I've always known myself to be a nervous person, but unfortunately as I've gotten older my relationship with anxiety, stress, and insomnia has worsened. What used to be sweaty palms or minor pre-presentation tension is now a borderline panic attack. I have sought and tried professional medical help, but I hesitate to start regularly medicating myself for fear my waking life will become that of a loopy automaton. Sleeping pills were nice, but soon got addictive. I didn't like the direction this was going.
Instead I sought a more holistic approach, which includes mental and meditative exercises coupled with stress-fighting dietary supplements. Below I document my hunt for the ultimate dietary supplements to combat anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
- The links I included are to the products I myself have tried and (in the case of favorites & honorable mentions) personally recommend.
- In general I like the NOW brand, as I find it consistently potent. Nature's Way is also good.
- I don't like Japanese brand DHC. Their supplements seem very weak and do next to nothing for me. I gave up on that brand.
- Japanese brand Nichie is awesome. This is the one I use for Maca. Unfortunately, they don't offer my other favorites.
My Absolute Favorites
Inositol used to be considered a B-vitamin until scientists figured out that it can be synthesized by the human body. Basically a sugar alcohol, it's found in various foods including citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges, as well as nuts. Although extensive research is lacking (as is often the case with dietary supplements), it has been shown beneficial for sufferers of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder. Personally I notice a massive difference with Inositol. It kicks me out of that horrible anxiety feedback loop known as "rumination" and permits me a good night's sleep.
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2wohElm
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2vTnvzz
Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves, which reinforces my firm belief in the wholesome power of green tea. This supplement does wonders for my anxiety, taking the edge off without making me sleepy like prescription tranquilizers do. It also helps immensely with my insomnia by bringing my arousal and tension levels down to what I consider a normal person's level. I love that I can take it day or night without adverse side effects (like drowsiness).
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2woYKKX
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2xYtinV
Tryptophan is an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter known to be associated with improved mood and relaxation. It's proven particularly beneficial for me as an insomnia fighter. This one does tend to make me drowsy, so I only take it at night.
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2eU5ASF
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2wYAQIj
Cat's Claw Extract
Cat's Claw isn't known to directly alleviate stress; instead it's primarily considered an immune system booster. As stress and anxiety can certainly downgrade the body's immune response, I call in Cat's Claw when I feel the early symptoms of a (possibly stress-related) common cold. Perhaps it's just a "magic feather" phenomenon (like how many people swear by vitamin C), but it's since become the cornerstone of my feeling-a-cold-coming-on regimen.
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2y62oM6
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2xYMuSP
St. John's Wort
This one is known as a depression treatment. So while it doesn't directly target anxiety or stress, it relieves a commonplace ancillary condition. It does indeed work for me, but requires some patience as it takes time to build-up in the system. It took just over a week to notice any noteworthy change to my mood.
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2y4rA5s
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2jmwpUy
Maca is billed as an energy and virility booster for men, although the literature I read said that women can take it too. The only change I noticed with Maca is that it makes me extremely horny--like a wild Klingon targ in heat. I can't say if it did much for my anxiety or stress, but it certainly distracted me from work and other boring daily stressors. Consider Maca a laxative for the testicles. :-)
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2f5t3nu
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2w7cT4h
Others I Tried
This one is odd. It relaxes me somewhat, but not as well as L-Theanine. Additionally, shortly after taking it I sometimes felt a little short of breath, which was troubling to me and actually worsened my anxiety at times. This sensation soon wore off, but I gave up on it since my favorites are far more efficacious.
Here's the one I tried:
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2woELfi
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2xYGF7A
I personally didn't notice any benefit from taking Glycine. I might as well have been swallowing sugar tablets and flushing money down the toilet.
Here's the one I tried:
Amazon USA: http://amzn.to/2x0rDRl
Amazon Japan: http://amzn.to/2jo69c9
What are your ultimate natural non-prescription remedies for anxiety, stress, and insomnia?