In this extensive list, we will be describing the best all natural supplements for anxiety and depression. First we will go over nine such supplements that are used to improve symptoms of anxiety. Then we will discuss nine more options of natural supplements for depression.
Best All Natural Supplements for Anxiety and Depression
The best all natural supplements for anxiety and depression are:
- Vitamin D
- Passion Flower
- Omega 3
- Rhodiola rosea
- Vitamin C
- St. John’s Wort
Natural Supplements that Help with Anxiety
Natural supplements that help with anxiety will target the levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These chemicals are produced in our body when we feel threatened. Lowering their production signals the body that it is safe and can afford to relax.
Anxiety is a thought disorder that comes from maladaptive patterns of thinking. Any permanent solution to this will have to take a cognitive approach. Nevertheless, one can augment therapy with additional forms of treatment.
Pharmacotherapy is highly common today but it comes with its own side effects and dependency. Natural supplements can be a better option since they are safer and non-addictive.
The following supplements lower stress hormones, improve sleep, and calm the mind and body:
A 2007 study showed that a common denominator is many individuals dealing with depression and anxiety is Vitamin D Deficiency. This inquiry was done on fibromyalgia patients; a condition also associated with the same deficiency. This finding was further confirmed by a more expansive study in 2015.
The first resource took a much more specific subject group. The latter, however, is an inquiry primarily into anxiety rather than it being a comorbidity. Since this study was more generalisable, it is now confidently said that Vitamin D supplements will have an improving effect on anxiety.
Our top 3 Vitamin D Recommendations
In 2019, a Japanese trial showed how effective passionflower supplements can be in reducing anxiety. The investigators also found that exposure to this natural extract and improves a person’s diurnal rhythm.
If there’s one thing all mental health professionals address with each client, it’s the possibility of establishing structure. A helpful rhythm adaptive to our circumstances in life promotes wellbeing.
The diurnal rhythm has advantages because it makes the most of daylight. Passionflower supplements will reduce anxiety as well as improve the quality of your daily life.
Our top 3 Passion Flower Recommendations
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Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that play an important role in the human diet. Popular culture may make some readers think that how can fat be good for you? Believe it or not, fats are essential but in specified quantities based on your age and health.
Omega-3, however, is exceptionally good for health as it is something that mammals cannot produce on their own. We extract this supplement from fish oil, walnuts, and flax seeds.
Omega-3 has health benefits for conditions like cancer, heart disease, inflammation, mental health, and aging. Kiecolt-Glaser et al demonstrated that Omega-3 reduced up to 20% of anxiety symptoms in subjects.
Our top 3 Omega 3 Recommendations
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Lepidium meyenii (Maca) comes from the highlands of Peru. Maca root is an important ingredient in traditional medicine in the Andes. The country exports maca in the form of powder, capsules, pills, flour, liquor, and extracts.
Evidence from experimental studies reveal it’s positive impact on nutrition, fertility, memory, and mood. A review on randomised clinical trials reported that maca powder improved mood and reduced anxiety in people.
Our top 3 Maca Recommendations
The roots of Panax plants are called ginseng. These roots have been used in traditional medicine for over centuries. Ginseng is commonly sold as dietary supplements because of its many benefits.
Research on these benefits have investigated the effect of ginseng on diabetes, menopause, and memory. Experts have even demonstrated that ginseng helps in the attenuation of anxiety symptoms.
Our top 3 Ginseng Recommendations
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Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, is a plant native to India and North Africa. The Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine published that ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress.
The 2012 study was conducted to assess the anxiolytic effects of ashwagandha. By measuring the serum cortisol levels of subjects, the authors confirmed this hypothesis.
Our top 3 Ashwagandha Recommendations
Melatonin is a hormone in the body associated with the control of the sleep-wake cycle. As a nutritional supplement, melatonin has commonly been used to treat insomnia and sleep disorders.
In 2015, researchers gathered evidence that melatonin can attenuate anxiety in preoperative adult patients. The authors even write that it can be equally as effective as standard treatment with midazolam, a psychiatric drug.
Melatonin can be taken orally via capsules but you should consult your doctor to find out about safe dosages. Occasional use may be beneficial but long term use can cause excessive production of the hormone.
Our top 3 Melatonin Recommendations
Rhodiola rosea is a flowering plant found in arctic regions. Parts of this plant have been used in alternative healing treatment plans for depression and anxiety. A pilot study examined the effect of rhodiola on the symptoms of general anxiety disorder (GAD).
The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale was used to measure symptoms. The findings suggested that rhodiola improved these symptoms significantly. Thus, rhodiola can serve as an excellent adaptogen for anxiety.
Our top 3 Rhodiola rosea Recommendations
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is a flowering plant either grown or found as a weed across the globe. It’s been used in herbal medicine for centuries and is used for healing wounds. Current trends in scientific inquiry want to examine if St. John’s wort can impact mental health.
It is found that in terms of anxiety, this is a better medicine for a comorbidity with depression. Often depression and anxiety go hand in hand. In such cases, St. John’s wort is a good adaptogen to try.
Our top 3 St. John’s Wort Recommendations
Natural Supplements that Help with Depression
Like anxiety, depression too is a thought disorder. It is preceded by a habit formation of negative thoughts about one’s self, others, or the world.
