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Discover What Really Works For Anxiety

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Herbs & Supplements for Anxiety: An In-Depth Guide to Anxiety Supplements

Article Summary:

An in-depth guide to the best anxiety supplements and herbs for anxiety and panic attacks backed by professional research. Discover what works...

The use of herbs and supplements for anxiety (and many other health-related issues) has increased drastically over the past two decades.

This increased popularity of supplements has occurred in direct proportion to our growing understanding of how specific herbs and supplements work.

Scientific research has shown over and over again the effectiveness of various plants, herbs, and natural supplements in reducing anxiety.

There are herbs and supplements available that have been proven to provide anti-anxiety benefits similar to prescription drugs without adverse side effects.

Beyond the research, there are countless experiences of those who have gained relief from taking an herb or other natural supplement for anxiety, stress, and panic attacks.

We are discovering what healers in the Ayurvedic, Chinese medicine, and Shamanistic traditions have known for centuries.

Certain plants have an inherent ability to heal us.

These deep healing traditions have taken on a new level of understanding due to our rapid acceleration of knowledge in neuroscience and biology.

We now have a more profound understanding of nutritional supplements and their role in the body.

Natural and manufactured supplements (including the latest nootropics) can directly affect specific brain and nervous system areas.

Many effective natural options are also available for those looking for a safe alternative to medication for anxiety.

With an almost endless number of supplements available today that claim to offer various health benefits….

How do we determine…

The herbs and supplements that are safe and effective?

The supplements that actually reduce anxiety?

The brands that are the safest to use while offering the highest quality?

In this guide, you will find the answers to these questions.

You'll discover our favorite supplements and supplement brands.

Supplements that have been proven effective through scientific research and personal experience.

The anxiety supplements listed below have helped thousands of people effectively manage or minimize their anxiety – they may be able to help you too!

Disclaimer: Discuss anxiety treatment options with your healthcare provider before taking dietary supplements. The information provided is meant for information only and should not be treated as medical advice.

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Trusted Supplement Brands

New supplement companies are constantly popping up, especially on sites like Amazon.

Starting a supplement company seems to be something anyone can do nowadays.

Import some herbs or bulk supplements from China or India, add a fancy label, and you now own a supplement company.

While I'm not discounting every new supplement company that has come out, caution needs to be applied when purchasing something you will be taking into your body.

Many of these companies have good intentions and source their products from reputable sources – some do not.

Using trusted brands that source quality ingredients in the proper dosages is highly recommended.

Below are the brands that we trust and use.

These brands have a track record for safe, tested, quality ingredients.

If you're ever in doubt about a brand, go with one from the list below.

In addition, we've also added the brand we use for specific supplements.

The bottle pictured for each supplement is the brand we use and have found to work the best.

  • Now
  • Jarrow
  • Doctor's Best
  • Thorne Research
  • Source Naturals
  • Solaray
  • Perfect Supplements
  • Life Extension
  • Pure Encapsulations

Advice Before Taking Supplements

Your goal for taking supplements should be balanced and finding what works for you in the minimum viable dosage.

Begin by trying one supplement, giving it time, and see how it works for you.

Trying many supplements at once is never a good idea and can do more harm than good.

By trying one supplement at a time, you can keep the ones that work and eliminate the ones that don't or cause unwanted side effects.

Taking multiple supplements from the start will make it difficult to determine which one benefits you most. Be patient, go slowly, and shoot for the minimum dosage that works for you.

***Always consult your doctor before taking new supplements, especially if you are taking prescription medications. Even natural supplements can have side effects and interfere with your current medications***

The List of Recommended Supplements for Anxiety (Anti-Anxiety Supplements)

We will continue to update this list as research continues and new supplements are released.

The supplements below are listed in no particular order because what may work for one person may have little to no effect on another person.

Everyone's brain and body chemistry is different.

Do not become discouraged if a highly touted anti-anxiety supplement does not benefit you.

Some supplements take time to build up in the system before any real effects are noticed.

You may feel very subtle benefits in the beginning or nothing at all.

