Let’s explore a list of supplements that lower cortisol. Here are some of the top supplements and herbs that can be used to reduce cortisol levels and how they work. Your brain is constantly working to regulate your levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and releases it in response to stimuli. But, there are some simple supplements you can add to your daily routine that will help reduce the amount of cortisol your body produces.
Disclaimer: This is just a basic overview and should not be taken as medical advice. Consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen. It’s important to remember that many people have different reactions or sensitivities to these products as well, so it may take time for you to find what works best for your body.
Below are some herbal remedies that are super effective when it comes to reducing stress hormones in the brain!
- Ashwagandha – An evergreen shrub that grows in parts of Africa & Asia. Most supplements are made from its root. With all of its anti-inflammatory properties, ashwagandha is known as an adaptogen, which helps the body better handle stress. When taken and used alongside a healthy lifestyle and diet, it can start showing benefits within as little as 2 weeks. Dosage varies from 300mg – 5000mg a day depending on your needs and tolerance.
- Vitamin C – An essential vitamin that helps the body repair tissue and boosts the immune system. Vitamin C helps to reduce stress by assisting the body in clearing cortisol, and lowering anxiety levels. Recommended daily dose is between 65 – 95mg but anything up to 2000mg a day is safe. Try taking buffered vitamin C, which is a form of vitamin C combined with magnesium, calcium and potassium, making it more gentle on the stomach and optimizes absorption. Keep in mind that the chewable vitamin C tablets you can get at the supermarket contain artificial sweeteners, so if possible try to choose a vitamin C (buffered or not) that is not chewable and has a more pure ingredient list.
- Vitamin D3 – A fat soluble vitamin that helps the body better absorb Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphate. Vitamin D also helps in regulating mood and managing depression. Many people are deficient in Vitamin D (especially in Canada!) So you could really benefit from supplementing with Vitamin D even if you don’t have high cortisol levels! The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D is anywhere between 1000- 4000 IU/day. I would personally recommend Vitamin D drops (as opposed to pills) as the liquid is more bioavailable (more easily absorbed by the body).
- Omega 3s & DHA – A series of polyunsaturated fats associated with many health benefits. Studies have found that adequate supplementation of omega 3s & DHA leads to a reduced adrenal response, therefore lowering cortisol before it is produced! The recommended daily intake for EPA & DHA combined is 200-500mg/day. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can still take an Omega 3 & DHA supplement. There are a few supplement brands out there who make vegan products made of seaweed and algae!
- Magnesium Glycinate – An essential mineral needed in the body. Repeated physical and mental stress can drain your magnesium stores, and low magnesium intensifies stress, something we definitely want to avoid! Although there are a few types of magnesium, magnesium glycinate is especially good at producing a calming effect, and it is often used to reduce anxiety, stress, depression and insomnia. Recommended daily intake is 400mg/day.
- L- Theanine – A component often found in green & back teas, L- Theanine can be a great addition to your supplement stack. This supplement calms, without impairing cognitive ability and reduces cortisol levels. It also helps to reduce heart rate, helping to further its relaxing abilities. The recommended daily intake is 200mg/day.
- Cordyceps – A fungus traditionally used in Chinese Traditional Medicine to increase longevity & stamina. It has been shown to improve physical performance all the while reducing cortisol levels! The daily recommended dose is between 1000-3000mg /day, although there is not enough research to conclude if this is an optimal dose or not. If you are on diabetes medication or blood thinners, talk to your doctor before starting supplementing with cordyceps as it may interact negatively with those drugs.
Now that we’ve explored a few supplements to help, let’s look at a few herbs that you can either supplement within pill form, or brew into a tea from scratch! If you are a tea lover and want ways to sneak in extra health benefits with your warm cup of tea, this next part is for you!
Supplements To Reduce Cortisol And Belly Fat That Are Perfect For Tea
Here are some herbs that lower cortisol, that you can easily brew into tea! I have included simple brewing instructions if you’d like to make your tea from scratch, or if you’re like me and prefer an even simpler approach, I’ve also included this link where you can purchase prepared organic teabags.
- Rhodiola (Arctic Root) – An adaptogen that helps the body adapt to stress. Do not take if you are currently on MAOIs. Boil 1 cup water, then place 1 tbsp dried rhodiola root tea in an infuser and steep for 5 -10 minutes. Enjoy 1-2 cups a day.
- Lemon Balm – Can increase calmness, memory and alertness under times of stress. Also thanks to its antiviral properties, it can also help speed up cold sore healing!
For tea, boil 1 cup water, and add 1 tbsp dried lemon balm leaves in a tea infuser. Steep for 5- 10 minutes and enjoy.
- Chamomile- Has been shown to promote restful sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety & depression. This is a perfect tea to make before bed.
For tea, boil 1 cup of water, and add 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to a tea infuser. Steep for 5 minutes and enjoy!
- Turmeric – Brings on a calming and relaxing effect while simultaneously increasing mental alertness.
For tea, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve as is, or with lemon and honey.
- Ginger – Increases serotonin levels, as well as improves heart health and lowers blood pressure. It is also wonderful in aiding proper digestion.
For tea, thinly slice 1 in a chunk of fresh ginger, and place with 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve as is, or with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of honey if desired.
- Ginkgo Biloba- Helps to calm anxiety and reduce cortisol levels in the body. Not recommended for those who are taking Xanax or other medications for depression as the two may interact.
For tea, steep 1 ounce dried ginkgo Biloba leaves in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain & serve.
If tea isn’t your thing, you can still reap the benefits of these supplements in pill or tincture form, or the case of ginger & turmeric, by incorporating them into your cooking!
To purchase any of these supplements, click this link to view them all on my Amazon list, in one convenient place!
These are some tried and true supplements to help lower cortisol levels. When used in conjunction with these 10 Natural Ways To Lower Cortisol, you should be able to feel a huge improvement in your health! I have personally used a combination of these and they have resulted in some wonderful benefits in my own life.
These supplements, paired with a diet rich in foods that lower cortisol and other natural remedies are your best bet of rebalancing your cortisol levels. To learn more about ways to lower cortisol naturally, read my article here.