Natural Supplements for Anxiety
Taking Natural Supplements for Anxiety can be very beneficial for anxiety sufferers and those who don’t want the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
I’ve tried many different natural remedies, some have helped me and others had no effect. Below I’ve compiled a list of natural supplements for anxiety and as always before taking anything, please consult with your doctor.
However, the good news is that, no matter what the degree of anxiety, this disorder can be managed and treated.
Anti-anxiety drugs and psychotherapy are often used in the treatment of this disorder but are known to be accompanied by many side effects and painful withdrawal symptoms.
This factor led many scientists and doctors to research a safer and much more effective way to treat anxiety.
Natural supplements for anxiety, thus, began to gain popularity and attention because of its ability to effectively treat anxiety and also help individuals cope better with withdrawal symptoms.
Natural Supplements for anxiety act as gentle sedatives and help uplift an individual’s mood naturally. Aside from relieving symptoms of anxiety these natural options also have their benefits.
Given below is a description of these natural supplements of anxiety and the way they provide nutrients that are otherwise not consumed by the body naturally.
Be sure to also try Essential Oils For Anxiety And Panic Attacks
Vitamin B supplements:
Vitamin B complex is a power pack of 8 essential vitamins that help combat stress and protect the brain. B-Vitamins are used to create and repair neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behavior.
While one needs all the 8 B-Vitamins, the three most important B-vitamins are Vitamin B6, Vitamin B9 also known as folate and Vitamin B12.
They are known as the “Mighty Methylators of Mental Health”. Low levels of these vitamins have been associated with anxiety, depression, mental decline, schizophrenia and brain aging.
Also, stress and worry tend to deplete a lot of Vitamin B from the body making one more susceptible to mental disorders.
Thankfully, these vitamins are available in the form of supplements and taking them helps keep the brain healthy, manage symptoms of anxiety and prevent panic-attacks.
According to research, Vitamin C supplements greatly help prevent and treat anxiety symptoms. Deficiency in Vitamin C has been linked with neurological damage, memory loss and loss of alertness.
According to an article in “Nutrition Journal”, Vitamin C helps produce the neurotransmitter – norepinephrine, which plays an important role in the regulation of mood. Vitamin C also helps put a break to the stress hormone-Cortisol.
According to studies increased amount of cortisol in the body makes an individual highly susceptible to mental-disorders. This research states that study- participants who took Vitamin C supplements reported feeling much happier and relaxed in as little as a week.
Thus, indicating the effectiveness of this vitamin in helping manage symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.
I also use Mindfulness Exercises For Anxiety that tends to help me a lot and calm my nerves.
I love probiotics and according to research, gut-health plays an important role in warding off symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If an individual’s gut-health is messed up, their body is unable to absorb the necessary nutrients from the food that will enable both their brain and body to function normally.
According to research probiotics greatly help improve an individual’s digestive health and also help relieve symptoms of anxiety. Probiotics come in different variations, they are available naturally in food like this and supplement form.
Consuming food rich in probiotics or supplements has been proven to greatly help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
I always get low on vitamin D in the winter time so I take this supplement. Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body when exposed to sunlight.
Studies show low levels of vitamin D have been significantly associated with anxiety and depression. Vitamin D plays an important role in keeping anxiety away by affecting the amount of chemicals called monoamines in the brain.
These monoamines, like serotonin, regulate mood and behavior and help manage anxiety.
This vitamin is available in supplement form and is especially useful for individuals who have less exposure to sunlight either because of the area they live in or because of the living circumstances that require them to remain indoors most of the time.
Amino acids are essential compounds that help keep anxiety away. These chemical compounds are obtained from protein in our daily diet and they play an important role in the creation of neurotransmitters which help regulate mood and behavior.
Research low levels of neurotransmitters in the brain lead to mental disorders like anxiety and depression. 5HTP is a popular amino acid supplement that is prescribed to increase serotonin levels in the brain.
It is produced from the seeds of an African plant and is available in the form of capsules or tablets.
5HTP is a byproduct of the amino acid, L-tryptophan and is a compound that is naturally made in the body. Deficiency of this compound in the body has been associated with mood irregularities.
