Anxiety and depression are common disorders that many people suffer from. Doctors and scientists will agree that good nutrition and the right combination of vitamins and supplements can reduce or even alleviate the need for prescription based medications. There are several different supplements that may help bring anxiety under control. All of these supplements can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. Consulting a health professional before taking any new supplements is always recommended, especially if they are going to be added with prescription medication.
Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata)
Passion Flower is an herbal supplement. The leaves, petals, and stems of the plant are used in making teas or tinctures. When in tea form it may be mixed with other calming herbs to increase its effectiveness. Tinctures can be added to juice or other drinks and taken as needed. Passion flower is primarily used as a calming agent to help with anxiety or insomnia. Doctors agree that is does work as well as some prescription drugs for aiding in anxiety disorders, however, there are few studies on how it actually works. It is theorized that it increases the production of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the brain. GABA is an amino acid that helps calm and reduce hyper-activity which is why passion flower has become such a popular supplement for treating children.
Valerian Root (Valeriana Officinalis)
Valerian Root is another herbal supplement that is highly regarded for its calming abilities. The root of the plant is ground and used either is tea or pill form. The tea is extremely pungent for people with sensitivity to taste it may be a bit hard to swallow. The pills are generally is gel cap form and are easy to take. Valerian root is thought of as a general sedative and is used to treat both anxiety and insomnia. There are no known side effects, but patients should be careful is they are mixing it with other sedative based prescriptions. This is another herbal supplement that increases the production of GABA in the brain.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)
St. Johns Wort is one of the herbal supplements that is frequently compared to prescription based drugs such as Prozac. It is generally available for purchase in pill, tea or tinctures. St. John’s Wort has been widely tested for its properties as an anti-depressant and sedative. It is frequently used to treated mild forms or depression and anxiety, and is especially useful is children and young adults. Speaking with a doctor before taking St. John’s Wort is highly recommended. It has been known to interact with some prescription drugs such as birth control, rendering them ineffective.
Rhodiola Rosea is and herbal supplement that is native to the colder regions of the world. It reached popularity is Russia as a supplement that assisting in helping the population deal with the cold Siberian climate. It is generally sold in pill or capsule form. The root is the part of the plant that is used when manufacturing the herbal supplement. Rhodiola Rosea is highly effective as an anti-depressant. It is believed that this herbal compound adjusts the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. It may also act as an MAO inhibitor. Side effects of this herb are unknown. A doctor should be consulted before adding this supplement to the diet.
Winter Cherry (Withania Somnifera)
Winter cherry is an herbal supplement that comes from India. It is sometimes referred to as Ashwaganha. The root of the plant is powered and sold in pill form. This plant is used to treat both depression and anxiety. There are no known side effects for this herbal supplement. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing. People who are taking MAO inhibitors should also avoid this supplement.
5-HTP is an amino acid. It occurs naturally is foods such as turkey, milk, and pumpkins. It is metabolized in the body and turned into the chemical Tryptophan. This chemical is thought to increase production of Serotonin and Melatonin in the brain, both of which are highly effective mood stabilizers. 5-HTP can be found in capsule form and added as a dietary supplement. There are no known side effects and it is generally thought of as being safe.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C occurs naturally is fresh fruits. It is often used to protect the body from illness. Research had shown that deficiencies in vitamin C may cause mental disease and anxiety. This vitamin can be found in a variety of forms such as pill and liquid. Often foods are enriched with vitamin C to promote health. There are no known risk associated with vitamin C. It is a water soluble vitamin and the risk of overdose is low.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins that are necessary for the body to function. This complex is generally found in pill form. Since Vitamin B complex is a water soluble group of vitamins, the risk of overdose is low. This group of vitamins had a broad effect on the bodies health. Deficiencies have been linked with mental illnesses such as Depression and Bipolar disorder. When paired with Vitamin C, as well as Magnesium and Zinc, Vitamin B complex has proved to drastically reduce depression.
Magnesium in one of the most common minerals in the human body. It is found in pill form, and is always an ingredient in multivitamins. It is also found in several types of over the counter drugs such as laxatives and antacids. The risk of overdose is low. Magnesium works to increase mental function.
Zinc is a mineral that the human body needs in order to process other enzymes. Zinc is found naturally in foods, and also comes in pill form and in multivitamins. Zinc overdoses may be potentially dangerous as they interfere with the body’s ability to absorb other vitamins and minerals. Consumers should consult a doctor before adding Zinc supplement to their diets.