Best Supplements for Anger: Our Top Natural Nootropics

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• Fact Checked By: Spela Bednjanic, B.A. In Psychology

From the vast array of human feelings, dealing with explosive and out-of-control anger is perhaps one of the toughest. While anger itself isn’t always a bad thing, the way someone handles it might be the actual problem. Anger that spirals out of control can be hard on work, relationships, as well as the health of the individual in question. If you have issues with anger, don’t worry – we know supplements for anger that may help you out!

best supplements for anger

What Is Anger?

Biologically, anger may be considered a person’s natural response to perceived threats. When anger surges, the body responds by releasing adrenaline, the muscles tighten, and both heart rate and blood pressure begin to increase.

As a result of such out-of-control anger, the concerned individual’s senses might start feeling more acute, their face and hands become flushed, their voice raised and their stress elevated.

Common triggers for such a reaction could be losing one’s patience, feeling unappreciated or ignored, or even a problem caused by another person such as canceling plans. Sometimes anger might be the outcome of memories of a traumatic or enraging event.

The severity of this outburst can vary from acute annoyance to intense rage. If the response is in proportion to the event, experts will tell you that it’s quite normal to experience anger occasionally in response to some situations.

But when anger escalates in response to a minor provocation and gets out of control, then this is not considered a normal response but a problem.

When Is Anger Harmful To Health?

Episodes of anger are most often traced to some kind of stressors. When someone is overly stressed, they can become more prone to anger. In this state, both stress and anger can become hard to manage.

Some of the common feelings experienced during an anger episode include perceiving a situation as threatening, the inability of thinking clearly or rationally, and a quick temper.

While there are many different classifications of anger, here we will broadly divide the term into two with either anger that is suppressed or anger that lashes out.

Pent-up Anger

Some research indicates that anger which is expressed inappropriately such as keeping it pent up might be harmful to the body and mind in many different ways with anger being associated with mental and physical health problems.

Typically, pent-up anger often presents symptoms like irritability, internal restlessness, sadness and/or frustration.

Granted, that triggers can vary for every person, some of the most common ones include feeling unheard, lack of acceptance of a situation, or unmet needs. Some people may also experience anger when they are hurt.

In more severe cases, keeping anger to oneself without expressing it might lead to depression and anxiety. This is because anger turned inwards often brings about feelings of self-loathing which can cause depression.

What all these situations have in common is experiencing anger without expressing or coping with feelings. Symptoms of pent-up anger include poor sleep, feeling on edge, irritation, frustration, and hurting others. Suppressing anger also seems to worsen chronic pain while expressing it reduces pain.

Sometimes it might also associate itself with sleep disturbances, digestive discomfort, and even frequent headaches.

There is also some evidence that anger and hostility are associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, and stroke.

Uncontrolled Anger

Out-of-control anger is equally bad for physical and emotional wellbeing. It can quickly escalate to verbal or physical violence with the potential to harm oneself and others.

Also known as an intermittent explosive disorder, this behavior involves recurrent and abrupt episodes of impetuous, sometimes intrusive behavior or heated verbal outbursts. Some examples include domestic abuse, road rage, hurling or breaking objects, and other types of temper tantrums.

With these types of anger issues, tempers can flare swiftly with little or no warning and might last up to 30 or so minutes. The affected individual may feel surly, instinctive, contentious, or incessantly angry most of the time.

The outcome might be frequented heated arguments, yelling and shouting, tirades, pushing, shoving or punching and in worse cases, physical conflicts, property damage, or assaulting others.

These types of issues are usually outside the scope of self-treatment and need professional intervention.

When Is It Okay To Feel Angry?

There can also be instances when experiencing anger isn’t considered a bad thing. Instead, being angry can help people share their concerns. It can also stop others from walking all over you and give you back some of that lost control. Sometimes, it might even act as a motivator and nudge people to do something positive.

supplements for irritability and anger

The key is to manage anger in a healthy way.

