10 Best Natural Supplements for Anxiety - Corpina

10 Best Natural Supplements for Anxiety

Many people are now turning to natural supplements to address health issues. Problems like stress and anxiety are common, so it’s even better if you can go to a natural source before spending big bucks on expensive treatments and medication.

Here are 10 of the best natural supplements for anxiety, including effects on stress, depression, anger, panic attacks, and insomnia.

The 10 Best Natural Supplements for Anxiety

1. Kava Root

One of the most common natural anxiety supplements is Kava root, which is available as a tea or extract. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its use for anxiety.

Kava’s effects include muscle relaxation, mild sedation, and improved brain functioning. The root is well-researched and shown to work very well when taken correctly.

Once, Kava was thought to have links to liver damage, but these results have been overturned. Studies that claimed this link existed used participants predisposed to liver damage, skewing the data.

While Kava has been proven to be safe, it is best to avoid Kava if you regularly consume alcohol. Kava reacts to alcohol, creating harmful side effects such as increased impairment while under the influence.

2. Passion flower

Passion flower is a light sedative milder than kava. It is safer to use with other herbal remedies.

However, you should typically avoid using multiple sedatives at once. Also, avoid taking passionflower for longer than a month.

The effects of passion flower are similar to benzodiazepines, which increase the amounts of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a neurotransmitter that reduces stress and anxiety.

Passion flower can also address insomnia and anger with its calming effect produced in the brain. While passion flower is not likely to be strong enough for severe anxiety, it can easily help with daily, mild levels of anxiety.

Passion flower has occasionally caused drowsiness, but is safer than oxazepam, one of the leading antidepressants given for anxiety. Passionflower is also advocated as safe for women during pregnancy and kids.

While pregnant, you should avoid the more potent liquid extract. The American Pregnancy Association recommends using a topical version to decrease the risk of adverse side effects.

3. Valerian Root

Valerian root is similar to Kava but is primarily used for sleep. It can also cause relaxation and help ease anxiety symptoms.

Many people take a combination of herbs, for example, chamomile or lemon balm with valerian. However, other sedative herbs like passionflower or Kava root should be avoided.

Valerian root is otherwise taken as a pill. Teas are less common as the root doesn’t have a pleasant smell.

Since this supplement is primarily a sleep aid, it is typically taken before bed.

One of the best things about valerian root is that it has virtually no documented side effects other than drowsiness. Nevertheless, you should avoid mixing it with alcohol or medical sedatives.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium plays a significant role in reducing the risk of anxiety, social anxiety, and panic attacks.

Adults should receive about 350 mg of magnesium a day.

Magnesium influences many parts of the body, including the nerves and blood. It has been shown to reduce nervousness, muscle spasms and panic attacks.

Foods that include magnesium are:

  • Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale
  • Green beans
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Watermelons
  • Figs
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Legumes

In particular, salmon, cod, and halibut have higher levels of magnesium.

Magnesium is available in pill, liquid, and even flakes and sprays. Epsom salts also contain magnesium, so you might consider dissolving these into a bath.

Children with anxiety can benefit from this. Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds can be incorporated as a healthy snack for kids.

5. B-Vitamins

B vitamins are essential to good health, especially your nervous system.

As such, they can help with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and insomnia. Being a vitamin, they are safe, natural supplements for anxiety while pregnant and for anxiety in kids.

B vitamins work by decreasing lactic acid from your body as needed to maintain balanced levels of lactate. Excess lactic acid contributes to anxiety or panic attacks.

The most effective B vitamins against anxiety are:

  • B1 (Thiamine) – for blood sugar and panic attacks. It can be found in pork, berries, legumes, lean meats, nuts, and soy milk.
  • B3 (Niacinamide) – for serotonin production, calmness, and sleep. Find it in sunflower seeds, tuna, poultry, potato, cottage cheese, and liver.
  • B5 (pantothenic acid) – for adrenal functions and panic attacks. Organ meats, avocados, broccoli, and mushrooms are good sources.
  • B6 (Pyridoxine) – for serotonin, anxiety, and stress. It can be found in green beans, whole grains, spinach, fish, and bananas.
  • B12 (cyanocobalamin) – for depression, stress, and heart health. Find it in milk, fish, cereals, eggs, and shellfish.

Adequate intake of B vitamins is important as the body doesn’t store it.

6. Chamomile

Chamomile has been shown to decrease anxiety, control anger, aid with digestion, and reduce insomnia. It is safe for pregnant women and children and is easily accessible.

Many people consume chamomile as a tea. Chamomile is also available as a pill and acts in the brain in the same way as anxiety medications like Valium.

A study at the University of Pennsylvania gave patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) chamomile supplements for eight weeks. By the end of the study, their anxiety levels had significantly decreased.

Chamomile is safe for treating anxiety in children as it has no side effects.

It’s also available as an oil, which you can use in your or your child’s bath for calming. It can also be placed on a pillow at night.

7. Lavender

Lavender is another safe supplement, even for kids, pregnant women and dogs. Its pleasant smell can reduce anxiety and stress.

In oil form, lavender can be added to a bath, pillow or pajamas for a calming effect.

Researchers have widely studied lavender and its effects.

Students in Florida participated in a study that revealed that those who inhaled the scent of lavender oil before exams were less anxious.

One study in a Greek dental office found that patients were less anxious when they used lavender oil to scent the waiting room.

8. 5-HTP

5-HTP is an amino acid that synthesizes serotonin and melatonin – both of which can help decrease anxiety. People use 5-HTP for anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Serotonin can lift your mood and encourage sleep. Melatonin is touted as a way to decrease anxiety, and some even take direct melatonin supplements.

9. L-theanine

L-theanine is another amino acid, most commonly found in green tea. It also triggers the release of GABA in the brain.

It can be effective in treating anxiety, anger, and depression. The amino acid keeps your blood pressure and heart rate steady.

One study in Japan recruited participants prone to anxiety. They found that taking 200 mg of L-theanine before a test resulted in participants who were more calm and focused.

10. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, also known as Melissa officinalis, has been used for centuries to treat anxiety and stress naturally. It helps with pain like headaches and digestion, which can also be symptoms of anxiety.

Lemon balm can be taken as a tea, capsule, or extract. Often it is combined with chamomile or valerian.

In a study where participants were given either 600 mg of lemon balm extracts or a placebo, those who took lemon balm had more positive moods and were calmer.

Pregnant women and children can safely take lemon balm.

In addition to tea, the leaves of lemon balm can be crushed to release its oil. The oil can then be used for its calming scent or as a topical rub.

Note: Although it is a mood elevator, there is not enough evidence to link it as a way to treat depression. Furthermore, excess use of lemon balm can increase anxiety, so stick with the recommended dosages.

Final Thoughts

Was this list useful to you? Uneasiness can be debilitating, but with the help of these best natural supplements for anxiety, combined with a long-term plan and coping strategies, managing your anxiety will be a breeze.

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