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Passion flower may have positive benefits against anxiety

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Unread 10.20.10, 08:37 AM
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Passion flower may have positive benefits against anxiety

Dear Reader,

The other day, I happened to catch a commercial for a drug intended to treat anxiety and depression.

The first quarter of the commercial was about what it could do for people suffering from the conditions. The rest of it was devoted to the risks and side effects -- and some of them were doozies.

In fact, the list went on for so long and was made up of such dangerous risks that I had to check that I wasn't watching a Saturday Night Live parody of a drug commercial.

Of course, I wasn't. It was all too real -- and to top it all off, they were offering a free trial. All you had to do was visit their website -- and make sure to tell your doctor you'd learned all about this great drug on TV.

But you don't have to put your health at risk for effective treatments to preserve your mental health. In fact, a new review published in Nutrition Journal suggests that it could be as simple as adding a couple of supplements to your diet.

Researchers looked at 24 studies dealing with patients suffering either from depression or an anxiety disorder.

They found that passion flower in particular seemed to have positive benefits against anxiety, based on three studies, as did kava, which was explored in 11 studies.

Out of the trials that examined kava alone, 63 percent pointed to significantly reduced anxiety symptoms, leading researchers to state it could be a good option for people with generalized anxiety disorders.

Dr. Wright has previously pointed to kava as a potential reliever of stress and anxiety. He's also mentioned St. John's wort as well as B12 for combating stress.

Kava and passion flower can also be used to relieve insomnia without causing daytime drowsiness, as described by Dr. Kerry Bone in Nutrition & Healing. Even a single dose of passion flower (equivalent to about 7 g of the dried herb) can have a significant effect.

Subscribers to Nutrition & Healing can read extensive information about kava in the April 2002 issue of the newsletter, available online at

Yours in good health,

Christine O'Brien
Boren's Laws of the Bureaucracy: 1. When in doubt, mumble. 2. When in trouble, delegate. 3. When in charge, ponder.
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