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Posted on / Dr. Laurie Pozun

Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Stress Reduction

Anxiety can be multifactorial in its origin. Genetic predisposition, neurochemical imbalance and stress (emotional or  physical) can further unmask or contribute to this expression of anxiety. A healthy balanced diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep will be paramount to reducing anxiety. In addition, several natural supplements can have a positive impact to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Read on to discover these natural remedies and improve your quality of life. 

Natural Remedies for Anxiety and Stress Reduction

Rhodiola - this is an herb that acts as an adaptogen (stimulates the body’s response and resistance to stress). It is useful for anxiety, chronic fatigue, poor sleep quality, “burn out”, short-term memory and concentration improvements.
Ashwagandha - another adaptogenic herb that improves resistance to anxiety, stress and supports the adrenal-cortical axis. It’s native to India and improves the body’s resilience to mental and physical stress. Studies show supplementation is linked with significant reduction in anxiety, stress and depression as well as a 23% reduction in cortisol levels. 
Melatonin - anxiety and stress contribute to insomnia. Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Levels naturally increase in the evening when it’s dark to promote sleep, then levels decline in the morning to promote wakefulness. Supplementation of melatonin will NOT affect natural production of melatonin and it is not addictive. Melatonin reduces the time necessary to fall asleep and helps you maintain sleep but may not improve overall sleep quality. 
Glycine - an amino acid used to make proteins in the body. Glycine calms the brain and reduces core body temperature. This helps improve sleep quality and reduces fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
L-Theanine - an amino acid commonly found in tea leaves. This promotes relaxation and reduces stress without a sedating effect. Green tea in particular is associated with reduction of anxiety and lowering of our fight-or-flight stress hormone, cortisol. Supplements contain 10 times the dosage of L-Theanine than in tea leaves and therefore supplementation is best at anxiety reduction. 
B-Complex Vitamins - there are eight B vitamins and they play a role in transforming our food into usable energy. They are essential for heart and brain health. Food sources include grains, legumes, meats, eggs and leafy greens. B-Complex vitamins can help to lower homocysteine — reduced homocysteine is linked with lower cardiovascular disease, stroke and blood clot risks as well and reduced stress, depression, fatigue, anxiety and improved energy. 
GABA - this is an inhibitory transmitter that produces a calming effect and reduces anxiety. GABA can also help promote a reduction of anxiety by stabilizing the gut microbiome. Brain wave activity is slowed using GABA which helps with reduction in anxiety, mental stress and improved sleep. Interestingly, chlorella (an algae high in GABA) can help naturally lower blood pressure, which in turn helps to promote sleep and anxiety reduction. 
Valerian Root - natures “Valium” and used since ancient times to promote tranquility and sleep. It reduces anxiety and inhibits GABA breakdown (this is the same mechanism as Xanax or Valium). Valerian root helps to regulate serotonin as well to improve mood.
Lemon Balm - from the mint family, lemon balm is calming, mood-boosting and anxiety reducing. It also can help improve cognitive function and memory, as well as reduce indigestion and nausea. 
Please speak with your LifeScape provider if you would like to consider any of these natural remedies to help manage anxiety and reduce stress. 

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