Barnett, Shale, Elkins, & Fisher, 2014).

Instructions

Suggested steps for how the Herbs for Anxiety Mini Reference (HAMR) might be used include:

1) Identify the herb(s) being used by the patient.

2) After the herb(s) the patient is using have been identified, obtain additional information that will be helpful to you in looking the herb up and coordinating care. Ask these additional questions using therapeutic skill, doing so places you in a trusted position allowing you to obtain important information regarding patients' use of herbs. Types of questions that might be asked include:

  • The reasoning behind the patient's use of the herb(s). Are they using it because it is connected to a deeply held healing belief or simply because it was advertised on the radio?
  • If known or easily accessible, what is the Latin name of the herb(s) being used? o What medications are they taking and have they checked to confirm that the herb(s) does not interact with them?
  • Have they informed their prescribing physician of their use of herbs? If not, why not?
  • What has been the patient's perceived effect of the herb(s)?
  • How much of the herb(s) do they use on a daily and weekly basis?
  • What form of the herb(s) are they taking (tea, liquid extract/tincture, capsule, etc.)?
  • Are they working with an herbalist, or has this herb been self-prescribed? If so, who is the herbalist and what herbal training do they have? Are they open to you contacting their herbalist to coordinate care?

3) Check to see if the herb(s) is in the HAMR using the Herbs for Anxiety Quick Reference.

4) The HAMR contains all the herbs empirically indicated and those agreed on by master herbalists as useful in addressing anxiety as found in Einerson (2017). There are likely additional herbs empirically indicated by pharmacological research that were not identified in the reviews referenced. See Einerson (2017) for additional details.

5) Turn to each herb and help the patient/treatment team understand the level of evidence supporting the herb, its drug-interactions, warnings, contraindications, and suggested dosage.

The example provided above is simply an example of how the HAMR might be used. In reality, the HAMR can be used at any time in the therapeutic process to support the patient, educate the treatment team, and to reasonably assist in keeping patients safe. Regardless of how the HAMR is used to educated patients, it is important that the clinician understand the subjective nature of the tool.

For example, the safety ratings and primary effect for each herb, and the level of support the herb has, each derive from the collective opinion of master herbalists and are not definitive in nature. Additionally, the comments, in narrative form, obtained by master herbalists are not 'collective' opinions, but are instead the opinion of a single master herbalist. The exception being when a statement is followed by a set of parenthesis, such as (3); this indicates the number of herbalists who contributed to this statement—in this example, three. Research on herbs is limited thus the information these master herbalists have provided are important and helpful in educating patients and other clinicians on the use of these herbs.

To quickly become familiar with the type of information in the HAMR, see Figure 1 below.

Figure 1

Example of information found in the Herbs for Anxiety Mini Reference

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For additional information regarding the sources, methods used, and conclusions made regarding information provided by master herbalists see Einerson (2017).

Herbs Organized by Class of Evidence

Herbs with Class I evidence for anxiety: Herbs with at least one properly designed, randomized controlled trial.


Borage (Echium amoenum) Passionflower (Passiflora spp.)
Brahmi (Bacopa monniera) Lemonbalm (Melissa officinalis)
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea)
Kava (Piper methysticum) Valerian (Valeriana spp.)

 

Herbs with Class II evidence for anxiety: Herbs with at least one controlled trial without randomization, or a well-designed, cohort or case-control analytic study; pharmacological, in vitro, or in vivo evidence.


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Korean/Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng)
California poppy (Escholzchia californica) Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
Gotu cola (Centella asiatica) Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Hawthorn berry or leaf (Crataegus spp.) St Johns wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Herbs with Class III evidence for anxiety: Opinions of respected authorities, clinical experience of expert committees.


Chinese Peony (Paeonia lactiflora) Oats (Avena sativa)
Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Hops (Humulus lupulus) Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis)
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)

 

Call today for a free 15 minute consultation with a counselor- 208 357 3104. We welcome patients from Rexburg, Ammon and Idaho Falls.

Class I: Herbs for Anxiety

Class I Evidence: Herbs with at least one properly designed, randomized controlled trial.

Common/Chinese Names(Botanical Name) Safety Rating Drug Interactions CONTRA & Warnings MH Support

1*Borage (Echium amoenum)
Supportive

Very safe None Identified None Identified Weak

Comments from MHs: This herb contains Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the leaf and therefore increases the possibility of liver damage; the herbalists emphasize that this is not likely to occur but clinicians should be aware of this.

Recommended Dose: 1-3 drops of tincture 1-3 times daily (Wood, 1993).


