7 Supplements That May Help Reduce Stress in 2024

7 Supplements That May Help Reduce Stress in 2024

Stress is a constant presence in modern life, affecting everything from mental well-being to physical health. Chronic stress can lead to serious health issues like hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. While lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep, are crucial for stress management, certain supplements can also support stress reduction efforts. This blog explores seven supplements that might help reduce stress and discusses their potential benefits and precautions.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, an adaptogen, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Adaptogens are believed to help the body manage stress more effectively. Some studies have shown that ashwagandha may reduce stress and anxiety. For instance, a small study published in Medicine (Baltimore) found that adults taking 240 mg of ashwagandha reported lower stress levels compared to a placebo group. Another study in Cureus involving 60 adults also noted improvements in sleep and reduced stress with ashwagandha supplementation (Lopresti & Smith, 2021; Gopukumar et al., 2021).

How to Use: Ashwagandha is available in pill, capsule, and powdered forms. It can be added to smoothies or yogurt, though it has a bitter taste.

Precautions: Ashwagandha can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, potentially interacting with medications for these conditions. It may also affect thyroid hormone production and should not be used with sedatives (NCCIH, 2021).

2. L-Theanine

L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, is known for its relaxing effects. Research suggests that it can help reduce stress and improve focus and memory. A study in Nutrients showed that 200 mg of L-theanine daily for four weeks improved sleep problems, depression, and anxiety. A review in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition supported these findings, noting that doses between 200 and 400 mg per day may reduce stress and anxiety (Hidese et al., 2019; Williams et al., 2020).

How to Use: L-theanine can be consumed through tea or as a supplement. Green, black, white, and oolong teas contain varying amounts of L-theanine, though supplements are needed to reach the levels used in studies.

Precautions: High consumption of tea can lead to caffeine-related side effects. It’s important to monitor caffeine intake to avoid restlessness and insomnia (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 2020).

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for numerous bodily functions, including nerve and muscle operation. It may help reduce mild anxiety and stress. A review in Nutrients indicated that magnesium supplements might improve anxiety and stress levels (Boyle et al., 2017).

How to Use: Magnesium is found in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and fortified foods. Supplements can also be taken, with recommended types including magnesium aspartate, citrate, lactate, or chloride for better absorption.

Precautions: Magnesium can interact with certain medications, including antibiotics and diuretics. Consult with a healthcare provider before starting magnesium supplements (NIH, 2021).

4. Melatonin

Melatonin, a hormone regulating sleep-wake cycles, can also help manage stress. Research suggests melatonin can reduce pre-surgical anxiety, comparable to the sedative midazolam. However, studies often lack diversity in participants, limiting broader conclusions (Hansen et al., 2015).

How to Use: Melatonin is available in various forms, including tablets and capsules. Typical doses range from 1 to 5 mg.

Precautions: Melatonin interacts with several medications, including blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and immunosuppressants. It’s generally safe short-term but should be used under medical advice for longer durations (Mayo Clinic, 2020).

5. Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola, another adaptogen, is believed to enhance the body’s stress response. A review in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that Rhodiola extract may alleviate stress symptoms and prevent chronic stress complications (Ivanova et al., 2022).

How to Use: Rhodiola is available as a liquid extract, capsule, or powder.

Precautions: While Rhodiola is generally safe for up to 12 weeks, more research is needed on long-term use. It may cause dizziness or dry mouth (NCCIH, 2021).

6. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, traditionally used as a mild sedative, may help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. A study in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine found that 500 mg of lemon balm three times a day improved anxiety and sleep quality in people undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery (Mount Sinai, 2021).

How to Use: Lemon balm can be taken as tea, tablets, or capsules.

Precautions: Lemon balm may interact with sedatives, thyroid medications, and HIV treatments. Consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended before use (Mount Sinai, 2021).

7. Valerian

Valerian is known for its calming effects and is used to treat insomnia and anxiety. A review in Phytotherapy Research indicated that valerian root extract might help with anxiety and sleep disorders (Williams et al., 2018).

How to Use: Valerian is available in capsules, tablets, teas, and tinctures.

Precautions: Valerian may have sedative effects and can interact with alcohol and other sedatives. Side effects may include headaches and stomach upset (NCCIH, 2021).


While supplements can support stress management, they should be part of a comprehensive approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are on medication.


  • Lopresti, A. & Smith, S. (2021). Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) for the treatment and enhancement of mental and physical conditions: A systematic review of human trials. J Herb Med, 28: 100434.
  • Gopukumar, K. & Thanawala, S. et al. (2021). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract on Cognitive Functions in Healthy Stressed Adults: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2021: 8254344.
  • Ivanova, Stojcheva, E. & Quintela, J.C. (2022). The Effectiveness of Rhodiola rosea L. Preparations in Alleviating Various Aspects of Life-Stress Symptoms and Stress-Induced Conditions-Encouraging Clinical Evidence. Molecules, 27(12): 3902.
  • Hansen, M.V. & Halladin, N.L. et al. (2015). Melatonin for pre- and postoperative anxiety in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2015(4): CD009861.
  • Boyle, N.B. & Lawton, C. et al. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 9(5): 429.
  • Hidese, S. & Ogawa, S. et al. (2019). Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients, 11(10): 2362.
  • Williams, J. & Everett, J. et al. (2018). The Effects of Green Tea Amino Acid L-Theanine Consumption on the Ability to Manage Stress and Anxiety Levels: a Systematic Review. Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 75: 12-23.