It is best to give a new supplement at least a week or two before ruling it out unless you are experiencing adverse side effects.

If you experience side effects, discontinue use immediately.

**Note: We believe you should always cycle herbs/supplements. Please read the advice given for each supplement about cycling.



Magnesium is one of our most highly recommended supplements for anxiety. Responsible for over 300 mind and body processes, including proper nerve and muscle function, it is essential for overall health. It is believed that 60%-80% of the population is magnesium deficient. Many people have reported a significant reduction or even elimination of anxiety and panic attacks by correcting their magnesium deficiency.

Potential Benefits:

  • improves health (magnesium deficient)
  • decreases anxiety
  • reduces muscular tension
  • reduces the frequency of headaches and migraines
  • promotes proper nerve function
  • promotes proper calcium metabolism

Recommended Forms:

Magnesium Glycinate

Magnesium Citrate

Possible Side effects:

Side effects are generally few and mild, with the most common side effect being stomach upset and diarrhea. The type of side effect typically depends on the form of magnesium taken.



GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric Acid) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and body. It is responsible for reducing neuronal excitability, calming the brain and nervous system, and having other functions in the body and organs. GABA levels in the brain have long been linked to anxiety. Most anti-anxiety medications, sleep aids, and many herbs and supplements, such as Ashwagandha and Kava, act on GABA receptors in some form. GABA can also be taken directly as a supplement. Although there is some debate on whether a pure GABA supplement can cross the blood-brain barrier, many people (including myself) find it effective.

Potential Benefits:

  • can be very effective for anxiety
  • increases GABA activity in the brain
  • reduces stress
  • decreases inflammation
  • reduces tension
  • promotes physical and mental relaxation
  • can improve sleep
  • can improve focus
  • can offer pain relief by calming nerves

Recommended Forms:

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric Acid)


Possible Side effects:

GABA is generally safe for most people but can lower blood pressure in some individuals. You shouldn't supplement GABA with other drugs or supplements that affect GABA, such as alcohol or prescription meds. Talk to your doctor if you take any medications, as there may be an interaction with GABA.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

NOW Supplements, GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid)500mg + B6, 200 Veg Capsules

Dosage: Dosage varies widely from 200 mg per day to 1500 mg per day. Typically for anxiety, the recommended dosage is 500-1500 mg daily. Start with a low dose and work your way up to what works best for you.

Cycle Usage: We recommend cycling off GABA after 2-3 weeks of continuous use or use as needed.

gaba for anxiety



Ashwagandha is an excellent adaptogenic herb primarily used to prevent anxiety and manage stress by lowering cortisol levels. Ashwagandha also has a slew of additional health benefits. A well-researched herb, Ashwagandha has documented studies proving its many benefits. It is one of our favorite herbal supplements for managing stress and anxiety and one of our favorite supplements for anxiety overall. Its effect on users is varied. Some find it slightly stimulating, improving the ability to focus, while others find it more relaxing and improving sleep. Ashwagandha can increase both GABA and serotonin in the brain. Like other adaptogens, Ashwagandha can take time to build up in the system (typically at least 1-2 weeks) before full effects are experienced.

Potential Benefits:

  • can reduce anxiety
  • can prevent anxiety
  • reduces stress
  • lowers cortisol levels
  • neuroprotective (brain protection)
  • lowers cholesterol levels
  • reduces fatigue
  • can improve focus
  • can increase both GABA and serotonin in the brain
  • improves athletic performance

Recommended Forms:



Lab-tested root extract (such as our favorite below)

Possible Side effects:

Although considered a safe herbal supplement, it can cause stomach upset in large doses.

