12 Over the Counter Anxiety Treatments

Wooden bowls holding chinese herbs, a common type of over the counter anxiety medication

Nearly a fifth of all adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. Each one of those anxiety disorders has different levels of severity, triggers, and ways in which they manifest. But every one of them is treatable and can be managed with the proper techniques.

Here at Barn Life Recovery, we believe in a community-based treatment method for anxiety, which melds together traditional therapy and group discussion with ancient practices such as Tai Chi and art therapy.

But for some people, a form of over the counter anxiety medication is a beneficial companion to these important practices. Let’s explore some herbs for anxiety and their benefits.

12 Over the Counter Medication & Herbs for Anxiety

While there are various types of prescription medications for anxiety, we’re going to focus on these more obtainable anxiety treatment options. Each of these herbal supplements have advantages for reducing anxiety symptoms.

1. Shi Chang Pu

What is it?

Shi Chang Pu carries many names, such as Sweetflag Rhizome, Acorus, and Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii. It is a traditional Chinese herb that has long been known as the primary herb for opening orifices and vaporizing phlegm. It can also nourish the liver, strengthen the singing voice, and even has been shown to have an effect on cancer cells.

How Does it Help?

In addition to its other effects, Shi Chang Pu has a known sedative impact on the consumer. This has been utilized to treat patients suffering from restlessness. It is most frequently used sparingly as a tea ingredient.

2. Yu Jin

What is it?

Yu Jin, also known as turmeric, is another herb in traditional Chinese medicine. Its everyday use is as a spice for foods like curry, cheeses, and mustards. But it also has medicinal uses.

How Does it Help?

Yu Jin is very good for your gallbladder, thus it treats anxiety, anger, and frustration. It is also considered an invigorator of blood. When blood is slow and congealed and stagnant, a host of medical issues generally follow, making this an important trait.

WARNING: Consult your doctor before consuming turmeric if you are currently taking blood thinners.

3. Magnesium

What is it?

Magnesium is a standard dietary supplement and already exists in abundant quantities in the body. Many foods you consume in your everyday life contain magnesium, such as spinach, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, peanuts, almonds, cashews, soy milk, and oatmeal.

How Does it Help?

Magnesium supplements are frequently used as a stool softener but can actually improve brain function and regulate neurotransmitters, according to research conducted in 2017. This can lead to a decrease in symptoms of anxiety in some people by affecting the hypothalamus, which regulates the pituitary and adrenal glands responsible for your stress response.

4. L-theanine

What is it?

L-theanine is an amino acid commonly found in black tea, green tea, and mushrooms. It can also be purchased as a dietary supplement at most pharmacies.

How Does it Help?

If you’ve ever had a cup of tea, you may have noticed a feeling of ease and calm wash over you. That’s the L-theanine at work, which promotes relaxation throughout the mind and body.

Research conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that four weeks of L-theanine treatment decreases anxious thoughts and improves sleep quality in patients, making it not only helpful for treating anxiety but also effective as a natural insomnia medication.

5. Lavender

What is it?

Lavender is one of the world’s most pleasant-smelling plants. There’s a reason why it is commonly used as a scent for soap, laundry detergent, room spray, incense, and more: it has tremendous calming effects on the mind.

How Does it Help?

Fill your house, apartment, or work space with lavender-scented products and you’ll find a decrease in anxiety, stress, and restlessness and an increase in sleep quality. Lavender can also improve your overall mood and help to regulate your breathing.

6. Ashwagandha

What is it?

Ashwagandha, also referred to as the winter cherry, is an ancient medicinal herb that grows in various parts of Africa and Asia. Its technical name is Withania Somnifera, with “somnifera” literally meaning “sleep-inducing” in Latin. It has been an integral component of traditional Indian medicine for centuries.

How Does it Help?

Ashwagandha has several positive side effects on one’s mental state, from the reduction of stress & anxiety to the improvement of sexual function and fertility in both men and women.

However, ashwagandha is known to conflict with some prescription medications, so it is highly encouraged that you consult your doctor before you add it to your list of regular supplements.

7. Chamomile

What is it?

Most people know of chamomile as a popular tea ingredient or sleeping aid. Did you know it was available as a supplement too? In addition to serving as a natural sleep medication, chamomile also provides short term relief from anxiety and stress.

How Does it Help?

Chamomile contains apigenin, a compound designed to treat anxiety. Apigenin attaches itself to GABA receptors in your brain, the same receptors that prescription anxiety medications attach to. This momentary reduction in anxiety can improve your sleep quality, leading to a more relaxed and less anxious mindset overall.

