Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of supplements claiming to ease anxiety, unsure which ones are truly effective?
Our comprehensive guide is here to cut through the noise, providing you with a well-researched and clear path to the best supplements for anxiety relief.
Authored by Jacob Kovacs, a nootropics expert and neuroscientist, alongside our editorial team of scientists with over 9 years of experience in the field of neuroscience and nootropics, this article is your trusted resource.
We’ve meticulously ranked each supplement based on effectiveness and value for money, tested by our independent researchers at WholisticResearch, ensuring that every recommendation is grounded in scientific evidence and real-world testing to meet your needs for credible, reliable guidance.
Best Supplements for Anxiety
- Nooceptin — Best nootropic supplement for anxiety and depression
- BaiCalm — Great for eradicating stress and improving mood
- L-Theanine — Best to help manage social anxiety
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids — Great for improving overall brain function
- Vitamin B Complex — Best for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin
- Magnesium — Best for regulating GABA and promoting a balanced mood
Nooceptin is a natural supplement that contains a combination of herbs and nutrients known for their calming effects.
One of its key components is Lion’s Mane Mushroom, known for its ability to support cognitive function and reduce anxiety and depression. Lion’s Mane is rich in antioxidants that protect the brain from oxidative stress.
Citicoline, another key component in Nooceptin, has been shown to quickly increase focus and learning, by enhancing brain metabolism and neurotransmitter levels. It increases the synthesis of neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, which plays a crucial role in promoting a calm and balanced mood.
It also offers neuroprotective effects and cognitive benefits according to experts. This aligns with findings from a comprehensive review by Secades JJ and Lorenzo JL at Grupo Ferrer S.A., Barcelona, Spain (Citicoline: pharmacological and clinical review, 2006 update). This underscores citicoline’s potential in reducing anxiety and improving mental function.
L-Theanine is a natural amino acid found in green tea leaves. It stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, inducing a state of relaxation and mental clarity. It also helps to increase dopamine and serotonin levels, further promoting feelings of calmness.
Panax Ginseng and Rhodiola Rosea are adaptogens that improve the body’s response to stress. Both these ingredients have been traditionally used to combat anxiety and fatigue, while enhancing cognitive function.
Bacopa Monnieri supports the production of crucial neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, relieving symptoms of anxiety disorders.
Lastly, Ginkgo Biloba is a powerful antioxidant that boosts blood circulation to the brain, improving memory and cognitive function. It also helps relieve anxiety symptoms.
- Enhances cognitive function and memory
- Improves focus and concentration
- Boosts mental energy and productivity
- Helps reduce stress and anxiety
- Increases creativity and problem-solving abilities
- Potential side effects such as headaches or upset stomach
- Not suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions
- Expensive compared to other supplements
Overall, Nooceptin provides a comprehensive solution to anxiety by combining a potent set of ingredients.
BaiCalm is an exceptional anxiety supplement that promotes a calm and relaxed state of mind.
Its key ingredient is Baicalin, which is derived from the root of the Scutellaria baicalensis plant. Baicalin has anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties, helping to alleviate stress and improve overall mood.
According to a comprehensive review by Ting Huang, Yanan Liu, and Chengliang Zhang, published in the European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (Volume 44, Pages 159–168, 2019), Baicalin, a major bioactive component of Scutellaria radix, has been recognized for its diverse pharmacological activities, including antitumor, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects. The study highlights that despite its wide clinical applications, baicalin’s in vivo disposition is influenced by factors like gastrointestinal hydrolysis and enterohepatic recycling. It also notes that novel baicalin preparations, such as nano/micro-scale delivery systems, have shown improved absorption and higher bioavailability in preclinical studies, indicating potential for enhanced clinical efficacy.
Another prominent ingredient is Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric that helps reduce inflammation in the brain, thus aiding in anxiety relief. The inclusion of L-Theanine, an amino acid naturally found in green tea, promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness.
