In this extensive guide, we are going to discuss several of the best supplements for anxiety. We will first explain how supplements affect common anxiety symptoms. Then, we will expand on a long list of supplements that help anxiety.
Most of the items on this list are backed by research. The rest look promising but need further investigation. This article also contains product recommendations for each supplement.
What are the Best Supplements for Anxiety?
A number of research studies show that the following supplements have a beneficial effect on symptoms of anxiety:
- Vitamin D
- Hawthorn Berries and California Poppy
- Ketone Supplementation
- Lemon Balm
- St John’s Wort
How do Supplements Help Anxiety?
Anxiety may be a psychological experience, but there are many physiological things at play when a person becomes anxious. Noticeable physical aspects include bodily symptoms like shaking, fast breathing, increased heart rate, and sweating.
But the more insidious and causative factors happening in the body take place under our skin. No, we’re not talking about the weight in the chest or the butterflies inside. While those are subjective experiences, they stem from more complicated biological changes happening inside us.
These are electrical and chemical reactions happening in our organ systems through neurons, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Pharmacotherapy targets these reactions through chemicals that alter their process.
Supplements act in a similar way but use natural components extracted from plants and herbs. These extracts, when ingested, cause these reactions to stop, catalyse, or tweak in some manner that alleviates anxiety symptoms.
Effective Supplements for Anxiety
Now, we are going to go through a list of numerous natural supplements that are proven to help anxiety. Our list is divided into two subcategories: supplements proven effective by research and promising supplements that need further investigation. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
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.
Here are our top three recommendations for Vitamin D supplements:
|Nature’s Bounty||Soft Gel CapsulesAdded Calcium|
|Nature Wise||Soft Gel CapsulesSet in Olive Oil|
|Healthy Origins||Soft Gel CapsulesSet in Olive Oil|
Hawthorn and California Poppy
A French study done in 2004 demonstrated that California Poppy, Hawthorn Berry extracts, and elemental magnesium have a positive effect. There is a specific dose for this supplement and individually, they are not proven effective.
The effectivity lies only when they’re combined as 0.02 ml California Poppy, 0.075 ml Hawthorn, and 0.075 ml elemental magnesium. Since dropper bottles generally have larger units, you can make a batch of 10 doses together. If you have a pharmacist who can help you, it’s much more convenient to have them combined for you into daily capsules.
Unfortunately, the stores still don’t sell this supplement as an aggregate so you’ll have to purchase them separately. Here are our top recommendations for California Poppy and Hawthorn Berry:
|Herb Pharm California Poppy||OrganicGluten-freeNon-GMOcomes with marked dropper|
|Gaia Herbs California Poppy||Organic Whole-Plant Extract|
|Bio Nutrition California Poppy||No GlutenNo SoyNo PreservativesNo WheatNo Salt or Sugar|
|Nature’s Answer Hawthorn||Gluten-freeLow Alcoholcomes with marked dropper|
|Herb Pharm Hawthorn||OrganicGluten-freeNon-GMOcomes with marked dropper|
|Planetary Herbals Hawthorn||PowderUnflavouredGluten-freeNon-GMO|
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 recommendations for this supplement are:
|Solaray Passion Flower||Non-GMOVegan Lab Verified|
|Oregon’s Wild Harvest Passion Flower Capsules||Certified Organic Passionflower|
|Nature’s Answer Passion Flower||Gluten-freeVegan|
Amino acids like L-Lysine and L-Arginine have been shown to reduce anxiety when combined with passionflower or kava. These compounds act as receptor antagonists inside the body. They interrupt the activity of stress hormones and make the body feel less in “fight or flight” mode.
There have also been safety studies on the use of these supplements for anxiety treatments. All the evidence shows that this is indeed an effective strategy. Below are our top products for these two supplements:
|NOW Supplements L-Lysine||Soy FreeNon-GMOVegan/Vegetarian, Nut FreeNo GlutenDairy FreeEgg FreeKosher|
|Quantum Health Super Lysine||Many Helpful Ingredients Anxiety Supplement Licorice Root|
|Nature Made Extra Strength Lysine||No Colour AddedNo Artificial FlavoursNo PreservativesNo Gluten|
|NOW Supplements L-Arginine||Soy FreeNon-GMO Vegan/VegetarianNut FreeWithout GlutenDairy FreeEgg FreeKosher|
|Source Naturals L-Arginine||UnflavouredCitrulline|
|Nutricost L-Arginine||PowderUnflavoured Gluten-free Non-GMO|
Chronic and sub-chronic administration of exogenous ketone supplementation may be an effective way to reduce anxiety. Readers may be more familiar with the term “keto diet”. Ketosis is a metabolic state during which the body fluids have elevated levels of ketone bodies in them.
