The modern world we inhabit has brought numerous conveniences and advancements to our lives. However, these developments have not come without a cost. The fast-paced, always-connected lifestyle has resulted in increased levels of stress and anxiety for many individuals. Amidst this rise, there has been a search for remedies that can mitigate these conditions without always relying on pharmaceutical interventions. This is where supplements, particularly those from natural sources, step in as potential allies in promoting relaxation and mental well-being. In this article, we will explore some of the best supplements for stress and anxiety, delving into herbal and natural remedies that have been found beneficial in coping with these persistent ailments.
The Role of Supplements in Managing Stress and Anxiety:
Before we dive into specifics, it’s important to clarify the role supplements play in managing stress and anxiety. Supplements for anxiety are considered complements to other well-established treatments such as psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and, when necessary, medication. Herbal and natural supplements can often provide a sense of calm and support the body’s own mechanisms for managing stress responses, but they aren’t replacements for professional treatment in the case of severe anxiety or depression.
Best Natural Supplements for Anxiety:
Often referred to as an adaptogen, it is a herb used in Chinese medicine known for its ability to help the body adapt to stress. It is believed to reduce cortisol levels, which is often referred to as the stress hormone. By mitigating stress, Ginseng can be an effective natural supplement for anxiety and depression.
There are several varieties of ginseng, with Panax ginseng (sometimes called Red Korean Ginseng or Asian ginseng) and Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) being the most widely used for their health benefits.
Suggested Supplemental Use: Adults may take ginseng in supplement form, with a common dose ranging from 200 mg to 400 mg of extract per day. This dosage often contains a standardized amount of ‘ginsenosides,’ which are the active compounds in ginseng.
Found in green tea, L-Theanine is an amino acid that promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. This makes it an excellent supplement for those seeking a state of calm alertness. Many users report that it helps them feel more at peace and can dampen the edge of an anxious spell.
Suggested Supplemental Use: The standard dose for L-theanine is typically 100 to 200 mg per day. This dosage is believed to be effective for providing the calming effects of the amino acid while remaining safe for daily intake. However, individuals may take up to 400 mg per day in divided doses without apparent adverse effects, according to some research.
3. Magnesium supplements:
Magnesium plays a vital role in numerous biological functions, including the regulation of neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout the brain and body. It has a naturally relaxing effect on the body, and low levels of this essential mineral have been linked to increased levels of anxiety and stress.
It is also worth noting that different forms of magnesium supplements are available, each with varying levels of absorption and bioavailability. These include, but are not limited to, magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium malate. Each supplement variant is specific to different needs and conditions and proper guidance should be taken before choosing the form of Magnesium.
Suggested Supplemental Use:
The upper intake level (UL) for supplemental magnesium for adults is 350 mg per day, which is not applicable to food or water sources, but rather to prevent overconsumption from non-food sources.
These essential fatty acids are crucial for brain health and are known to have anti-inflammatory effects that may help to stabilize mood. Some studies suggest that omega-3 supplements could alleviate symptoms of anxiety. The typical Western diet often lacks sufficient omega-3s, making supplementation beneficial.
Suggested Supplemental Use:
For healthy adults with no history of heart disease: There’s no established daily recommended intake for EPA and DHA, but some guidelines suggest an intake of 250-500 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day for general health benefits. For adults with known coronary heart disease: An intake of approximately 1 gram (1000 mg) of EPA+DHA per day, preferably from oily fish, is recommended. If this isn’t achievable, a fish oil supplement could be used under a physician’s guidance.
Another adaptogen like ashwagandha, Rhodiola is known to help the body resist physical, chemical, and environmental stressors. It has been reported to help improve symptoms of burnout, which can accompany prolonged stress and anxiety. It has been traditionally used to increase physical endurance, work performance, longevity, resistance to high altitude sickness, and to treat fatigue, depression, anemia, impotence, gastrointestinal ailments, infections, and nervous system disorders.
Suggested Supplemental Use:
The effective dose of Rhodiola rosea can vary based on the strength of the extract and the desired health benefits. A typical dose is usually between 100 to 600 mg per day. Most standardized extracts are formulated to contain 2-3% rosavins and 0.8-1% salidroside, which are two of the herb’s potent active compounds.
For managing stress and fatigue, lower doses in the range of 100-300 mg are often effective. Guidelines typically suggest taking Rhodiola rosea on an empty stomach and away from meals – usually 15-30 minutes before breakfast and lunch.
Recent research points to a significant link between the health of the gut and the state of the brain – often termed the gut-brain axis. Thus, maintaining a healthy gut flora with the help of probiotics could be beneficial for mental health, potentially reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Suggested Supplemental Use:
-General digestive health: Dosages vary widely; a typical daily dose may contain 1-10 billion CFUs (colony-forming units).
– Specific conditions: Higher doses may be warranted, such as 10-20 billion CFUs or more, as directed by a healthcare provider.
– Always look for live cultures and consider a supplement with multiple strains.
A gentle herbal supplement often consumed as a tea, chamomile has natural properties that facilitate relaxation. Many individuals find chamomile to be a beneficial calm supplement for anxiety, especially when consumed before bedtime to improve sleep quality. One such supplement which has chamomile along with melatonin to help with sleep is Kumbhy sleep of Humming herbs.
Suggested Supplemental Use: As a sleep aid, chamomile extract dosages can range from 300 to 600 mg before bedtime, while in tea form, 1 to 4 cups throughout the day, with one cup before bedtime, are commonly recommended.
This flower has a long-standing history of use for its sedative and anti-anxiety effects. Some studies suggest that certain species may alleviate symptoms of anxiety. However, like many natural remedies, more research is necessary to understand the full extent of its benefits. You may find combinations of supplements with passion flower in brands like Humming herbs, like a combination with Mondia white and other herbs.
Suggested Supplemental Use: Dosages can vary, especially depending on the form (e.g., tea, extract, capsule). For capsules, typical use might range from 200mg to 500mg of standardized extract daily, divided into multiple doses. For teas, 1-2 grams of dried herb steeped in boiling water for 10 minutes, taken 2-3 times a day, is usual.
Often used to improve sleep, valerian root also shows potential in managing anxiety. It has properties that can sedate the central nervous system, providing a natural way to relax and combat stress.
Suggested Supplemental Use: The common dosage for valerian root as a sleep aid is between 400 mg and 900 mg, usually taken 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. Some people may start at a lower dose to assess tolerance.
**Safety and Considerations**
Before incorporating any of these supplements into your daily regimen, consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you’re already on other medications. There could be potential interactions that need to be considered, and a healthcare provider can guide dosage and usage safely. Despite the term ‘natural’ being associated with these supplements, it doesn’t always guarantee they’re free from side effects or risks, especially when not used as directed.
Zest of the content:
Stress and anxiety are complex conditions that may require a multifaceted approach to manage effectively. Supplements, particularly herbal and natural ones, have anecdotally been helpful for many individuals. Their use, in conjunction with lifestyle changes and professional treatment strategies, can be instrumental in helping those who struggle with these conditions find relief.
What supplements help with anxiety ultimately depends on the individual and their unique physiology and circumstances. For some, leveraging the best natural supplements for anxiety helps create a more balanced foundation from which they can tackle their daily stresses. As research into the efficacy of these supplements continues to evolve, it is likely that more targeted and personalized approaches will become available to aid in the fight against stress and anxiety.