Background

Experimental evidence has reported the use of floral therapy in the treatment of anxiety, although the mechanism of action has not been elucidated and there are few controlled researches on the use of floral in eating disorders. The aim of this study was to observe the effects of flower essences (Agrimony and Rescue) on anxiety in the weight loss process of overweight patients.

Methods

After approval by the Research Ethics Committee, 20 patients on average 34.6 ± 9.5 years, with body mass index (BMI) between 25 – 29.9 kg / m2 were recruited. They received standardized food plan with 1500 kcal, collected anthropometric data, applied the Brazilian State-Trait Anxiety Inventory to measure state (STAI-S) and trait (STAI-T) components of anxiety - scores range from 20 to 80, with higher scores correlating with greater anxiety. They were randomized into 2 double-blind groups: Floral (n = 10) and Placebo (n = 10), treated for 60 days, with all tests repeated at the end of the study. Patients between 18 - 65 years, and not using drugs to lose weight or to control mood or anxiety were included.

Results

There was a significant reduction in BMI in the Floral (29.1 ± 1.6 kg / m2 vs 28.2 ± 1.3 kg / m2, p <0.03), but not in the Placebo (27.7 ±1.8kg / m2 vs 27.4 ± 2 kg / m2, p = ns). There was a significant reduction in STAI-S score (43± 5.5 vs 39.7 ±5.2, p = 0.007), but not in STAI-T in the Floral (40.7± 5.5 vs 39.6±4.7, p = ns). In Placebo group, both STAI-S (43.0± 5.5 vs 41.4 ±4.1, p = ns), than STAI-T (40.7± 5.5 vs 39.4± 5.0, p = ns) were not changed.

Conclusions

The data suggest an apparent association between floral and reduction in anxiety state.Well-designed randomized trials are necessary to further assess the effect of this treatment in larger groups. Funding agency: FAPEAM.