There’s no doubt about it, Xanax is one hell of a drug.
I’ve tried it myself a few times, and it is 100% the most effective thing out there that basically stops anxiety in its tracks.
It’s prescribed to literally millions of Americans, and is seen as being one of the most widely used (and abused) anti-anxiety medications in existence.
In fact, last year alone there were 44 million prescriptions for Xanax written, which is about 16 MILLION more then the next closest competitor, Ativan.
However, the potential for addiction and dependence on Xanax and other anxiety medications like Lorazepam (Ativan) is HUGE.
There are literally THOUSANDS of stories of people being addicted to it, and the withdrawal from it can be an absolute nightmare.
There’s also a wide range of side effects associated with it’s use, including drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, changes in libido, and loss of coordination.
Lastly, Benzodiazepines have steadily been on the rise as a major contributor to drug overdose deaths in the US over the last 10 years.
Couple that with the fact that the only way (legally of course) that you can take it is if you’re prescribed it by a licensed physician, and that dwindles your possibilities of getting your hands on it in the first place.
What if there was something over the counter that you could take that would mimic the effects of Xanax, all while being completely legal to buy without a prescription.
Well, the reason I’m writing this right now is there in fact ARE all natural supplements out there that work very closely to Xanax.
If you run a search on Google for all natural alternatives to Xanax, you’re typically presented with the following remedies on a few different websites:
- Valerian Root
- Green Tea
- Lemon Balm
- Passion Flower
These are great and all, but they are in NO WAY closeto the effectiveness of Xanax or other anti anxiety medications.
You’re looking for REAL relief, and the below products WILL provide it.
Let’s review a few of the more potent ones below.
These are all ranked in terms of effectiveness, and I outline exactly how you should be taking each to get the best possible results.
I have personally tested ALLof the below mentioned Xanax alternatives, and KNOW they work.
I want to make it CRYSTAL CLEAR that the following are NOT drugs.
They haven’t been reviewed or tested by the FDA, and they make no claims to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
My #1 Xanax OTC Alternative – Phenibut
I first discovered Phenibut when I was researching all natural anti-anxiety supplements.
I was contacted by the makers of a product called Phenibut XT, and they were looking for someone to test out there product and write a review.
Since that’s pretty much what I do, I had them send me over a couple of bottles.
I don’t typically suffer from anxiety, and I’m not really socially awkward.
I’m the kind of guy who’s a bit shy upfront, but once I get to know you I can be pretty outgoing.
With that said, I do have some moments of anxiety / jittery feelings (pretty much everyone does, right?
), usually when I load up on caffeine or pre workout supplements.
I first tried Phenibut XT by itself to gauge it’s effectiveness, dosing with 2 capsules, which is about 1 gram.
It took a REALLY long time to kick in, somewhere in the range of 5 – 6 hours.
But once it did, the effects were ENORMOUS.
It virtually eliminated all feelings of anxiety, lifted my mood, and increased my confidence.
It also works as a very potent aphrodisiac believe it or not.
What is Phenibut and How Does It Work?
(A short chemistry lesson)
According to Wikipedia, Phenibut is a central depressant and analog of the inhibitory neurotransmitter y-aminobutyric acid, which is a fancy technical term for GABA.
When you drink alcohol, GABA is released into the brain, making you feel less anxious.
This is one of the main reasons why alcohol is use by millions to “take the edge off” when you’re feeling stressed out.
You’ll find GABA in plenty of other supplements, usually in stress relief and anti-anxiety products.
The problem is, GABA on its own does NOT cross the blood brain barrier in significant quantities.
Because Phenibut is an analog of GABA, what it does is it adds a ring around the GABA, which basically binds to the GABA-B receptor and activates it.
In short, it works very similarly to the effects of alcohol.
Unlike drugs like alcohol, Xanax and Lorazepam, Phenibut does NOT affect your cognitive function.
It doesn’t make you lose focus, concentration, or have any impact on short or long term memory.
It basically reduces your anxiety, all while keeping you alert and focused.
In fact, when combined with a stimulant like DMAA, Caffeine, or Ephedrine, the effects are very similar to that of Adderall, minus the anxiety producing effects that come with taking Adderall.
It does this because Phenibut primarily affects the GABA-B receptor, which takes a bit longer to kick in, but seems to last longer and not affect coordination and concentration.
The biggest downside with Phenibut is that you can’t take it everyday.
The reason behind this is, just like with drugs like Xanax and Lorazepam, it seems to build a tolerance quite rapidly.
In addition, it also has the potential for abuse, addiction, and dependency, so you should limit use to just once or twice a week.
How Should I Take It?
On the days you decide to use Phenibut, you should start low and slow.
By that I mean you should start with a low dosage and space out your doses by about 4 – 5 hours.
A low dose would be considered somewhere in the range of 250 – 500 mg.
Be sure that you take it on a completely empty stomach, as it doesn’t seem to work as well on a full stomach.
Because it takes so long to “kick in”, don’t expect it to start working in 20 – 30 minutes like Xanax does. It takes a LOT longer.
- The absolute BEST supplement I’ve ever tested to lower anxiety
- Modestly priced
- Takes a long time to kick in
- Can’t take it everyday
- Has the potential for withdrawal if you take it too often
- Generally speaking you won’t find it in stores
I personally recommend the Absorb Your Health brand of Phenibut (www.AbsorbYourHealth.com).
It’s the highest quality and most effective Phenibut I’ve ever tested, and I’ve tested 10+ brands over the years.
#2 Alternative – Kratom
Kratom is a plant based substance that comes from the Coffee family, and has been used by people in the Southeast Asian region to help improve mood, give you energy, and lower anxiety.
