Dietary supplements may help reduce anxiety symptoms, but it’s important to know the facts before using them.

Hand holding a supplement container in front of an orange backgroundShare on Pinterest
LightFieldStudios/Getty Images

Many of us have felt anxious on occasion. But for the millions of people globally living with an anxiety disorder, anxiety occurs more regularly.

From therapy to medication and yoga to meditation, there are many approaches to help reduce anxiety.

Another popular option is dietary supplements.

While there’s still more to be learned about supplements and their role in mental health, 2021 research suggests they may be an effective remedy for easing anxiety symptoms.

If you’re wondering how supplements may help you curb anxiety, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up 10 of our top choices, including specific products we recommend.

Supplements for anxiety may work, but results can depend on various factors, including:

  • how much you take
  • other treatments you may be using
  • other conditions you have or medications you use

Even though they’re not medications, 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 begin with the smallest dose possible.

If you’re already participating in therapy, taking anti-anxiety medications, or receiving other treatment, supplements shouldn’t be used as a replacement remedy.

In these cases, adding supplements as part of your treatment plan may help reduce symptoms further.

Supplements may also interact with certain medications, conditions, and even other supplements. People with psychiatric conditions and those who are pregnant or taking medications should talk with a 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.

If you want to jump directly to the sections for each supplement, you can click the links below.

We considered several key points when choosing the products listed below, including:

  • Brand reputation and standards. Recommended brands are well established and highly regarded.
  • Quality ingredients. Recommended brands adhere to strict quality standards, often through third-party certification.
  • Customer reviews. Recommended products are overall well-reviewed by customers.
  • Research. The anxiety-relieving properties of the active ingredients recommended below are backed up by scientific research.
  • Vetting. All products have been vetted to ensure they meet Psych Central’s medical, editorial, and business standards.

A note on price

Price ranges are represented by dollar signs ($ to $$$). One dollar sign indicates a lower-priced product, while three dollar signs indicate a higher price point.

It’s important to note that these are broad guidelines. Supplement prices are affected by how many tablets are in the bottle or bottle size and the potency levels of the ingredients. This makes it difficult to directly compare one price with another.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $25
  • $$ = $25–$50
  • $$$ = over $50
Was this helpful?


Naturally found in green tea leaves, L-theanine is an amino acid that may help ease stress and anxiety. It may also aid in getting a good night’s sleep.

A 2019 review of 9 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 and 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.

  • Price: $
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1 capsule (150 mg of L-theanine) daily without food

What we like

  • It’s gluten-free, soy-free, and made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
  • It contains Suntheanine, a patented pure form of the L-theanine found in green tea leaves.
  • While it may help promote better overall quality of sleep, this product doesn’t cause drowsiness, so it can be taken during the day.

What to look out for

  • L-theanine may have a blood-pressure-lowering effect. While this may not be an issue for people who have high blood pressure, it may impact people who already have low blood pressure levels.
  • As with other supplements, L-theanine may interact with medications or other supplements, so it’s important to speak with a healthcare professional before giving it a try.
Was this helpful?


Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb 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 safe and effective in reducing stress and anxiety.

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.

  • Price: $
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1–2 capsules (400–800 mg) with food and water, twice daily

What we like

What to look out for

  • Taking high doses may cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Ashwagandha has been shown to have a sleep-inducing effect, so it may not be advisable to take it with medications that have a sedative effect.
  • It’s best to speak with a healthcare professional before trying ashwagandha, especially if you’re taking any medications or other supplements or if you’re pregnant or breast- or chestfeeding.
Was this helpful?


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 2017 research review suggests that magnesium supplements can positively benefit people who have anxiety by helping relieve symptoms, but study authors note better quality studies are needed.

The dosage depends on several factors, including your age and sex. For adult men, 400 to 420 mg of total magnesium (from foods and supplements) a day is recommended, while 310 to 320 mg a day is recommended for adult women.

  • Price: $$
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1–4 capsules (120–480 mg) daily with food

What we like

  • It’s highly absorbable and fast-acting.
  • It’s hypoallergenic, certified gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.
  • Pure Encapsulations products are certified by U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).

What to look out for

  • Magnesium may interact with several medications, including antibiotics, diuretics, and medications for osteoporosis, acid reflux, or ulcers.
  • It can also interact with other supplements, including zinc. Very high doses of zinc supplements can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and regulate magnesium.
Was this helpful?


Found in turmeric, curcumin is a polyphenol compound with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2017 review suggests it may also be an effective remedy for depression and anxiety.

A 2017 review of six studies found curcumin to have great anti-anxiety effects and a positive impact on reducing depression symptoms. While this analysis was small, its results were significant.

A 2017 study involving 123 participants supports these findings, particularly for people living with major depressive disorder. Curcumin has also been found to reduce anxiety symptoms in people with diabetes.

  • Price: $$$
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1 capsule (500 mg of curcumin) 1–3 times daily between meals

What we like

  • The product includes Bioperine, a patented black pepper extract that helps boost curcumin absorption.
  • It’s hypoallergenic, certified gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.

What to look out for

  • While generally considered safe, dosage recommendations are mixed. It’s best to speak with a doctor and carefully follow product-specific dosing instructions.
  • Curcumin in high doses can cause headache, nausea, digestive issues, or skin rash.
Was this helpful?


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.

In a 2018 review of 100 studies ranging from 1996 to 2016, saffron was one of several herbs to mitigate anxiety.

Recent clinical trials have also shown saffron to be as effective as antidepressant medications in treating depression — but with fewer side effects.

  • Price: $
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1 capsule (50 mg) twice daily with food

What we like

  • It’s gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, egg-free, vegan, and non-GMO.
  • The product uses whole saffron stigma powder rather than an extract.

What to look out for

  • Research suggests that saffron supplements can cause uterine contraction in those who are pregnant. Consult your doctor before using if you’re pregnant or breast- or chestfeeding.
  • Recommended for adults only.
  • The supplement may interact with certain medications, so it’s best to talk with a doctor before using if you’re taking any medications.
Was this helpful?


Psych Central has sole editorial control over this article. Potential uses for the products listed here are not health claims made by the manufacturers.

The information in this article is intended to be general in nature. It’s not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from a healthcare professional. Psych Central encourages you to make any treatment decisions with your healthcare professional.

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.

A 2020 research review supports its use as a treatment for anxiety, including providing symptom relief for those with social anxiety disorder. A 2015 review also found that CBD can help provide calming relief to those with:

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.

Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3 percent THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

  • Price: $$$
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1 capsule (25 mg) up to two times a day

What we like

  • Charlotte’s Web is a highly respected CBD brand that provides a certificate of analysis for its products.
  • The product only contains full-spectrum hemp extract and organic extra-virgin olive oil, with no other added ingredients.
  • It’s gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and allergen-free.

What to look out for

  • CBD products are not yet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, so their effectiveness and safety are still in question.
  • While CBD products that contain 0.3% THC or less are legal on a federal level, individual states may have their own legislation. It’s important to be mindful of state laws when using or traveling with CBD.
Was this helpful?

Vitamin D

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. A 2019 study suggests that vitamin D effectively lessens the severity of anxiety disorder symptoms.

The 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.

  • Price: $
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1 softgel (125 mcg) daily

What we like

  • It’s gluten-free, non-GMO, contains no artificial colors or flavors, and has no chemical preservatives.
  • The product is designed to have a smaller carbon footprint.

What to look out for

  • Dosage can be tricky unless you know your current vitamin D levels. Taking too much can lead to side effects, including pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, dehydration, irregular heartbeat, or even death at extreme levels.
  • Vitamin D can interact with certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, so it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before taking vitamin D to ensure it’s right for you.
  • This is a higher dose supplement providing 5000 IU. People with optimal vitamin D levels may not need this much on a daily basis.
Was this helpful?


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.

A 2018 review of 19 clinical trials found that omega-3 significantly reduced anxiety symptoms in people treated with omega-3 supplements, compared with the control group.

