10 Effective Supplements for Stress

10 Effective Supplements for Stress

In this article we explore the supplements for stress that really work. This UK survey commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that 74% of UK adults had felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Can supplements help? Stress is one of the most common health challenges we support our clients in managing. We are increasingly seeking out ways to reduce our stress levels. Addressing the root causes along with mindfulness practices are an important place to start, but supplements for stress can also help us to reduce the impacts. 


Yes, several supplements can help with stress, including valerian, CBD, St. John’s Wort, ashwagandha, magnesium, B vitamins, and more. These supplements have been shown to have anti-anxiety, sedative, and adaptogenic effects, reduce stress symptoms, and improve sleep and cognitive function. However, it’s important to note that they should not be used as a replacement for professional medical advice and treatment. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements for stress, particularly if you are taking medication. Keep reading to find out more about the best evidence-based stress supplements on the market.


Below, we share 10 stress supplements are all recommended based on evidence from reputable studies. Read our full guide to each supplement to find out which might be the best-suited to support you. Speak to a nutritionist or healthcare professional if you’re not sure which supplements are suitable for you. We offer a complimentary 25-minute consultation, book yours here.

  • Valerian
  • CBD
  • St John’s Wort
  • Bacopa
  • Rhodiola
  • Ashwagandha
  • Magnesium
  • Lemon balm
  • B vitamins
  • Chamomile

If you’re interested in learning about how stress can impact your weight, read our guide to stress and weight gain.


Valerian` is a herb native to Asia and Europe, noted for it’s anti-anxiety capabilities and mild sedative effects. The plant extract contains isovaleric acid and valeric acid, two substances that help calm the body and mind. According to a study in The National Institute Of Health, valerian is an effective supplement for helping those with sleep issues and insomnia. In the study, 128 participants took 400mg of valerian for nine nights. Researchers found that ‘evaluation of the questionnaires showed a statistically significant improvement in subjectively measured sleep.’ In addition, research describes how valerian works by interacting with GABA levels, resulting in anti-anxiety affects across the brain and body.

Buy it here: A.Vogel – Dormesan Sleep Valerian-Hops


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD has no intoxicating effects; however, has been shown to exert both anti-anxiety and pain relief capabilities. Cannabidiol has been linked to reducing the symptoms of both anxiety and depression, the British Journal of Pharmacology suggests that ‘ the activation of 5-HT1A receptors may mediate the effects of CBD’ adding that ‘ 5-HT1A receptor activation may induce antidepressant-like effects.’  Chronic pain can be a significant cause of stress for many, research demonstrates a link between CBD and arthritis pain. The data shows that ‘topical CBD application has therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation without evident side-effects.’ Though the study focused on arthritis, CBD may also be used for neuropathic pain or general pain relief.

Buy it here: Canabidol – CBD Oral Capsules


St John’s Wort is a herbal supplement that has been demonstrated to help alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms. Science Direct discusses a large scale study whereby ‘27 clinical trials with a total of 3808 patients were reviewed, comparing the use of St John’s wort and SSRI.’  SSRI stands for ‘Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor’; pharmaceutical antidepressants that work to elevate serotonin levels within the brain. The studies showed that ‘for patients with mild-to-moderate depression, St John’s wort has comparable efficacy and safety when compared to SSRIs.’ It’s believed that hyperforin, the active compound, helps to relax the nervous system.

Buy it here: A.Vogel – Hypericum.


Bacopa monnieri is one of the key herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is sometimes referred to as ‘water hyssop’ or ‘brahmi.’ One study in the Natural Library Of Medicine examines the stress reduction capabilities of Bacopa. The study involved feeding Bacopa to rats, before an ‘exposure of stress.’ The scientists concluded that, ‘the standardized extract of B. monniera possesses a potent adaptogenic activity.’ An adaptogen refers to a substance that occurs naturally and can help our bodies adapt to stress. Bacopa has also been linked to improving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. However, the scientific evidence to support these claims is currently limited and further research is needed to establish how effective Bacopa is in these areas.

