Anxiety is a growing problem among American and Canadian adults. The prevalence of depression, stress, and anxiety has skyrocketed over the years. And many are turning to natural supplements to curb the unease. In this guideline, we compiled a list of popular ingredients in supplements that make for a notable anxiety-reducing choice. Here is what experts have to say. (1)
Different Types of Anxiety
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, accompanied by fear or worry. It is a necessary and normal emotion. But, when that emotion becomes overbearing and hinders the quality of life, that’s when it needs proper attention and treatment. (2)
Anxiety disorders are more excessive and intense, constantly flooding people’s minds with fear and worry. This is a complex mood state with a physiological, cognitive, and behavioral response system. The most prevalent anxiety types are: (3)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social Phobia
Causes and Triggers for Anxiety
Many things can trigger and cause anxiety. It could be a single factor or a combination of things that lead to feelings of uncertainty. The probable triggers can be:
- Personality traits (i.e. low self-esteem, irritability, self-consciousness, the need to be controlling, etc) (4)
- Genetic predisposition (having family members with mental health ailments)
- Constant stressful events (such as family problems, work stress, pregnancy, relationship complications, etc)
- Physical ailment (like cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, etc)
- Childhood experience
- Substance abuse
- Medications (such as thyroid meds and stimulants)
Benefits of Natural Supplements
Alternative and complementary medicine is a practical choice for those who want to reduce the odds of serious side effects. Many who suffer from a spectrum of physical and behavioral adverse reactions from anxiety medication often want to try something more natural.
These products can:
- Regulate mood
- Amplify cognitive performance
- Increase energy
- Have mild side-effect profile
Herbs like bacopa, ashwagandha, passionflower, valerian root, and St. John’s wort, can make for a worthy choice. (5)
What Research Says About These Supplements/Ingredients
For centuries, people have relied on the positive mood-boosting properties of traditional medicine. A number of reviews studied the clinical effectiveness of these ingredients for anxiety and depression treatment.
Bacopa is an apoptogenic herb, making it a viable option for increasing your resistance to stress. It can curb anxiety and stress by decreasing cortisol levels. In one animal trial, Bacopa produced comparable results to that of lorazepam – a prescription drug for anxiety. (6) (7)
SHINE Memory utilizes the two nutraceuticals Bacopa Monnieri and AlphaWave® L-Theanine. L-Theanine affects alpha brain waves which are associated with relaxation. Providing an alert calmness, L-Theanine helps in promoting super-learning, flow states and joy where theta waves are associated with cognitive alertness, creativity and memory.
In an 8-week randomized study, Ashwagandha helped reduce anxiety and stress in adults. Users experienced a significant reduction in stress and improved their quality of life. It can help people sleep better as well. (8)
The SHINE Unstress contains the two synergistic nutraceuticals Shagandha® Ashwagandha and AlphaWave® L-Theanine. Together they can reduce the effects from stress on our mental and physical well-being without causing drowsiness.
The anti-anxiety effect of the purple passionflower is comparable to medications like midazolam or oxazepam. Therefore, it can come in handy for curbing anxiety, depression, and stress-like behaviors, research shows. (9)
Valerian root can be another useful herb for sleeplessness and anxiety relief. It can be a safer and gentler alternative to synthetic products. (10)
St. John’s Wort
St. John's Wort can be a viable option for depression and behavioral and emotional complications. It might show promise for mitigating OCD, anxiety and sleep disturbances. (11) CAUTION: St. John's Wort has been shown to interact with anti-depressants and is not advised if taking.
SHINE Health's passion for holistic nutrition and herbal medicine is rooted in our founder Phil Desrochers’ personal health transformation. He used to struggle with depression, anxiety and challenging side effects like brain fog. That is when he realized he had to take control of his own health. He turned to nature and discovered the power of plants as part of his health routine - the very kind of ingredients found in our simple, vegan and proven formulas with our customers.