1*Brahmi (Bacopa monniera)
Anxiolytic

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Weak

Comments from MHs: None

Recommended Dose: 5-13 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 35-90 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


1*Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Anxiolytic

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: In addition to noting this herb's high level of safety, one herbalist noted that patients using it concurrently with heavy doses of anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners should do so with care as this herb may increase these effects.

Recommended Dose: 3-6 ml of 1:2 high-grade liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 high-grade liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


1*Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Supportive

Generally Safe MAOI’s such as: Zelapar,Marplan, Pernate, Eldepryl Emsam and Nardil. Not for use in pregnancy, or if bipolar as it can cause mania. Not for long-term use and seeds should not be ingested. Weak

Comments from MHs: Ginkgo has a blood thinning effect and must be used with caution in patients on blood thinners such as Warfarin and Heparin (5). Because of this, Ginkgo is contraindicated in patients pre-and post-surgery (2). Also, Ginkgo may modify the CYP2D6 pathway and any medications metabolized by this pathway may be effected. A minority of MHs feel that Gingko has little relevance in treating depression; or that its use should be limited to the elderly suffering from depression. It is viewed primarily as a blood thinner and cerebral circulatory stimulant. It was also reported that Gingko can cause severe headaches in some people.

Additionally, although the seeds should not be consumed one herbalist noted that if the outer skin is removed it is considered food in Chinese medicine.

Recommended Dose: 3-4 ml of the standardized (2:1) liquid extract per day; 21-28 ml of the standardized (1:2) liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


10+*Kava (Piper methysticum)
Anxiolytic

Generally Safe Benzodiazepines such as: Prosom, Alprazolam,Intensol, Doral, Niravam, Diazepam Intensol, Xanax XR, Tranxene, Librium, Klonpin Wafer,Xanax, Serax, Valium,Klonopin, Dalmane,Diastat, Halcion, Ativan,Lorazepam Intensol,Restoril, Tranxene SD,Tranxene T-Tab, Versed,Onfi, Diastat Acu-Dialand Diastat Pediatric. Antidepressants such as:Paxel, Lexapro, Celexa,Prozac, Zoloft, Pexeva, Luvox CR, Sarafem,Brisdelle, Selfemra and Rapiflux. Liver disease, pregnancy, and current or recovered alcoholics are contraindicated. Strong

Comments from MHs: This herb can affect CYP450 enzymes and the metabolism of drugs through these pathways. Precaution should be taken if used when patient is also taking multiple medications which can affect liver functioning or in patients with poor or declining kidney functioning (2). Kava can also interact with alcoholic beverages and can increase the likelihood of accidents and other issues related to the use of alcohol. In addition to those medications listed above, one herbalist reported that Kava interacts with Synthroid and Levoxyl. One herbalist reported that Kava can be used to help patients decrease their use of benzodiazepines if it is used cautiously and at the lowest doses possible; however, it was also noted that doing so can cause feelings of fatigue in the patient. It is recommended that Kava be used sparingly and not over long periods of time (2) as it was reported that frequent large doses can be habit forming and cause extreme apathy and scaly skin. It was also recommended that patients be educated on the use and interactions of Kava as to reduce the possibility of a nocebo effect.

Recommended Dose: 3.0-8.5 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-60 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003). Extracts providing quantified levels of kava lactones are recommended. Ideally, aqueous ethanol extracts should contain not less than 20 mg/ml of kava lactones (Gardner & McGuffin, 2013).


4*Lemonbalm (Melissa officinalis)
Anxiolytic

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: None.

Recommended Dose: 3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


*Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
Anxiolytic

Generally Safe None Identified None Identified Weak

Comments from MHs: None.

Recommended Dose: 40-80 drops of 1:5 tincture, up to three times a day (Winston & Maimes, 2007).


1+*Passionflower (Passiflora spp.)
Anxiolytic

Generally Safe None Identified None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: This herb is also a sedative and one should be mindful of using it with other sleep medications.

Recommended Dose: 3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


1Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea)
Supportive

Generally Safe MAOI’s such as: Zelapar,Marplan, Pernate,Eldepryl, Emsam and Nardil. None Identified Weak

Comments from MHs: This herb can cause insomnia in a significance number people, heart palpitation in some people, and can provoke mania in people who have bipolar disorder. Additionally, if this herb is used for its energizing effects—instead of the patient getting the requisite sleep needed to be well—it can support behaviors that lead to exhaustion.

Recommended Dose: : : 2 to 5 ml daily if 1:1 extract is used and as part of a formula (Yance, 2013).