This state can be induced by making certain changes to our diet. Though ketone supplements are more popular for weight loss, they can also help with anxiety. Here are our top suggestions for ketone supplements:
|QSTA Keto Fuel||Real ketone ester with Vitamin BKetosis in 1-2 hoursNootropic effect|
|MPA Supps Ketoxygen||Contains Rhodiola and amino acids|
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. You can try these products for melatonin:
|Mauricettes||50 Tablets3 mgChewable|
|Natrol Melatonin||200 Tablets5 mgFast Dissolve|
|NOW Melatonin||100 CapsulesVegan/Vegetarian10 mg|
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. Whether it’s for anxiety or general health, try these Omega-3 supplements to improve your daily life:
|Bio Schwartz||90 Soft Gel CapsulesLemon FlavouredGluten Free|
|Vitafusion||120 Omega 3 GummiesNatural Berry Lemon FlavoursGluten FreeBPA Free|
|NOW Omega 3||200 Soft Gel CapsulesNon-GMOContains GelatinKosher|
Additional Supplements for Anxiety
So far, we have discussed the anxiety supplements that have enough evidence for their effectiveness. In the next section, we will go over items that are of high interest to researchers. These supplements have some studies proving their impact but they need more research.
The effect of Kava on anxiety symptoms was shown through a 2002 study. Back then, the overarching concern was on side effects from high dosage. A more recent study found Kava supplements a promising treatment.
Also called kava kava, this is a crop of the Pacific Islands and its name has Tongan and Marquesan origins. Though kava kava is used for many indegenous practices, the clinical evidence is limited. Our top suggestions for Kava supplements are:
|Natrol||Contains Milk 30% Kavalactones|
|Naturelo||Algae Magnesium Valerian RootChamomile Passion Flower Lemon Balm Hops|
|Gaia Herbs||Vegetable Glycerin Non-GMO LecithinVegetable Cellulose|
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.
Research studies reveal that GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is a common target in pharmacotherapy for anxiety disorders. There are many GABA-modulating supplements that can be used as dietary supplements. These compounds influence the activity of GABA without causing side-effects.
Some of the items on this list are lemon balm, valerian root, pennywort, hops, chamomile, Ginkgo biloba, passionflower, and ashwagandha. Below we will present the top ten GABA-modulating supplements available online:
|Nature’s Bounty Ginkgo||With Added Magnesium|
|NOW Ashwagandha||Nut FreeGMO FreeDairy Free Kosher CertifiedEgg FreeVegan|
|SugarBear Sleep||Many Helpful IngredientsShaped like Gummy Bears|
|SomnaPure Sleep Aid||Natural IngredientsValerian Root Extract L-theanine|
|Herb Pharm Valerian Root Extract||Gluten Free Liquid ValerianOrganic Cane Alcohol|
|Naturelo Sleep Aid||MagnesiumMelatoninValerian RootLemon BalmChamomile|
|Solaray Lemon Balm||Non-GMOVegan|
|Herb Pharm Chamomile||OrganicGluten FreeNon GMO|
|NOW Valerian Root||Hops PassionflowerGABA|
Lactium is a product derived from milk compounds that is meant to help people calm down. It was discovered by its creators when they observed that digested milk has a soothing effect on infants.
Enzymes in the digestive systems of these babies release a bioactive milk peptide, something absent in the adult body. This peptide is the secret behind a happy baby’s blissful state.
Research studies have examined the effectiveness of Lactium in inducing sleep. While subjects did get more relaxed, further studies are needed to confirm this effect. Lactium is advertised as an all natural nutritional ingredient that is non-addictive and anxiolytic.
The official website of the creators of Lactium has a lot more details. We selected the following three attractive products from their catalogue:
|Hypnox Stopstress||LactiumVitamin C|
|Oficial Farma Lactium||30 Capsules of Lactium150 mg|
|Maxum Milk and Honey||CelluloseLactiumHoney|
A Bach flower solution is water containing extreme dilutions of flower material collected from the dew found on flower petals. These dilutions are mixed with brandy to create remedies for alternative healing practices.
Bach flower remedies were developed by Edward Bach, a homeopathic doctor from the UK. Recently, Siegler and others wanted to investigate the effects of Bach flower on menopausal symptoms and sleep patterns.
