Feelings of dread, irrational fears, and an inability to focus are typical anxiety symptoms. At its worst, anxiety can be debilitating, preventing you from working effectively and sleeping well. It’s estimated that over 27% of US adults struggle with anxiety and almost 42% of young adults aged 18-29 are similarly burdened.
Anxiety is a growing problem in an uncertain world. But there’s help at hand and you don’t need a prescription for it! Let’s look at 7 supplements to help alleviate anxiety and get you feeling more like yourself.
While not yet cleared for use as an anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing medication) by the FDA, a recent Forbes health survey revealed that 51% of US adults using CBD do so to reduce anxiety. And numerous studies have confirmed CBD’s effectiveness in calming anxiety.
Working with the endocannabinoid system in your body, CBD serves to move you closer to homeostasis (a state of balance in bodily systems). That balance has a positive impact on mood, immune response, and stress, among many other consequences of organic imbalance. When CBD binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout the body, your nervous system responds by creating a more balanced, hospitable physical environment. You may find that you can order CBD products online or that your local dispensary will even deliver CBD to your door!
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa)
Derived from a relative of the coffee plant native to Southeast Asia, Kratom contains two compounds that are gaining rapid notoriety for easing anxiety – mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Acting on receptors bound to nerve cells, these compounds provide an effect similar to anxiolytic medications.
While research into this plant is limited, its use in Asia over centuries (possibly millennia) indicates its efficacy. But one study has recently found that Kratom has a positive effect on anxiety and other mood disorders.
THC and CBD (Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol)
THC is the intoxicating and psychoactive component of cannabis. When combined with non-intoxicating CBD in a 1 to 1 ratio, the resulting effect positively impacts anxiety. But for those who don’t desire the intoxicating effect of THC, a higher CBD content serves to reduce it. Cannabis producers are refining their crops to make it easier for you to find products specifically tailored to your needs.
THC and CBD, when taken together, provide a relaxing effect on nerves that extends to muscles, reducing anxiety-related physical responses like tension in your neck and shoulders, grinding your teeth, and clenching your jaw. If you struggle with these symptoms, a higher CBD dosage will benefit you, should you choose to try this supplement. Not everyone cares to vape, so try an edible, a tincture, or a salve instead.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil is a prized supplement known to have tremendous health benefits but it also plays an important role in reducing anxiety. In fact, science is increasingly pointing out the value of nutrition in battling mood and mental health disorders.
Omega-3 fatty acids have a prophylactic effect on the brain, protecting it from inflammation. Over-the-counter medications can’t treat brain inflammation, as they can’t cross the blood-brain barrier, designed to protect the brain from toxins and pathogens. Add them to your diet as a supplement or find them in foods like fish, walnuts, and avocado.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
The tiny chamomile flower is a mighty anti-anxiety helper, long known to calm nerves and impart a sense of overall relaxation. People all over the world regularly consume a cup of chamomile tea to help them sleep.
Chamomile’s effect on anxiety is believed to be linked to its effect on the neurotransmitter, GABA, also affecting the output of serotonin (reduced levels of both are associated with anxiety.) And while clinical evidence is scarce, chamomile has been used for millennia as an agent for calming nerves and it is commonly used as a sleep aid.
Saffron (Crocus sativus)
Saffron is the rarest, most costly spice in the world. But it’s also an ancient medicinal aid, promoting digestion, calming anxiety, and reducing inflammation. Derived from the yellow stamen of the crocus flower, people have turned to saffron for both flavor and health for millennia.
Saffron has been proven to be as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) for the treatment of depression. Taken as a tea or in the form of a supplement, this natural remedy is safe and effective for reducing anxiety.
When we think of lavender, we think of the scent and the soothing effect of this beloved flower’s delicate perfume. In fact, the best way to use lavender as a natural helper for anxiety is aromatherapy.
The scent of lavender activates the limbic system, which governs our emotions. This system includes the hypothalamus, the part of the brain in charge of transmitting anxiety signals to the hippocampus, which regulates anxiety. This simple, sweetly scented flower has helped millions of people with anxiety, naturally.
Alleviate anxiety with these 7 natural supplements. Add crucial self-care like exercise, mindful nutrition, and an anxiety-soothing home environment and you’ll be feeling better in no time!