I recently heard a funny little poem. It went something along the lines of this:
“If you can start your day without caffeine, if you have no sleep troubles, if you can conquer tension without medical help, if you can take blame without resentment and relax without a glass of wine….you’re probably the family dog.”
Basically, the world is a stressful place. It’s a blessing and a curse to be experiencing it in human form. We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with stressful situations. While our conscious mind knows that our life isn’t at stake if we’re late to a meeting, our physiology doesn’t.
Living in this constant state of physiological stress can really tap out our system. Nutrient stores become drained, feel-good neurotransmitters get knocked off balance, and our nervous system begins to react. All of this leads to a symptom, chances are, you’re familiar with: anxiety.
I’d say 95% of my clients report some form of anxiety. If you’ve never experienced mild to moderate anxiety, you might actually be the family dog! Many clients I see have already tried dealing with anxiety by meditating and breathing exercises, which are great first steps. However, most don’t realize how they can drastically improve anxiety through nutritional support.
By providing the right nutrients, we are able to replete our stores and give our physiology a more balanced state to operate in. When we do encounter stress, which is inevitable, feelings of anxiety will be less likely to pop up.
If you’re dealing with anxiety, these are top five herbs and supplements I recommend to support your system.
This powerful amino acid is one of the first supplements I recommend to a client dealing with anxiety. One studied showed it was more effective in inducing calm than either Xanax or a placebo. L-Theanine is able to cross the blood brain barrier and increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Additionally, it has neuroprotective properties and doesn’t seem to have any negative side effects. This is the brand I recommend Pure Encapsulations L-Theanine. (You can take up to 500 mg. throughout the day.)
This is another go to supplement for dealing with symptoms of anxiety. Reducing anxiety is all about calming the central nervous system which requires adequate Vitamin B levels. Your central nervous system is like your command control. If your CNS is missing something, it’s going to send signals to the rest of your body that something isn’t quite right. This signal for help manifests itself as a feeling of anxiousness to our conscious mind. This is the brand I recommend Pure Encapsulations B Complex Plus.
I absolutely love my afternoon cup of Organic India Tulsi Tea. It’s subtle, but once you start drinking it you immediately begin to feel a renewed sense of calm. I’ve actually heard it described as yoga in a cup! Tulsi, or holy basil, is considered to be an adaptogen. This means it’s effect varies based on your own individual needs. Adaptogens tend to disarm the physiological stress responses which can be a huge contributor to anxious feelings.
Another potent adaptogen, this herb has been used to treat anxiety in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It’s capable of reducing cortisol, the stress hormone, and calming the adrenals. As an adaptogen, it’s known to come in and restore balance, wherever you may need it. For someone dealing with anxiety from stress, it can be a really great addition to your supplement regimen. I find the best way to take it is in tincture form from Nature’s Answer Ashwagandha (alcohol free) and if you don’t like the taste, you can take capsules from Organic India Ashwagandha too.
Just smelling this magnificent herb is enough to chill you out! Lemon balm is known for its calming effect on the central nervous system. This may be due to it’s ability to increase levels of GABA, which has the ability to calm hyperactive nerve cells. I find the best way to take it is in tincture form like the one Herb Pharm Lemon Balm. Also, I love Traditional Medicinals Organic Lemon Balm Tea that you can drink throughout the day!