3 Herbal Supplements for Stress (Under $40!)
Updated: May 19, 2022
Does it feel stressful when it comes to finding the perfect supplements to help you manage your stress? The supplement world can seem extremely cumbersome at times! There are so many brands, products, ingredients and how do you know which one is right for you? Look no further, I’ve got 3 supplements you can find online, or at most health food stores, that are less than $40 each that can help you reduce your stress and feel a little more like yourself again. I’ve used all of these myself so I’m sharing the exact product I recommend. Ready? Let’s do this.
If you’re someone who deals with stress, you’re likely to experience symptoms like difficulty sleeping, fatigue, anxiousness, cognitive impairment, hormonal imbalances... and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, really. Each of the herbal remedies will help in various ways to manage various stress-related symptoms. So, consider what you’re experiencing most prevalently and choose the supplement that fits your needs.
Stress Supplement #1: Rhodiola
Rhodiola is an herb native to the Arctic regions of the world. It is also known as ‘roseroot’ or ‘golden root’ (1) has been used in numerous European countries (2), including in France where it was used as a ‘brain tonic’ (3).
The roots of this plant function as an adaptogen, which means they help the body adapt to stress. Rhodiola has anti-fatigue properties, increasing mental performance- specifically the ability to increase concentration.
It’s been shown to reduce the cortisol response to awakening stress in people with fatigue syndrome (4). This is why I use this supplement in the morning - for energy support to help the body bring cortisol into balance. If you’d like to see a morning supplement and food protocol for stress support, click here.
Stress Supplement #2: Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has been called India’s wonder herb and is one of the most renowned herbal tonics and adaptogens in the world, particularly for stress and anxiety.
Some of the benefits of ashwagandha include:
Reduces anxiety and stress
Improved stamina and brain function
Calming or relaxing effect
Strengthens the body’s vitality and increases its resilience in the face of infection
During times of stress or anxious episodes cortisol will spike, even when it’s naturally supposed to decline. In the morning, we should have higher cortisol levels that taper off as the day progresses. By bedtime, our cortisol should be low so that we can drift off to sleep with ease. When we are anxious or stress, our cortisol remains high which can lead to fragmented sleep, decrease deep sleep, or even lead to insomnia or sleep apnea. Lack of sleep, in turn, affects health and becomes a source of constant anxiety. Ashwagandha promotes restorative sleep and balances the energy in the body without acting as a sedative. Using ashwagandha as needed a few hours before bed can help lower cortisol levels and promote healthy sleep patterns.
Stress Supplement #3: Holy Basil
Holy basil, also known as Tulsi, is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic (natural Indian) medicine for years. It’s been recorded to have been used for many, many…many (!) conditions. From a stress perspective, Holy Basil has various pharmacological properties to help your mind cope up with many types of stress.
One reason holy basil may be effective in improving stress response is the presence of three phytochemical compounds. The first two, ocimumosides A and B, have been identified as anti-stress compounds and may lower blood corticosterone and create positive alterations in the neurotransmitter system of the brain (5).
In vibrant health,
(1) Linné C. Materia medica – Liber I. de plantis. Stockholm; Lars Salvius 1749: 168
(2) Sparschuch H. Pharmacopoeia Svecia. Stockholm; Holmia 1775:
(3) 394 Virey J -J. Racine de roses. Rhodiola rosea L. Traité de pharmacie théorique et pratique,. Vol 1 Paris; Remont-Ferra 1811: 92