Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders, affecting roughly 283 million people around the world. Anxiety disorders are often described as a persistent, intense feeling of worrying and excessive fear on a frequent basis. The condition also commonly involves panic attacks, which are episodes of sudden intense anxiety lasting for a short amount of time. (1)(2)
Common signs of anxiety include:
- Nervous feelings or restlessness
- Sweating and/or trembling
- Increased heart rate
- Worrying that danger or panic is going to occur
If left unmanaged, these symptoms can interfere with the overall quality of your life, making it much more difficult. Although there‘s no surefire cure for anxiety, there are many options available that may help to make it manageable.
Depending on how severe the anxiety symptoms are, some people seek supplemental options to combat them. Natural supplements, which have been used for centuries, can have many beneficial properties that are believed to help manage anxiety. These supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other ingredients.
Supplements can potentially target the three most common biological factors linked to anxiety and panic attacks. These factors are: serotonin deficiency, low vitamin B6 levels, and decreased iron levels. When supplements and vitamins are used in conjunction with other methods such as psychotherapy, supportive relationships, and certain medications, anxiety symptoms could possibly be alleviated.
It‘s important to know that unlike with medication, there’s not an abundance of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of natural supplements. Natural supplements are also not as heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and they should not replace any current medications. You should always consult a doctor before trying any herbs or supplements, as they can cause serious side effects and potentially interfere with your current medications.
Below is a list of some of the most popular natural supplements used to help manage anxiety and anxiety–related symptoms.
Lemon Balm is a herb derived from the mint family. Its leaves have a lemony aroma; they’re used to help make medicine, and can be extracted for food and beverage flavoring. Lemon balm can be used alone or in combination with other herbal products. It seems to have a calming, sedative effect sometimes used for anxiety, stress, insomnia, dementia and other conditions.
Research has shown that taking certain lemon balm products reduces anxiety disorder symptoms such as nervousness or edginess. (4)
Lavendar is a herb commonly found in the form of a flower and essential oil. It‘s often used for stress, anxiety and insomnia. Lavendar contains a sedative oil that can help to relax muscles. Some research has shown that if taken orally, it could possibly help to improve anxiety symptoms. Research also indicates that lavender oil aromatherapy and massages can help to improve anxiety. (5)
Kava is a herbal extract and a plant native to the Pacific Islands. Kava is a Polynesian word meaning “bitter”, and is a popular drink consumed in the South Pacific to promote relaxation. It is used for anxiety but it can apparently help with stress, restlessness, insomnia and other issues. The kavalactones in Kava are said to affect the brain, along with several parts of the central nervous system.
Research has shown that kava extracts containing 70% kavalactones can reduce anxiety, and have a level of effectiveness comparable to that of some anti-anxiety medications. Studies also show that kava supplements containing at least 200mg of kavalactones taken over the span of 5 weeks could help symptoms to improve. (6)
Magnesium is a mineral, and it plays a significant role in bone structure within the body. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to high blood pressure, clogged arteries, diabetes and strokes. Foods that are high in this mineral include legumes, whole grains, broccoli, squash and nuts.
Although more research is needed, early studies have found that magnesium did reduce anxiety in participants. Magnesium also plays a part in regulating neurotransmitters, which communicate with the brain functions that reduce stress and anxiety. The part of the brain, called the hypothalamus, helps to regulate the pituitary and adrenal glands which are believed to be affected by magnesium. (7)
Valerian is a herb native to Europe and Asia, but can also be found in parts of North America. Valerian is used for insomnia, anxiety and stress. Valerian has sedative properties that affect the brain and nervous system. Researchers believe valerian modestly heightens the levels of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, which is said to have a calming effect on the body. (7)
Before deciding which herbal remedies and natural supplements are best for your anxiety, you should always consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that your choices won’t clash with any medication you may be on, and that your plan is a safe one. Make sure that any natural supplements are sourced from a credible manufacturer, and that they don’t contain any harmful contaminants.
Disclaimer: This article is based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state, such as the FDA.
2) “Anxiety Disorders”, Source:
3) “Anxiety Medication”, Source:
4) “Vitamins & Supplements > LEMON BALM”, Source: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-437/lemon-balm
5) “Vitamins & Supplements > Lavendar”, Source:
6) “Vitamins & Supplements > KAVA”, Source:
7) “Magnesium for Anxiety: Is It Effective?”, Source: