Best supplements for anxiety: Three supplements that may offer relief during the pandemic

Coronavirus may have caused some anxiety in certain individuals. The ongoing updates on the number of infections and deaths can be worrisome. Which three supplements may help you to manage your anxiety?

Those of an anxious disposition may need alternative therapies to help manage their feelings of unease and discomfort.

What exactly is anxiety?

Mental health charity MIND describes anxiety as feeling “worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen”.

The charity adds: “Or, which we think could happen in the future.”

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A “natural human response”, anxiety can be experienced “through thoughts, feelings or physical sensations”.

One supplement that may help to ease any tension is kava kava.

Derived from the Piper methysticum plant from the Pacific Islands, this exotic ingredient is a traditional calming tonic.

Researchers from the University of Sydney found it targets the GABA receptors that helps to manage symptoms of anxiety.

The researchers concluded kava kava is “effective in alleviating anxiety”.

MIND list the symptoms of anxiety

There are physical sensations one may feel in the body when feeling anxious. These include:

  • A churning feeling in your stomach
  • Feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • Pins and needles
  • Feeling restless or unable to sit still
  • Headaches, backache or other aches and pains
  • Faster breathing
  • A fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
  • Sweating or hot flushes
  • Problems sleeping
  • Grinding your teeth, especially at night
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Needing the toilet more or less often
  • Changes in your sex drive
  • Having panic attacks

Anxiety can also take a toll on your mental health. Effects on the mind include:

  • Feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
  • Having a sense of dread, or fearing the worst
  • Feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
  • Feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you
  • Feeling like you can’t stop worrying, or that bad things will happen if you stop worrying
  • Worrying about anxiety itself, for example worrying about when panic attacks might happen
  • Wanting lots of reassurance from other people or worrying that people are angry or upset with you
  • Worrying that you’re losing touch with reality
  • Rumination – thinking a lot about bad experiences, or thinking over a situation again and again
  • Depersonalisation – feeling disconnected from your mind or body, or like you’re watching someone else (this is a type of dissociation)
  • Derealisation – feeling disconnected from the world around you, or like the world isn’t real (this is a type of dissociation)
  • Worrying a lot about things that might happen in the future

Researchers from the Federal University of Sergipe, in Brazil, discovered a supplement that is as effective at treating anxiety as medication.

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The powerful remedy was passionflower, better know for its sweet passion fruit.

The 2017 study involved 40 volunteers who were attending the dentist for a tooth extraction.

Patients were either administered passionflower or midazolam – a benzodiazepine medication used to reduce anxiety – 30 minutes before their appointment.

The patients’ anxiety levels were measured by questionnaires, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation.

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The researchers concluded that passionflower “showed an effect similar to midazolam”.

Another herbal remedy which may ease anxiety is L-theanine.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in 2011, researchers said L-theanine possesses “neuroprotective, mood-enhancing and relaxation properties”.

The amino acid is also found in green tea.

Would you still like more help to manage feelings of anxiety?

MIND offers self-help resources on its website which may be beneficial.

These include workbooks, cognitive behavioural therapy techniques and applied relaxation therapy.

Remember, you’re not alone and there’s lots of help available online.

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