Living with Chronic Pain
Supplement Options for Anxiety
The use of certain supplements may help reduce mild-to-moderate symptoms of anxiety, such as difficulty concentrating, restlessness, or insomnia. Supplements that may help reduce anxiety include the following:
- Ashwagandha is an herb native to India. Some studies show that it may increase the body’s ability to respond to physical and mental stress by lowering morning levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
- B vitamins are thought to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are associated with stress. Inositol (vitamin B-8) may reduce symptoms experienced with panic disorder.
- Chamomile flower extract may help reduce anxiety. It is commonly consumed as a tea but can also be found in tablet and capsule forms.
- Kava is a tropical shrub. The roots of Kava contain kavalactones, which are thought to have a calming effect. Kava can be consumed as a tea, in a capsule, or as a liquid extract. Use of kava has been associated with liver damage, so consulting a health care provider before and during use of this supplement is recommended.
- Lavender can produce a calming effect when consumed or used in aromatherapy. It can also help with sleeping issues associated with anxiety.
- Lemon balm is an herb that has been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years. It may reduce nervousness and excitability that occur with mild-to-moderate anxiety.
- Passion flower, a vine found in the Southeastern United States and Central and South America, contains chemicals with calming properties that may reduce anxiety and promote sleep. It is sometimes combined with other supplements, such as valerian, to have the greatest effect.
- Rhodiola, an herb native to Russia and Asia, activates the body’s stress response system, increasing stress resistance. Using a rhodiola supplement may reduce symptoms of anxiety, irritability and fatigue.
- Valerian is a flowering plant found in Europe and Asia. The root of valerian has a sedating effect that can reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. It is commonly consumed as a tea, capsule or tablet.
Supplements can affect people in different ways and can interact with medications or other supplements; therefore, a medical professional should be consulted before adding any supplement to a treatment plan.