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Echinacea May Help Improve Anxiety

Echinacea has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy for sore throats, coughs, and the common cold. A recent study suggests that it may help improve anxiety in adults.

Sixty-four adults participated in the study. All had scored above 45 on the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Half the participants took 80 mg daily of Echinacea root extract for 7 days and the other half took a placebo, followed by a 3-week washout period. Participants were administered the State Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Perceived Stress Scale at baseline, 7 days, and after the 3-week washout period.

Participants in the Echinacea group saw an average 11-point decrease in their state anxiety scores, compared to a 3-point decrease in the placebo group. The decrease held throughout the washout period. Participants with high baseline anxiety also saw a decrease in their trait anxiety scores, compared to the placebo group. No changes were seen in depression or stress.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Institute of Experimental Medicine in Budapest. It was published online ahead of print on December 25, 2019 in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

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