The Journal

8 Herbs and Supplements for Stress and Anxiety


Ok…let’s all just take a breath. Inhale. Breathe in…count to 3, and exhale.

Stress can get the best of us. Has anyone ever told you to relax only to feel the exact opposite result? This is a good sign that your adrenals are near capacity and you could use a little extra support.

We’re big fans of meditation (try Headspace or head to Moment Meditation if you’re in Vancouver), hot epsom salt baths, and nature walks as ways to destress, but sometimes your body needs just a little bit more. Adding specific herbs and supplements to your routine will help you beat stress and maintain a balanced and calm state of being.
Many of the supplements used to mitigate stress are Adaptogens. Adaptogens are healing plants that balance, restore, and protect the body. They help your body respond to influences and stressors, normalizing your reactions and your body functions. They improve the health of your adrenal systems, where the body runs its hormonal response to stress. Healthy adrenals boost the body's ability to cope with anxiety in a slow and gentle way…so you don’t have to expect crashes or highs and lows that you get from stimulants such as caffeine. They’re the superhero of foods. Adaptogens adapt their function according to your body’s specific needs.
Eating a clean diet, getting a good night's sleep, having a daily form of movement or exercise, and practicing gratitude all help in combating stress. Adding adaptogens and superfoods to your diet can keep your cortisol levels low and keep stress and anxiety away.

8 Great Herbs and Supplements for Stress and Anxiety 

Maca is a root vegetable native to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru. Maca, one of our favourite superfoods for energy and harmony balancing, is also our go to for stress. It’s been used for thousands of yours and infamously was taken by Incan's before battle to remain calm. Macs help the body to regulate stressors in its environment. With a large range of nutrients, Maca benefits your overall well-being, which when we’re overall being well…stress is less of an issue. Maca, which is usually taken in powder form has over 20 different fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12 and B1 & B2, vitamin C, plus minerals, essential amino acids, and enzymes. Maca supports the nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system and helps reduce adrenal stress to bring our bodies back into that happy place we all long for.

Holy Basil, also known as tulsi is a member of the mint family and is celebrated in India for it's anti-aging properties. Holy basil helps in fighting fatigue and stress; boosting the immune system; and regulating blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormone levels. It’s great as a tea or as a powder to be added to smoothies.

Ashwagandha is our favourite adaptogen. It’s a real stress killer and a very popular adaptogen. It's a long time favourite in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha helps regulate the immune system and ease anxiety by boosting the immune system and helping the body lower its cortisol levels. Herbalists recommend it for people with high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and impotence associated with anxiety or exhaustion. Studies have shown it enhances endocrine function, especially in the thyroid and adrenals.

Chamomile, our favourite bedtime tea is a top performer at easing the mind. Before bed, brew up a nice cup of Chamomile. It has a mildly sedating effect. Chamomile tea is a nice and gentle relaxant that acts both as a nerve tonic and a sleeping aid. After a long day, if you’re mind is busy and you can't quiet the mind or slow down, brew yourself a hot cup of chamomile tea and feel the tension just float away.

B vitamins… something most of us could use more of. Many people are deficient in b vitamins… and b vitamins are one of the best vitamins for combatting stress and anxiety. B Vitamins play a major role in mood regulation, maintaining nerve health, in helping the body create serotonin, which aids the body’s ability to deal with depression, anxiety, and stress and in producing melatonin which is essential to your overall mood, relaxation and sleep. If you eat a plant-based diet, this is one supplement you definitely want to add to your regiment.

Magnesium is great for sleep, it helps relax muscles and is great for digestion and gut health. Magnesium also helps lower blood pressure and stress levels. You can find magnesium as a powder, a topical spray or in pill form. Magnesium deficiencies often result in feelings of stress and anxiety. Adding to our nightly habit of a cup of Chamomile Tea…taking a magnesium supplement after dinner will bring you better sleep, relaxed muscles and less stress. That’s a habit that we’re down for.

Kava kava might be the most mystical supplement on this list. It also might be the most relaxing, calm-inducing drink out there. Typically the kava kava roots are brewed down to create a tonic that is potent for calming anxiety and stress. You might feel a bit buzzed, in a nice, dreamy kind of way.

Ginseng is one of the most celebrated adaptogens and stress fighters out there.  Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is considered to be the most potent form of ginseng. Studies show that ginseng helps increase mental performance while also helping cope with stress. It is also high in antioxidants and boosts antidepressant effects, which can help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Ginseng also is potent little libido booster…so no need to stress about any after hours business.

All in all, life can be overwhelming and stressful at times and we can all use a little help with stress and anxiety. Whether it be meditation, ashwagandha…or a little bit of both, there are foods and daily practices that can help bring and maintain a level of calm and well-being to your day to day. This is our hit list for when things get a little overwhelming. Next time you feel yourself getting stressed, take a break, drink some chamomile or kava kava and watch the stress just fade away!

If you are looking for supplements for stress, we offer a few that can help.