1*Valerian (Valeriana spp.)
Anxiolytic

Generally Safe Acetaminophen,Estrodial, Morphine,Testosterone, and Benzodiazepines such as:Prosom, Alprazolam Intensol, Doral, Niravam, Diazepam Intensol, Xanax XR, Tranxene, Librium, Klonpin Wafer, Xanax, Serax, Valium, Klonopin, Dalmane,Diastat, Halcion, Ativan, Lorazepam Intensol, Restoril, Tranxene SD, Tranxene T-Tab, Versed, Onfi, Diastat Acu-Dial and Diastat Pediatric. Barbiturates and in general other sedatives. None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: This herb has an additive effect with benzodiazepines and has been used in combination in cases of insomnia with no negative effects reported. MHs report that Valerian can be used to help patients decrease their use of benzodiazepines as well, but warn that this combination will likely cause drowsiness during the day and should be done cautiously.

It was reported that large doses can cause significant grogginess upon waking from sleep and should not be mixed with alcoholic beverages. Some patients also have reported dark and disturbing dreams when using Valerian. Additionally, a small number of patients using Valerian become hyperactive instead of sedated.

Recommended Dose: 2-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 15-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


Note: Superscript Anxiety following name of herb = Primary action of the herb. Subscript1 prior to the name of the herb indicates the number of RCTs indicating significant positive results in treating or complementing the treatment of anxiety. *= indicates herbs with pharmacological, in vivo, or in vitro evidence. Parenthesis surrounding a number, such as (3), indicates the number of master herbalists contributing the statement preceding it.

Class II: Herbs for Anxiety

Class II Evidence: Herbs with at least one controlled trial without randomization, well-designed, cohort or case-control analytic study; pharmacological, in vitro, in vivo, or non-human experiment.

Common/Chinese Names(Botanical Name) Safety Rating Drug Interactions CONTRA & Warnings MH Support

*Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Supportive

Very safe Barbiturates such as: Seconal, Seconal Sodium, Mebaral, Nembutal Sodium, Luminal, Amytal Sodium, Butisol Sodium and Nembutal. Not for use in pregnancy or if diabetic. None Identified Weak

Comments from MHs: This herb stimulates thyroid function and can cause an additive effect withmedications such as Synthroid and other Thyroid hormone medications. It was also noted that this herb may also interact with Benzodiazepines.

Recommended Dose: 5-13 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 35-90 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


*California poppy (Escholzchia Anxiolytic californica)
Anxiolytic

Generally safe Benzodiazepines such as:Prosom, Alprazolam Intensol, Doral, Niravam,Diazepam Intensol, Xanax XR, Tranxene Librium, Klonpin Wafer,Xanax, Serax, Valium,Klonopin, Dalmane,Diastat, Halcion, Ativan,Lorazepam Intensol,Restoril, Tranxene SD, TranxeneT-Tab Versed,Onfi, Diastat Acu-Dial and Diastat Pediatric. When in pregnancy and when nursing. Strong

Comments from MHs: One herbalist noted that his patients using this herb and benzodiazepinesconcurrently have not experienced an interaction. However he does suspect that it may potentiate sleep. Concomitant use should be done with caution.

Recommended Dose: 3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week(Bone, 2003).


*Gotu cola (Centella asiatica)Supportive

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Weak

Comments from MHs: One herbalist noted that this herb may interact with blood thinners.

Recommended Dose: 3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


*Hawthorn berry or leaf(Crataegus spp.)Supportive

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Weak

Comments from MHs: This herb may potentiate the effects of blood pressure medications (3).

The herb may reportedly be used in combination with blood pressure medications but it may have a negative effect (2). One MH also reported that Hawthorn used in combination with a beta blocker likely caused hypotension in several patients–the combination was re-challenged in one patient and the effects were repeated–this is reportedly rare but can occur. Another MH reported that this herb was used routinely as a drug of choice prior to Digoxin and that he continues to use it in clients to reduce the need for Digoxin. This herb interacts with Digoxin (3).

Recommended Dose: Hawthorn Berry–3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-50 ml of 1:2 liquidextract per week. Hawthorn Leaf – 3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week. Higher doses than those outlined here may be necessary for effective control of hypertension (Bone, 2003).


*Korean/Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng)Supportive

Generally Safe Unspecified stimulants Bipolar and Diabetes Weak

Comments from MHs: One herbalist advised caution when using this herb in patients withpremenstrual syndrome, hypoglycemia (or simply a sensitivity to blood sugar issues), and thyroid disease. Those with chronic anxiety or trauma who are sensitive to stimulating herbs should use this herb cautiously (3). However, another MH noted that if this herb is used in a formula its negative effects can be offset by other herbs.

