There has been a rise in anxiety in the UK over the recent years, with aspects like the financial crash, Brexit, climate change, a pandemic and social media having a huge impact on our lives. It is natural to feel concerns over our rapidly changing world; however, feeling anxious is not a sustainable way of living and can lead to future health concerns. If you are looking for a natural way to calm your nerves, anxiety supplements are a safe and effective way to help you find balance and calm.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is not the same thing as stress. Stress comes and goes and is based on an external factor such as a stressful project at work or money problems. On the other hand, anxiety can linger, and you may not be able to pinpoint why you feel it.
According to the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, women in the UK were more likely than men to have reported common mental health symptoms, and one in five women or 19 per cent, had reported CMD symptoms, compared with one in eight men (12 per cent).
So why are women more likely to have CMD symptoms than men? If we add hormones into the mix, such as being premenopausal or menopausal or hormonal contraception and the symptoms that these can bring, we can see why this can lead to anxious thoughts. These might include worries about ageing, health, careers, appearance and changes in our lives.
We talked to Lola Biggs, a dietitian at natural health supplement brand - Together Health, who are on a mission to provide the cleanest, most natural, effective, and affordable health supplements on the market; to discuss what to look for in anxiety supplements.
What to look for in anxiety supplements
Making sure the supplements you choose include the right ingredients to manage anxiety is essential, Lola says. "It's also important that your supplements are as 'clean' as possible. You are putting these in your body, so keep clear of artificial additives, unnecessary fillers, and allergens."
She suggests looking for formulas that use organic ingredients, chemical-free processes and ingredients in their whole food state as these generally mean better quality ingredients and better quality supplements.
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens is quite the buzzword right now, but what does it mean? Lola told us that, "Adaptogens are a unique set of herbs and plants that can help the body adapt, adjust, and recalibrate itself depending on our physical and emotional surroundings. They help relieve stress by modulating the release of stress hormones from the adrenal glands."
She went on to add, "Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are two of the most powerful of these herbs as they have excellent benefits as stand-alone herbs, but it can also be very effective to pair them together as they can work synergistically to provide you with a focused, calm, and stabilized energy through the day."
What ingredients to look out for in supplements for anxiety?
There are so many different supplements on the market for anxiety it can be hard to choose what one will work for you. Lola breaks down what ingredients to look out for in anxiety supplements.
Lola said, “Two of the most renowned ingredients known for their wellbeing benefits are rhodiola and ashwagandha. Both adaptogens, rhodiola, often referred to as the ‘golden root’, can help reduce anxiety, promote higher energy and general feelings of better wellbeing, and improve overall cognition. You can also look for ingredients such as schisandra, a lesser-known but still powerful adaptogen as well as St. John’s Wort, valerian, 5-HTP, B-complex and magnesium.”
She finishes by saying, “It’s important to remember that while supplements can be hugely beneficial, it can be advisable to ask your GP first before taking them just in case they interfere with any medication you are taking”
So, now that you know what to look for, let's take a look at these ingredients and the best supplements for anxiety that will be safe, effective and will help reduce your nerves.
The best supplements for anxiety
Ashwagandha is a herb that has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to help support stress and focus. It enables the body to adapt to both environmental and psychological stresses and can be beneficial for calming nervous tension and aiding more peaceful sleep. Nowadays, it has gained popularity as a remedy for stress and anxiety, sometimes known as winter cherry and Indian ginseng.
Ashwagandha Together Health Supplement
This Ashwagandha supplement from Together Health is vegan-friendly, highly absorbable, gentle on the stomach, 100 per cent clean and free from artificial additives and processing aids. It comes with 30 supplements per pack; take one per day to help restore balance.
A passion flower, also known as Passiflora incarnata, is a climbing vine with white and purple flowers which contain chemicals that have calming effects. It is native to the southeastern United States and Central and South America. It's been traditionally used to help with sleep. When dried, they can be used for making tea or in a supplement capsule or liquid form.
Holland & Barrett Stress Relief Passionflower 30 Tablets 425mg
These tablets from Holland & Barrett contain 425mg of passion flower extract only. It comes with 30 tablets to be taken once daily. This is a traditional herbal medicine used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as mild anxiety.
Bach Original Rescue Remedy 20ml
Rescue Remedy has been around for a long time and uses a combination of five natural flower essences. It is a liquid supplement, so this would be a good choice if you prefer to take your supplements this way.
Since the second century A.D, Valerian has been used to ease insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness. It comes from a pink flowering plant native to Europe and Asia.
You can get a tea or tincture of the plant’s dried roots and capsules or tablets of the dried plant. While some people may feel the effects of valerian root quickly, many note that the herb works best when they take it for a week or two. However, research has not fully explored the long-term effects of valerian.