8. Valerian

What is it?

Valerian root has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia since just after the Biblical Era. However, many health experts note that Valerian root can be dangerous if mixed with certain prescription drugs, so ask your doctor before adding it to your routine.

How Does it Help?

As noted above, valerian root has been traditionally used to treat insomnia and restlessness, calming the anxious mind.

Like many of the other herbal remedies on this list, it is most often freeze dried and crushed into tea leaves or supplements. Brewing these remedies into tea is the traditional way of consuming many herbal supplements and is a method that ensures the proper nutrients are consumed.

9. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

What is it?

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), more commonly known as serotonin, is a chemical that is naturally produced by the brain from tryptophan. Tryptophan is found in many foods we consume daily such as cheese, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, and peanuts.

How Does it Help?

As the chemical responsible for mood regulation and happiness, 5-HTP is beneficial for one’s mental health. 5-HTP has stronger lab evidence supporting its effectiveness at improving depression symptoms in particular, but there is optimism that it can help with anxiety too.

Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of serotonin & 5-HTP and the recent studies that have been conducted surrounding it.

10. Cannabidiol (CBD)

What is it?

Cannabidiol is an active ingredient found in marijuana. It does not produce a “high” like marijuana does, but it does have medicinal uses, such as treating some types of epilepsy in children.

How Does it Help?

CBD oil is growing in popularity, with more than half of people who use it doing so for its anti anxiety effects. However, at present CBD oil is not yet FDA approved for this use, so make sure to consult your doctor before deciding to use CBD oil for your anxiety disorder.

11. Kava Kava

What is it?

Kava kava root, sometimes just referred to as “kava,” is an ingredient used in celebrational beverages in the Pacific Islands. Many people have reported feeling similar effects to that of alcohol after drinking it.

How Does it Help?

Because of this sensation that people feel after drinking it, many have considered kava kava as a treatment for anxiety symptoms. However, not much is presently proven regarding its medical properties or effectiveness, nor its potential adverse effects on one’s health if taken regularly.

12. Holy Basil

What is it?

Holy bail is another herb used in traditional Indian medicine that has been long-renowned for its overall healing properties, from treating bronchitis to decreasing joint pain to lowering blood pressure. One benefit of using holy basil is its ability to reduce anxiety symptoms.

How Does it Help?

Holy basil is an adaptogen, which means it helps your brain “adapt” to stressors that cause anxiety. It can also help you feel more social, which is particularly helpful for people who suffer from social anxiety.

The most common way to ingest holy basil is in tea or through supplements.

 

Anxiety Treatment in Orange County, California

For holistic, community-based treatment of anxiety, Barn Life Recovery is here for you. Our facility is a haven for people from all walks of life who are living with these issues. We specialize in non-pharmacological treatment with the goal to help you Love Life Again. Learn more about what we do and attend one of our free community events to see if we’re a good fit for you.

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Hear From Those We've Impacted