Ashwagandha is known to increase thyroid hormone. Those with thyroid issues should talk to a doctor before using.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Pure Encapsulations Ashwagandha – 120 capsules

Dosage: One capsule per day, with or without a meal

Cycle Usage: We recommend cycling off Ashwagandha after 6-8 weeks of daily use.

ashwagandha for anxiety



5-HTP is the most effective serotonin-boosting supplement available. Many supplements and even prescription drugs are often compared to 5-HTP for their effectiveness at increasing serotonin levels. Unlike Tryptophan which can convert into other compounds, such as niacin, in the body, 5-HTP's sole function is conversion into serotonin. This gives 5-HTP more powerful mood-boosting effects and a nearly immediate release of serotonin into the brain and body. If low serotonin is an issue, 5-HTP can be one of the best options, rivaling prescription drugs such as SSRIs. It is a potent and effective supplement for increasing serotonin.

Potential Benefits:

  • increases serotonin in the brain
  • can decrease anxiety
  • can improve symptoms of depression
  • can help to reduce stress
  • relaxes and calms the mind
  • can be effective for panic attacks
  • regulates the appetite
  • promotes healthy sleep patterns

Recommended Forms:

5-HTP from Griffonia simplicifolia extract

A 5-HTP that also contains vitamin B6 (helps the body convert 5htp to serotonin)

Possible Side effects:

5-HTP is a potent serotonin booster and should be treated as such. Side effects can vary. The most common side effects are drowsiness and stomach-related issues.

Do not combine with other supplements that increase serotonin.

Consult your doctor before use if you are taking any prescription drugs, especially an SSRI or MAO inhibitor. 5-HTP can lower dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain over time. Taking a dopamine-boosting supplement like Tyrosine is sometimes recommended if taking 5-HTP for an extended period.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

NOW Supplements, 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) 50 mg, Neurotransmitter Support*, 90 Veg Capsules

Dosage: Normal dosage ranges from 50mg to 300mg per day, divided throughout the day. To begin, try starting with 50mg per day with a meal.

Cycle Usage: We do not recommend taking 5-HTP for more than 6-8 weeks without a break. Users have reported a tolerance when taken for extended periods. Long-term daily use can lower dopamine in the brain.

5htp for anxiety

Rhodiola Rosea


Like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola is a highly effective "adaptogenic" herb and another one of our favorite herbs for anxiety. It is our favorite herb when dealing with excessive stress, lack of sleep, or burnout. Rhodiola Rosea is a popular herbal supplement known for its ability to reduce stress and fatigue and protect the brain and nervous system (neuroprotective abilities). It can also be a cognitive booster and promote healthy adrenal glands (overworked adrenal glands is known as "burnout" or adrenal fatigue). Rhodiola increases serotonin levels and has been proven effective for stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. It is also one of the few supplements we know of that can be effective for symptoms of anhedonia.

Potential Benefits:

  • increases serotonin in the brain
  • possible MAO inhibitor
  • can reduce anxiety
  • can improve symptoms of depression
  • reduces stress
  • reduces fatigue
  • neuroprotective
  • reduces physical symptoms of caffeine and nicotine withdrawal
  • cognitive booster: mental clarity, memory, focus
  • improves mood and feelings of well being

Recommended Forms:

Siberian Rhodiola Rosea

A 3:1 ratio of Rosavins (3%) and Salidrosides (1%)

Possible Side effects:

Rhodiola is generally safe for most people, with few side effects. Some people have reported feelings of restlessness and excess energy with some forms of Rhodiola. However, this may be due to a poor quality supplement or an improper balance of Rosavins to Salidrosides (see left). However, these could be possible side effects for some who are sensitive to this herb.

Talk to your doctor before taking if you are currently taking any other medications.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Rhodiola is one of my favorite herbal supplements and one of my overall favorite supplements for anxiety. It's also one of the very few herbs I still take today. I have tried MANY different brands and forms of Rhodiola, and Perfect Supplements is easily my favorite brand. Perfect Supplements brand Rhodiola is one of the very few genuine wild Siberian Rhodiola Rosea. -Robert

Perfect Rhodiola Rosea, Optimal 3% Rosavins to 1% Salidroside Ratio, 60 Vegetable Capsules

Dosage: Normal dosage ranges from 200mg to 400mg per day. We recommend starting with one capsule with breakfast (200mg). You can add a second capsule if you feel the need and respond well.