Their findings suggest that Bach flower is able to relieve menopausal symptoms like mood changes, sleep trouble, and anxiety. Here are our recommendations for Bach flower supplements that you can use for anxiety:
|Bach Impatiens||Meant for Improving PatienceContains 27% AlcoholOriginal Bach Flower Remedy|
|Bach Rescue Lozenge||Lozenges for StressContain Vitamin B5 and B12Orange and Elderflower FlavouredNon-AddictiveVeganGluten-free|
|Bach Rescue Kids||Stress Relief for KidsNaturalSafeNon-DrowsyNo Alcohol|
Probiotics are live microorganisms consumed to restore the balance of good bacteria in our digestive system. These products are marketed to have health benefits related to immunity and digestion.
Scientific bodies continue to examine the actual advantages of taking probiotics for health. Quite a lot of studies have looked at the impact of probiotic nutritional supplements on mental health issues like anxiety.
A meta analysis done in 2018 concluded that there is evidence of probiotics alleviating anxiety but it is not enough. The report states that more reliable evidence can be developed using clinical trials. As probiotics are proven to be safe for consumption, you too can try the following supplements to relieve anxiety:
|Vitalitown||30 Delayed Release CapsulesVeganNon-GMOShelf Stable|
|Nature’s Bounty||30 per Day CapsulesVegetarianNon-GMONo Sugar|
|Garden of Life||30 Vegetarian CapsulesWomen’s HealthGluten FreeSoy FreeDairy Free|
Perry, Terry, Watson, and Ernst (2012) wanted to check whether lavender really does have anxiolytic effects. They used seven electronic databases to extract data of existing studies to create a meta analysis.
Out of the 15 randomised clinical trials that matched inclusion criteria, seven appeared to show beneficial effects of lavender. The researchers concluded that oral lavender supplements do have a therapeutic effect on anxiety.
But they also noted that methodological issues limit the extent to which these findings can be applied. If you’re interested in using lavender supplements to help with your anxiety, you can try these:
|Flower Essence Services||1 Ounce of Lavender EssenceUS-ManufacturedCertified Organic|
|Herb Pharm Lavender||1 Fluid OunceGluten-FreeNon-GMOHPTL Chromatography Analysis|
|Florida Herbs||2 Fluid OuncesWheat FreeDairy FreeSugar-FreeSoy-FreeYeast-FreeGluten-Free|
Vitamin B Complex
B Vitamins play a big role in cell metabolism and red blood cell production. There are eight variations of Vitamin B and they are numbered for identification. Vitamin B complex is a dietary supplement that contains all eight distinct compounds.
There’ve been several studies investigating the influence of Vitamin B complex on mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress.
A 2019 systematic review revealed that there is some evidence for B complex supplements helping with these issues. The authors note that this may only be true for people at risk of developing stress and anxiety. If you’re at risk of developing anxiety, maybe you could try these:
|Solgar||100 CapsulesVeganGluten FreeNo Dairy or WheatNon-GMO|
|Nature’s Bounty||150 Coated TabletsAdded Vitamin CSodium FreeVegetarian|
|Garden of Life||60 Vegan CapsulesContains ProbioticsGluten FreeKosher|
Magnesium-containing supplements and other herbal combinations may hold promise, but more research is needed before these products can be recommended to patients. Studies show herbal supplements with Magnesium show potential to be good anxiety relievers.
Here are our recommendations for Magnesium supplements:
|Sundown||No Artificial FlavoursGMO-freeWheat FreeLactose FreeGluten FreeDairy Free|
|Nature’s Bounty||GMO FreeSoy FreeWheat FreeSodium FreeLactose FreeMilk FreeSugar FreeGluten FreeStarch FreeYeast Free|
In this extensive guide, we discussed several of the best supplements for anxiety. We first explained how supplements affect common anxiety symptoms. Then, we expanded on a long list of supplements that help anxiety.
Most of the items on this list are backed by research. The rest look promising but need further investigation. This article also contained product recommendations for each supplement.
Our list for the best anxiety supplements included 37 product recommendations for eight different categories. These groups included Vitamin D, Hawthorn and California Poppy, Passionflower, Amino Acids, Ketones, Kava, Magnesium, and GABA-Modulating Supplements.
FAQs (Best Supplements for Anxiety)
What is the best natural supplement for anxiety?
The best natural supplements for anxiety are:
What is the best supplement for anxiety?
The best supplements for anxiety are the ones that combine multiple verified natural compounds associated with anxiety relief. Some of these compounds are:
Vitamins and minerals like magnesium
What can I take to relieve anxiety immediately?
No medicine or supplement can show immediate results after ingesting them. They take at least an hour or two to show full effects. Meanwhile, if you really need to get your anxiety in control, there are some techniques you can try.
Start paying attention to what your sense organs are perceiving. You can try grounding techniques to do this. This causes fast changes in the way you feel. Another quick effect is in doing progressive muscular relaxation, or PMR.