Barn life is probably one of the most amazing facilities you could ever attend when it comes to mental illness. This was the first place that popped up when I was searching for help and I’m so thankful that it did. The environment is very therapeutic, the staff is awesome, and the group discussions and activities were so helpful in me understanding what I was experiencing. Do not hesitate to be a part of this place. It’s literally a game changer. I was only there for 6 weeks but I wished I stayed at least 6 months. Ever since returning home, I’ve been much happier and my perspective has changed dramatically. I’ve done things and participated in events at my college that I never thought I would be able to do. This place is truly amazing and I’m forever grateful that I found this place.
Ariana E.
Ariana E.
18:05 30 Sep 22
Best for someone looking for spiritual healing in addition to their mental health healing.
Luka P.
Luka P.
03:26 17 Sep 22
Barn Life is uniquely special. As someone who has had long stretches of sobriety with "traditional" communities and methods, Barn Life stepped in when I started struggling during the pandemic and said "traditional" methods failed to help.The staff here are exceptional. This is a truly subjective statement, but it is my honest opinion that the people from the owner (Hi Matt!) to EVERYONE else works there because they believe in the work and want to share the tools they found.Barn Life and their little sibling, Peer Mental Wellness were the launchpad from a shell of an existence to person with self-love/respect, and a life-mission of personal development.
Steven D.
Steven D.
02:54 21 Aug 22
When I walked in I thought I'd teleported to east asia. When I finally got a chance to sit down , take in the scene, explore the culture and decor there ...I found signs and symbols that had me interested in a new way of thinking.Now, when I met the people I wasnt ever struck by how luxurious their suit was (some have cool tattoos) or anything aesthetic but more drawn towards the energy of the staff. Especially the owners and the reiki practitioner, they're the OG's of the place. You'll find Kevin has the same thing and was a huge pickup for the space. He's intro to the themes provide very cool concepts based on Greek myths and how most theologies are symbols for the psyche , and psychology really being the study of the "soul" as psyche in Greek is "soul".Tai chi is amazing, the have an instructor who's been connected to the space since it began.The Qi Gong instructor is awesome. You'll love her traditional, authoritative korean spunk and overall burning passion and unrelenting commitment to help people. She'll put in extra one-on-one time if you're really about it.And reiki with kristin is basically taking a trip without the need of external , psychotropic medications. Shes also very engaged with the community and if you're smart you'll stop in her office from time to time to talk about life or share art. She'll make you see the world in a different way.Last but not least the owner Matt is one of the most warm hearted humans I've ever met. Very well rounded and is probably the coolest one to pick the brain of. His office is usually open but most people dont have the balls to go in there and face him alone believe or not. Dont be soft. What I always loved about matt is when I'd walk in and say something, he never gave me advice. He usually would just agree with my analysis which would somehow guide me to answers, as if being a mirror of truth. The more I opened up to him, the more I felt a , "me too" presence. Hes a true ,genuine man, and will turn into a reliable friend quickly if you're just an honest, authentic and committed human being.And his wife alyssa has the same warm, lighthearted spunk. They both are the loving parents who sit back and watch for sure.Much Love to Barn
Alex W.
Alex W.
07:53 21 Jun 22
Difficult to put my experience of this place into words. A hidden gem of healing, a necessary step to take. If you are looking for change, the place is here—prepare to dive into your journey of self discovery, and enjoy the ride!
Vicki S.
Vicki S.
23:45 07 Mar 22
Barn life is a unique place. In my time, I feel like I came out with more tools and a happier outlook than I could have anticipated. Groups were incredibly interesting, and involved areas and perspectives on wellness and mental health that I haven’t encountered elsewhere, but have been crucial for me. The balance of eastern and western modalities felt like it gave me a lot of space and tools for introspection and growing to understand and like myself better. I feel as though I developed friendships and a support system that I’m incredibly thankful for. I’m grateful for everyone I attended barn with and everyone who led groups or worked there. It really is a special space!
Chris M
Chris M
03:05 03 Mar 22
I came to Barnlife in the middle of Covid and in the middle of a personal crisis.Simply being there, with the excellent staff and supportive clients around me day to day, lifted me up out of my mental despair and set me off to continue my life in a productive, successful and fulfilling way.So many of the staff members are outstanding, but I must say that Mathew Carver, the owner, is the heart and soul and light of this place. His groups and his genuinely caring personal attention truly saved my life.
Colette H.
Colette H.
22:57 02 Mar 22
This was a life changing experience. I came into who I am while here and was able to become comfortable in my own skin. The facility and staff are amazing and it is an extremely supportive community. Nothing like any other treatment program I've been to.
Nicholas C.
Nicholas C.
04:14 02 Mar 22
This is my first review, I just had to sing the praises of Barn Life Recovery, they have been instrumental in helping a family member of mine, the staff and environment are so welcoming- I have seen such a difference in my loved one, they have given him the tools and confidence to dig deep and live his best life, to respond not react. Forever grateful~Thank you!!!
Jessica D
Jessica D
18:00 25 Feb 22
I came to Barn Life in 2019 for support with my depression and anxiety. It was the hardest time in my life and I felt so welcomed and supported by the people here. My experience at Barn Life changed my life. I found community and I learned how to care for my mind, body, and soul. I highly recommend this place for anyone who is struggling mentally.
