In this article we’re going to outline how natural supplements for anxiety might help soothe and alleviate some of your symptoms. When it comes to stress and anxiety, there are countless reasons why our bodies may be feeling this stress. Sometimes it can be external stressors, like a difficult meeting with your boss, or a speech at your best friend’s birthday party. These external stressors are not inherently unhealthy, as this is our body’s fight or flight instincts kicking in to give us heightened senses, physical stamina, and mental precision.
Although there are more challenging stressors that come from external and internal causes that result in the clinical diagnosis of anxiety disorder. This is when an individual experiences feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. Sometimes this can include panic attacks, and other symptoms related to OCD, c-PTSD, or PTSD. Ultimately, the best way to cope with anxiety disorder is to focus on lifestyle adjustments that lessen your chances of triggering anxiety, and above all finding the right mental health physicians for your needs.
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There are some physical factors you can control that may improve symptoms of anxiety like supplementing a healthy diet with probiotics and prebiotics, as well as exploring physical exercise and ways to get restful sleep. This all falls under the herbalist philosophy of Vitalist Health, or the understanding that our mental, emotional, and physical health are interconnected and must be evaluated and improved upon together.
Navigating solutions to your anxiety can feel complicated when seeking a natural and alternative route to healing. In this article, we have formed a list of the top most effective natural remedies for stress and anxiety so you can find the perfect blend that fits into your lifestyle.
Digestion and Its Impact On Anxiety
Before diving into our list of herbal supplements, it’s important to take a moment to recognize how our stomachs deeply impact our emotional wellbeing. Proper circulation and digestive health can go a long way in supporting a happy and emotionally balanced mind. The gastrointestinal system has often been called “the second brain” of the body, as it holds over 500 million neurons, making up the enteric nervous system (ENS). These neurons are responsible for the secretion of serotonin (the feel good hormone) in the body. So depending on how your stomach health is, this could play a large role in mood.
Eating foods that support a healthy stomach can assist in combating the symptoms of anxiety. Foods rich in zinc like cashews, beef, egg yolk, or dark leafy greens have been linked to lowered anxiety.
The Top 10 Natural Supplements for Anxiety
1. Hemp (CBD)
The active compound found in hemp, Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown a lot of promise as an anti-anxiety supplement. Through regulating hormonal processes by interacting with the nervous system, using CBD for anxiety aids in relaxation and mood stability. This can be a subtle but effective additive to your diet, and often shows the best results when used long term. Many consumers claim it offers support for stress as well as other physical symptoms related to anxiety and depression.
2. Kava Kava
Popularized as a ceremonial herbal tea, Kava kava is another herbal remedy that may help relieve stress and anxiety. It was traditionally used in ceremony practices from Vanuatu, on the island of Maewo. This Polynesian plant has now been clinically researched for its relaxing properties. It is recommended not to consume Kava kava on a daily basis as it may come with some complications in the liver, but as an occasional tea it can soothe the mind with its mild anxiety-reducing effects and aid in restful sleep.
3. Milky Oat Seeds
Milky oats is a special trophorestorative herb, meaning it aids in the repair and rebuilding of the nervous system. This is one of the only known natural supplements made from the milky resin of the oat seeds. This resin contains active compounds that nourish the nervous system and help rebuild tissue that may have been damaged through long term stress and burnout. This supplement works great as a tincture, and for the best results, it should come from fresh young oats.
4. Lion's Mane
Best used in teas and tinctures; lion’s mane is another nervine trophorestorative supplement that offers slight sedative effects while strengthening neurological tissues. This can be a great supplement for anyone experiencing burn out from trauma, prolonged stress or lack of sleep, drug use or abuse history, or frequent panic attacks.
5. Lemon Balm
A more mild option, but ideal for long term use; lemon balm is both a trophorestorative supplement and a neurotrophic. This means it can assist with cognitive function, enhancing mental clarity and short term memory. Herbs in this category will increase blood flow to the brain, allowing for dilation of the capillary beds and stimulating cognition. Lemon balm soothes the mind but also fights against brain fog that may linger with long term anxiety or depression.
This supplement is ideal for anyone struggling with menstruation related stress and anxiety, as it helps with both emotional and physical symptoms. Valerian can help move GI related pains and regulate spasming, while calming the nervous system and assisting with GI function. Valerian has a warming effect that gets things moving around the body, which may require extra rest as your body restores to natural function.
Valerian is also known for its strong hypnotic effects, which may occur as overstimulation to some people. So if you find you are presently experiencing anxiety or racing thoughts, this may aggravate those symptoms.
This highly studied supplement has a lot of potential for anxiety relief based on numerous studies. However, this is a more long term solution, as it typically takes an average of two weeks of use before positive impact is noticeable. For the best results, most benefits are linked to doses between 500-600mg per day over the course of one month.
This subtle, earthy herb is a popular ingredient in herbal teas. In a 2017 study, it was found that tulsi exhibits neuro-cognitive effects almost immediately after consumption. These effects included improved mood and better cognition. Tulsi can help lower levels of cortisol in the body, or the stress hormone – helping to reduce stress and symptoms of anxiety.
9. Passion Flower
When your mind is racing and it feels impossible to get out of your own head, passion flowers can be an excellent remedy for relaxation. Often used to treat insomnia, tremors, and overthinking – this powerful plant is a great sleep aid and MAOI inhibitor. It’s important to check with your doctor before using passion flower supplements, as there may be some drug interactions. This is also a great remedy for cooling down someone that runs hot physically.
This floral and earthy plant is a perfect mild sedative herb, with a pleasant cooling property for the body. Not only does chamomile assist with inflammation in the body, but it works incredibly well when paired with other herbs to target localized regions of the body that may be under stress. For gut health, it is common to see chamomile paired with hops, motherwort, and skullcap. For a more warming effect in the body, chamomile can be paired with lemon balm or rosemary.
Any statements made in this post are not intended to replace advice from a medical professional. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any CBD product.