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Calming Anxiety


A little help for these troubled times

Even before COVID-19 hit our shores, anxiety was probably the chief complaint we heard from our customers. Now people have been thrust into a whole new reality: jobs in jeopardy, isolating from others, learning online, fear of getting ill or dying. It’s enough to make anyone anxious. We thought we’d offer some suggestions to support you in these difficult times.

When it comes to handling anxiety, leading natural health professionals usually first recommend cleaning up your diet. That means reducing/removing processed foods, caffeine and alcohol, while choosing nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory foods. Next professionals recommend plenty of exercise and adequate sleep.

But we all know what quarantine has been like – lots of comfort foods, minimal exercise, and who can sleep when we’re so worried?

So while we’re working on improving the above, we all could use a little help. Here are some of our favorites for calming our anxious world.

Magnesium – You’ve heard this before. It’s been around forever, and it works. Magnesium calms both muscles and the mind, and it’s a foundational supplement for relieving stress. That said, magnesium also is a laxative, and some people can’t take it or can’t take much without unwanted side effects. If you are prone to loose stool, try starting with low doses of magnesium glycinate or taurate, which are less laxative in effect. You also can try absorbing magnesium topically with a magnesium oil or lotion. Or move on to another supplement.

CBD – Cannabidiol from hemp will not get you high, but it can lower both inflammation and anxiety. Manufacturers recommend starting with a low dose, then slowly increasing until you reach the desired effect. Ruth’s carries three reputable brands to choose from.

Theanine Serine – This is a supplement that contains several anti-anxiety ingredients: magnesium, GABA, Taurine, L-Theanine, and Holy Basil. L-Theanine and Taurine are calming amino acids, while GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. Many who experience anxiety are low in GABA. Holy Basil is a relaxing herb, shown to inhibit cortisol release. This product is one of our most popular when it comes helping people calm down.

Adaptogenic Herbs – These include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Holy Basil. All have been clinically tested and proven to be calming while increasing the body’s ability to withstand stress. They are best taken over a long-term period.

5-HTP – 5 hydroxytryptophan is a serotonin precursor used for carbohydrate cravings, anxiety, and depression. Studies show it to be as effective as Wellbutrin, without the side effects. Common dose is 50 mg, one to three times daily.

Other helpful supplements – B vitamins help support healthy nerve tissue. Lavender in the form of essential oil or oral supplement promotes relaxation. Kava is a powerfully relaxing herb that works well for panic attacks, though most recommend that you do not take it long-term.

If you’re not sleeping – You can try dosing your magnesium at bedtime, or try a melatonin supplement. If you have trouble falling asleep, a fast-acting melatonin is best. If you have trouble staying asleep, try a time-release melatonin. If melatonin fails you, try L-tryptophan to encourage drowsiness.