Cycle Usage: Although not always required, we believe you should always cycle supplements, some at shorter intervals than others.

Typically I would only take Rhodiola for a maximum of 6 weeks before taking a break.

rhodiola for anxiety



Phenibut is a powerful anxiolytic supplement that significantly reduces anxiety and stress for many people. It can also provide cognitive benefits. Phenibut may help those with social anxiety by lowering inhibitions and increasing sociability. Phenibut works with GABA receptors in the brain to promote relaxation and a sense of calm. A user's tolerance builds up quickly, and physical and psychological dependency can occur. Daily supplementation is NOT recommended.

Potential Benefits:

  • reduces anxiety and stress
  • increases relaxation
  • reduces inhibitions
  • increases sociability
  • can help to minimize over-active thinking
  • can be effective for social anxiety
  • cognitive improvements, such as vocabulary recall
  • can generate feelings of euphoria at higher doses

Onset Time & Effects

Phenibut has one of the longest onset times of any supplement. (Onset time means: when the supplement's effects can begin to be felt). Most people do not start to feel the effects of Phenibut until 1-2 hours after ingestion. This extended onset time is why it is important not to increase your dosage until the next time you use it. The delay in effects may make you believe that it isn't working. The effects also last much longer than most supplements, with the strongest effects felt for around 4-5 hours and minor effects felt for longer. If you decide to try Phenibut, keep this in mind to plan your usage accordingly.

Warnings & Interactions

Always stay within the recommended dosage and do not use more than twice per week. Phenibut has a real potential for abuse, dependency, and addiction. People using Phenibut at higher than suggested dosages have reported dependency and withdrawal symptoms. Phenibut should NOT be combined with alcohol, benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, etc.), or other GABA agonists

Our Take On Phenibut:

We do not recommend Phenibut as a daily supplement for anxiety. In much the same we do not recommend benzodiazepines unless necessary. Phenibut has many of the same risks as benzodiazepine drugs, including physical and psychological dependency and withdrawal. Other supplements for anxiety are much safer and just as effective. If you decide to try Phenibut, always use a trusted vendor that performs lab testing on their products.



Theanine is a popular amino acid supplement primarily used to promote relaxation and lower stress levels while improving focus. Theanine is found naturally in specific types of teas. Theanine is an excellent daytime supplement that doesn't cause drowsiness and has the rare benefit of working synergistically with stimulants like caffeine. Supplementing Theanine with coffee or other stimulants can improve focus and energy while reducing jitteriness and nervousness.

Potential Benefits:

  • relaxes the mind
  • increases Gaba in the brain
  • promotes Alpha brainwaves
  • can improve concentration and learning ability
  • works synergistically with caffeine
  • improves the focus and energy of caffeine and other stimulants while reducing associated nervousness and crash
  • lowers stress

Recommended Forms:

Suntheanine is currently the most studied and widely regarded form of Theanine

Possible Side effects:

Theanine is generally considered safe and side effects are typically mild. The most common side effects are headache and dizziness.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Jarrow Formulas Theanine, Promotes Relaxation, 100 mg, 60 Count

Dosage: Take one capsule once or twice daily on an empty stomach as needed. In addition to Jarrow's Theanine, most brands using Suntheanine are worth trying.

Cycle Usage: Although not always required, we believe you should cycle supplements, some at shorter intervals than others.

theanine for anxiety



Passionflower is a popular herbal supplement for anxiety and restlessness and promotes a calm state of mind. It is typically used with herbs such as lemon balm or valerian root. Passionflower is an excellent addition to most herbal remedies but works exceptionally well on its own. Passionflower is believed to work by increasing GABA in the brain, which promotes calm and relaxation making it an effective natural anxiety supplement.

