Anxiety supplements are a popular alternative to anxiety medications, and more immediate than therapy or other long term treatments. Unfortunately, most natural anxiety supplements and herbs lack scientific backing. Many of these recommended anxiety supplements are folk medicine, gathered from around the world.
There are two problems here. First, studies have rarely found any benefits to most natural anxiety medicines. Second, nearly every major natural medicine company seems to have developed their own product for the anxiety market. It can be hard to know which anxiety supplements are likely to work, and which ones won’t.
Most Common Recommended Anxiety Supplements
The following represent the most commonly recommended anxiety supplements, compiled from many years of personal and professional experience and research. Always talk with your doctor before taking any type of supplement.
Melissa officinalis, also known as Lemon Balm, is an herbal tea traditionally used to promote calmness and improve cognition. It does appear effective at inducing calmness and reducing anxiety, but the cognitive enhancing properties are variable. Cognition appears to benefit if you are experiencing stress, but otherwise it is merely a sedative.
L-Theanine is a relaxing and nondietary amino acid found exclusively within green tea catechins. It is known to promote relaxation without sedation and appears to be effective at reducing stress with standard dosages.
Lavandula, or lavender, is a genus of plants used for essential oil and aromatherapy. Lavender supplementation can temporarily alleviate anxiety. Though lavender does not have a sedative effect, lavender aromatherapy can improve sleep quality, as well as reduce insomnia. Some evidence suggests lavender can increase slow-wave sleep patterns.
Kava is a herb that has traditionally been drunk as a hypnotic and anxiety reducer. It has been shown effective in reducing anxiety, sometimes at a potency similar to pharmaceuticals. Kava may be a cognitive enhancer, but it is not completely safe.
Ashwagandha is an herb and a popular supplement. It provides neuroprotection, anti-cancer effects, enhanced virility, and can even stave off anxiety.
Bacopa monnieri is a nootropic herb that has been used in traditional medicine for longevity and cognitive enhancement. Supplementation can reduce anxiety and improve memory formation.
Ginkgo biloba is the most commonly ingested herb for promoting brain health. While it can boost cognition, this effect is not very reliable.
Panax Ginseng is commonly referred to as the ‘True Ginseng’, because it is the most researched member of the ‘Ginseng’ plant family. It appears to be effective for mood, immunity, and cognition. But subpar for erections, testosterone, and exercise enhancement.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted in the brain that regulates sleep. It appears to be highly sensitive to Light Therapy and Dark Therapy. Oral ingestion of melatonin may be used as a sleep aid. It is non-addictive.
Valeriana officinalis, also known as valerian, is an herbal tea and supplement. It is commonly used for its sedative and anxiety-reducing effects.
What works best for you?
Are there better recommended anxiety supplements?
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