Furthermore, Mangolia Bark extract, known for its powerful anti-anxiety effects, works by increasing the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation. Research led by the Department of Toxicological Safety Assessment at the National Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China, along with Cantox Health Sciences International in Canada, has underscored the safety and non-genotoxic nature of Magnolia Bark Extract (MBE). Published in 2007, this study reinforces the safety profile of MBE, making it a reliable choice for dietary supplements aimed at managing anxiety.
Piperine, derived from black pepper, enhances the bioavailability of other ingredients, maximizing their effectiveness. Piperine is the main alkaloid found in black pepper, and has been shown to exhibit significant anxiolytic activity, potentially through modulation of GABAergic and nitriergic systems. This suggests that piperine could be a promising natural supplement for anxiety relief according to the 2014 research done by Neeraj Gilhotra, Dinesh Dhingra at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Maharshi Dayanand University and Guru Jambeshwar University of Science and Technology, India,
Lastly, Sinomenium Accutum stem extract has been shown to have tranquilizing properties and helps relieve tension and anxiety-related symptoms.
- Promotes relaxation and reduces stress
- Enhances mood and promotes a sense of calmness
- Helps improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia
- Natural alternative to pharmaceutical anxiety medications
- Can be used as needed without dependency or withdrawal symptoms
- Effectiveness may vary depending on individual biology and severity of anxiety
- Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women
- May cause drowsiness or fatigue
With this synergistic blend of ingredients, BaiCalm offers a holistic approach to managing anxiety and promoting overall well-being.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves. It has been well-studied for its ability to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. L-Theanine works by increasing the production of alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with a state of calmness and relaxation.
It’s prized for its ability to induce relaxation without causing drowsiness. By crossing the blood-brain barrier, L-Theanine promotes the production of calming neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin. This leads to reduced anxiety, improved mood, and enhanced cognitive function.
Notably, L-Theanine also counterbalances the stimulating effects of caffeine, fostering a state of alert calmness. Studies suggest that it mitigates stress responses and promotes relaxation without compromising mental clarity.
- Promotes relaxation without drowsiness
- Helps reduce anxiety and stress
- Enhances focus and concentration
- Improves sleep quality and duration
- Has antioxidant properties and supports cardiovascular health
- May interact with certain medication
- Can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals
As a non-prescription option, L-Theanine offers a gentle yet effective approach to managing anxiety in daily life.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil supplements, have been shown to have a positive impact on anxiety symptoms. These essential fats help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing inflammation and promoting a sense of calmness.
They operate by influencing brain health and neurotransmitter function. These essential fats, primarily EPA and DHA, help regulate inflammation and oxidative stress, which are linked to anxiety and mood disorders.
Omega-3s also support the structural integrity of brain cell membranes, aiding efficient communication between nerve cells. Moreover, they promote the production of anti-inflammatory compounds that can counteract stress-related biochemical responses.
- Supports heart health and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Helps reduce inflammation in the body
- Improves joint health and reduces arthritis symptoms
- Essential for proper development and functioning of the body
- Potential for a fishy aftertaste or burping
- May interact with blood-thinning medications
- Overconsumption can lead to excessive bleeding
Overall, Omega-3 supplementation, with all its added benefits, contributes to reduced anxiety symptoms and improved emotional well-being.
5. Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B Complex, which includes vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12, plays a crucial role in maintaining proper brain function. Deficiencies in these vitamins have been linked to increased anxiety and stress. Supplementing with a vitamin B complex helps support a healthy nervous system and reduce anxiety symptoms.
Vitamin B complex plays a role in alleviating anxiety due to its impact on neurotransmitter production and brain function. B vitamins, including B6, B9 (folate), and B12, are crucial for the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood and stress response. According to a comprehensive study by Shuhei Ebara, first published on 11 June 2017 in the journal ‘Clinical Genomics and Metabolomics’, folate plays a crucial role in various methylation reactions, including the synthesis of neurotransmitters. This suggests its potential benefit in managing conditions like anxiety. Ebara’s research highlights that adequate folate intake is essential for maintaining good health and could be particularly beneficial for mental well-being
These vitamins also support energy metabolism, aiding in the production of ATP, the body’s energy currency. Additionally, vitamin B complex helps maintain healthy nerve function and contributes to the body’s stress adaptation mechanisms.