Potential Benefits:

  • can reduce anxiety
  • increases GABA in the brain
  • reduces restlessness
  • reduces inner tension
  • reduces agitation
  • promotes a calm state of mind
  • can be effective for social anxiety

Recommended Forms:

Passionflower extracts and whole aerial varieties of Passiflora incarnata work very well

Possible Side effects:

Passionflower is a generally well-tolerated supplement, and its side effects are generally mild. The most commonly reported side effects are dizziness, mild confusion, and drowsiness.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Solaray, Passion Flower 350mg, 100 Capsules

Dosage: take one capsule, 1 to 2 times daily as needed

Cycle Usage: Although not always required, we believe all supplements should be cycled, some at shorter intervals than others.

passionflower for anxiety

N-acetylcysteine (NAC)


NAC is one of the few supplements on this list not explicitly used for anxiety but can offer profound relief from anxiety symptoms. Specifically, NAC can effectively control obsessive thinking, compulsions, and OCD. NAC is the Acetyl form of L-Cysteine, the precursor to glutathione, the body's natural antioxidant and detoxifying agent. It can be effective for detoxing heavy metals and other environmental toxins. NAC also supports liver and lung function and offers many health benefits.

Along with Magnesium, NAC is one of our overall favorite daily supplements. It is one of the most effective supplements for those suffering from obsessive thoughts and obsessive behaviors (such as nail biting or hair pulling). It can be an effective natural anxiety supplement.

Potential Benefits:

  • can reduce anxiety
  • helps with obsessive thinking
  • helps support those with OCD and compulsive tics
  • increases the body's production of glutathione, an antioxidant
  • supports liver function (removes toxins from the body)
  • helps balance glutamate levels in the brain
  • supports lung function (possibly beneficial for those with COPD and sleep apnea)
  • reduces irritability
  • possibly useful for addiction and withdrawal
  • detoxifies heavy metals and toxins (which can be a cause of anxiety in and of itself)

Recommended Forms:

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) in a quick + sustained release formula

Possible Side effects:

Although generally well tolerated and safe, NAC can cause nausea and upset stomach in some people. NAC can also stimulate the immune system, which could be good or bad, depending on your current health.

NAC can interfere with the absorption of medications. Talk to your doctor before taking NAC if you take a prescription drug.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Jarrow Formulas N-A-C Sustain, 600 mg, 100 Sustain tabs

Dosage: take one tablet once or twice daily on an empty stomach

Cycle Usage: Although not always required, we believe all supplements should be cycled, some at shorter intervals than others.

nac for anxiety



Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts into serotonin, melatonin, and niacin in the brain and body. It is primarily used for insomnia and to improve sleep. It can also be effective for anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. The fact that Tryptophan converts into other compounds makes it a less reliable serotonin booster than 5-HTP. It is a pretty effective sleep aid. Tryptophan also makes a great daily/long-term supplement for those looking to maintain serotonin levels. We recommend 5-HTP over Tryptotphan for increasing serotonin and mood enhancement. We recommend Tryptophan for serotonin maintenance and sleep.

Potential Benefits:

  • naturally increases the brain chemicals serotonin and melatonin
  • can be effective for anxiety and panic attacks
  • improves mood and promotes relaxation
  • supports immune function
  • can improve sleep quality
  • effective for insomnia
  • can improve depression

Recommended Forms:


Possible Side effects:

Tryptophan is generally considered safe, and the most common side effects are drowsiness, fatigue, and stomach problems. Talk to your doctor before taking if you are currently taking an SSRI, MAO inhibitor, or any other drug or supplement that affects serotonin levels.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Source Naturals L-Tryptophan 500mg Essential Amino Acid Supplement – 120 Capsules

Dosage: for anxiety or depression, take one capsule 3 times a day between meals; for insomnia, take 2-3 capsules before bed; for serotonin maintenance, take 1-3 capsules daily as needed

Cycle Usage: Although not always required, we believe all supplements should be cycled, some at shorter intervals than others.

tryptophan for anxiety

Valerian Root


Valerian is a popular nighttime herbal supplement commonly used for relaxation and sedation. It is believed to work by enhancing GABA signaling. It can be helpful for anxiety, nervousness, relaxation, and falling asleep at the end of the day. It can be a generally effective sleep aid. Valerian can be combined with other herbs, like Passion Flower, to create a more profound effect.