Alix G.
Alix G.
22:08 10 Jan 22
This is an amazing facility. I actually came to these guys a handful of years ago and had a great experience. They are very welcoming and make that first step a little easier. They are much more open minded and understand what it's like to be sitting in the chairs next to you as well. On top of everything, I had a not-so-great experience with the DMV recently and they required some old paperwork from years ago. Matt and Barn Life were able to help me out and get everything squared away. They truly went above and beyond and I would most definitely recommend them to others.
Ty M.
Ty M.
02:23 25 Apr 21
Barn life is not just a recovery community, it is a family of friends that will stay with me for life. The staff here has taught me things about myself that I never believed before. They helped me find a confidence in myself I didn’t know existed. I returned here after a relapse and deep depression and they accepted me with open arms. I am eternally grateful for this place and anyone should feel safe sending their loved one here.
Suzanne S.
Suzanne S.
19:23 16 Nov 20
This place is the best treatment center I could've asked for! I came in at my lowest I've ever been, and the staff welcomed me with open arms. I truly love everything this place has to offer, every service and group has helped me grow into my own again. I can finally look forward to life again. I would recommend this place to any age struggling with addiction or mental health issues, it is a magical place I swear to god.
Piper D.
Piper D.
22:56 22 Sep 20
This program saved my life. I’ve been to a lotttttt of other programs but this one is so unique and special I literally still talk about it even though I graduated a while ago. I wish everyone could experience how amazing Barn Life is!
Brittany D.
Brittany D.
21:55 17 Sep 20
Barn Life has truly taught me to love life again. I was a lost, broken, and cagey girl when I came here. With the tremendous amounts of love and hard work from the staff and other clients, I have transformed into the woman I was always meant to be.When I first walked in I felt like I found the home I had been searching for. Everyone of their staff members sincerely cares for each person that walks through their gates. The staff is impeccable and will not allow anything to stand in the way of helping any and everyone they meet. I appreciate every aspect that Barn Life has to offer.Every moment I spent in this facility, I will cherish for the rest of my life. I would not be here today without their help.Thank you all so much for being here and offering such a safe space for me to heal and learn to love again.
Justice I.
Justice I.
18:40 25 May 20
This place is so amazing it has really helped me turn my life around I am forever grateful to barn life I highly recommend it to anyone who is struggling
Melanie M.
Melanie M.
22:50 24 Jan 20
Words can't express how grateful I am for Barn Life Recovery. My daughter was desperately reaching out for help for many years and as her mother, I didn't recognize the depth of her despair, and I was limited in my understanding of what "help" she needed.With her insight and perfect understanding of her illness, her limitless research to find the professional help she needed and her persistent attempts to help me to understand what she needed from me,Barn Life Recovery was a glimmer of hope in what I perceived as a helpless and increasing darkness.She had to face many fears to board a jet alone and travel to California from Alabama.I'm so happy for her, she has been there for 2 months and is receiving the help she needs, physical, mental and emotional.I hope the rest of the country can follow their concept of "help".
Sylvia M.
Sylvia M.
13:05 10 Nov 19
Wonderfully compassionate people, very down to earth the team at barn life treats everyone proper af!
austin B.
austin B.
01:02 13 Oct 19
Barn Life is hands down the best recovery / mental health facility in Orange County, probably in California. I went there for 6 months and they saved my life. Unconventional, progressive, caring, fun. NOT your typical prison-like rehab place, it's a zen garden/dojo with art, reiki, tai chi, qi gong, and yoga with the best therapy Ive ever received as well as the most informative, personal groups. Matt and Alyssa Carver are the best people I know and I truly cant say enough about them as people or rehabilitation owners. No, no one paid me to say all this, lol. This is thanks from my heart.
Andru W.
Andru W.
04:20 20 Sep 19
I am alumni from Zen Recovery Path / a great place , and live a happy healthy life ever since / great peaceful place to recover // Namaste
Michael M.
Michael M.
01:06 11 Jul 19
My daughter has been at Barn Life Recovery now for two months. It was my last resort to send her 9 hours away from me. She has been in drug and mental health rehabs in and out for two years. This was my last stitch effort to save my daughter and get her back to herself. Alyssa and I spoke multiple times before deciding. Their willingness to do everything for her and the different teams they have work with them is amazing. My daughter is happy again and clean and sober. She loves it there in their outpatient program. They restore your faith in humanity. They help restore someone who is broken in so many places to themselves. They have put the light back in my daughters eyes. They are committed to helping each person who truly wants the help. They assist in helping them get jobs and be responsible members of society. I recommend their program to anyone wanting to recover from drug, alcohol and mental health.Thank you to all the people at Barn Life who have made my daughter smile and bring the light back to her eyes. I am truly grateful.DawnaLee
DawnaLee W.
DawnaLee W.
17:34 18 May 19
Through trial and error of trying to stay sober this program is definitely the most caring and supporting of them all if anyone needs help and is willing to help themselves I suggest barnlife they will for a fact give you the push you need and the tools to keep you going
Mason T.
Mason T.
06:10 14 Mar 19

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