Do you struggle with stress and anxiety? If you do, there are ways to help. Stress and anxiety are two issues that can be difficult to deal with during the day and may even prevent you from completing some responsibilities. High anxiety and stress levels can become a dangerous cycle, and it will take a toll on your health both physically and mentally.
Many people turn to the use of supplements to help regulate their stress and anxiety symptoms. Today we are going to focus on some of the ingredients in these natural supplements and how they reduce stress and anxiety.
There are prescription drugs out there that treat these disorders, but they often come with a list of dangerous side effects. In this article, we are going to focus on which natural remedies are the most effective for reducing stress and anxiety symptoms by outlining each of our choices and providing information backed by science and research to help you make your decision.
Best Natural Stress & Anxiety Relief Supplements
1. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is an herb from the mint family. When included as an ingredient in natural supplements, the lemon balm produces calming effects that help with insomnia and all other forms of anxiety. It boosts the overall cognitive function and reduces the symptoms of anxiety and stress.
Lemon balm can positively affect your mood, and it has a superb reputation as a treatment for anxiety, specifically.
This treatment is backed up by science. There is one study that analyzes the effects of providing people with lemon balm extract in the form of a water-based drink. The conclusions of that study found that the lemon balm solution was generally related to an improvement in mood and cognitive performance. These improvements in mood can be associated with a decrease in stress and anxiety.
When it comes to anxiety and stress, all the symptoms affect each other. If you have much anxiety, you probably have trouble sleeping at night; if you have a lot of stress, you may have difficulty focusing. It all connects, and natural ingredients, like lemon balm, that are in certain supplements help the root of the problem, thus eliminating all other symptoms.
2. Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa Monnieri is an herb that has been used for years to enhance cognitive function. Many completed studies point out the use of Bacopa Monnieri for improved attention span and memory, as well as decreases in stress and anxiety.
Bacopa, also called the water hyssop, is a beautiful flower with a lot of hidden abilities that can benefit you.
When taking a natural supplement that contains Bacopa Monnieri, it affects the levels of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. Dopamine makes you happy, and serotonin helps you sleep, so an improvement of these two brain chemicals will result in noticeable changes in anxiety and sleep patterns.
The interaction that Bacopa boosts increases communication through your nerve endings and supports their growth and development. Neurotransmitters play a key role in how your body deals with high levels of stress and anxiety, and they can even cause problems with anxiety if they are not occurring in the correct way.
3. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea is an herb from Scandinavia that has properties that make it useful for reducing stress and anxiety. This plant approaches stress differently than other extracts and nutrients because it helps your body adapt to the high levels of stress it already has. Most other natural ingredients reduce stress at the source. Does this make Rhodiola Rosea less effective? No. Rhodiola Rosea will provide a natural way to help your body deal with stress, especially since most stress may never go away, depending on your lifestyle.
Historically, the herb has been a mood enhancer. It is also thought to boost cognitive function. With improved brain (cognitive) function and mood, you will notice that anxiety occurs less often because you do not react to certain situations in the same way as you did before. It makes your brain more effectively rationalize situations with which you would have otherwise overreacted.
There have been studies to back up the efficacy of Rhodiola Rosea to treat stress and anxiety. In a review of randomized trials for the effects of Rhodiola Rosea, the conclusion states that the herb may have beneficial effects for mental performance and certain mental health conditions. This herb could be very useful for increasing your well-being and decreasing stress and anxiety.
L-Theanine is a non-essential amino acid found in high quantities in Camellia sinensis leaves, which are common for making green tea. In essence, this explains why many people use green tea as an anxiety reliever.
L-Theanine is a psychoactive substance that has a multitude of effects, one of which is to elicit a sense of calm and relaxation. Creating a sense of relaxation is the best way to reduce stress and anxiety. Natural supplements help tremendously with all the symptoms of anxiety, but in the end, relaxation and calmness will be your salvation.
One study that focused on L-Theanine’s reaction within the brain found that it increased activity in the alpha frequency band, indicating that L-Theanine relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. Other studies suggested that L-Theanine could cause anti-stress effects by inhibiting cortical neuron excitation.
5-HTP is an amino acid that is produced naturally in the body. One of the primary functions of 5-HTP is to help in the biosynthesis of serotonin. As you are probably aware, serotonin can be associated with an increased feeling of happiness and decreased stress and anxiety. Without serotonin, most of your happiness will not occur.
