GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a nutrient that can be helpful for anxiety, physical tension, overwhelm and panic attacks. Technically it is an amino acid but it functionally acts like a neurotransmitter in the nervous system.
Julia Ross, a pioneer in the field of amino acid therapy and the author of “The Mood Cure” says GABA relaxes the nerves in the muscles in the body, and that it often provides an immediate sense of calm, both physically and mentally.
Some integrative doctors use it to help patients taper off of benzodiazepines (such as alprazolam/Xanax, lorazepam/Ativan, and diazepam/Valium) which have addictive properties.
While GABA levels can be raised through taking supplements, consult a knowledgeable practitioner before taking any supplemental amino acids, especially if you take any prescription medication. Contact me for a referral to a practitioner I really trust. Research also suggests that yoga and improving your stress management skills increase GABA naturally!