Buy it here: Cytoplan – Bacopa Monnieri.  


Rhodiola is a yellow flowering plant, sometimes referred to as ‘arctic root’. Also an adaptogen, Rhodiola has long been used in medicine, particularly across Northern Europe and in the Arctic regions. The National Library Of Medicine published a study about the effects of Rhodiola on stress levels. Several tests were undertaken and, ‘invariably, all tests showed clinically relevant improvements about stress symptoms.’ Rhodiola contains both rosavin and salidroside; it’s believed that these substances reduce stress symptoms within the body.

Buy it here: BioMedica – Rhodiola Complex


Ashwagandha is one of the most well researched supplements for stress. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The herb has been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol levels. It’s also believed that Ashwagandha can help regulate blood sugar levels and ease inflammation. According to an article on the Medicine journal website, ‘In an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study ashwagandha was associated with greater reductions in anxiety, morning cortisol, and blood pressure in chronically stressed adults.’

Buy it here: Pure Encapsulations – Ashwagandha.


Magnesium is a mineral vital for human health. It is involved in many different reactions in the body; playing a key role in energy production and is required for the healthy function of nerves and muscles. It can be found in foods such as spinach, almonds, dark chocolate, and avocado. Magnesium acts as a smooth muscle relaxant and a popular supplement for stress and sleep. A study in the Journal Of Research in Medical Sciences, showed that ‘supplementation of magnesium appears to improve subjective measures of insomnia such as ISI score, sleep efficiency, sleep time, and sleep onset latency.’ Stress and sleep are strongly linked, so if you know that lack of quality sleep is contributing to your stress, try bathing in magnesium salts before bed.

Buy it here: BetterYou – Magnesium Body Butter


Lemon balm is a herb that comes from the mint family; its botanical name is ‘melissa officinalis.’ The plant is native to West Asia, North Africa and parts of Europe. A study conducted in 2004 proved that lemon balm effectively reduced stress. The individuals from the study reported, ‘an increased sense of calmness and reduced feelings of alertness.’ Lemon balm may have other health properties, including relieving indigestion and helping to treat cold sores.

Buy it here: Viridian – L-Theanine and Lemon Balm


B vitamins play a key role in energy production and cognitive function. Studies demonstrated that supplementation with folic acid, B12, and B6 improved cognitive function such as memory and information processing speed. There are a number of different types of B vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cyanocobalamin (B12). According to research in Nutritional Journal, consuming a higher levels of B vitamins has been linked to stress reduction. B vitamins are naturally occurring in many whole foods, including eggs, meat and nuts.

Buy it here: BioMedica – BioActivated Bs.


Chamomile is a flowering plant commonly consumed in the form of a tea, but you can also take it in supplement form for a more therapeutic dose. A study published in the BMC Complementary Medicine Therapies journal concluded that, ‘Chamomile could provide modest benefits of daytime functioning and mixed benefits on sleep diary measures relative to placebo in adults with chronic primary insomnia.’ It’s also been suggested that chamomile can improve digestive health and improve blood sugar regulation.

Buy it here: New Nordic – Melissa Dream


Evidence-based supplements for stress have many benefits; however, they can cause interactions with some pharmaceutical medications. For this reason, you should first discuss your choices with a medical professional. Always take note of the stated dose, and bear in mind that most supplements are best consumed with food.

As a team of nutritionists, we always take a root cause approach to helping you manage your health and wellbeing. We take a look at the causes of stress and what can be done to reduce or eliminate them where possible. However, well chosen dietary supplements can play an important role in supporting our health and reducing the impacts of stress. All of the supplements mentioned in this article are available through The Natural Dispensary and can purchased at a discount using our code: PEARSON10.

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If you’re looking to optimise your health, lose weight and / or develop better nutrition and lifestyle habits, we can help. We are a team of qualified, experienced nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. Schedule a complimentary 25-minute calll today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.



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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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