Treatment of depression necessitates psychotherapy but can be supported with other therapeutic techniques. Prescription drugs are a potential treatment but they cannot cure depression. Similarly, natural supplements are an alternative to antidepressants.
They too can help one prevent and treat depressive disorders but cannot cute them alone. Below, we will discuss some evidence-backed natural supplements that help with depression:
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
N-Acetylcysteine or NAC is an amino acid that performs many important roles in the body. It replenishes the most powerful antioxidant in the body, glutathione. NAC also plays a role in chronic respiratory conditions, fertility and brain health.
This compound can be consumed orally through supplements to improve health. Recently, the uses of NAC in mental health have been examined. A 2011 study demonstrated a robust decrease in depression scores with NAC treatment.
NAC supplements are derived from animal protein like chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, and eggs. Vegan options can also be made from sunflower seeds and legumes.
Our top 3 Saffron Recommendations
Saffron is a spice famous in Asian cuisine because of its unique flavour and multiple health benefits. These crimson coloured strands are the stigmas and styles of the flower Crocus sativus.
Research suggests that the antidepressant efficacy of saffron and crocin is comparable to those of standard drugs. This means that saffron supplements can be a safer, non-addictive treatment for depression with no serious side effects.
Our top 3 Saffron Recommendations
Depression is associated with a lower concentration of zinc in peripheral blood. A zinc deficiency may make one susceptible to depression and the occurrence of it may lead to zinc depletion.
As a method of prevention and treatment, zinc supplements are important for recovery from depression. Considering that it is the leading cause of disability in the world, it makes sense to advocate the use of zinc in our diets.
Our top 3 Zinc Recommendations
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Another helpful amino acid for major depressive disorder is theanine. A 2016 investigation confirmed that theanine oral supplements are safe and have shown significant improvement in many psychological issues.
Theanine can help with sleep disturbances, cognitive impairments, anxiety, and depression. It has also been shown to have comparable effects with Alprazolam, a psychiatric drug meant for anxiety.
Our top 3 Theanine Recommendations
A US-based study discovered a negative relationship between dietary creatine intake and depression. The research suggests that taking creatine as a part of nutrition can prevent the occurrence of depression.
Creatine is an amino acid produced in the liver. It is extracted from animal tissue like meat and fish. It is important to note that vegan creatine is not an all natural supplement because plants do not produce this compound. Vegan creatine supplements are made from synthetically produced creatine powder.
Our top 3 Creatine Recommendations
Experts have established an association with vitamin C deficiency and symptoms of depression. This implies that dietary supplementation of vitamin C can be preventive of depression-related disorders.
It should also be included in the treatment of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression as a comorbidity. Vitamin C can be extracted for citrus fruits or cornstarch. The Vitamin C derived from gooseberries is preferred more by customers.
Our top 3 Vitamin C Recommendations
People suffering from major depressive disorder are susceptible to cardiovascular disease. On examining the cause behind this, pharmacologists found that low levels of L-arginine may explain this.
Sufficient levels of arginine in our systems can improve the prognosis of depression. L-Arginine is also a good amino acid for dealing with symptoms of anxiety.
Our top 3 L-Arginine Recommendations
Ghanbari et al (2009) wanted to see if taking calcium supplements can improve symptoms of depression during PMS. Their investigation revealed that these supplements had many positive impacts.
In addition to reducing depression, it also reduced early fatigability and changes in appetite. You can try adding calcium to your diet if you have depression or if you want to improve your period experience.
Our top 3 Calcium Recommendations
5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxytryptophan, also known as oxitriptan. This is a naturally occurring amino acid and is a precursor to serotonin, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for mood.
Back in 1984, it was established that 5-HTP plays a role in the mediation of anxiety. Serotonin production is also negatively correlated with many psychological disorders including depression.
Our top 3 5-HTP Recommendations
In this extensive list, we described the best all natural supplements for anxiety and depression. First we went over nine such supplements that are used to improve symptoms of anxiety. Then we discussed nine more options of natural supplements for depression.
The best all natural supplements for anxiety mentioned here are vitamin D, passion flower, omega 3, maca, ginseng, ashwagandha, melatonin, Rhodiola rosea, and St. John’s wort. The supplements meant for depression are N-acetylcysteine, saffron, zinc, theanine, creatine, vitamin C, L-arginine, calcium, and 5-HTP.
FAQs (Best All Natural Supplements for Anxiety and Depression)
What calms anxiety naturally?
Anxiety can be calmed naturally either using a cognitive approach, a body-based approach, aromatherapy, or through natural supplements. The cognitive approach entails challenging negative thoughts and identifying patterns in them.
In a body-based approach, one focuses on reducing cortisol levels and increasing relaxation to come out of ‘fight-or-flight’. Aromatherapy uses the fragrance of certain essential oils known to calm and induce sleep. Finally, natural supplements can help in similar ways by changing our biochemistry.
How can I calm my anxiety fast?
The fastest way to calm anxiety is to make sure that each and every muscle in the body is being relaxed. When the muscles are tense, it is almost impossible to control anxious thoughts. A relaxed body signals to the brain that it need not feel threatened. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system and thus restores our ability to regulate thoughts.