Anxiety disorders are treatable, but treatment can be difficult. Prescription medications can sometimes lead to physical and emotional dependence. Other medications can cause unwanted side effects, such as weight gain or sexual dysfunction. Alcohol and drugs can worsen your anxiety. Many people consider homeopathic remedies as alternative treatments for their anxiety symptoms.

Ignatia, or ignatia amara, is a homeopathic remedy people sometimes use to treat anxiety. Ignatia comes from the seeds of the St. Ignatius bean tree. The tree is common in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia.

Homeopaths have used ignatia to treat grief and depression. They have also used it to treat situational anxiety. People usually don’t use ignatia for generalized anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.

A homeopath will assess many different factors to get a total picture of your symptoms and health background. Your homeopath will suggest a remedy after looking at the larger picture of your health. This remedy may include a mixture or combination of herbs and treatments.

Ignatia usually comes in pellet form that people can take orally. Homeopathic remedies are diluted and contain only a small amount of the active ingredient. This is important for ignatia because the tree that it comes from contains traces of a poison called strychnine. Strychnine is toxic to humans in large doses.

Few scientific studies support or refute the claims that ignatia can effectively treat anxiety. One 2012 study on animals showed that it might be able to modify emotional responses.

Ignatia may be able to treat other conditions. Homeopathic ignatia may help manage oral lichen planus (OLP) according to one study. OLP is an inflammatory condition associated with the mucous membranes in the mouth. Patients in the study who took ignatia saw a reduction in lesions and reported fewer pain symptoms.

When researchers tested ignatia with other homeopathic remedies to treat migraines in children, they found positive results. Some even claim that ignatia can help to treat:

  • fever
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • dysphagia
  • problems resulting from menstruation

There hasn’t been a lot of research that backs up these claims.

Take the necessary precautions before trying ignatia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate supplements the way it regulates drugs. The result is that you never know how safe dietary supplements are. Seek immediate medical help if you take ignatia and experience:

  • muscle spasms
  • physical agitation
  • difficulty breathing

You should always consult with your doctor before you start taking a dietary supplement or any medication. Exercising caution can help you to avoid worsening your anxiety.