Written by Michelle Ritchie
Are you finding yourself overly stressed these days? If so, you're not alone! Many of us are experiencing elevated levels of anxiety given the current environment.
In a previous blog, we shared some of the Best Ways to Recognize, Manage, and Minimize Stress. However, if you need a little extra boost, we’re sharing some herbs and supplements that may help. While not an exhaustive list, hopefully it’ll fuel some ideas!
- Lemon Balm: this lemon-scented herb comes from the same family as mint. Not only is it thought to improve brain function and ease insomnia, it may also soothe symptoms of stress, reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and boost your mood1.
- Magnesium: magnesium is thought to not only play an important role in the quality of your sleep and with brain function, it has also been shown to help reduce anxiety2. Just one serving of Go Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds provides 40% of your daily recommended value of magnesium...so snack away!
- Ashwagandha: ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen and has been used for over 3,000 years as a natural Ayurvedic remedy against various ailments. Several studies suggest that it's an effective treatment to address stress and anxiety3.
- Green Tea: we’ve all heard about the multitude of health benefits of green tea, which contains significant polyphenol antioxidants. It has also been found that green tea may lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels4.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: one study showed that medical students who received omega-3 supplements experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms5. Seeds (try Go Raw Sprouted Seeds!), nuts, and avocados are a great source along with fish.
- Valerian: valerian root has been used throughout the world to help treat anxiety and insomnia due to its tranquilizing effect. It contains valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to lower anxiety1.
- Kava Kava: kava kava is a psychoactive member of the pepper family. Long used as a sedative in the South Pacific, it is increasingly used in Europe and the US to treat mild stress and anxiety6.
- Herbal Teas: while the simple act of sitting down with a relaxing cup of tea can help instill a sense of calm, certain herbal teas can take it one step further. Studies have shown that peppermint7, chamomile8, lavender9, and passionflower10 can help reduce anxiety.
- Turmeric: rich in the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin, which has been shown to provide potential beneficial anti-anxiety and antidepressant benefits11.
- St. John’s Wort: this is one of the best studied herbal remedies for depression and it may also help with symptoms of anxiety12. However, this herb may interact with certain medications, so consult your doctor before use.
- Maca Root: used as a healing superfood in Peru for thousands of years, maca is also known for its adaptogenic, stress-busting qualities13. This is one of the many reasons why we included it in our Sweet 'n Crunchy Sprouted Seed Coconut Clusters!
- Dark Chocolate: we’re leaving the best for last! High quality dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and has been shown to help reduce stress by lowering levels of stress hormones in the body14. While hard, try to eat in moderation (no more than 1-2 ounces per day).
For any herbal remedies or supplements, it is highly recommended that you first check with your doctor before taking them...especially if you have any health issues or are taking any medications.
How do you reduce stress and anxiety in your life? Please share in the comments section below!
1 10 Benefits of Lemon Balm and How to Use It. Healthline. Aug 2017.
2 Magnesium For Anxiety. Healthline. Mar 2019.
3 An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: Ashwagandha. J Altern Complement Med, 20(12): 901-8. Dec 2014.
4 Neurochemical and Behavioral Effects of Green Tea. Pak J Pharm Sci, 26(3): 511-6. May 2013.
5 Omega-3 Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety. Brain Behav Immun,, 25(8): 1725-34. Nov 2011.
6 Anxiolytic Properties of Piper Methysticum Extract (Kava Kava). Phytother Res, 17(3): 210-6. Mar 2003.
7 Cognitive Performance and Mood Peppermint. International Journal of Neuroscience, p 59-77. Jul 2006.
8 Chamomile Treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Phytomedicine, 23(14): 1735-1742. Dec 2016.
9 Lavender and the Nervous System. Hindawi. Mar 2013.
10 Effects of Passiflora Incarnata for Control of Anxiety. National Institutes of Health, 22(1): e95–e101. Jan 2017.
11 Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health. Food, 6(10): 92. Oct 2017.
12 St. John’s Wort in Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 23(5): 531-532. Oct 2003.
13 Maca Reduces Blood Pressure and Depression. Climacteric, 18(1):69-78. Feb 2015.
14 Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate. J. Proteome Res, 5568–5579. Oct 2009.