Supplements for Stress Management
Effective stress management often requires a variety of physical and mental tools. Incorporating certain supplements into the diet is one tool that can be added to a stress management plan.
Several supplements may help reduce stress and anxiety. These supplements include the following:
Lemon balm is an herb from the mint family. It can promote calmness and alertness in adults under stress.
Valerian root is often used as a sleep aid due to its tranquilizing effects. It can also reduce feelings of stress.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb from India that is strongly associated with reductions in stress and anxiety. It can also decrease morning levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Kava is a tropical evergreen shrub from the South Pacific islands. Kava roots contain kavalactones, which are thought to inhibit the breakdown of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is a neurotransmitter that decreases the activity of the nervous system, which can produce a calming effect.
Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen that stimulates the body’s stress response. It can improve symptoms of stress-related burnout.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves. Drinking green tea, which contains l-theanine, is associated with reduced anxiety. Specific supplementation with l-theanine may reduce stress levels and lower levels of cortisol.
A pharmacist or physician should always be consulted prior to taking any supplements to ensure that interactions between any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) or other vitamins or supplements are not an issue.