- Essential for energy production and metabolism
- Supports brain function and mental clarity
- Helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Can cause upset stomach or digestive issues in some individuals
- Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to specific B vitamins
- High doses of certain B vitamins can be potentially harmful
While not a standalone solution, supplementing with vitamin B complex complements anxiety management strategies and promotes overall mental well-being.
Magnesium is a vital mineral involved in over 600 biochemical reactions in the body, including those that regulate mood and stress response. Supplementing with magnesium reduces anxiety symptoms, promotes relaxation, and improves sleep quality. Many medical doctors and experts agree on magnesium’s beneficial effects.
Magnesium regulates GABA receptors, which help control stress and anxiety responses. It also supports neurotransmitter balance (especially magnesium threonate compared to the other half dozen or so types of magnesium), particularly serotonin, crucial for mood regulation. Additionally, magnesium aids in muscle relaxation and mitigates physical tension associated with anxiety.
- Supports healthy muscle and nerve function
- Helps regulate blood pressure and heart rhythm
- Supports bone health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis
- Improves sleep quality and reduces insomnia
- High doses may be unsafe for individuals with kidney or heart conditions
While not a standalone solution, maintaining adequate magnesium levels through supplementation complements anxiety management strategies, promoting a sense of calm and overall well-being.
How We Picked the Top Supplements for Anxiety
Our selection of the best supplements for anxiety relief was guided by a comprehensive review process. We evaluated each supplement’s efficacy, ingredient quality, brand reputation, transparency, manufacturing methods, user feedback, price, and value. This rigorous assessment enabled us to present our readers with a trustworthy and thorough list of the best anxiety-relieving supplements.
We examined clinical trials and user testimonials to measure anxiety reduction, with particular emphasis on stress management, mood enhancement, and mental calmness.
Each supplement’s formula was meticulously examined, with a preference for evidence-supported, natural, and top-quality ingredients known for their calming effects.
To determine the effectiveness of key ingredients in reducing anxiety, we referred to peer-reviewed research and meta-analyses.
We evaluated ideal dosages and ingredient proportions, ensuring they are in line with established research for maximum relief.
We confirmed the safety of every ingredient by considering potential side effects and interactions, ensuring they comply with regulatory guidelines. FDA-approved ingredients were given priority.
We gauged brands’ reliability and trustworthiness through customer reviews, expert recommendations, and company history.
We appreciated full disclosure of ingredients, including their sources and concentrations, to facilitate informed decisions by consumers.
We scrutinized manufacturing standards, with preference for products made in certified facilities following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
We analyzed genuine customer feedback, placing emphasis on testimonials that report significant reductions in anxiety and improvements in mental wellbeing.
We contrasted product prices to ensure they were competitive and corresponded with the quality and effectiveness of the supplement.
We evaluated overall value, examining the balance between price, quality, and efficacy to guarantee the best possible return on investment.
How Supplements for Anxiety Work
Supplements and nootropics for anxiety are designed to work in various ways to promote calmness and reduce anxiety levels.
- Antioxidant & anti-inflammatory effects: One common type of supplement is the herbal remedies, such as chamomile and lavender. These herbs contain compounds that possess soothing properties, helping to calm the mind and relax the body. They are often consumed in the form of teas or capsules.
- Modulating neurotransmitters: Another type of supplement is the amino acid-based supplements, like L-Theanine and GABA. These compounds have been shown to support the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood and anxiety responses in the brain. By increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters, these supplements help reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Providing essential nutrients: Furthermore, there are supplements that contain vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. These nutrients play a crucial role in optimizing brain function and supporting the body’s stress response system. A deficiency in these nutrients can contribute to anxiety, and supplementing with them helps restore balance.