Kratom comes from 3 different regions: Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Recently (as in like the past 15 – 20 years or so), Kratom has had quite the following here in the US.
It’s unknown exactly how many people use it, but the vast majority of Americans have never even heard of the substance.
Kratom is widely believed to help people get off of opioid medications like oxycodone, vicodin, Hydrocodone, and Percocet, and is actually a very suitable alternative for these medications.
It’s effects on anxiety have never really been studied in a clinical setting, but anecdotal reports are very favorable to the substance. And I can personally vouch for this.
There’s a couple of things you need to be aware of with Kratom.
– Dose Size
If you take a low dose of Kratom (usually 1 – 3 grams), it tends to be more of a stimulating and energetic experience.
If you take a HIGH dose (4+ grams), it tends to be more sedating and euphoric.
If you’re using Kratom as an alternative to Xanax, then I would recommend using a higher dose.
Some people have reported a worsening of their anxiety when using small doses.
– Your Body Chemistry
Everyone (including myself) seems to react differently to different strains and dose sizes.
Some may get an anti-anxiety experience from a strain like Maeng Da, and others may get a totally different result.
It’s best to buy a small batch of 4 – 5 different extracts and test them out individually to get the best results.
– There IS The Potential For Withdrawal
I’ve only used Kratom for a few months now, and typically I will take it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
The few times I stopped taking it I basically felt like I had a cold.
The withdrawal effect has been likened to caffeine withdrawal.
There’s a few things you can do to keep you from getting withdrawals in the first place:
- Use it sparingly, maybe 2 – 3 times per week
- Cycle it on a 3 week on, 1 week off period
- Don’t dose more than once a day, usually in the morning
It seems like the vast majority of people that end up getting withdrawals from Kratom take it everyday, all day, in relatively high doses.
I wouldn’t liken the withdrawal to the same of Xanax, but I’ve hear it can be pretty bad.
How To Take It And Which Should I Use?
I kind of already mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating.
It’s difficult for me to say “take THISamount of THISstrain and THISis the effect you’ll get”.
Everyone’s body is different, and will respond differently to various types of strains and dose sizes.
I have tested a wide variety of Kratom strains over the last 8 months or so, and for me the most effective at helping with anxiety seems to be:
- Red Vein Thai and Bali
- Green Malay
In that order.
Note: You can buy all of these from my preferred vendor, www.KratomCrazy.com.
If you’re just starting out with Kratom as an alternative to Xanax, I would suggest you stick to a low dose for the first few tries.
Remember, a low dose is typically in the 1 – 2 gram range, but I’ve heard from guys that have used as little as 500 mg getting results.
Although the effect is probably very minimal with a dose that size. Test it out and see how you feel.
If you’re not feeling anything, then gradually increase the dose by 500 mg – 1 gram every 1/2 hour until you reach the desired effect.
There’s one thing that’s undeniable…the taste is pretty bad.
It’s technically a “tea”, but it doesn’t taste like your grandmothers iced tea, that’s for sure.
Typically what I do is mix it with lemon lime Gatorade G2, but really the only reason I do this is because it’s easy to mix in a gatorade bottle, and I’ve sort of become used to the taste.
There are some ways to mask Kratoms taste, but that’s for another article.
- It’s VERY effective at helping with anxiety
- Can also provide feelings of euphoria, improved mood, and pain reduction
- The taste is pretty horrible
- There is the potential for withdrawal, but this is mitigated by using it responsibly
- You can’t buy it in brick and mortar stores
One HUGE downside that requires some more clarification is that the DEA announced back in August of 2016 that they intend to place Kratom as a Schedule 1 Drug. Yeah…it’s THAT GOOD.
The original date it was to be officially banned was October 1, 2016, but there has been an absolutely ENORMOUS outpouring of public support in favor of keeping Kratom legal.
It’s still in limbo, but I will be updating this post once the final call has been made.
Update – 10/12/2016
The DEA announced today that they are reversing their ban on Kratom, and will initiate a public comment process.
This is BIG news for the Kratom industry, and I’ll have more on it later.
#3 Alternative – Kava Root Extract
Kava has been used for literally thousands of years.
The vast majority of Kava you’ll find in stores like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and GNC is absolute junk. I know because I’ve used them.
The reason behind this is because practically every kava supplement out there uses kava roots.
Most of the REAL effects come from the juice that’s located in the center of the plant, which virtually no supplement contains.
The best Kava extract that I’ve used is from a company called Happy Hippo.
Their Kava extract is without a doubt the most effective all natural alternative to lorazepam you’ll find in the market.
How To Take It
Unlike with Kratom, you generally have to take VERY large dose to get the anti-anxiety effects you’re looking for.
When I say large dose I mean like 10 – 15 grams of the stuff, as opposed to Kratom which can be dosed at as little as 1 – 2 grams to feel the effects.
Generally speaking, I mix it with water, and the taste is not terrible.
- It’s very safe to take, people have been doing so for thousands of years
- There’s no potential for addiction or withdrawal
- Can and most likely WILL make your tongue feel numb
- You need to take a relatively large dose to feel the effects
- The effects are typically short-lived, usually lasting only an hour to an hour and a half
If you’re looking for a safe AND effective over the counter Xanax alternative, these are DEFINITELY your best options.
I’ve done a ton of research on the subject and tested dozens of anti-anxiety supplements, and the vast majority are garbage.
Not with these…
They WILL work for you.
If you have any specific questions on any of this, scroll below and leave a comment, or shoot me an email. I’m always here to help!
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