Some studies point to 5-HTP’s effectiveness in decreasing stress and anxiety. In one study, women who had SSRI or SNRI depression were given 5 g of daily creatine and 100 mg of 5-HTP twice daily for eight weeks. Results found that this treatment may represent an effective treatment for certain variants of depression. Even without the creatine, 5-HTP shows benefits to depression, which is a common mental state that comes alongside stress.
An overall review of the said study concluded that there needs to be more research in this area, but the results were promising as 5-HTP relates to depression and feelings of stress and anxiety. Inconclusive results are relatively common with the studies related to most of the natural ingredients in supplements. Still, if you read into them, you can see that they did create promising results in participants.
Ashwagandha comes from Indian medicine practices as a tonic for the nerves. It therapeutically sedates the nerves and calms the anxiety the comes with it. Ashwagandha is also called Indian Winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng.
This ingredient has many benefits for mental and physical health and can even improve memory function. Overall, Ashwagandha benefits the brain, nervous system, reproductive system, and immune system. It reduces stress and anxiety by reducing the physical aspect that nerves introduce to problems with anxiety.
Ashwagandha can be a powder or a root extract. Ashwagandha root extract was originally for reducing the aftereffects of snake venom and scorpion stings because of its skin healing and inflammation-reducing capabilities, but it helps with anxiety as well.
Some studies indicate that Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoietic, and rejuvenating properties. However, the results of those studies were also not conclusive.
7. Passionflower (passiflora incarnata)
Extract from the passionflower relieves anxiety, improves mood, reduces the symptoms of PMS, and treats ADHD. The GABA content in passionflower extract is exceptionally high compared to other types of plants, which is what reduces the effects of anxiety.
Lengthy studies show that the GABA in passionflower herb extract, when orally administered, produces anxiety-reducing effects. Passionflower is in many supplements, and even sleep-aid drugs because of these effects. Other uses for it include pain, fibromyalgia, opioid withdrawal symptoms, nervousness, and heart failure. It can be taken orally or applied directly to the skin to help with inflammation.
Passionflower also helps tremendously with muscle spasms. Muscle spasms are something you may experience if you struggle with extreme anxiety or other mental health problems. It is a common side effect of anxiety, but most people do not know that there is a natural remedy to it. If that is the case, passionflower is an ingredient you will want to identify in a supplement’s list of ingredients
Many vitamins are great for anxiety, but B-vitamins are some of the most commonly found vitamins in stress and anxiety-reducing products. B-vitamins help with both your physical and mental health by aiding in the bodily functions that occur every day.
You can take a B-complex vitamin, which has 8 B-vitamins, as an all-encompassing remedy. Or, there are natural supplements that have just the key types of B-vitamins that are the best for reducing stress and anxiety, like vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6.
There are eight essential B vitamins which make up the B-complex:
- B1 (Thiamine)
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- B3 (Niacin)
- B5 (Pantothenic acid)
- B6 (Pyridoxine)
- B7 (Biotin)
- B9 (Folate)
- B12 (cobalamin)
Each type of B vitamin has its unique benefits. Like we mentioned before, some of the B-vitamins are better for reducing stress and anxiety. You will want to scope out natural supplements that have thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine (vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6).
Keep reading to learn about the best B-vitamins for stress and anxiety and how they affect your bodily functions.
Vitamin B1, also called thiamine, benefits the nervous system directly by relaxing the nerves in the brain, muscles, heart, stomach, and intestines. Some heart disorders can be prevented by taking thiamine, and problems such as beriberi are actually a result of vitamin B1 deficiency. Thiamine is one of the top B-vitamins needed to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, plays a crucial role in energy production. With a lack of energy comes anxiety and stress. When you do not have the willpower to move around during the day and get things done, it prevents your brain from producing the dopamine it needs to be happy. This vitamin can end up reducing the symptoms that come with stress and anxiety because of this cause and effect situation.
Riboflavin also helps to increase metabolism and maintain normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood.
You will see riboflavin in the ingredients of many anxiety supplements because it works.