Recommended Dose: 1-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 7-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week(Bone, 2003).


*Lavender (Lavandula spp.)Anxiolytic

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: This herb is very safe but that it may potentiate Benzodiazepines.

Recommended Dose: 2.0-4.5 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 15-30 ml of 1:2 liquid extract perweek (Bone, 2003).


*St Johns wort (Hypericum perforatum) Supportive

Generally Safe Induces CYP3A4, and inhibits CYP1A1,CYP1B1, and CYP2D6 enzymes. Hormonal Contraceptives such as: Elinest, Estrostep Fe,Gildess, Nordette, Tri-Lo-Marzia, Zeosa, Zovia, Triphasil, Demulen,Emoquette, Syeda, PlanB, Ovcon 35 and Mon- Linyah, etc. Axiolytics such as:Seconal, Seconal Sodium, Mebaral, Nembutal Sodium, Luminal, Amytal Sodium, Butisol Sodium and Nembutal, Prosom,Alprazolam Intensol,Doral, Niravam,Diazepam Intensol,Xanax XR, Tranxene,Librium, Klonpin Wafer,Xanax, Unisom,Benadryl, Ambien,Lunesta, BuSpar, etc. Antidepressants such as:Paxel, Lexapro, Celexa,Prozac, Zoloft, Pexeva, Luvox CR, Sarafem, Brisdelle, Selfemra andRapiflux. Beta-adrenergeticblockers such as:Kerlone, Tenormin,Toprol-XL, Lopressor, Metoprolol, Coreg,Indural, Levatol,Blocadren, etc. Bipolar if taken in high doses and not for use during phototherapy or excessive sunexposure. Weak

Comments from MHs:St Johns wort (SJW) affects the CYP3A4 and CYP2C9 enzymes andcareful consideration should be taken when combining SJW with drugs metabolized by these pathways (2).

Major negative interaction this herb has are with organ anti-rejection drugs and conventional antivirals commonly used in patients with HIV/AIDS. One MH considers these the most clinically relevant interactions SJW has with other medications. Two MHs reports that they do not believe SJW is contraindicated with conventional antidepressants (2) or anxiolytics (2) but should be used in combination when supervised by a trained clinician. The research supporting Hypericum interacting with contraceptives, antidepressants, and anxiolytics, and subsequently concluding that these interactions cause negative effects that are clinically significant should be viewed cautiously as the research is of poor quality (3). Numerous MHs report using SJW extensively in patients taking conventional antidepressants without their patients experiencing a negative interaction.

One MH disagreed with the list of interactions listed above because it did not distinguish the difference between hyperforin and hypericin and how these chemical constituents metabolize differently. This MH stated that much of the current literature fails to appreciate the difference betweeen hyperforin and hypericin thus subsequently leads to misleading interactions such as SJW uniformly interacting with contraceptives.

Conversely, one MH stated that regardless of the poor evidence supporting SJW causing negative interactions, she avoids using the herb concurrently with these medications as a precaution agains unwanted pregnancy, and serotonin syndrome.

Recommended Dose: 2-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 2-6 ml of 1:2 high hypericin liquid extract per day; 15-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week; 15-40 ml of high hypericin liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


*Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Anxiolytic

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: This herb may have an additive effect to sleep medications.

Recommended Dose: 2.0-4.5 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 15-30 ml of 1:2 liquid extract perweek (Bone, 2003).


Note: Superscript Anxiety following name of herb = Primary action of the herb. *= indicates herbs with pharmacological,in vivo, or in vitro evidence. Parenthesis surrounding a number, such as (3), indicates the number of master herbalists contributing the statement preceding it.

Class III: Herbs for Anxiety

Class III Evidence: Opinions of respected authorities, clinical experience of expert committees.

Common/Chinese Names(Botanical Name) Safety Rating Drug Interactions CONTRA & Warnings MH Support

Chinese Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)Supportive

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Moderate

Comments from MHs: None.

Recommended Dose: 30-50 drops of 1:5 tincture, up to three times a day (Winston & Maimes, 2007).


Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale)Supportive

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Moderate

Comments from MHs: Dandelion supports the liver and, because of this, can enhance the liver's ability to metabolize medications and potentiate the effects of those medications. Additionally, because this herb is a diuretic, patients should be cautious if already using a diuretic.

