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6 Natural Supplements to Alleviate Anxiety

* Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.
* Anxiety can cause a wide range of both physiological and psychological symptoms
* Whether it’s the occasional stress brought home from the office or chronic problem, these natural remedies may help

Whether you suffer from the occasional stress brought home from the office or struggle with a chronic anxiety disorder, you may benefit from adding one of these calming supplements to your daily routine. Anxiety can manifest itself in a number of different ways—biologically, physically, and behaviorally. It can cause a wide range of symptoms from muscle spasms and high blood pressure to decreased energy and difficulty concentrating at work.

While many medications used to treat anxiety impose the risk of dependence (along with a slew of other negative side effects) there are some anxiety-reducing dietary and herbal remedies that aren’t associated with these drawbacks.

If your symptoms are interfering with your life significantly or you’ve been diagnosed with a clinical anxiety disorder, it’s always best to consult a professional to discuss treatment options, but these natural remedies may help lessen some of your symptoms.

Disclaimer: Always inform your medical professional when you begin taking a new supplement, as some can interact with prescription medications.

1. Valerian Root

Valerian root is a natural herb that’s been shown to have a sedative effect on the brain, leading to its medicinal use for treating insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. Some doctors even suggest taking Valerian root for patients who are trying to discontinue taking prescription sleeping medication. Because this supplement will cause drowsiness in most people, it’s best to take this calming herb at night time. For insomnia and improved sleep, take 500 mg about 30-40 minutes prior to bedtime.

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2. Lemon Balm Extract

Lemon Balm extract — a member of the mint family — has been used since the middle ages to treat stress and insomnia and has been found to show improvement in stress levels in modern scientific studies. More recent studies have also found that the herb may help improve cognition, increasing focus and concentration, making it a great alternative for those who want to calm their nerves without sedation and hindering focus. It also has a number of other possible benefits, including helping heal cold sores and lessening menstrual pain.


3. Passion Flower

Passion flower extract is another remedy that’s been used for centuries to treat anxiety, depression, and even seizures. Researchers believe it helps increase a neurotransmitter called GABA in the brain, which helps calm the central nervous system by reducing the activity of certain brain cells, and leaves you feeling more relaxed. According to WebMD, Passion flower is also used to treat other anxiety-related symptoms like insomnia and muscle spasms. A liquid tincture is easily absorbed by the body, which may lead to quicker relief of anxiety symptoms when compared to taking the extract in capsule form.

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4. Magnesium

Magnesium is a naturally-occurring mineral that helps keep maintain a healthy immune system, regulate healthy blood pressure levels, and strengthen muscles–including the heart. Studies have yielded convincing findings that magnesium may also influence mood. It works as a natural muscle-relaxant, which can help reduce the psychological and physiological symptoms of anxiety, like muscle tension and spasms. Add this high-potency powder to your water, tea, or juice for a relaxing and tasty way to relax at the end of the day.


5. Ashwagandha

This herb has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety benefits. Two of its most well-researched chemicals, alkaloids and lactones, are thought to act as hormonal precursors that work by assisting your body with replacing essential vitals and offering support to the adrenal and central nervous systems. This helps maintain healthy levels of stress hormones like cortisol, which in turn helps your body adapt to stress.


6. L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid naturally found in green tea. It’s a great option for those who need stress relief in the daytime because not only because is it non-sedative, but because it also works synergistically with caffeine to help improve focus and concentration without giving you the jitters. Studies have found that it reduces anxiety by improving alpha wave length activity, and promoting faster synthesis of GABA (a neurotransmitter that modulates stress) in the brain. Most people notice a relaxed mood after 40 minutes after taking the supplement, and it hasn’t been shown to cause drowsiness or dependence.