Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults. It can affect your ability to function every day, and it can also negatively impact your relationships with friends, family, and coworkers.
Many people who have an anxiety disorder use a combination of therapy and medication to alleviate their symptoms. However, if you don’t like the idea of taking prescription drugs, there are several vitamins and supplements you can take to treat your anxiety. Here, we’ll show you some of the best supplements for anxiety.
What Do the Best Supplements for Anxiety Treat?
These supplements treat three main biological factors that contribute to panic attacks and anxiety:
- Low iron levels
- Serotonin deficiency
- Low vitamin B6 levels
You shouldn’t make supplements your only form of treatment, though. With a combination of support systems, talk therapy, journaling, meditation, and even prescription medication, you’ll be on your way to success.
Best Supplements for Anxiety
Since there is no scientific evidence that shows these supplements treat anxiety, it’s best to talk with your doctor first. However, supplements and vitamins might be able to alleviate some anxiety symptoms that you have.
Below are some of the best supplements for anxiety.
Although its bitter taste is mostly enjoyed in food and drinks, licorice root can also help treat anxiety. It has many health benefits as well due to its effects on the adrenal glands. These produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and licorice root helps regulate their production. Adrenaline and cortisol help fight stress and anxiety and reduces their symptoms, too.
The best way to consume licorice root is in a purified, extracted form, like deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Many licorice products claim to have real licorice in them, but a pure form is the best form. DGL can be found in the forms of powder, chewable tablets, capsules, and tea.
Short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, this is a neurotransmitter and amino acid in the brain that plays an important role in relaxation and mood regulation. GABA is crucial in the production of serotonin, which releases good feelings and is one of our nervous system’s most powerful neurotransmitters.
You can consume GABA as a supplement to reduce your anxiety symptoms. There are also various supplements you can take that affects GABA levels in your brain.
This supplement is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. It’s been used to improve energy, reduce anxiety, and combat the effects of aging for hundreds of years. Practitioners of holistic medicine call ashwagandha an “adaptogen,” a non-toxic, natural herb that promotes overall health and wellness and helps regulate bodily functions.
Even though you can take ashwagandha in capsule form, it’s best to take it by eating the shoots, seeds, and fruit from which it’s derived.
This is another herb that’s helpful in treating anxiety. Since the days of ancient Greece, valerian root has been used for many purposes, including as a sleep aid. When you take the root, valerian acids in it produce “feel-good” transmitters in your body. These will calm you down and relax your body.
Valerian root can be taken as a tea, liquid, or capsule.
This plant, also known as the “golden root,” has long been used in traditional Siberian and Chinese medicine. It’s also an “adaptogen” like ashwagandha. As such, it improves mood and reduces stress while also promoting mental and physical health. Rhodiola is available as a capsule as well as a tea and extract.
Used as a calming herb for treating anxiety, passionflower is believed to improve sleep quality. It also alleviates nerves and promotes positive moods. You can take passionflower as a tablet or extract, and you can also add it to tea.
Best Vitamins for Anxiety
Taking vitamins can fill in any nutritional deficiencies in your body. Studies show that what you eat can affect your mental health, too.
These microorganisms are mostly known for their benefits to digestive health. Recently, though, they’ve shown to positively impact mental health as well. When your body has a good balance of bacteria, your cognitive functioning, and ability to cope with stress will improve.
Probiotics can be found in food and drinks that are fermented, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha.
This amino acid can promote relaxation, improve focus, and reduce stress, which all alleviate anxiety. Studies show that it has a positive effect on the human mood as well.
L-theanine is in food and drinks like bay bolete mushrooms and black and green teas.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These make up the basic building blocks of the brain and the rest of the nervous system. They play a large role in cognitive functioning, and some say they improve symptoms of depression. These can be linked with anxiety disorders.
Omega-3 fatty acids are in fish oil supplements, and they can also be found in fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines.
People suffering from anxiety commonly take B vitamins. These play a role in aspects of mental health like energy, attention, and cognition. Taking these can ensure that you have a healthy nervous system. Most of all, B vitamins affect mood and stress management.
You can take B vitamins as supplements, but they can also be found in many foods. Yogurt, lamb, venison, turkey, leafy green vegetables, carrots, shrimp, tuna, and salmon.
Can You Take Vitamins for Panic Attacks?
At this time, there isn’t much information linking vitamin deficiencies and panic attacks. Panic disorder, however, is a type of anxiety disorder, so taking supplements for anxiety certainly couldn’t hurt.
Holistic vs. Evidence-Based Treatment for Anxiety
One benefit of using prescription medication for anxiety is that it’s proven to help. Researchers have performed studies that show prescription medication can effectively treat anxiety. People with more serious anxiety disorders are encouraged to take medication.
However, some people might not want to take medication for their illness if it’s mild. They might not like the idea of relying solely on medication for their anxiety. For this reason, patients might want to try a supplement for anxiety.
Some of the best supplements for anxiety, although proven to have some health benefits, aren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A few of them can also make you sleepy, so make sure that you don’t take them when driving. As a result, herbal supplements aren’t always guaranteed as safe. Talk with your doctors about the best supplements for anxiety, as well as their benefits and risks.
The important thing to remember before taking supplements or vitamins for anxiety is to talk to your doctor first.
Treatment to Combine with Supplements for Anxiety
Vitamins and supplements shouldn’t be the only parts of your anxiety treatment routine. Therapy and support systems are strongly recommended to ensure full management of your mental health disorder.
When you have both a substance use disorder and a mental illness like anxiety, it can be hard to face them alone. Having a support system consisting of friends, loved ones, and family members can give you a sense of comfort and companionship. A support system can also include a current or past therapist.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help manage your anxiety. In CBT, a trained therapist will help you identify triggering situations in your life. You’ll then figure out the negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors you’ve associated with said situations. By figuring these out, you’ll learn healthy coping strategies for difficult events.
Individual and group therapy are also effective in treating mental health disorders like anxiety. Group therapy allows you to share your experiences with anxiety and possibly an existing addiction as well. Individual therapy will provide you with one-on-one attention from your therapist. You’ll explore what might have led to your anxiety as well as what you can do to manage it.
CNV Detox Can Help
At CNV Detox, we believe in medication-assisted treatment only when absolutely necessary. We offer non-medical detox that provides patients with emotional support and promotes good health and well being. This type of detox is best for patients who have a mild substance use disorder. These candidates might also find the best supplements for anxiety to be helpful.
Dealing with anxiety and substance abuse can seem impossible. Our team at CNV Detox can get you the help and resources you need to conquer your symptoms and live a happier life. To learn more about the services we offer, contact us today.