Recommended Dose: 3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


Hops (Humulus lupulus) Anxiolytic

Generally Safe None Identified None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: This herb may reportedly potentiate benzodiazepines. Additionally, some chemotherapy drugs (specific drugs where not mentioned) are reportedly effected by Hops; it was hypothesized that this interaction came because Hops effects cytochrome P450 enzymes (a family of enzymes responsible for metabolizing many drugs). However, no details were provided regarding this and no other herbalists confirmed this interaction.

Recommended Dose: 1.5-3.0 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 10-20 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)Anxiolytic

Very Safe Anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs Pregnancy Very Strong

Comments from MHs: This herb affects the thyroid and should be used with care in patients have hypothyroidism.

Recommended Dose: 2.0-3.5 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 15-25 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


Oats (Avena sativa)Anxiolytic

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: None.

Recommended Dose: Oat seed – 3-6 ml of 1:1 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:1 liquid extract per week. Green oats – 3-6 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 20-40 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


Reishi (Ganodermalucidum) Supportive

Very Safe Anticoagulants such as: Lovenox, Heparin,Ogaran, Coumadin,Jantoven, Pradaxa,Iprivask, Acova and Angiomax. Antiplatelets such as: Bayer Asprin, Aspergum, PravigardPAC, Aggrenox, Minoprin, etc. None Identified Very Strong

Comments from MHs: None.

Recommended Dose: Crude raw fungus for decoctions: 2 to 6 grams daily; 1:1 fluid extract: 2 to 10 ml daily; standardized extract 10 to 14 percent polysaccharides, 4 percent triterpenes: 1 to 4 grams daily (Yance, 2013).


Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis) Supportive

Very Safe Medications metabolized by the isoenzyme CYP3A such as: Wafarin, Ehinyl,estradiol-containingcontraceptives,Simvastatin, Prednisone, and Buspirone.Medications transported by P-Glycoprotein (P-gp)such as: Digoxin,Amiodarone, Carvedilol, Clarithromycin, Dronedarone,Itraconazole, Lapatinib,Lopinavir and Ritonavir,Propafenone, Quinidine,Ranolazine, Ritonavir,Saquinavir, Telaprevir, Tipranavir andVerapamil. None Identified Moderate

Comments from MHs: None.

Recommended Dose: 3.5-8.5 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 25-60 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) Supportive

Very Safe None Identified None Identified Strong

Comments from MHs: None.

Recommended Dose: 4.5-8.5 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per day; 30-60 ml of 1:2 liquid extract per week (Bone, 2003).


Note: Superscript Anxiety following name of herb = Primary action of the herb. Parenthesis surrounding a number, such as (3), indicates the number of master herbalists contributing the statement preceding it.

Herbs for Anxiety References

AARP, & NCCAM. (2011). Complementary and alternative medicine: What people aged 50 and older discuss with their health care providers. : Author.

Barnett, J. E., Shale, A. J., Elkins, G., & Fisher, W. (2014). Complementary and alternative medicine for psychologists: An essential resource. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs (1st ed.). St. Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone.

Burton, A., Falkenberg, T., S. Mischoulon (2008) Smith, M., Zhang, X., & Zhang, Q. (2013). World Health Organization traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023 (ISBN 978 92 4 150609 0). : World Health Organization.

Einerson, L. (2017). A Delphi study on herbs used to address depression and anxiety according to master herbalists (Doctoral dissertation).

Ernst, E. (2003). Serious psychiatric and neurological adverse effects of herbal medicines: A systematic review. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 108, 83-91.

Hobbs, C. (1984). Foundations of Herbalism (1st ed.). OK, CA: Botanica Press.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: the science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Mischoulon, D., & Rosenbaum, J. F. (Eds.). (2008). Natural medications for psychiatric disorders: Considering the alternatives (2nd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Pirotta, M.V., Cohen, M.M., Kotsirilos, V., & Farish, S.J. (2000). Complementary therapies: have they become accepted in general practice? Medical Journal of Australia, 172(3), 105-109.

Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic Medicine: the principles of traditional practice (2nd ed.) Edingburgh, England: Churchill Livingston Elsevier.

Sarris, J. (2007). Herbal medicines in the treatment of psychiatric disorders: A systematic review. Phytotherapy Research, 21, 703-716.

Verhoef, M., White, M., & Doll, R. (1999). Cancer patients’ expectations of the role of family physicians in communication about complementary therapies. Cancer Prevention and Control, 3(3), 181-187.

Winston, D., & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: Herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief (1st ed.). Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Wood, M. (2008). The earthwise herbal: A complete guide to old world medicinal plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Yance, D. (2013). Adaptogens in medicinal herbalism: Elite herbs and natural compounds for mastering stress, aging, and chronic disease (1st ed.). Rochester, VT: Courier Companies.

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