In the late 1980s to the early 1990s, the world went mad for Prozac. Everyone, seemingly, was on the most famous anti-depressant of them all… until a few, select clinical studies showed it could actually worsen symptoms. Even though expert doctors tried to stress that Prozac was completely safe in all but a few cases (as with any drug), the damage was done – drugs for mental health problems are still distrusted by many to this day.
This leads many people suffering from depression or anxiety problems to turn their backs on conventional medicines, and seek out a herbal solution. There are some famous remedies touted, the most famous of which being St. John’s Wort as an aid for both depression and anxiety problems. Anxiety specifically has the famous Rescue Remedies, based on herbal ingredients, which claim to calm and soothe the user when ingested.
So do they work? Well, yes and no. For a start, with any medicine, herbal or otherwise, there is a placebo element that must be considered. If someone with an anxiety problem is told that Rescue Remedy will absolutely, undoubtedly help them, they may believe it will help so much that it actually does. While the medicine itself has not helped, the effect is the same – mind over medical matter, almost.
Bearing this in mind, it is important to say there is no firm, clinical evidence that St. John’s Wart or anything other herbal remedy can help with an anxiety problem. There is certainly no physiological evidence. It would appear your money is best spent on therapies and psychiatric understanding, though there is no reason not to give a herbal remedy a try once in awhile.