Potential Benefits:

  • promotes calm and relaxation
  • can help fall asleep faster
  • enhances GABA signaling in the brain
  • can reduce restlessness and anxiety
  • potentially helpful for insomnia
  • can be combined with other herbs for a more significant effect

Recommended Forms:

Valerian Root

Possible Side effects:

Valerian Root is generally considered safe. Drowsiness, fatigue, sleepiness, and strange dreams are the most common side effects. Talk to your doctor before taking if you are currently taking a sedative. Do not mix with alcohol.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

NOW Supplements, Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis) 500 mg, Herbal Supplement, 250 Veg Capsules

Dosage: take two capsules before bedtime

Cycle Usage: Although not always required, we believe all supplements should be cycled, some at shorter intervals than others.

valerian root for anxiety



Turmeric and its main bioactive compound, Curcumin, are supplements primarily used for their anti-inflammatory effects on the brain, body, and joints. Although not often discussed, brain inflammation can be a hidden cause of anxiety symptoms. Curcumin has recently been studied for its ability to modulate serotonin and dopamine and for its effectiveness in treating major depression. Many people have experienced a notable reduction in both anxiety and depression by supplementing with Curcumin.

Our recommendation primarily refers to Curcumin - the more researched of the two - however, some users have reported more significant anxiety relief through a natural Turmeric supplement. You may consider trying both if you consider inflammation to be an underlying cause of your anxiety or depression.

Potential Benefits:

  • a potent anti-inflammatory for the brain and body
  • a natural antioxidant, it may help to neutralize free radicals
  • supports joint health
  • may reduce anxiety caused by brain inflammation
  • can reduce inflammation and pain
  • neuroprotective
  • proven to reduce symptoms of depression
  • modulates both serotonin and dopamine
  • possible MAO inhibitor

Recommended Forms:

Curcumin from Turmeric Root with Black Pepper Extract (Bioperine, Piperine, etc.)

Organic Turmeric Root Powder (for use in smoothies, shakes, or as an ingredient )

BCM-95 (provides better absorption than standard Curcumin but doesn't contain black pepper extract)

Possible Side effects:

Curcumin is generally safe; however, some people can develop an upset stomach, heartburn, or indigestion. Some people respond negatively to Black Pepper Extract. The most common side effects are stomach-related issues like diarrhea and nausea. If you react negatively to black pepper extract, try a Curcumin supplement like BCM-95 (Life Extension Curcumin Elite contains BCM-95), which doesn't have BPE.

Curcumin has been known to interfere with anti-platelet and anti-coagulant drugs. Talk to your doctor before supplementing with Curcumin if you take these types of drugs.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Doctor's Best Curcumin from Turmeric Root, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free, 500mg Caps with C3 Complex & BioPerine, 120 Capsules

Dosage: take two capsules with a meal, either together or splitting into two doses

Cycle Usage: Although not always recommended, we believe all supplements should be cycled, some at shorter intervals.

curcumin for anxiety

Kanna (Sceletium Tortousom)


Sceletium Tortuosom, commonly known as Kanna, is an herbal supplement traditionally used before stressful events to reduce anxiety and improve cognition. Today Kanna is primarily used to elevate mood, reduce anxiety and tension, and as a natural anti-depressant. Kanna is believed to work similarly to an SSRI (Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.) and can increase the amount of serotonin in the brain. Therefore Kanna should not be taken with other serotonin-regulating drugs or supplements. Although an often overlooked herbal supplement, many people find Kanna extremely effective for anxiety.

Potential Benefits:

  • can reduce anxiety and inner tension
  • can reduce panic attacks
  • increases and regulates serotonin
  • can work as a natural anti-depressant
  • improves mood
  • reduces stress
  • promotes a feeling of well being

Recommended Forms:

Zembrin – a patented and clinically tested Kanna extract

Possible Side effects:

Kanna is typically safe for supplementation. The most common side effects are headache and nausea.

