4 Supplements That May Help Better Manage Your Anxiety, According to Experts
If you frequently feel anxious or experience other symptoms of anxiety, it's important that you talk to your doctor. There are a number of ways to manage anxiety, both on your own and with the help of a physician or therapist. Many people find prescription medications helpful in treating their symptoms. Others go to therapy, practice meditation, or get regular exercise to feel a bit better from day to day. There are even natural supplements that can help with anxiety. Curious to know more? We asked experts which supplements they recommend most, so you can discuss them with your doctor.
Katherine Pannel, DO, medical director of Right Track Medical Group in Mississippi, recommends ashwagandha, an herb that's frequently used in Indian medicine for immunity and anxiety. "It helps your body better adapt to stress by reducing cortisol, also known as the stress hormone," Dr. Pannel told POPSUGAR. "Lowering stress and reducing cortisol helps to strengthen immunity as well."
"Levels of B vitamins are often found to be low in those with anxiety," Dr. Pannel said, adding that vitamin B deficiency has also been linked with depression. She explained that these vitamins play a key role in maintaining a healthy nervous system. B3, in particular, helps in the synthesis of the mood-stabilizing hormone serotonin.
Dr. Pannel also recommends valerian root for anxiety. "Research shows that when taken, it increases GABA or gamma aminobutyric acid, which is a known neurotransmitter that produces a calming effect," she explained. Dr. Pannel added that valerian root works best when it's taken for a few weeks and, at higher doses, it can also be used to treat insomnia. (Of course, you should always talk to your doctor if you're having trouble sleeping.)
Joshua Rubinstein, ND, a clinical faculty member at Bastyr Center For Natural Health in Seattle, told POPSUGAR that magnesium can also be used in the treatment of anxiety. He noted that there's evidence that chronic stress is associated with lower magnesium levels in the blood. "Lower levels of magnesium have also been shown to reduce our body's ability to deal with stress and trauma and potentially make addictive behaviors more likely," Dr. Rubinstein explained. "Magnesium supplementation could therefore be useful in both the treatment of anxiety and addiction."