Dietary Supplements for Anxiety

Feelings of fear, stress, uneasiness, worry, dread and negative attitude on a continual and prolonged basis is known as anxiety. The term has become an umbrella term for a collective of feelings that make anxious and tensed. Anxiety is closely associated with stress. In today’s world, extreme competition to be in the ‘team or class’ or the ‘best in the team’, depicts several social issues and complex nature of the modern society.
This unhealthy level of competition coupled with an unnatural and unhealthy sophistication has made the incidences of anxiety quite common, to the extent that when it becomes excessive and chronic, it’s labeled and deemed to be an anxiety disorder. Anxiety, which implies the meaning, ‘to vex or trouble’, is very unhealthy even when caused on a regular basis. Whence caused, it creates a situation of mental irritation and hence people have started adapting remedies in the form of dietary supplements.
Use of Dietary Supplements to Tackle Anxiety
A dietary supplement is simply an add-on or accessory of our usual diet. Dietary supplements are used by people in order to take in specific chemicals, nutrients and substances along with the common dietary nutrients which we consume. It is basically an accessory for the usual diet. Dietary supplements can be consumed in different forms such as capsules, tablets, liquids, powders, softgels and gelcaps. In some cases, the supplement is also consumed in raw form, or as a condiment or garnishment or topping on normal food. In some cases herbs are also consumed. It is essential that you consult a doctor or a dietitian before you consume any kind of dietary supplement.
In the recent past, medications in the form or traditional herbs have been revived. Liquids, tablets and small extracts of these herbs are often consumed for their medical properties.

  • Kava Kava or simply Kava which is scientifically known as Piper methysticum is a herb/crop from the western Pacific regions. The roots of this plant are known for their sedative and anesthetic properties, and upon consumption, the consumer depicts some substantial anxiolytic effects by getting rid of the anxiety, keep the mind at peace, steadying and lowering very high blood pressure and pulse and overall relieving the body of stress and tension. Kava can be consumed in the form of simple herb, Kava beverage, tea cola, and pills
  • Passion Flower, which is sometimes also known as Passiflora is another herb. The juices and extracts of the Passion flower can be used as medication, especially to curb down symptoms of anxiety such as extreme stress, muscular tension and insomnia. Negative emotions occurring as a result of secretions in large proportions can be soothed by this herb. Spasmodic activity of the muscles are also curbed down by this herb
  • Peppermint is a great answer for a digestive system which has been affected by the anxiety and stress. The human digestive system often reacts very badly to extreme stress and anxiety. Peppermint soothes the upheaval caused in digestive system. Unexplained diarrhea, vomiting (in some cases) and nauseating acidity can be cured by this herb. Peppermint can be consumed directly, or in the form or extract capsules
  • Hops is another remedy for stress and anxiety. Hops is a great remedy for diarrhea and anxiety associated digestive problems. It reduced restlessness and nervousness when consumed. The flower is used in the brewing processes, however extracts are often available for medical purposes. Furthermore several alcoholic brews. The herbal form of Hops is often used in collaboration with Valerian
  • Valerian is another flowering plant which is used as a herb. Extreme nervousness, hysteria, stress and tension which make the body very volatile and the nerves unstable get soothed by the action of Valerian. The calming effect on the nervous system, digestion and respiration and also helps people to fall asleep. Oral formulas dosages of extracts and pills along with raw herb or fresh extract of Valerian are also used
Now please, please note that any of the herbal supplements should be taken under the supervision and prescription of a doctor. Some of them have very severe side effects and can damage your body. Some of the other herbs which you can use include:

  • Saint John’s Wort
  • Skullcap
  • Vervain
  • Lemon Balm
  • Oats
  • Dandelion
  • Motherwort
  • Damiana
  • Hyssop
  • Mistletoe
  • Cowslip
  • Wild Lettuce
These herbs can be consumed in different forms such as raw or direct consumption, through some medical recipe or preparation and also through tablets containing the extract of the herbs. For a proper dosage, you will have to consult a proper herbalist or healthcare professional.
Nutrients, Substances and Medications
There are some specified substances and chemicals which are usually present in very small quantities in our diets. During the times of extreme anxiety, capsules or tablets containing these substances are prescribed by doctors. Such substances include:

  • Lysine/L-lysine: which is an amino acid
  • Magnesium: a mineral
  • Inositol: which is essentially Vitamin B8
  • Selenium: antioxidant and a trace mineral
  • Melatonin: compound which is a hormone
  • L-lysine and L-arginine: which are α-amino acid

Now these substances are usually found in our body in quite minute proportions, however to combat extreme anxiety levels, doctors can prescribe tablets of these substances. In fact some of these tables are prescription drugs.

A word of caution, “Do not consume supplements for anxiety without proper medical advise”, and hence, visit the doctor. Some of the aforementioned dietary supplements for anxiety may have some serious side effects if consumed in a wrong manner.