Taking 5HTP supplements helps restore the level of neurotransmitters naturally in the brain thereby helping manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Anxiety as many people I know have used this method to completely eliminate their anxiety.
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) is one of the body’s most important neurotransmitters. It is known primarily for calming the nervous system by shutting the fight or flight response.
This compound is produced naturally in the body and helps promote relaxation by calming the mind and body.
A GABA deficiency has been significantly linked with many chronic illnesses and mental disorders. Research and studies show that GABA supplements effectively help manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia. This supplement is available in the form of capsule, pill or powder.
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), is a compound that is naturally produced in the body. It helps regulate hormones and maintain cell membranes.
In the brain, this compound helps nerve cells to maintain connectivity, make energy and regulate mood-related neurotransmitters.
Deficiency in this compound, according to studies leads to anxiety and depression. Taking SAM-e supplements helps reduce both symptoms of anxiety and depression and promotes a happy and balanced mood.
This supplement is available in the form of a tablet and is sold over the counter in the United States.
I take a fish oil supplement daily and find it works not only for my anxiety but better over all health.
Omega -3 Fatty acids as it is an important body fat which is obtained from food like fish, vegetable oil, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, flax seed oil, and green leafy vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids effectively helps ward off anxiety and improve mood naturally, without any dangerous side effects.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, consuming food rich in Omega-3 Fatty acids offers powerful protection against anxiety.
However, this fatty acid is considered to be the most serious dietary deficiency in our population.
The good news regardless is that this important body fat is available in the form of a natural supplement called “Fish oil Capsules” -which is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Taking this supplement helps manage symptoms of anxiety and manage your mood.
St John’s Wort:
St John’s wort is the most researched and studied herb of all time. It can be taken in the form of a capsule, tea or liquid extract.
This herb helps deal with anxiety by boosting numerous mood-related chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. It helps ward off anxiety by protecting the brain with its anti-inflammatory properties.
It has also been found that St John’s Wort can be more effective than anti-anxiety and antidepressant drugs.
Researchers are finding increasing evidence of healing properties in the herb, Turmeric, which is commonly used as a kitchen spice.
Apart from helping treat many physical ailments turmeric has also been found to have many anti-anxiety and anti-depressant properties.
People who suffer from mental disorders tend to have greater inflammation and oxidative stress, which can affect all major organs in the body, including the brain.
This chronic inflammation tends to decrease the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, leading to degeneration in certain areas of the brain. These neurotransmitters play an important role in mood regulation and behavior control.
Turmeric has been found to have certain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help restore the levels of these chemicals in the brain and reduce the effects of oxidative stress.
Thereby, helping protect the brain and manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. This herb is available in the form of capsules and taking this supplement regularly can help bring your anxiety down significantly.
Chamomile is an herb widely used in tea and known for its refreshing abilities. I’ve found this supplement is not only cost effective but can be consumed in the form of tea any number of times during the day and it really calms my anxiety.
Clinical studies have recently identified that chamomile consists certain ingredients that have anxiolytic properties that help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
According to a study from the University of Nottingham Medical School, consuming chamomile tea or taking chamomile supplements helps smooth muscle fibers and significantly relax blood vessels.
It has also been found that regular consumption of this herb helps improve mood and increase overall feelings of happiness.
Valerian root is a perennial plant that has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy to help calm nervousness, stress, insomnia and headaches.
This natural supplement has been proposed to help with insomnia and nervous tension caused by anxiety. Researchers believe valerian root increases gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.
GABA helps to calm the body and help you relax.
Kava is a popular social drink in the South Pacific similar to alcohol in Western countries.
The word “kava” comes from the Polynesian language word “awa”, meaning bitter. Kava can help relieve anxiety, stress, restlessness and treat insomnia. Kava has different effects on the brain and blocks norepinephrine reuptake and is known to bind with GABA and NMDA which are in control of anxiety.
Kava has been banned in European countries due to possible safety concerns of liver damage. I recommend talking to a doctor before taking kava.
Clinically Ashwaganda has been shown to be very helpful in calming anxiety. The herb is part of the nightshade family and the medicinal part which is used is the root of the bush.
This root has a strong “horse like” smell and has been popular in Ayurdevic medicine for millennia.
