Taking Care Of Myself Naturally

What Supplements Can Help Combat Anxiety?

by Amelia Graves

If you suffer from periodic or situational anxiety, you may be reluctant to pursue prescription medication as a treatment when your condition isn't a chronic one. In some cases, opting for a more natural approach may offer some relief. Learn more about some natural herbal supplements that may be able to help you combat feelings of anxiety. 

Can Natural Supplements Help You Manage Anxiety? 

There are several natural supplements that have shown some promise when it comes to treating or managing anxiety. These include: 

  • Valerian
  • Passionflower
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm

These supplements may be taken in tablet form or brewed in a tea. In addition to consuming these supplements orally, you can also use essential oils to maintain a feeling of calm. Chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm can be diffused in an oil diffuser to provide instant comfort and calm, or, when mixed with a neutral carrier oil, even applied directly to your skin during a massage or relaxing bath.

While some anti-anxiety medication is fast-acting, providing nearly instantaneous relief from anxiety symptoms as soon as you take it, herbal supplements generally take some time to build up in your system. It may take a few weeks of regularly using these supplements before you notice any difference in your anxiety levels, and it can take even longer to determine whether what you're experiencing is a placebo effect. 

How Can You Know Whether Herbal Supplements Are the Right Choice? 

It's important to discuss the use of any or all of the above-listed supplements with your primary care doctor before you begin taking them. Some supplements have side effects that can potentially be harmful to those with certain underlying health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or an autoimmune disorder. And because herbal and non-prescription supplements aren't regulated or monitored by the FDA, it can be difficult to determine how much of a specific active ingredient is contained within a supplement. 

In addition, herbal supplements may interact with other medications you're taking. For example, taking St. John's Wort while you're on antibiotics can render the antibiotics ineffective, requiring you to extend your prescription. St. John's Wort can also interact with hormonal birth control, increasing the risk of pregnancy unless a backup birth control method is used. However, when cleared with your doctor, these supplements can be a good way to ease your way into anxiety treatment without taking prescription anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants. Contact Arcana Empothecary to learn more.