Assertive Anger

The healthy way to deal with anger is having the ability to resolve conflict in a productive way by being respectful to everyone involved. In other words, it forms the middle ground between being pent-up and lashing out.

When you have assertive anger, you are more concerned about how others feel and want to resolve conflicts by finding solutions for everyone.

The assertive individual will do this without the need to lose control, be violent, or cause an argument.

How To “Treat” Anger?

To implement anger management, conventional doctors use both psychotherapy and prescription medications including antidepressants and tranquilizers which can help while others recommend lifestyle changes and complementary medicine for longer-lasting results.

To treat, cure, or prevent anger issues, natural or botanical medicines are gentler than pharmaceuticals with many herbal remedies calming emotions without dulling the brain.

Often found in supplemental form, these herbal options can also help balance mood and negative thoughts that might be feeding the anger along with hormones like cortisol that is always associated with stress. Most are also non-habit-forming and can work in the following capacities:

  • Adaptogens

These normalize brain and body processes as anger can disrupt brain and body chemicals.

  • Antidepressants

These regulate depressive episodes.

  • Anti-inflammatories

These subdue inflammation for those with outbursts have elevated inflammation.

  • Anxiolytics

These target key chemicals in the brain.

  • Relaxants

These calm the muscles during agitative episodes.

These natural supplements for anger can help with anger issues by either working directly such as help calm, relax, or sedate the body and mind, or they could help indirectly by eliminating toxin build-up that could trigger outbursts. Some could even use a combination of the two and assist with anger management even better.

Treating Anger Without Medication

The following list is simply a starting point for those interested in pursuing an alternative way of managing anger. It’s important to keep in mind that these remedies alone won’t stop you from being angry, but they will offer support to move anger into a place more comfortable for you.

Let’s check out the best nootropics for anger: 

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb classified as an adaptogen. In relation to anger, ashwagandha might help by influencing sleep directly and by lowering stress which benefits sleep indirectly. It is probably one of the most popular supplements for anger control. 

herbal supplements for anger management

To explain this a little better, let’s take a look at the connection between sleep and anger.

Research indicates that not getting enough rest can make it more difficult to do simple tasks and can lead to frustration. Findings from a study show that participants who lost out on sleep were angrier and less able to adapt to frustrating situations than others who got adequate rest. [1]

The study involved 142 participants divided into two groups. The first group maintained their normal sleep routine while the other cut their sleep short for 2-4 hours nightly over two nights. Findings showed the sleep-restricted group to be angrier than the other group.

It has also been recorded that short-term sleep loss can increase negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and restlessness. At the same time, it can also decrease positive emotions like enthusiasm, joy, and happiness.

Over time, stress caused by sleep loss further affects mood as stress causes cortisol release, which can take a toll on the body via high blood pressure and cognitive decline.

It is in situations like this where relaxing remedies like ashwagandha can come in handy. Since the herb possesses antidepressant and sedative qualities, it has often been used to help with sleep.

The other scenario is lowering stress which is better studied with regards to ashwagandha.

An early clinical trial gave participants suffering from moderate to severe anxiety high dose ashwagandha. Findings showed ashwagandha significantly improving mental health, energy levels, concentration, vitality and overall quality of life. [2]

More similar research found that participants receiving a high dose of ashwagandha reported a better quality of life as their perceived stress levels diminished. [3]

Chamomile

Chamomile takes a multi-faceted approach to managing anger by calming anxiety, stress, and tension. Plus, it also helps relax muscles, soothes pain, and aids sleep.

natural supplements for anger management

Chamomile is first and foremost known as a calming tea. Research shows chamomile to be effective in aiding relaxation as its apigenin content binds to benzodiazepine receptors enhancing the effect of GABA receptors resulting in sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant properties.

All these concerns are fairly standard when it comes to managing anger but chamomile takes things up a notch by also being able to resolve stomach issues.

This is concerned with what is known as the gut-brain connection. [4]

We now know that the brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. For instance, the mere notion of eating releases stomach juices before you even put the first bite into your mouth.

