Do Kalms Herbal Tablets Work? A User Review
Do Kalms Herbal Tablets Work For Anxiety and Stress?
In my ongoing battle with stress, anxiety and sleepless nights, I recently added a new weapon to my arsenal: Kalms herbal tablets. I was keen to find a natural remedy rather than resort to prescription drugs. Don't get me wrong, prescription medicine has its place. But I'm uncomfortable with the habit-forming nature and unpleasant side effects of manufactured medicine, largely because of my addictive personality and capacity for clinging to bad habits. You could say that the thought of a lifelong pill addiction makes me stressed and anxious. Far better to find a natural and holistic approach to tackling anxiety. If that doesn't work then there's plenty of time to get hooked on Valium or Xanax later. Besides, my doctor always seems reluctant to dish out the pills these days. The era of Mother's Little Helper is well and truly over.
Kalms were recommended to me by a sympathetic work colleague who claimed they aided the quality of her sleep. I immediately visited the nearest Holland and Barrett health shop and picked up a bottle of 200 tablets for £7.99. With renewed hope, I returned to Stress HQ (my office) with one question on my mind: Do Kalms herbal tablets work? Presumably that question is on your mind, too.
Kalms: What's in them?
The makers of Kalms describe it as a "traditional natural plant remedy". There are three main ingredients.
- Valerian - Valerian is a flowering plant native to Europe and Western Asia. It has been used for medicinal purposes for several thousand years. Today, it is commonly used as a nutritional supplement and as a natural treatment for mild insomnia, stress and tension. Many people drink it as a tea by adding boiling water to Valerian teabags. Give them a try but beware: Valerian teabags smell like an unwashed pair of very old running shoes.
- Hops - The flowers of the hops plant are probably best known for the bitter flavor that they bring to a good pint of ale (and bad ones too). In my world, that alone elevates hops to Very Important Plant status. But like Valerian, hops can also be used as a herbal sedative.
- Gentian - Another flowering plant with many medicinal uses including muscle spasms and high blood pressure. It is native to the alpine regions of Europe, America and Asia.
Although I've read reviews on the internet that suggest Kalms has an instant effect, the manufacturers advise that it can take up to several weeks to work. The recommended dosage is two tablets, to be taken with meals, three times a day. Sticking to these guidelines, a £7.99 ($11) bottle will last just over a month.There's a few pills left in my bottle and I've been taking them for about five weeks now so obviously I've missed a few doses. I've been taking between four and six tablets a day.
So what's my verdict? Do Kalms work or not? For me, the results have so far been disappointing. The poor concentration, irrational worries, restlessness, depression, lack of motivation and tension around my chest - the symptoms of stress and anxiety that bother me the most - are still prevailing against my search for serenity. Other online Kalms reviews suggest that I'm not alone although some users have reported a positive experience.
My own experiment with Kalms has reinforced my belief that herbal treatments only yield subtle results, if they yield any results at all. Evidence suggests that they do work for some people, either alone or when supplementing increased exercise and a better diet. Furthermore, people suffer from varying degrees of anxiety. As the makers of Kalms boast on the front of the bottle, Kalms "relieves periods of worry, irritability, stresses and strains". This really suggests that Kalms are a treatment for mild symptoms of stress, a remedy for those of us who have fallen prey to a hectic lifestyle or a high-pressure job rather than a deep-seated anxiety disorder. Personally, I feel like I'm somewhere in between. Kalms are not enough; prescribed drugs are too much. That leaves exercise, nutrition, counseling, relaxation techniques and a multitude of strange and ancient therapies to try instead. It's a catch-22 situation because when your motivation levels are at rock bottom, who wants to go running or drag themselves to see a councilor? Pills are quick and easy.
There's also the question of whether I'm perceptive enough to notice any mild improvement in my mood. Some people are more tuned into their bodies than others, noticing the tiniest signs and changes in their anatomy. Maybe Kalms have worked for me without my realizing. If they have then it hasn't penetrated my awareness yet and that's not good enough for me.
So What's the Verdict?
As you might have guessed, I can't give you a conclusive answer as to whether Kalms are effective or not. All I know is, they don't work for me. But that's okay because there are hundreds of other natural alternatives to try, some of which I've listed later in the article.
Will Kalms work for you? At £7.99 (or around $11 in the US) it's definitely worth trying them to find out. They certainly aren't a placebo judging by the 200 reviews on Amazon.co.uk which generate an average of 4/5 stars. Of course, we all know that only a fool would place their faith in user feedback on Amazon but 200 reviews is a very large sample and should be respected. Elsewhere on the internet, people are raving about Kalms. Others are less enthusiastic.
As noted in the text box above, Kalms contain three main ingredients - Valerian, Hops and Gentian. All three of these plants have been used for centuries for their calming effects but that doesn't mean they work for everybody. You should also be aware that not even Lanes, the manufacturers of Kalms, market them as a magical cure-all tonic. If you're suffering from moderate to severe anxiety, stress or depression, your first point of call should always be your doctor.
Alternatives to Kalms
Do Kalms work? You'll need to try them yourself to find out. If not, don't panic, there are plenty of natural alternatives.
- Exercise and Nutrition - Yes I know, you've heard it before. But it's always worth repeating: Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the cornerstone to a relaxed and happy life.
- Meditation - Quieten your chattering mind and put your worries aside for a moment with a daily meditation practice. Scientific studies have demonstrated that meditation can play a vital role in combating anxiety.
- Lifestyle Changes - Working too hard? Drinking too much? Not getting enough sleep? Sometimes a few simple alterations to your lifestyle are enough to lift your mood.
- St John's Wort - This yellow flowering plant has been used for over two thousand years in the treatment of nerve disorders. Today many people take it for mild depression and anxiety. Although clinical trials have been far from conclusive, evidence suggests that it can help lift a low mood. Definitely worth trying but you should speak to your doctor first because it can interact with prescription medication.
- Passionflower - A South American native, passionflower is widely used as a herbal sedative and is often mixed with other plants such as Valerian. Unlike Valerian, passionflower is not found in Kalms.
Try Them For Yourself
The calming sounds of the sea have always worked for me.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not replace health advice from a qualified medical practitioner.
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© 2014 Doc Wordinger