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Stiftung Warentest: Herbal sedatives are usually not very suitable

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Stiftung Warentest: Herbal sedatives are usually not very suitable

Lavender oil, lemon balm, hops
Stiftung Warentest: Herbal sedatives are usually not very suitable

When we are feeling restless and nervous, we would like to be more relaxed – herbal sedatives are not very suitable for this.

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When thoughts are circling, sleep is unthinkable and concentration dwindles during the day, inner restlessness increases. Stiftung Warentest has tested non-prescription herbal tranquilizers – the result is sobering.

The thoughts are constantly circling, the heart is racing and the hands are shaking – in cases of nervousness and inner restlessness, many a person affected seeks help with herbal remedies that are supposed to calm, such as valerian drops, lavender oil capsules or St. John’s wort. Stiftung Warentest has examined 25 over-the-counter herbal tranquilizers. These are capsules, teas and tinctures. The result: 21 remedies are only “unsuitable” for calming down.

How did the product testers come to this conclusion? They viewed and evaluated studies on the effectiveness and risks of the drugs. Whether products with hops, lemon balm or passion flower – for 21 of the products tested, Stiftung Warentest was unable to find sufficient evidence from clinical studies for their effectiveness. It was therefore classified as “unsuitable”. This includes, for example, the “Anti-Stress Tea” from Bad Heilbrunner.

The Stiftung Warentest also rated capsules with lavender oil from Lasea as “unsuitable”. Although some studies have provided positive indications of the effectiveness of lavender oil against inner turmoil, according to the product testers, the available data is not sufficient to prove its effectiveness. Lavender oil can cause belching, nausea, and allergic reactions. In the event of anxiety-related restlessness, the product testers advise only taking the lavender oil capsules after consulting a doctor.

Valerian is the drug of choice for herbal tranquilizers

Anyone who would like to use a herbal sedative when they are nervous should rely on valerian – according to the Stiftung Warentest. But beware: It depends on the composition. Because only for a certain dry extract of valerian root scientific studies suggest that it is effective in restlessness. Stiftung Warentest rates Klosterfrau’s valerian tablets, among other things, as “limited suitability”. 30 tablets cost 5.49 euros.

Everyone knows moments of inner restlessness or nervousness – and they are quite normal, for example, before an important presentation or exam. However, they become a problem and can cause symptoms if those affected do not know why they feel this way and do not have any coping strategies, says Professor Andreas Hillert, chief physician for psychosomatics and psychotherapy at the Schön Klinik Roseneck in Prien am Chiemsee to the Stiftung Warentest. If symptoms such as concentration problems, persistent sleep disorders or physical symptoms such as eye twitching occur due to fear and nervousness and the quality of life is impaired, those affected should seek medical advice.

For people who have a head full of thoughts and are restless and stressed as a result, brain dumping can help to get the chaos in the head under control. Here you can read more about it. If you have trouble falling asleep because your mind is constantly spinning, here are five tips to break the thought loop.

You can find the entire test (which is subject to a fee) at Stiftung Warentest!

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