Dietary supplements may help reduce anxiety symptoms, but it’s important to know the facts before using them.
If you want to jump directly to the sections for each supplement, you can click the links below.
- Doctor’s Best L-Theanine with Suntheanine
- Organic India Ashwagandha
- Pure Encapsulations Magnesium (Glycinate)
- Pure Encapsulations Curcumin 500 with BioPerine
- NOW Saffron 50 mg Veg Capsules
- Charlotte’s Web 25 mg CBD Oil Liquid Capsules
- Amazon Elements Vitamin D3
- Nordic Naturals ProOmega 2000-D
- Quicksilver Scientific Liposomal Vitamin C
Many of us have felt anxious from time to time. But for the millions of people living with an anxiety disorder around the globe, anxiety occurs on a more regular basis.
From therapy to medication and yoga to meditation, there are many approaches you can take to help reduce anxiety.
Another popular option? Dietary supplements.
While there’s still more to be learned about supplements and their role in mental health,
If you’re wondering how supplements can help you curb anxiety, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up nine of our top choices below, including specific products we recommend.
Supplements for anxiety may work, but results can depend on a variety of factors, including:
- how much you take
- other treatments you may be using
- other conditions you have or medications you use
Even though they’re natural, supplements can be powerful. Science still has more to learn about what dosages are effective (and what may be dangerous), so it’s best to start with the smallest dose possible.
If you’re already participating in therapy, taking anti-anxiety medications, or receiving any other treatment, supplements shouldn’t be used as a replacement remedy.
In these cases, adding supplements as part of your existing treatment plan may help reduce symptoms further.
Supplements may also interact with certain medications, conditions, and even other supplements. People who are pregnant or taking medications should talk with their doctor before adding any supplement to their diet, as there may be risks.
It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional for guidance if you have any questions or want to learn more.
We considered several key points when choosing the products listed below, including:
- brand reputation and standards
- quality ingredients
- customer reviews
A 2019 review of nine studies found that taking 200 to 400 milligrams (mg) of L-theanine supplements each day reduced stress and anxiety levels in people exposed to stressful situations.
A small 2019 study supports L-theanine’s effectiveness in soothing stress-related symptoms, as well as its ability to help reduce sleep disturbances.
L-theanine is most commonly available in 200-mg capsules. As with any supplement, it’s best to start with the lowest dose possible when trying L-theanine. It’s vital to speak with a healthcare professional before taking more than 400 mg.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that’s been used in India for many centuries. It’s gained widespread popularity in the United States as a supplement in recent years, particularly as a remedy for stress and anxiety.
While research into the benefits of ashwagandha is still fairly new, it does look promising. A small 2019 study found it to be safe and effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
Keep in mind that because we’re still learning about the benefits of ashwagandha, there’s uncertainty over how much should be taken. It’s best to consult a healthcare professional for guidance on adding this supplement to your diet.
Magnesium is an important and essential mineral that plays a role in almost every function of your body, including muscle function, blood pressure, and how it responds to stress. It supports your metabolism to help your body best use carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids.
Magnesium is generally safe to take. A
Dosage depends on several factors, including
It’s best to talk with a healthcare professional about dosage before giving to children or taking while pregnant or breastfeeding.
A 2017 review of six studies found curcumin to have great anti-anxiety effects as well as a positive impact on reducing depression symptoms. While this analysis was small, its results were significant.
A 2017 study involving 123 participants support these findings, particularly for people living with major depressive disorder. Curcumin has
Saffron may be popular in the culinary world, but it’s also known for its medicinal properties. This brightly colored spice is packed with antioxidants. Saffron supplements may help elevate mood and help you relax.
Recent clinical trials have also shown saffron to be as effective as antidepressant medications in treating depression — but with fewer side effects.
There’s a lot of hype around cannabidiol (CBD), a popular natural remedy derived from the cannabis sativa plant. It has many reported uses, including soothing pain, treating acne, and easing anxiety.
While CBD is generally considered safe, there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. More research is needed on its benefits, safety, and how it may interact with other medications.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps balance mood and keeps your brain healthy. The human body naturally makes vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight. We can also get it from certain foods or through supplements.
Research has connected low levels of vitamin D with depression, which suggests that a deficiency may also be tied to other mood disorders, including anxiety. In fact, a 2019 study suggests that vitamin D is effective in lessening the severity of anxiety disorder symptoms.
Dosage depends on your body’s levels of vitamin D. A doctor can test your vitamin D levels to help you determine what dose is right for you.
Omega-3s are fats with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Your body can’t make omega-3 fats on its own and must get them from food or supplements.
Omega-3 fats seem to be most effective in high doses, with participants in the review using 2,000 mg of omega-3s each day.
It’s important to keep in mind that the
Therefore, it’s best to speak with a doctor before adding higher dosages to your supplement routine.
A powerful nutrient, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body. A
Multiple studies have touted vitamin C’s effectiveness in treating symptoms of anxiety in people of all ages.
How much vitamin C you need depends on your age. You can generally get the recommended amounts through fruits.
In some cases, a supplement may be all you need to manage anxiety symptoms. However, if your symptoms are becoming overwhelming or affecting your day-to-day activities or overall quality life, it may be time to ask for help.
Seeking support from a medical or mental health professional can provide you with treatment options tailored to you. This can include talk therapy, medication, or other techniques or remedies.
If the products on this list aren’t what you’re looking for, there are many other options available.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re searching for a high-quality supplement:
- reputable brand
- brand transparency
- quality ingredients
- certifications (by third-party organizations)
- positive user reviews
Because the FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements to the same degree as medications, searching for high-quality products is especially important.
How long does it take for anxiety supplements to have an effect?
How long it takes for a supplement to take effect can vary. There’s no set rule of thumb that tells us when to expect them to start working.
Some supplements can begin working within 30 to 60 minutes of taking them, while others need to build up over time, taking multiple weeks of regular use to see results.
It may help to read the product label for dosage instructions and information on effectiveness. Consider speaking with a doctor if you have any questions.
Are anxiety supplements safe?
Supplements are generally considered safe, but certain factors can put you at a higher risk of unpleasant or dangerous side effects, including:
- prescription medications
- chronic medical conditions
It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your diet, especially if any of the above applies to you.
Supplements should also not be given to infants or small children without first consulting a doctor.
Will supplements cure my anxiety?
While supplements may help you manage some symptoms, they likely won’t cure your anxiety.
Because anxiety is often a result of an underlying cause — like past experiences or biological factors — it’s best to seek the support of a medical or mental health professional. They can help you address, understand, and learn to successfully manage your anxiety long term.
Can I take herbal supplements along with my prescription medication?
Some supplements can interact with prescription medications and interfere with their effectiveness.
If you’re taking a prescription medication, it’s important to talk with your doctor before starting any supplements to avoid potential risks.
Supplements are just one of the many options available when looking for ways to manage anxiety. They can be a natural alternative or used as part of a broader treatment plan.
While more research is needed, current findings are promising. Studies have shown the effectiveness of supplements in easing anxiety. Popular supplements to try include magnesium, curcumin, CBD, and vitamin D.
Even though they’re generally considered safe, anxiety supplements are not for everyone. If you’re pregnant, taking medication, or living with a chronic illness, it’s important to consult your treatment team before adding supplements to your care routine to avoid any unwanted side effects.