“What are the best supplements for stress?” This is a question I was asked recently and felt it deserved an official discussion.
Why? Because while surveys and research have shown that Americans have been chronically stressed for quite some time, a new poll found that at least 1 in 3 Americans are so stressed in 2021 that a they struggled to make even basic everyday decisions, such as what to wear, eat, etc. 
There’s no need for us to feel that much stress when there are natural methods we can use to help our bodies handle stress so that we can live productive, happy lives.
So, let’s discuss the top 10 stress-busting supplements and herbs you need to know about, along with where to get them. Relief is on the way!
Top 10 Supplements for Stress
Here are 10 of my top recommended supplements for stress. Take a look at what they are and how they work.
One of the most commonly used therapeutic herbs in Ayurvedic medicine and supplements for stress, ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it improves your body’s ability to handle stress.
Because the ashwagandha root benefits stem from its anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, and antioxidant properties, it’s commonly used for insomnia, age-related issues such as memory loss and stress-induced diseases, anxiety, joint inflammation, immune-system related disorders, and more.
You can take ashwagandha at night to help promote sound sleep while giving stress-relieving benefits to the body. Personally, I take ashwagandha every night to help support my adrenal function without providing a stimulatory effect.
So, how does it work? Several studies have shown that ashwagandha benefits include lowering cortisol (the stress hormone).
In fact, in a 2012 study, 64 people with a history of chronic stress were divided into two groups; one group was given ashwagandha root supplements and the other was given a placebo.
Researchers found that the group taking the supplement had substantially lower levels of cortisol than the placebo group and reported a 69 percent reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared to an 11 percent reduction in the placebo group. 
Astragalus is an herb that’s been commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years for its therapeutic properties. As a synergistic herb, astragalus is one of the best supplements for stress is best used in conjunction with glycyrrhiza, ginseng, schisandra, and ashwagandha.
Astragalus is commonly used for many conditions and health concerns, such as fatigue, viral infections, fibromyalgia, edema, blood disorders, certain cancers, and even diarrhea. But I love its ability to help treat adrenal fatigue and the impact of stress on the body.
According to a 2009 animal study, using astragalus significantly reduced stress-induced learning and memory deficits in lab animals. Specifically, the astragalus improved the animals’ special learning and memory and also reduced their stress-induced anxiety.
As a result, the researchers surmised that astragalus shows potential as a treatment to help recover from behavioral or mental impairments caused by stressed. 
Additionally, another 2009 study on 75 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome revealed that an herbal mixture containing astragalus reduced their fatigue better than other herbal mixtures. 
3. B vitamins
When you’re experiencing more intense stress, your body burns through more B vitamins. The result? You end up deficient in some of the most beneficial vitamins your body needs both to function properly and to combat future stressful events.
Having low levels of B vitamins will only worsen the way your body reacts to future stress.
Fortunately, supplementing with B vitamins has actually has been shown to fight stress! In a 2010 study on 215 healthy men, supplementing with a B-complex vitamin was shown to decrease levels of stress. 
Additionally, a 2014 study showed that workers who supplemented with B vitamins reported a 20 percent reduction in workplace stress. 
One of my favorite supplements for stress is chamomile due to its ability to reduce stress-induced anxiety and promote better sleep.
According to one animal study, German chamomile extract was revealed to significantly inhibit brain activity related to generalized anxiety disorder. 
Meanwhile, several studies have also noted that chamomile also contains sedative effects. In fact, in a small clinical trial, researchers found that 10 heart patients immediately fell into a deep sleep for a solid hour and a half after drinking chamomile tea. 
I love indulging in a cup of chamomile tea when I’m under stress and recommend sipping on a cup before bedtime to help you relax, unwind, and get a better night’s sleep.
A popular essential oil these days, lavender has been shown to help relieve stress and anxiety, particularly in those struggling with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Lavender helps calm the central nervous system and, as a result, it can help to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.
Some studies have shown that lavender oil is comparable or even more effective than prescription anti-anxiety medications such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants known as SSRIs.
Using a diffuser, having a massage with lavender oil, and taking a bath with a few drops of lavender oil can all be simple ways to gain the relaxing benefits of lavender oil. [9, 10, 11]
There are also several calming supplements that utilize the lavender herb as well.
Magnesium is responsible for many of your bodily functions, from regulating your heart rate to helping your body eliminate toxins.
Unfortunately, when your body is under stress, it basically tells your kidneys to remove minerals from your system via your urine. This results in your body having lower levels of health-promoting minerals. And one of these key minerals is magnesium.
As magnesium levels drop in your blood, it causes further stress on your body. Without magnesium, you can’t properly manage stress. And when you’re stressed, you have lower magnesium levels. It’s a vicious, and far too common, cycle.
It’s difficult to get enough magnesium from your diet, so you may want to consider taking magnesium supplements, which is one of my go-to supplements for stress. You can also try a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that includes magnesium.
The biggest problem you may face when buying a magnesium supplement is the wide variety available. For example, magnesium sulfate, which is great for topical use (such as in a bath), is not absorbed well when taken orally.
