SWISS MEDICAL EXPERTISE: MALLORCA, ZURICH, LONDON, OFFSHORE

4 Minutes

Edited & medically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
Fact checked

There is no supplement that will save your life. Even though the world will sometimes have you believe so. The best way to take supplements is off the back of an in-depth blood test that can detail where you are deficient, or if you have too much of something as is the case in hypervitaminosis or mineral toxicity.

However, adding natural remedies to your day-to-day can play a crucial part in mental and physical health. The best way to receive nutrients will always be through real, whole food. But when looking for an extra boost, there are great options. We sat down with our leading doctor and nutritionist, Dr. Indhira Ghyssaert, to get her top ten supplements for mental health. These are her picks.

Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, helps the body manage stress by reducing cortisol levels. It improves sleep, reduces anxiety, and enhances cognitive functions. Typical doses are around 300-500 mg, taken once or twice daily. Precaution: Do not use if pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you have autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, or stomach ulcers. Avoid before surgery.

Magnesium is essential for brain health, helping regulate neurotransmitters that influence mood. It has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety by modulating the brain’s stress response. The recommended daily intake of magnesium for adults is 310-420 mg, with magnesium glycinate being the preferred form for its high absorption and minimal side effects. Precaution: Do not use it if you have kidney disease or are on certain medications like antibiotics and blood pressure meds.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a neurotransmitter that inhibits excessive neuronal activity, promoting calmness and reducing anxiety. GABA supplements can help improve mood and induce relaxation without the sedative effects of some medications, making it a popular choice for those seeking a natural way to manage stress. GABA can also be very useful in the treatment of addictions. The typical dosage ranges from 250-750 mg per day. Precautions: Do not use if on blood pressure medications or if you have depression, as it may worsen symptoms.

The Vitamin B Complex includes B6, B9 (folate), and B12, which are crucial for brain health. These vitamins are vital for producing neurotransmitters like serotonin, which regulates mood. Deficiencies in B vitamins can lead to increased stress, fatigue, and depression. The recommended dosage varies but typically includes B6 (1.3-2 mg), B9 (400-600 mcg), and B12 (2.4 mcg) daily. Precautions: Do not use if allergic to components or if you have conditions like kidney disease or diabetes without consulting a healthcare provider.

Valerian root is known for its sedative properties, helping to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. It works by increasing GABA levels in the brain, promoting relaxation and a sense of calm. The typical dosage ranges from 300-600 mg taken 30 minutes to two hours before bedtime. Precautions: Do not use if pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you have liver conditions.

Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress by balancing neurotransmitters. It boosts mood, enhances cognitive function, and reduces fatigue. The recommended dosage is typically 200-600 mg per day, divided into two doses. Precautions: Do not use if you have bipolar disorder or are on medications for blood pressure or diabetes.

L-Theanine, found in green tea, promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness. It increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA, which help improve mood and reduce anxiety. The recommended dosage is 200-400 mg per day, often taken in divided doses. Precautions: Do not use if you are a child, pregnant, or on stimulant medications.

Schizandra is a berry known for its adaptogenic properties, improving concentration and endurance. It supports the nervous system and helps reduce stress, making it a valuable supplement for enhancing overall mental performance and resilience. The typical dosage is 500-1000 mg per day.
Precautions: Do not use if pregnant, breastfeeding, or have liver problems or autoimmune diseases. Avoid if on medications metabolised by the liver.

Eleuthero is an adaptogen that boosts mental clarity and physical stamina. It helps the body cope with stress, enhances cognitive function, and reduces mental fatigue. The recommended dosage is 300-1200 mg per day, divided into two doses.
Precautions: Do not use if you have high blood pressure or are pregnant/breastfeeding.

Passionflower is a calming herb that helps alleviate anxiety and improve sleep quality by increasing GABA levels in the brain. It promotes relaxation and reduces nervousness, making it an excellent choice for managing stress and insomnia. The typical dosage ranges from 250-900 mg per day. Precautions: Do not use if pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you are on sedative medications

The most important thing to remember is that supplements should be taken off the back of an in-depth blood test. It is essential to consult your healthcare provider before starting a new routine. Anyone with a pre-existing condition should be extra vigilant, as well as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, adding natural remedies into your day-to-day can have small but mighty effects on the mind and body when taken correctly. For anyone looking to boost their mental clarity and performance, these are our expert’s top picks!

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