At Natural Anxiety Meds, we have written a lot about benzodiazepines. We have discussed their side effects, dependency-inducing potential, and their overall negative effect on quality of life. But, chronic anxiety is often too difficult to handle without some kind of medicated support. In this article, we will provide a few different and safe alternatives to Xanax and other fast-acting benzodiazepines which can be purchased immediately without a prescription.
In creating this list, we avoided substances which act as GABA agonists (Kava kava, valerian, etc). Since benzodiazepines cause massive physical changes to GABA receptors, we do not believe it is a good idea to use alternative medications, even natural ones, which also interact with the GABA receptor system. As always, it is best to consult with your doctor before taking supplements or other alternative medications.
A vital nutrient for our health and sustenance is magnesium. Unfortunately, magnesium deficiencies are widespread and common in the United States and other developed nations. A magnesium deficiency can cause all sorts of psychological and physiological ailments, including depression and anxiety.
There are many studies which have indicated that the rapid intake of magnesium was associated with the end of symptoms related to depression and other disorders. Furthermore, stress can exasperate an underlying magnesium deficiency by rapidly draining the body of any of its magnesium and other nutrient reserves.
We recommend the following magnesium supplement (and it comes in multiple flavors!):
2. Garum Armoricum
A naturally occurring fish oil, garum amoricum has been a part of the human diet for ages. It was used by the people of the Mediterranean for the purpose of improving mental health and resilience. The chemical arrangement of garum amoricum (hereafter abbreviated GA) is similar to that of other neurotransmitters which promote relaxation and emotional resilience. It is widely used in France, and has now found its way to the United States in a product called Stabilium.
Stabilium has been found to be at least moderately effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. A number of studies supporting this claim have been listed below:
- Dorman, T. et al. The Effectiveness of Garum Amoricum (Stabilium) on Reducing Anxiety in College Students. Journal of Advancement in Medicine. 1995; Vol 8(3):193-200.
- Crocq L, Bugard P et al., Treatment of astheno-depressive conditions by Minaprine-Multi-center study of 248 cases assessed by Fatigue Study Group Scale #4]. Psychologie Medicale 12(12) 643-61, 1980.
Here is where you can purchase Stabilium (the vendor also offers a monthly subscription option):
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea and in some mushrooms. A Japanese study has suggested that the oral intake of L-Theanine provides anti-stress benefits by inhibiting cortical neuron excitation. L-Theanine allows for enhanced awareness and mental clarity without drowsiness or agitation.
To learn more about L-Theanine, read about it in our natural anxiety remedies database.
We recommend the following L-Theanine-based product:
4. Rhodiola Rosea
This hearty plant grows primarily in the northern regions of the world; particularly in the Artic. Studies have been conducted to determine its efficacy in treating specific conditions such as fatigue and burnout as well as in improving concentration and similar skills. A number of other studies have also demonstrated its role in improving skin condition and increasing the life span of fruit flies.
We recommend the following product:
Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, naturally reduces anxiety through the production and release of endorphins, a type of opioid natively produced by the central nervous system. Aside from the production and excretion of endorphins, exercise also interacts with and improves the circulatory system, thereby a slower baseline heart rate and better breathing.
And, speaking of breathing, meditation is also an effective form of exercise for treating anxiety and anxiety symptoms. There are a couple of different types of meditation that are easy to pick up quickly and implement in your daily life. One of the forms we have discussed here before is Anapanasati (breath meditation).
We truly hope this list is helpful. By digging deeply into the scientific literature, we were able to uncover Xanax alternatives which do not act as GABA agonists, thereby circumventing the problem of physical dependence and other unwanted side effects.
As always, consult a doctor before trying any of the aforementioned remedies (except for exercise and meditation – you probably don’t need a doctor’s permission to do those!).
Have you tried any of the alternatives we listed? Let us know below.