If you decide to try a magnesium supplement, look for magnesium glycinate or magnesium orotate, which offer the best absorption. Start with the dosages listed on the bottle.
If your bowel movements remain normal, increase this dosage until they become loose. This is called “bowel tolerance” and is your personalized therapeutic dose. As your body retains more magnesium, less supplementation will be required to hit your tolerance. If you can’t find these particular forms, consider magnesium citrate.
As with other dietary supplements, seek the medical advice of your healthcare provider before starting magnesium supplements. For more information on magnesium, click here.
Phosphatidylserine is fatty substance known to support numerous brain functions—from memory and focus to problem solving and language skills!
But you may be surprised to learn that it isn’t just a supplement. This fatty acid is actually produced in your body and is present in many of your body’s cells. 
If you’re under chronic stress, your adrenal glands are constantly misusing cortisol to help your body handle that stressor. But, after a while, your adrenal glands become fatigued.
This can result in some major health concerns, from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and thyroid issues to insomnia and even cancer! But studies have shown that taking phosphatidylserine can actually help fight this process.
According to one study, people who took phosphatidylserine supplements experienced lower cortisol spikes in response to stress. Specifically, in this instance, it was exercise-induced stress. 
Meanwhile, another study revealed that when young adults with neuroticism took phosphatidylserine each day for a month, they reported feeling less stressed and having a better mood. 
When I’m treating someone who has adrenal fatigue, there are many herbs that I recommend as part of their treatment plan.
But of all the options available, my favorite is rhodiola because it’s been shown to treat a variety of adrenal fatigue symptoms. And that’s why it made my list of top supplements for stress.
Rhodiola benefits extend from decreasing stress to fighting fatigue and anxiety to improving both mental and exercise performance. It’s also fantastic at repair and reversal by assisting your body in adapting to and resisting stress, whether that stress is physical, emotional, or chemical.
According to a 2012 study, supplementing with 200 mg of rhodiola twice daily for four weeks reduced symptoms in people who reported life-stress symptoms. Moreover, researchers discovered that it only took three days for rhodiola to improve common stress symptoms such as fatigue and anxiety. The effects lasted as long as four weeks! 
9. Schisandra berry
Schisandra berry is one of my very favorite supplements for stress because it helps treat and support adrenal function without causing a stimulatory effect.
Schisandra has a calming, restorative impact while supporting the entire body. These qualities make schisandra an effective remedy to help improve the symptoms of stage 1 adrenal fatigue.
Schisandra berry also blends well with other herbs and is one of several adaptogenic herbs.
The appropriate schisandra dose depends on the form used. Below is a general guideline. However, it’s important to speak with your doctor first for more personalized instruction. 
- Dried berries: 1 gram to 15 grams
- Tincture: 2 to 4 milliliters, three times daily
- Schisandra powder: 1.5 to 6 grams
- Schisandra tea: one to three cups of tea once daily
- Capsule: 1.5 grams, once daily
For more information on schisandra berry, click here.
10. Valerian root
While not as well-known as mint or basil, valerian is an incredibly effective herb that offers amazing health benefits, such as treating both sleep disorders and anxiety. This is why it’s one of my top supplements for stress.
This herb is known to contain sedative effects, and this is because it’s believed to bind GABA receptors in the brain and slow the removal of GABA from the body, resulting in a feeling of calm and relaxation.
This occurs because valerian contains both valepotriates, which have natural sedative properties, and sesquiterpenes, which contain calming properties.
According to a 2010 animal study, animals who were administered valerian extract exhibited a significant reduction in anxious behaviors. 
Additionally, it’s important to note that low GABA levels are linked to anxiety. And due to how valerian benefits your GABA levels, it naturally combats anxiety. 
While valerian benefits typically outweigh the possible side effects, it’s important to know that taking too much valerian can trigger anxiety attacks. So, if you plan on taking valerian to ease your anxiety, remember to consult with your physician about your optimal dosage.
For more information on valerian, click here.
Shopping for Supplements for Stress
Last year, after receiving many inquiries about how to find quality supplements and hearing frustrations about the lack of reputable options, I decided to release my own supplement line—with a special focus on supplying supplements for stress.
From products designed to give you energy to those that promote calm, I feel everyone should have access to supplements for stress. with proven effective ingredients. My line is featured at http://www.totalhealthapothecary.com, and many of the herbs and nutrients listed above are included in the ingredients.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed on a regular basis, I want to encourage you to head over to www.totalhealthapothecary.com and check out these supplements for stress for yourself.
You’ll find products such as:
- Total B Complex—a B-complex vitamin that contains all B vitamins.
- Total Energy—featuring ashwagandha, schisandra berry, and rhodiola.
- Total Stress Support— featuring ashwagandha, rhodiola, and phosphatidylserine.
- Total Mineral—featuring magnesium and other minerals designed to support your body’s functioning.
- And more!
Take time to read the product descriptions on these supplements for stress and even download the PDF informational packets to help determine which products may be right for you.
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