Potential Side Effects of Supplements for Anxiety
While these supplements offer some relief, it’s essential to be aware of their potential side effects. Some common side effects associated with anxiety supplements are:
- Digestive issues: Certain supplements like valerian root or passionflower may cause digestive discomfort, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or nausea.
- Drowsiness: Many anxiety supplements, especially those containing ingredients like chamomile or kava, can induce drowsiness. This effect may be desirable for those struggling with sleep difficulties but could be inconvenient during daytime activities.
- Interactions with medications: It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplement to your routine, as they may interact with prescribed medications. For example, St. John’s wort may interfere with certain antidepressants or birth control pills.
- Allergic reactions: In rare cases, individuals may experience allergic reactions to various anxiety supplements. Symptoms like rash, itching, or difficulty breathing should be taken seriously and promptly evaluated by a medical professional.
- Dependency and withdrawal: Some supplements, particularly those containing the herb chamomile, could result in dependency if used for extended periods. Abruptly discontinuing these supplements may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as irritability or restlessness.
How to Use Supplements for Anxiety Safely
To reap the maximum benefits of anxiety supplements, you must safely incorporate natural supplements into your anxiety management routine
- Consult with a healthcare professional: Before adding any new supplement to your routine, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess your specific needs, medical history, and any potential interactions with other medications you might be taking.
- Start with one supplement at a time: It’s crucial to introduce supplements gradually, starting with one at a time. This allows you to monitor the effects and determine which ones work best for you. Introducing multiple supplements at once can make it challenging to pinpoint which one is effective or causing any adverse reactions.
- Follow dosage guidelines: Each supplement will come with recommended dosage guidelines. It is crucial to follow these guidelines to ensure safe and effective use. Taking more than the recommended dosage does not necessarily lead to better results and may even have adverse effects.
- Be consistent: Consistency is key when using supplements for anxiety. It may take several weeks of consistent use before you start experiencing noticeable benefits. Set a daily routine and stick to it to maximize the potential benefits.
- Monitor your progress: Keep track of any changes in your symptoms or overall well-being while using the supplements. This will help you determine if they are providing the desired effects and if any adjustments need to be made.
- Be patient: Managing anxiety is a journey that requires patience. Natural supplements may take time to show their full effects. It’s important to remember that everyone’s response to supplements may vary, and finding the right combination and dosage may require some trial and error.
In the quest for relief from anxiety, these top 6 natural supplements offer a diverse array of benefits, catering to various needs and preferences.
From Nooceptin’s blend of herbs and nutrients that calm the mind and enhance cognitive function, to BaiCalm’s utilization of natural ingredients to promote relaxation, each supplement showcases unique mechanisms to ease anxiety symptoms. L-Theanine’s ability to induce a state of relaxation without drowsiness, Omega-3 Fatty Acids’ role in regulating neurotransmitter function, and Vitamin B Complex’s support for a healthy nervous system all contribute to holistic anxiety management. Lastly, the essential mineral Magnesium’s capacity to regulate GABA receptors and promote muscle relaxation adds another layer of support.
However, it’s important to remember that supplements should be approached thoughtfully, in consultation with healthcare professionals, and as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes therapy and lifestyle adjustments.
Are anxiety supplements safe to take?
When taken as directed, these natural remedies are generally considered safe to use. However, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you are currently taking medication or have any underlying health conditions.
How long do anxiety supplements take to show results?
The time it takes to see results can vary depending on the individual and the severity of their anxiety symptoms. Some people may experience relief within a few days, while others may need several weeks of consistent use before noticing significant improvements.
Can anxiety supplements be taken alongside prescription medications?
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements alongside prescription medications. Some supplements may interact with certain medications, so it is essential to ensure there are no potential drug interactions.
What happens if I stop taking my anxiety supplements?
If you stop taking the supplements, the anxiety symptoms they were managing may return. It’s essential to discuss any changes to your supplement regimen with a healthcare provider.