Ashwaganda has been used to treat anxiety, low energy and is considered an adaptogen which helps to balance our bodies to better adapt to stress.
This herb may also help balance our hormones which contribute to anxiety.
In 2012 a study of 64 individuals with diagnosed anxiety took either Ashwaganda or a placebo. The people taking Ashwaganda showed significantly lower anxiety levels and their cortisol (stress hormone) levels were decreased by 28%.
This natural supplement for anxiety also helped with their insomnia and depression.
Another herb that is a adaptogen has been used in Russian and Scandinavian countries for centuries.
Rhodiola also called “golden root” or “arctic root” helps your body fight stress, fatigue, reduce symptoms of depression and helps to improve brain function. Usually taken in capsule form rhodiola can also be taken in other forms such as extracts and tea and is recommended taken early in the day as some people may feel “revved up”.
Rhodiola has a direct effect on the adrenal gland which can help you control your stress and anxiety.
Lavender is an herb and the oil and flower are used to make medicine. Lavender is used to treat anxiety, depression, restlessness, insomnia, headache and pain.
One of the most used herb remedies in aromatherapy, smelling the essential oil is said to calm you and help with relaxation.
I’ve found a few ways to use lavender which include inhaling, using the oil in a diffuser, taking a bath with the essential oil, or having a massage with lavender oil.
I also like to use Essential Oils for Anxiety and Panic Attacks as they help me to de-stress and relax.
Passionflower which is native to the South Eastern United States and Central and South America comes from a flower which grows on a vine.
Passionflower is used for anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, fibromyalgia, and can help with burns on the skin by rubbing to the affected area. The herb appears to boost GABA in the brain and passionflower seems to lower brain activity helping you calm down and even sleep better.
A study published in Phytoherapy Research showed users would drink a daily dose of herbal tea with purple passionflower.
The participants showed better sleep after seven days suggesting passionflower may help with mild sleep problems. Passionflower can be taken in many forms which include tablets, capsules, liquid extracts and herbal teas.
Lemon balm which is part of the mint family is a perennial herb.
Lemon balm is used for anxiety, restlessness and insomnia helping to improve your mood and reduce stress. Safe to consume with most people reporting no side effects can be taken as a tea or a supplement has been used for thousands of years.
Lemon balm has also been used for Alzheimers disease, ADHD, high blood pressure, sores, and insect bites.
Having a magnesium deficiency may lead to anxiety symptoms. Magnesium supplements can help with anxiety, PMS symptoms, help prevent migraines, lower your blood pressure and even fight depression.
You can even find magnesium in different foods such as, Spinach, Pumpkin Seeds, Dark Chocolate, Salmon, Halibut, Avocado, cooked Quinoa, Black Beans and Swiss Chard. The average supplement dose is between 100 to 500 mg and can be taken as a once daily dose.
Read more about Magnesium and the benefits in my post Magnesium Relieves Anxiety and Panic Attacks.
Bacopa is a plant used in traditional Indian medicine and is used for anxiety, ADHD and improving memory.
The herb should not be confused with gotu kola or “brahmi”. There has been some research that Bacopa might increase some brain chemicals that are involved with memory and thinking.
Another study compromising of 60 college students found that 6 weeks of twice daily treatment at a dose of 300 mg per day test improvement related to cognitive function.
Bacopa comes in either tablet or capsule form and the side effects range from nausea, fatigue, cramps, diarrhea and dry mouth.
Vitamin A helps the nervous system relax, your muscles relax and your whole body. When your nervous system is working properly this helps minimize stress, and ultimately calming your anxiety.
Some signs of a Vitamin A deficiency are trouble adjusting to dim light at night, Infertility, Stagnant Growth, Acne Breakouts and longer wound healing time.
Taking large amounts of this supplement can actually do more harm than good by damaging the liver and can bring severe nausea and vomiting.
The above-mentioned natural supplements for anxiety have been found to be very effective in managing symptoms and bringing relief.
Their effectiveness is backed by research and studies and is being used by many individuals who are claiming to find natural and faster relief without being additionally burdened with side-effects.
As always, before trying natural supplements please consult your doctor. Most supplements are not regulated by the FDA.