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How to Stop Anxiety With L-Theanine

Susan believes there is nothing more irritating than "interruptions" in sweet life. Using fact and humor, she loves sharing advice.

Can L-Theanine help with anxiety?

Can L-Theanine help with anxiety?

A Natural Alternative for Anxiety

Stress, anxiety, panic attacks—they are killers. Killers of mood. Killers of emotions. Killers of social ability. Killers of physical health. Killers of mental health.

Anxiety causes feelings of fear and paranoia, and it debilitates our enjoyment of life. Stress brings on anxiety. The combination of stress and anxiety can bring on a panic disorder.

Many of us take anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety medications prescribed by our doctor. While we should follow doctor’s orders, we should not fear investigating natural alternatives.

On one of my trips to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, I came across Dr. Fain’s Herbal Shop. At the time, school was about to start, and I had several other things on my plate. I felt like I was stressed to the max. I was anxious and felt panic attacks coming in waves.

When I walked into the shop, the knowledgeable assistant was able to help me immediately. “You need L-theanine, also known as theanine. You will take it any time you want, and it will help you relax without making you sleepy.”

"Will it make me hyper or jittery?" I asked.

"No, the exact opposite, and it is safe to take at high and low doses," she responded.

Really? Sounds too good to be true, but she was correct.

Fain's Herbacy in Eureka Springs, Arkanas

Fain's Herbacy in Eureka Springs, Arkanas

What Is L-Theanine?

According to, L-theanine is a “Gamma-ethylamino-L-glutamic acid” that is extracted from green tea leafs. A simpler way of putting it is that it is an amino acid found in tea leaves. When you are enjoying a cup or glass of tea, you are ingesting small amounts of L-theanine.

Tea is second only to water as the favorite choice of drink. You would need to drink 6 – 8 servings of tea to receive approximately 200 mg of L-theanine, which is the recommended dose to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.



How L-Theanine Works and Possible Side Effects

When this supplement is taken, it interacts with a chemical in our brains known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It increases the GABA in our brains, which has a natural calming effect on our systems reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.

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It also increases the release of Serotonin into our bloodstreams. Serotonin helps us stay balanced to ward off anxiety, which also creates a natural calming effect without causing drowsiness.

L-Theanine neither makes you feel hyper or sleepy. It can be taken any time of day. Because it is simply a tea leaf extract, it is safe to take periodically throughout the day.

There have been no conclusive studies to suggest the supplement has a negative interaction with other drugs. There are unsubstantiated claims that it helps hold off Alzheimer's, acts to create more effectiveness with cancer drugs, and aids high blood pressure medications. It may decrease the effectiveness of stimulant drugs (WebMD).

Always discuss taking any supplement with your doctor if you are pregnant or have a medical condition. Make sure your doctor feels comfortable allowing you to take L-theanine with other prescription drugs.

Benefits of Taking L-Theanine

Other than relieving stress and anxiety, L-Theanine can help with a variety of other ailments that are caused by stress and anxiety. It can:

  • help lower blood pressure
  • help mood swings
  • help women with PMS
  • help concentration
  • help memory
  • help support the immune system
  • help increase dopamine in the brain

The list can go on. Stress and anxiety can create many physical and mental issues in our bodies. Controlling them naturally can only help in calming stress and anxiety and giving your body the proper chemicals to help ward off unhealthy reactions.

  • skin sensitivity
  • racing heart
  • chest pain
  • muscle stiffness
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • brain fog
  • teeth gritting or grinding
  • fear of losing control
  • fear of everything
  • feeling trapped
  • crying with no apparent reason
  • nervous
  • apathy
  • no feelings
  • grumpy
  • uncharacteristically blunt
  • detached from people and things you love
  • ominous feeling of doom
  • dry mouth
  • sleepless nights
  • bizarre dreams
  • worry, worry, worry
Compare L-Theanine to Other Anti-Anxiety Herbs

Compare L-Theanine to Other Anti-Anxiety Herbs

Symptoms of Anxiety

Symptoms of an anxiety attack, also known as panic attack, are too many to list here and can come in a variety of combinations or can show as just one. Here are a few to provide awareness:

  • chest tightness
  • blushing or feeling heat in your face and body
  • nausea
  • jittery
  • fear for self, others, and the world
  • body tremors
  • tired
  • depressed
  • overwhelmed
  • feelings of being helpless
  • dizziness or light headedness
  • unnatural often use of the bathroom for bowel and bladder movements
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • paranoia
  • feeling cold or chilled
  • hair loss

As we can see from this list, anxiety is not something to be ignored. It will cause physical and mental damage and possibly death. If experiencing many of these symptoms, a physician should be consulted.

L-theanine will help calm the body but if anxiety has been tearing down the body's ability to fight, more serious problems may have evolved.

Using this calming supplement when stress, anxiety, and panic begin to start is one way of preventing levels of damaging health problems.