Holland & Barrett Valerian Plus 30 Tablets
There are 30 supplements in this pack made from 125mg valerian root extract and 250mg of passion flower herb extract. Valerian has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Greek and Chinese medicine. The addition of passion flower to this calming supplement is beneficial and complementary to the effects of valerian.
One of the most abundant minerals in the body, magnesium plays an essential role in many of our bodily functions and has several health benefits. One of the reasons magnesium may reduce anxiety is that it may improve brain function. Research shows that magnesium plays a vital role in regulating neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout the brain and body.
Precision Engineered Magnesium with Zinc 90 Tablets
This magnesium with zinc from Precision Engineered contains 90 tablets and contributes to the normal function of the nervous system, helps normal psychological function, and maintains normal bones.
Elixinol Serene CBD Water Soluble Tincture 10ml
Serene Water-Soluble Tincture was made to sustain normal mental performance. It contains a blend of water-soluble CBD, biotin and pantothenic acid. Either add 200ml of cold water or place it under the tongue. It is vegan friendly and free from added sugar, colours and flavours.
Most people in the UK are vitamin D deficient, and as vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients that helps balance mood and keeps your brain healthy, we should all be supplementing it. Research has connected low vitamin D levels with depression, suggesting that a deficiency may also be tied to other mood disorders, including anxiety.
The human body naturally makes vitamin D when it’s exposed to sunlight. We can also get it from certain foods or through supplements. Vitamin D is essential for supporting your immune system and for many functions in the body. As we cannot absorb as much Vitamin D from the sun during the colder and darker months, supplements are essential.
Look for drops or supplements that contain Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2. These should always be combined as they work together synergistically to ensure that calcium obtained from food is deposited in the bones and not in the arteries and helps with the vitamin D absorption in the body. We have selected the two best options below.
Nutri Advanced D3 Drops with K2 30ml
Vitamin D3 is the best form of supplemental vitamin D as this is the form made by the skin in response to sun exposure, paired with vitamin K2, which contributes to the maintenance of normal bones. This 30ml D3 with K2 drops from Nutri Advanced are orange flavoured and should be taken once or twice daily. You can either take it by applying three drops on the tongue or in water. This product is suitable for vegetarians.
Howard & James Vitamin D3 4000iu Plus Vitamin K2 100ug
Howard & James' Vitamin D3 K2 contains 4000iu of vitamin D and is one of the best high strength supplements on the market. There are 120 in each bottle to be taken once daily. The 100ug tablets also contain no artificial flavours, colours, preservatives or sweeteners and are suitable for vegans.
Rhodiola is a fantastic natural, non-toxic herb and adaptogen that has been shown to improve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue and stress-related burnout.
Stress Aid Complex Together Health
The Together Health Stress Aid is made with herbal extracts and is a food-based complex blending 11 food-based vitamins and minerals. It contains eight essential B vitamins, ocean sourced magnesium and three key adaptogenic herbs (Schisandra, Ashwagandha and Rhodiola). Take one capsule a day to support your body during busy or anxious times and help your body manage how it responds to stress.
B-complex vitamins contain all eight B vitamins, which may help improve mood and reduce stress by either lowering homocysteine levels or maintaining healthy levels of this amino acid. When taken in a supplement form, it may relieve stress, boost cognitive performance, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
B-Vitamin Complex u2013 Together Health
This B Complex supplement contains all eight essential B-vitamins, including folic acid in folate form and Methylcobalamin, the highly absorbed form of B12. Take one capsule a day to support your daily wellbeing.
How long does it take for anxiety supplements to have an effect?
Lola from Together Health told us, "With most vitamins, consistency is key. Taking them regularly is the best way to ensure your body has what it needs to respond positively to daily stressors. Supplements are most effective when taken over a longer period, so incorporating them into your long-term routine is the best way to get the most out of them. You’ll need to take any supplement every day for a few weeks at least before you see real benefits.”
Discussing anxiety is not all doom and gloom. As our world is more stimulating and busy than ever before, we will have more to process and think about than generations before us. We must give ourselves some credit for that.
Mental health statistics are on the rise due to a progressive open dialogue about mental health, and individuals feel more comfortable sharing their feelings and concerns.
Anxiety can be dealt with when we can free ourselves from our thoughts and return to our body to help us feel safe and grounded in the now. It can be done with practices such as meditation, taking natural supplements such as adaptogens, breathing exercises, getting out in nature and talking to a friend. When we understand the feeling, we can find ways to address it.
If you or anyone you know are exercising any anxiety symptoms reach out and talk to someone
Whether it’s a friend or a healthcare professional, hearing your thoughts out loud can be very helpful and comforting. There should be no shame in seeking help.
If you are looking for some guidance or would like to refer a family member or friend to a professional, then Mind's helplines provide information and support by phone and email.
Local Minds offer face-to-face services across England and Wales. These services include talking therapies, peer support and advocacy.
Or reach out on Side by Side, a supportive online community for anyone experiencing mental health struggles.