Vitamin B3, commonly called niacin, can be taken to promote lower levels of HDL cholesterol and treat circulation problems like migraine headaches, Meniere’s syndrome, and other causes of dizziness. Little did you know, circulation problems such as these are key indicators of stress and can be treated.
Other benefits include improvement of acne, leprosy, ADHD, premenstrual headache, digestion, aging, arthritis, and circulation. Niacin is all-around beneficial and will ultimately remove stress because of the way it heals both the inside and outside of your body.
Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, has numerous health benefits. When taken as a supplement, it can help lower cholesterol, treat diabetes, improve ADHD, reduce the symptoms of arthritis or nerve damage, help with insomnia, reduce irritability and bad moods, alleviate muscle cramps, and more.
For stress and anxiety, vitamin B5 helps calm nerves and level out moodiness. Depression, insomnia, and irritability are all related symptoms that come with high levels of anxiety and stress, so when you take B5, it attacks all the bad feelings that come along with anxiety, and it makes you feel generally happier. When you feel happier, it results in your mind creating excess anxiety that would usually cause an overwhelmed feeling and stress.
B6 is a B vitamin that your body must get from an outside source and does not occur naturally in the body. Once consumed, it benefits several functions in the body, such as metabolism and the creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are important for brain health; they send messages throughout the brain and to the body through the nervous system. If neurotransmitters are not working efficiently, it can affect the chemical balance in your brain and reduce your overall level of energy and motivation. Vitamin B6 is one of the most important B vitamins.
9. Thiamin HCl
Thiamin HCl is a form of vitamin B1. We talked a little about it in the previous section on B-vitamins, but it is important to really look at the wonderful benefits of this vitamin and how much it improves stress and anxiety.
Thiamin HCl is the best ingredient for the nervous system, which controls your level of stress and anxiety. Deficiencies of this vitamin can cause a lot of problems with mental health and can even cause delirium in serious cases. So, you can expect that an abundance of this vitamin will improve mental function, thus improving anxiety. Vitamin B1 improves overall cognitive performance.
Although daily intake of vitamin B1 can help, it is better to take it alongside other types of vitamin B or take a supplemental product that contains small amounts of vitamin B1.
Hawthorn is a type of plant, that when extracted, can be used to make medicine. Hawthorn leaves specifically are for the primary use of improving diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and both low and high blood pressure are all factors that can hawthorn leaf extract can reduce.
High blood pressure and irregular heartbeat are key indicators of stress. When you become overwhelmed, blood pressure rises, and a chain of symptoms sets off, making anxiety and everything else worse than the original stressor. Hawthorn helps relieve the symptoms that come with stress and helps your circulatory system perform better.
Final Thoughts and Other Considerations on Stress & Anxiety Relief Supplements
Black Pepper Extract
Black pepper provides benefits for more than just flavoring food. The extracted form of black pepper can assist in cognitive brain functioning, boost nutrient absorption, and improve gastrointestinal functionality. Improved nutrient absorption is the key component to look at here because it can lead to your body absorbing other stress-relieving and anxiety-alleviating nutrients. Sometimes, rather than the problem coming from the body’s lack of nutrients, it comes from the body’s inability to absorb the nutrients it receives.
The black pepper extract in the ingredients of a supplement helps your body absorb the other vitamins and nutrients in the product, thus improving the overall results after taking it. A natural supplement for reducing stress and anxiety will work better because of this ingredient.
Which Supplement is for Me?
No review is complete without an understanding of which dietary supplement may benefit your own body. The answer, of course, is it depends. Many factors have to be considered, as well as what your goals are for your supplement routine. Essentially, you want a routine that benefits your body specifically.
So, read through our list above with your goals in mind to determine which natural supplement speaks to you the most. Do you need help coping with work-related stress? Are you reluctant to take prescription medications to treat anxiety and depression?
If you are struggling to decide, a visit to a physician is always helpful. A physician can help you put together a supplement routine specific to you. Chronic stress and anxiety symptoms take a toll on your health both physically and mentally, so, if in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek outside help.
Thank you for reading through our guide on the best natural supplement for reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes our picks for the top supplements in this area, supported by science. You can feel good about adding any of these products to your diet.
As with any supplement choice, consider your needs first. Not everything is for everyone, and if something is not working for you, consider changing it up. As always, a visit to your physician is a good way to get this sorted with a plan that is individual to you.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869656 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11869656