Omega-3 fats seem to be most effective in high doses, as the review notes that significant anti-anxiety effects were seen in studies using at least 2,000 mg of omega-3s each day.

  • Price: $$$
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 2 softgels (2,150 mg of total omega-3s) daily with food

What we like

  • Nordic Naturals honors transparency and provides a certificate of analysis for its supplements.
  • All Nordic Naturals omega-3 fish oil products are in the triglyceride molecular form that’s naturally found in fish, which aids absorption.

What to look out for

  • Omega-3s may interact with certain medications, including anticoagulants. It’s important to consult your doctor before using if you’re taking any medications to avoid unwanted side effects.
  • Taking too much can lead to side effects, including bad breath, nausea, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, and headache.
Was this helpful?

Vitamin C

A powerful nutrient, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the body. Multiple studies have touted vitamin C’s effectiveness in treating symptoms of anxiety in people of all ages.

A 2015 study focused on high school students found that 500 mg of vitamin C each day for 2 weeks helped reduce anxiety levels. Plus, research from 2013 and 2017 suggests that vitamin C supplements provided anxiety relief in people with diabetes and women, respectively.

How much vitamin C you need depends on your age. You can generally get the recommended amounts through fruits.

  • Price: $$
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 1 teaspoon (5 ml = 1,000 mg of vitamin C) daily, ideally on an empty stomach and at least 10 minutes before a meal

What we like

  • This product is in liquid form, which aids in faster absorption and effectiveness — and makes it easier to swallow (especially for people who don’t like tablets or capsules).
  • It contains liposomal vitamin C, a fast-acting form of vitamin C that research suggests is more bioavailable than non-liposomal vitamin C.
  • It’s non-GMO and buffered to be easy on sensitive stomachs.

What to look out for

  • Too much vitamin C can cause nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain.
  • Vitamin C may interact with certain cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • It may interfere with certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, including those that regulate cholesterol. It’s important to talk with a doctor before taking a vitamin C supplement if you are using any medications.
Was this helpful?


Most commonly used for tea, chamomile is best known for its soothing, calming effect.

A 2014 study suggests that chamomile is calming and may also have anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties that may ease symptoms with long-term use.

Plus, a 2016 study found that chamomile may reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder with regular use.

Still, more research is needed on chamomile’s effectiveness and dosing. Because it’s available in various forms — including capsules, oils, and tea — recommended dosages can vary greatly.

It’s best to read the directions on any product carefully and reach out to a healthcare professional with any questions.

  • Price: $
  • Manufacturer-recommended dosage: 2 capsules (700 mg) twice daily with water

What we like

  • The product is approved by the Swanson Quality Code, which ensures quality, purity, and potency through company-internal experts and third-party labs.
  • All Swanson products come with a 100% money-back guarantee.

What to look out for

  • Chamomile may interact with certain prescription medications, so it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before using it if you’re taking any medications.
  • Chamomile may affect those who are pregnant or breast- or chestfeeding.
  • The product is for adults only.
Was this helpful?

A supplement may be all you need to manage anxiety symptoms in some cases. However, if your symptoms are becoming overwhelming or affecting your day-to-day activities or overall quality of life, it may be time to ask for help.

Seeking support from a medical or mental health professional can provide you with tailored treatment options. This can include talk therapy, medication, or other techniques or remedies.

If the products on this list aren’t what you’re looking for, many other options are 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.

You can learn more about choosing a high quality supplement here.

How long does it take for anxiety supplements to have an effect?

How long it takes can vary. No set rule tells us when to expect them to start working.

Some supplements can begin working within 30 to 60 minutes of taking them. Others need to build up over time, taking multiple weeks of regular use to see results.

For example, research from 2017 showed that symptoms of anxiety and depression improved in 112 people with depression after taking 248 mg of magnesium daily for 6 weeks.

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 specific factors can put you at a higher risk of unpleasant or dangerous side effects, including:

  • pregnancy
  • breast- or chestfeeding
  • prescription medications
  • chronic medical conditions

It’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before adding supplements to your diet, especially if any 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 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.