This instinctive connection works two ways as an agitated intestine can convey signals the brain. Likewise, a troubled brain can also alert the gut in a similar manner. Plus, the GI tract is responsive to emotion.

Anger, anxiety along with other negative emotions can bring about symptoms in the gut. For anger, the gut responds by increasing stomach contractions which can lead to upper abdominal pain. It also reduces colon contractions which results in constipation. In other words, anger bottles you up.

To counter these and other effects, chamomile contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and carminative properties which help soothe the stomach lining. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea might relieve an upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion, all of which are also linked to anger issues.

Many people who use chamomile as a stress-reducer either take it as a tea or use it in products such as pills or capsule form for convenience.

Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa monnieri is also an adaptogenic herb used widely for reducing stress. In this regard, it is believed that certain compounds in bacopa elevate mood by reducing cortisol, a hormone closely linked to stress levels. [5]

Powerful compounds known as bacosides in the plant are believed to be responsible for these benefits.

Bacopa has been observed to increase serotonin which improves mood, and GABA which increases feelings of calmness. In one small human trial, the herb was seen as reducing stress and depressive episodes by lowering cortisol levels. [6]

Other studies on animal models showed that bacopa has the potential to balance and normalize hormone and brain chemical levels in response to stress. [7]

Findings from this research showed that when stress produced changes in blood and brain chemistry such as raising cortisol in the blood and noradrenaline in the brain, bacopa lowered these back to the normal range.

Also, as stress lowered serotonin and dopamine levels, bacopa administration was able to raise these back to normal as well.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm is an herb that is used widely to alleviate anxiety. Some research has linked lemon balm to reduced feelings of stress as it can improve GABA accessibility in the brain.

lemon balm

Where anxiousness is concerned, lemon balm has been seen to abate symptoms such as excitability and nervousness.

Lemon balm can also potentially boost mood as shown in research where foods with lemon balm were used with participants reporting positive changes in mood. [8]

With regards to sleep, lemon balm combined with valerian could be helpful for relieving restlessness and insomnia. And it has also been used for treating digestive inconsistencies such as abdominal pain and discomfort.

Rhodiola Rosea

An adaptogen that can reduce anxiety and stress, Rhodiola Rosea offers antidepressant properties, nervous system support, and protects against toxins.

Although it has relaxing effects, it is non-drowsy, so you still end up focused. Like other adaptogens, it also reduces the stress hormone cortisol while stimulating dopamine and serotonin.

Some studies done on the topic show the plant’s potentials to significantly lower stress and anxiety levels, and lower anger and confusion. [9]

Rhodiola is often stacked with other calming or anxiety-reducing compounds. Popular stacks include stacking it with ashwagandha or L-theanine to get maximum benefits.

L-Theanine

L-theanine’s ability to make people feel calm and relaxed is documented and verified, and now on a newer front, it also seems to be really effective at keeping them in this state. Once a person is calm and relaxed from the effects of l-theanine, it’s less likely for them to shift gears and get into their usual patterns of explosive and needless anger.

L-theanine is recommended for anyone with anger issues as it increases the effects of the inhibitory transmitter GABA in the brain. It also makes people happier with slightly increasing dopamine.

Another area where l-theanine benefits are by creating stable alpha brain waves. Alpha brain waves are the waves that lead to a deep feeling of peace and enhance creativity and productivity. They also increase pain tolerance and boost resilience to stress. [10]

Since alpha brain waves are linked with relaxed mental states, they can also affect and regulate your episodes of anger.

Many experts believe that increasing alpha activity might help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as help people, stay relaxed. Some research also points out that people experiencing depressive episodes have impaired alpha activity and improving this activity might be a potential way of treating low mood and anger.

Verdict

Anger and stress go hand in hand and often feed off of each other. To address one, you must also pay heed to the other.

That is why anger should be managed rather than stifled or ignored to improve quality of life, and one of the best ways to do so is to look at what nature has provided us with.

Using natural ingredients is a safer alternative to prescription medications and as long as your doctor gives you the thumbs up, there is no harm in trying them to manage your anger issues.

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