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Herbs, Supplements, and Medications for Stress Management

Updated on February 27, 2013

Do you have a lot of stress in your life?

This past year was one of the worst I've ever had. I dealt with some personal problems. I moved for the sixth time over the past twelve years. I experienced a difficult death in the family. It was all very stressful and yet, I am calm and actually happy. Why?

The answer is because I actively work on managing my stress. Some would argue that I am a naturally happy and positive person and while that is true, I also actively use various stress management techniques on a daily basis, no matter what.

Whether or not these things have made me happy or simply keep me that way is something I cannot say. But I do know that I certainly am not going to stop managing my stress using the techniques that I know.

I do believe that people who have a positive outlook and take care of themselves fare a lot better in the stress department. However, this hub will examine herbs, supplements, and medications that can be used to take care of stress.

Before getting started using any of my suggestions, I would definitely see your doctor. Stress can negatively impact health. Not only that, but you should review with him any supplements, herbs, and medications that you are taking for your stress.

Top Herbs for Stress

Best Adminstered
Used For
Tea - brewed for ten minutes.
Mild sedative. Relaxation.
Essential Oil, Tea - brewed for five minutes.
Relaxing, Sedative, Anti-anxiety
Tea - brewed for five minues.
Relaxation, Mild Sedative, Sensitive, Stressed-Out Stomach
Tea - Cover and brew for four hours.
Nutritive and Calming to the Nervous System
These are my favorite calming herbs and essential oils. I urge you to do your own research before you take any of these and also consult with a medical professional.

Herbs to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stress Management Opinion Poll?

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Choosing Supplements for Stress


Best Supplements to Manage Stress

Yes, you can certainly get herbs in supplement (pill) form, but I don't like to mix herbs into capsules and take them that way. Each herb has a specific way that it is best prepared and I find that capsules don't always optimize the plant.

However, there are some supplements that I do like to help with stress. None of these are herbs, by the way.

  • Sam-e. Helpful to take if a deficiency in the body is suspected. It is a neurotransmitter precursor so if there isn't enough in the body it can lead to things like depression and anxiety.
  • Melatonin. Yes, melatonin can help you sleep. Getting enough sleep can help you manage stress. However, overusing this supplement can cause your body not to make its own melatonin anymore. So, use sparingly. I only use it when my sleep schedule gets messed up (jet lag, staying up too late several nights in a row). Once my sleep is restored I stop taking it.
  • Magnesium. Magnesium can help calm you down and relieve anxiety. However, I don't believe in taking doses of minerals by themselves unless advised by your physician. To cover your bases, take a multi vitamin and mineral supplement and eat foods rich in magnesium.
  • B-Complex. This is a classic supplement for stress. It's a good idea to review taking this supplement with your doctor before doing so, though. Stress can deplete B Vitamins in the body and at the same time, B-Complex is needed to help the body relieve stress.


Medications to Help Manage Stress

This is a very tricky topic to discuss. If you or someone you know has any form of stress, anxiety, depressive, or bipolar disorder then you are well aware that the nature of treating any of these conditions with medication is best left to professionals.

Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? There is a classic scene in the movie where the two main characters bonded over discussing the medications they had tried. Sure, the characters were plagued with more than just simple stress but this moment is a nice reminder that it is hard to find medications to help with things like stress, anxiety, and depression.

Let's examine the issue of stress. It can completely wreak havoc on the body and the mind. And yes, there are medications to deal with things that arise from stress. Can't sleep? There's medication for that. Anxiety? Yes you can take something like that, too.

So, rather than tell you which medication to take for what symptom you may be experiencing, I urge you to visit with a professional. It is too complex and tricky of a topic. Medications change all the time. Everyone is different.

It is in your best interest to review all the nuances of your situation with a pro so you can determine which medications to take, if any.

Tips on How to Relieve Stress

What do you think?

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    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you for the tips! Ya, I often take a stress multivitamin supplement and it has these items in it. Thank you for commenting - I never gave it much thought as to why these work.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

      When I'm under stress, I like the use of magnesium and b vitamins and vitamin C. Magnesium is a relaxation mineral. B vitamins plays role in producing calming neurotransmitter like serotonin. And vitamin C supports the adrenal glands (which produces the stress hormone cortisol).

    • kohuether profile image

      Katherine Olga Tsoukalas 4 years ago from New Hampshire

      Thank you so much torrilynn for the feedback! Yes, life can really throw stuff at us, huh? Thank you for your condolences and also for your compliment.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      hi kohuether,

      i wanted to start off by saying that im sorry for your loss

      i understand the difficult time that you have been going through

      especially with other inconviences happening in your life

      all in all this was a really great hub for dealing with stress

      you are a brilliant writer. Thanks.

      voted up