The UK is in the grip of mental health crisis thought to be fuelled by the pandemic and intensified in recent years due to the cost-of-living crisis, climate change and political unrest. In fact, key insights from the Mental Health Foundation reveal that 71% of adults are concerned about maintaining their current standard of living and 50% worry about being able to afford food over the next few months. Given the continued adversity faced by Brits, it’s no wonder that anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the UK, with 11.5 million people taking prescription medication to manage symptoms.
Research reveals that anti-anxiety prescriptions have almost doubled in the last 15 years and whilst they are intended to support patients’ mental wellbeing, sometimes they can do more harm than good.
Professor of Psychiatry, Professor Hans-Peter Volz said: “The use, and misuse, of prescription medication is rising. Doctors can be quick to medicate people who are experiencing emotional distress, without exploring alternative options. Medicating too quickly can lead to the unnecessary prescribing of medication, and in some cases, can cause a dependency to the drug. The problem then, is trying to reduce dependency and get patients off the prescribed medication.”
Whilst non-pharmacological intervention should be a first-line treatment option, patients regularly find that they are not offered non-medicinal support and are instead prescribed potentially harmful medication such as, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or benzodiazepines. Yet, long-term use of SSRIs and SNRIs can cause some sinister side effects including an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, suicidal thoughts and serotonin syndrome and benzodiazepines can be extremely addictive if not prescribed or monitored correctly.
With so much associated risk, many people are now looking for ways to cope with anxiety without the need for prescription medication. Fortunately, there are alternative treatment options available and used in conjunction with professional support measures, can be an effective way to manage symptoms.
More than 15 clinical trials suggest that uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil – which can be taken in a one-a-day capsule – can significantly reduce both physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety.
The results are comparable to the effects seen from commonly used anti-anxiety medications, including the benzodiazepine lorazepam and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine.ix, x Positron Emission Topography (PET) scans of participants’ brains also suggest that compared to a placebo the unique lavender oil significantly reduces the binding potential of the neurotransmitter Serotonin 1A (5T1A) in the regions of the brain that are involved in the regulation of anxiety.
In addition, recent research found that a regular dose of pharmaceutical grade lavender oil showed a clinical improvement in participants Covid-related anxiety helping to support full remission of symptoms with no adverse side effects.
Professor of Psychiatry Dr Siegfried Kasper, who was involved in several of the clinical trials comments:
“This is a very exciting development for anxiety as the research demonstrates that lavender oil capsules not only reduce both physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety but also have a beneficial effect on health-related quality of life, without problems such as sedation, addiction or interaction with other medications. Benefits are also evident after just two weeks”.
The anxiety-relieving effects of uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil are available, only in Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules, available in Boots, ASDA and online at Amazon. RRP £8.20.