Avoid taking Kanna if you take an SSRI, MAOI, or other serotonin-regulating drugs or supplements.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Doctor's Best Calm-Z with Zembrin, Calm, Stress & Mood Support, 25mg Veggie Caps, 60Count

Dosage: take one tablet, 1 to 2 times daily

Cycle Usage: We recommend cycling Kanna by taking 1-2 days off after 7-10 days of continuous use.

zembrin for anxiety



Kava is a popular herbal supplement traditionally used to reduce anxiety, promote feelings of well-being and social engagement, and overall calm in the brain and body. Many studies have proven Kava's effectiveness as an anxiolytic supplement, even placing it on par with many prescription anti-anxiety drugs. Kava is known to modulate GABA receptors in the brain, promoting a more calm state of mind. Kava can also reduce inflammation and pain.

Potential Benefits:

  • reduces anxiety
  • may be effective for social anxiety
  • promotes feelings of calm and well being
  • lowers feelings of stress
  • possible cognitive enhancement
  • improves sleep quality
  • improves sociability
  • can reduce pain
  • can reduce inflammation

Recommended Forms:

Kava extracts with at least 20% kavalactones; otherwise, look into authentic kava vendors selling "noble" Kava. You can find a list of excellent vendors here TRUE KAVA.

Possible Side effects:

Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue, and upset stomach. Kava can cause liver damage with repeated high-dose usage.

Kava was implicated in causing liver damage in some people; however, studies have shown that this only seems to occur at very high dosages over time, not at average doses. Typical Kava use tends to have similar effects on the liver as consuming alcohol. Kava should only be used occasionally, and high doses should be avoided.

Those with liver issues should avoid Kava.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Micronized Instant Kava Powder – Fiji Loa Waka (4 oz)

Dosage: Follow the seller's advice on the dosage for their product. Start low to determine tolerance. Different types of Kava tend to have different effects. This Fiji Loa Waka is best used at night as it can have a strong sedating effect. It tends to work very well for strong evening anxiety or insomnia.

Cycle Usage: Kava should only be used occasionally.

kava for anxiety

Bacopa Monnieri


Bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic herb primarily known for its cognitive and memory-enhancing benefits. Bacopa has also been proven effective for preventing anxiety and modulating the anxiety response. Bacopa is an adaptogen, like Ashwagandha, that helps balance response to stress and anxiety. Like other adaptogens, Bacopa must be taken daily for an extended period before you will experience the full benefits of the herb. At least 2-4 weeks are typically needed for full anxiolytic effects. For cognitive effects, 8-12 weeks. In the brain, Bacopa increases serotonin and regulates dopamine. Bacopa also has many additional benefits for the brain and nervous system, such as having neuroprotective qualities and reducing neuroinflammation.

Potential Benefits:

  • can prevent anxiety
  • helps modulate the stress/anxiety response
  • promotes a more balanced mental state
  • lowers feelings of stress
  • improves cognition
  • improves memory
  • a natural antioxidant
  • improves neuronal communication in the brain and nervous system
  • neuroprotective
  • reduces neuroinflammation

Recommended Forms:

Standardized Extracts with at least 50% Bacosides

"Synapsa" standardized extract

Possible Side effects:

Bacopa can cause stomach upset if taken on an empty stomach. It is recommended to take Bacopa with a meal. Bacopa is fat soluble; taking it with a meal containing a moderate amount of fat can help improve absorption.

Bacopa can cause a loss of motivation and brain fog in certain people. If this is the case for you, discontinuing supplementation is best.

Recommended Brand & Dosage:

Doctor's Best Bacopa with Synapsa, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Helps Enhance Memory, 320 mg, 60 Veggie Caps

Note: only a few Bacopa supplements (extracts) contain a high percentage of Bacosides. Synapsa is currently the most well-researched standardized extract and contains 55% Bacosides.

Dosage: 1 capsule daily as directed, generally best if taken with a meal to avoid stomach upset

Cycle Usage: Bacopa tends to work gradually and can take 8-12 weeks to get the full benefits. When I use Bacopa, I typically take it for 3-4 months.

bacopa for anxiety
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