an anxious woman lost in her own head

Unfortunately, all that most doctors have to offer are medications such as Valium and antidepressants. These are often not only addictive and ineffective, but also rife with side effects.

Fortunately, natural therapies can be as or more effective. In addition, it is important to treat both the psychological and physical underlying causes.

Causes of Anxiety

  • Physical Causes

    • Overactive Thyroid

      Especially if you have weight loss, racing heart/palpitations or sweating.

    • Low Progesterone and Estrogen (Women)

      This can be seen in woman approaching menopause, and can occur 5 to 12 years before periods stop and tests for menopause become positive (called peri-menopause).

    • Low Testosterone (Men)

      Especially beginning in, or after, one’s late 40s.

    • Adrenal Gland Fatigue

      Suspect this if you get irritable when hungry or sugar crave.

    • Nutritional Deficiencies

      Especially B vitamins and magnesium.

  • Psychological Causes

    When anger/fear is buried, so you’re not aware of it, it will often come out as hyperventilation.

    This is often associated with panic attacks with:

    • intermittent inability to take a deep enough breath
    • numbness and tingling around your lips and in your fingers
    • feeling like you're going to die

    Though scary, it is not dangerous.


  • Lifestyle Tweaks

    • Get Exercise

      Increase your exercise (especially walking in the sunshine). This is a great stress reliever.

    • Avoid Sugar and Caffeine

      Green tea is OK (make your own — unsweetened).

  • Recommended Supplements

    A mix of natural therapies has been dramatically effective in keeping you calm — and actually increasing energy and mental clarity!

    • B Vitamins

      • Vitamin B1

        Very high dose thiamine (vitamin B-1) at 500 mg 3 times a day.

      • Vitamin B3

        Niacin (vitamin B3) is a natural tranquilizer without being addictive.

        Some experts go so far as to call niacin "nature's valium."

      • Vitamin B5

        Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is another B vitamin that is critical for the treatment of adrenal fatigue.

        Adrenal fatigue is a very common trigger for low blood sugar induced anxiety.

      • Vitamin B6

        Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is critical in the production of two brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that prevent anxiety (GABA and serotonin).

      Low vitamin B-12 has also been shown to be associated with anxiety.

    • Magnesium

      Magnesium has been called the "anti-stress mineral." Magnesium relaxes muscles, helps sleep, and relieves tension. Dropping magnesium levels can trigger hyperventilation/panic attacks (and even seizures if very severe) and these are often relieved with magnesium therapy.

    • Theanine

      Theanine, which comes from green tea, is another outstanding treatment for anxiety.

      Research has shown that theanine works by two mechanisms:

      1. It increases alpha brainwave activity, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation.
      2. It is involved in the formation of the calming neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA).

      It also naturally stimulates the release of the "happiness molecules" serotonin and dopamine.

    • Passion Flower Extract

      Passion flower extract is one of the best-known herbs for the treatment of anxiety. In fact, in South America when people are anxious, their friends often tell them to "go get a passion flower drink."

    • Magnolia Bark

      Magnolia bark has a long history of use in traditional Chinese formulas that relieve both anxiety and depression without leaving you feeling like you've been drugged.

  • Other Therapies & Advice

    Address anxiety while staying calm and energized!

    • Lavender

      The smell of lavender is calming. So keeping a full vase of it (even dried) around or a lavender oil spray can be helpful.

      Lavender oil is even available in a capsule and is both very calming during the day, while also helping sleep at night.

    • Express Your Anger

      From a psychological perspective, anxiety usually represents (often repressed) anger toward someone else or fear about a situation.

      These feelings need to be expressed/acknowledged—and then released. You can tell when the anger is healthy because it will feel good to express it. When it stops feeling good, release it.

    • Treat Adrenal Fatigue

      Read more information on adrenal exhaustion.

    • Seek Happiness

      See 7 Tips Towards Happiness.


Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes.

Dr. Teitelbaum is the author of the perennial bestseller From Fatigued to Fantastic! (Avery Penguin), which has sold over half a million copies; Pain Free 1-2-3 (McGraw-Hill); Three Steps to Happiness: Healing Through Joy (Deva Press); the Beat Sugar Addiction Now! series (Fair Winds Press);  Real Cause, Real Cure (Rodale Press); The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution (Penguin/Avery); and his latest, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction (Fair Winds Press, 2015).