Do you find yourself anxious or “uptight” a lot of the time? Is your anxiety the type that is with you the moment you wake up, or does it increase in intensity as you consume caffeine, deal with work and family crises or try to tackle other stressful areas of your life? If your anxiety worsens with situations and you do not find it present in your body on a regular basis, you may also want to explore some meditation or other relaxation techniques. If, however, you find that caffeinated beverages increase your anxiety, or you just have a generally anxious feeling by nature most of the time, there are a number of good supplements for you to try that may help alleviate your anxious state.
One of the most popular supplements today for relaxation is an herb called Kava Kava. It comes mostly from the western Pacific, specifically found in Hawaii and Fiji. It is considered a tranquilizing herb, and it is used in pill and capsule form as well as a tea from the herb’s leaves. It can greatly reduce anxiety, help with insomnia, and relieve stress. All parts of the plant are used in its preparation as a supplement, but the herb is generally prepared in westernized countries from the powder ground from the root. Kava is such a powerful beverage that its effects have been compared to alcohol. The sedative properties are strong, and while it is an over-the-counter herb that can be purchased in the tea section of your grocery store or in your local health food store, it should still be handled with care. Many people taking herbal supplements do not realize their potency, and Kava is no exception. The good news is, one cannot become “addicted” to Kava Kava nor can someone build up an immunity or tolerance to it. Therefore, you can feel comfortable knowing that it may safely be consumed so long as it is consumed in moderation. If you have any concerns, you should speak with a health care practitioner prior to starting a regimen with Kava.
Another herb that is good for relaxation and anxiety is chamomile. This is most often consumed in tea form, and is much milder than Kava. It is mostly consumed at bedtime, but can certainly be taken during the day to help ease anxiety.
If you are looking for a supplement that is not herbal, there are a number of amino acids and minerals that can be a great source of anxiety relief for you. One of the most popular for a long time was tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid naturally found in foods such as turkey. Many people believe this is why you get so sleepy after a big Thanksgiving dinner! Tryptophan was briefly taken off the market about ten years ago after a scandal with a particular batch, but it is back on the shelves now and safely so. Since it is an amino acid, it can be used without worry of harmful side effects and is most often taken for sleeplessness.
Another potent amino acid is called Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA. This amino acid is a neurotransmitter that is an integral part of our central nervous system. It is thought to pass through the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can affect you fairly quickly and should not be taken by those who are pregnant or nursing without consulting a physician first. GABA is generally sold in pill form at most health food stores. Some studies have indicated that its efficacy is questionable and that you are wasting your money if purchasing this supplement. Other satisfied customers think differently.
Another supplement closely related to GABA and available in pill form as well as tea is L-theanine. This is an amino acid that also crosses the blood-brain barrier, and is most commonly found in green tea. Many people reap great benefits drinking green tea, for its antioxidant properties, reported appetite control, and relaxation benefits. The relaxation and anxiety reduction stems from the theanine amino.
Whether taken in pill or liquid form, L-theanine can help with mental stress and clarity, and can improve mood when combined with caffeine (as is the case with green tea). In its pure form, though, it is most often used for anxiety relief. It works by promoting alpha waves in the brain, which signals wakeful relaxation. It increases brain levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other feel-good chemicals and can be good for both depression and anxiety for this reason. There are no known toxicity concerns with L-theanine, so as long as you are in good health you should be able to take this supplement for any anxiety issues you may have without concern. As always, though, it is a good precautionary measure to consult your health care practitioner before starting any supplement program.
Author Bio: Megan Hazel is a freelance writer who writes about health, fitness and nutrition, often discussing specific products such as supplements. Visit the author’s web site at: http://www.supersup.com
Article Source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/health/article_8074.shtml