Clinical Research

Passion Flower

Passion Flower has acquired a reputation for its calming effect on the central nervous system by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter GABA. Clinical studies show that Passion Flower significantly lowers levels of anxiety in individuals and can help promote a sense of relaxation and calm. In fact, a double-blind study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics found that passion flower extract was as effective in providing relief from the symptoms of anxiety as oxazepam, a prescription drug similar to alprazolam (Xanax®) and diazepam (Valium®).

  • Akhondzadeh, Shahin; Naghavi, H.R.; Vazirian, M.; Shayeganpour, A.; Rashidi, H. & Khani, M. (2001): Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 26(5): 363-367. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2710.2001.00367.x
  • Soulimani R, Younos C, Jarmouni S, Bousta D, Misslin R, Mortier F. Behavioural effects of Passiflora incarnata L. and its indole alkaloid and flavonoid derivatives.
    Laboratoire d'Ethnobotanique et de Pharmacologie, Universite de Metz, France.
    J Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Jun;57(1):11-20. PMID: 9234160
  • Bourin M, Bougerol T, Guitton B, Broutin E.A combination of plant extracts in the treatment of outpatients with adjustment disorder with anxious mood: controlled study versus placebo. GIS Medicament, Faculte de Medecine, Unite de Psychopharmacologie, Nantes, France. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 1997;11(2):127-32. PMID: 9107558
  • Menghini A, Mancini LA. TLC determination of flavonoid accumulation in clonal populations of Passiflora incarnata. Department of Plant Biology, University of Perugia, Italy. macol Res Commun. 1988 Dec;20 Suppl 5:113-6. PMID: 3247338
  • Pereira CA, Yariwake JH, Lancas FM, Wauters JN, Tits M, Angenot L. A HPTLC densitometric determination of flavonoids from Passiflora alata, P. edulis, P. incarnata and P. caerulea and comparison with HPLC method. Universidade de Sao Paulo, Instituto de Ouimica de Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been shown through scientific research to possess properties that help to reduce stress and anxiety. Research suggests that the alkaloids in Ashwagandha Root, particularly Withaferin A, stimulate the brain's neurotransmitter pathways. As a result, Ashwagandha reduces anxiety and worry while also improving cognition and memory function. In a 2011 study, researchers found that a formula comprised of ashwagandha extract was as effective in relieving the symptoms of anxiety as benzodiazepines, which are a medication commonly prescribed to treat anxiety.

  • Lakshmi-Chandra Mishra "Scientific Basis for the Therapeutic Use of Withania somnifera : A Review - Ashwagandha". Alternative Medicine Review. FindArticles.com. 12 Nov, 2010. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FDN/is_4_5/ai_65068471/
  • Mirjalili MH, Moyano E, Bonfill M, Cusido RM, Palazón J (2009). "Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine". Molecules 14 (7): 2373–93. doi:10.3390/molecules14072373. PMID 19633611.
  • Scartezzini P, Speroni E (July 2000). "Review on some plants of Indian traditional medicine with antioxidant activity". J Ethnopharmacol 71 (1-2): 23–43. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00213-0. PMID 10904144.
  • L. D. Kapoor (2001). Handbook of Ayurvedic medicinal plants. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-2929-9.
    Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, et al. (2009). "Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974". PLoS ONE 4 (8): e6628. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006628. PMID 19718255.

L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid and glutamic acid that is found in green tea leaves and is the primary ingredient that endows them with their soothing properties. According to clinical research, l-theanine has been shown to reduce both mental and physical stress levels, boost cognition, and improve mood. It does this by helping to increase the overall level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to regulate emotion and mood. L-Theanine has also been associated with an increased stimulation of alpha waves in the brain. An increased production of alpha waves cause the brain to achieve a relaxed state of mental alertness.

  • Yokogoshi H, Kobayashi M, Mochizuki M, Terashima T (1998). "Effect of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on brain monoamines and striatal dopamine release in conscious rats". Neurochem Res 23 (5): 667–73. doi:10.1023/A:1022490806093. PMID 9566605.
  • Perrini, Carolyn. "L-Theanine: How a Unique Anxiety Reducer and Mood Enhancer Increases Alpha Waves and Alertness". Okinawa Tea Company. http://www.okinawateacompany.com/html/pdf/mood_3.pdf.
  • Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja L, Ohira H (2007). "L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses". Biol Psychol 74 (1): 39–45. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2006.06.006. PMID 16930802.
  • Haskell CF, Kennedy DO, Milne AL, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB (2008). "The effects of l-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood". Biol Psychol 77 (2): 113–22. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.09.008. PMID 18006208.
  • Yokogoshi H, Kato Y, Sagesaka YM, Takihara-Matsuura T, Kakuda T, Takeuchi N (1995). "Reduction effect of theanine on blood pressure and brain 5-hydroxyindoles in spontaneously hypertensive rats.". Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 59 (4): 615–618. doi:10.1271/bbb.59.615. PMID 7539642.

Vitamins B6 and B12

Vitamin B6 has been linked to the production of the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin, and is therefore directly linked with the body's levels of stress and anxiety. Vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with heightened anxiety in individuals.

Vitamin B12 is important in maintaining a well-functioning nervous system. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 has been linked to feelings of anxiousness, stress, and anxiety.

  • Combs, G.F. The Vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health. 2008. San Diego: Elsevier
  • Bernstein AL. Vitamin B6 in clinical neurology. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1990;585:250-60.
  • Chandra R and Sudhakaran L. Regulation of immune responses by Vitamin B6. NY Acad Sci 1990; 585:404-423.
  • Bender DA. Novel functions of vitamin B6. Proc Nutr Soc 1994; 53:625-30.
  • Herbert V. Vitamin B12 in Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 17th ed. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute Press, 1996.
  • Combs G. Vitamin B12 in The Vitamins. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1992.
  • Bernard MA, Nakonezny PA, Kashner TM. The effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on older veterans and its relationship to health. J Am Geriatr Soc 1998;46:1199-206.
  • Bottiglieri T. Folate, vitamin B12, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Nutr Rev 1996;54:382-90.

Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium is an essential mineral for the proper function of the body. Aside from its commonly known role in the strength of bones, Calcium is required for proper function of muscles, blood vessels, and the Central Nervous System. Because of the important role Calcium plays in helping transmit impulses throughout the Central Nervous System, combined with Magnesium, Calcium helps to reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the function of the body's enzymes. Studies have found magnesium deficiency is one of the primary causes of insomnia and anxiety. Increasing levels of magnesium can help to reduce anxiety, tension, nervousness, and stress.

  • Combs, G.F. The Vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health. 2008. San Diego: Elsevier
  • Bernstein AL. Vitamin B6 in clinical neurology. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1990;585:250-60.
  • Chandra R and Sudhakaran L. Regulation of immune responses by Vitamin B6. NY Acad Sci 1990; 585:404-423.
  • Bender DA. Novel functions of vitamin B6. Proc Nutr Soc 1994; 53:625-30.
  • Herbert V. Vitamin B12 in Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 17th ed. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute Press, 1996.
  • Combs G. Vitamin B12 in The Vitamins. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1992.
  • Bernard MA, Nakonezny PA, Kashner TM. The effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on older veterans and its relationship to health. J Am Geriatr Soc 1998;46:1199-206.
  • Bottiglieri T. Folate, vitamin B12, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Nutr Rev 1996;54:382-90.