Being Overwhelmed: My Experience

As I said earlier, I stumbled upon L-theanine in Dr. Fain's Herbal Shop. I am so glad I did. I take it every night before I go to bed just to keep it in my system. I am also one of those people who will lie down while that proverbial squirrel is still running on its wheel. Time for a natural tranquilizer, Mr. Squirrel!

Some people say they have replaced their Valium with L-Theanine. I have never taken Valium, but I do choose the homeopathic natural over the prescription.

I have a fear of flying. I go to New York each year to visit my brother. I typically feel a horrible panic attack coming on, with many of the symptoms listed above. On days I fly, I sporadically take three 200 mg L-Theanine capsules throughout the day to keep the anxiety at bay. It helps tremendously. I get on the plane without compunction.

I actually carry L-theanine with me everywhere. It makes anxiety and panic disorders so much easier to manage. I also share it with friends. My girlfriend had just found out her husband was leaving her, and I gave her two 200 mg of L-Theanine. It was not an answer to her problems with her husband but it calmed her down so she could think about how she needed to handle the situation.

I love the fact that, for me, it is safe to take when serious anxiety is overwhelming me. I could not do that with Valium without risking a drug overdose. L-theanine is fast acting—kicking in about 20 minutes after taking it. It has been a true life saver for me.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can you take L-theanine with Citalopram?

Answer: Yes. After having breast cancer, my oncologist placed me on Citalopram/Celexa. There are days that are more overwhelming and need a bit more help, so the L-theanine is safe to take.

© 2012 Susan Holland


Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on July 29, 2016:

Hi Jeanie! When I am having anxiety, I take two 200 mg capsules. L-Theanine is simply green tea extracts. I took it for anxiety before surgery, BUT each of us is different, so consult a doctor before doing that. I have taken it before going out with friends for drinks (a couple glasses of wine), but, again, that is me. One capsule is supposed to be equivalent to drinking 8 cups of green tea. I hope this helps.

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

Jeannie on July 24, 2016:

I have used l theanine from time to time with subtle results at 200 mg daily. How much is safe to take? Also, is there an interaction with alcohol or should I skip the l theanine on days when I may be having drinks with friends? Thank you!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 13, 2016:

Hi Adena! Wow, you have had a time. I understand your feelings. Today is the day after the horrendous Orlando shooting, and it makes me feel very anxious and paranoid. L-theanine helps me, and I hope it helps you. I do not have to take it all the time. If you need something stronger, though, you should talk to your doctor. I have taken Zoloft in the past, but the L-theanine helps me. If you like decaf green tea, that is good too - which is what makes up L-theanine (you would have to drink 8 cups a day, though). I take two 200 mg capsules without any drowsiness. That is me, though. Everyone is different. Please keep me posted. Take care!! :-)

Adena Dries on June 01, 2016:

Hi. I have just read your article and several others about l theanine. I am going to the store in the morning and purchasing some. I have suffered from severe panic disorder for almost 16 years now. It started when I was 19, shortly after I had my second daughter. It was a stress reaction to personal things going on at the time I guess. Anyways, I had such a wide range of symptoms, heart palpitations, numbing sensations, fear of dying, racing mind, bathroom issues, couldn't eat, but the scariest symptom for me is the dilation of my pupils. I can tell you I was to the ER and doctors like 15 times in a month. Not one doc knew what was wrong with me. I had CT scan and MRIs. Nothing. Finally, after googling my symptoms for a week or two I diagnosed myself with panic disorder. I went to my doc and told them what to put me on. I really didn't know about natural remedies then. I got Celexa. Worked great for a few months, then 911 happened. Needed something stronger. So Paxil it was. Now, Ive been on and off paxil for almost 16 years. Never fails, I ween off and something triggers my panic button. I was good till about 1 week ago. Been off the paxil for about 2 months. But, now my pupils keep switching dilating, my heart is racing, numbing sensations. Omg. And I have for kids. One who is about to turn 3 in a few days. My mind won't stop racing, I keep thinking I have a brain aneurysm or something. I need to focus but I refuse to go back on the paxil, that is an absolute last resort. I also do extensive research on something before I try it, I'm so paranoid of reactions. I recently tried the turmeric and pepper. That made my face feel, idk, kinda hot and spicy. So no more of that. I will try this and let you know. Thanks for the great information.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on October 15, 2015:

Hi Goldlesson! Sorry you are not feeling well. I hope you feel better soon. I cannot tell you if it will help with claustrophobia. I know it helps me with anxiety when I fly. Since it is equivalent to green tea, I feel safe taking it. Good luck!

Thanks for dropping by!

Goldlesson on October 12, 2015:

I just bought the L-Theanine.Havent taken it yet because im on antibiotics for the flu right now. I have to fly soon and im very claustrophobic. Ive also suffered from panic attacks since I was 4 years old now in my fifties and still on occasion suffer. Do you think this will help me with claustrophobia?

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 20, 2015:

Oh Tessa, I am so glad L-Theanine has helped you. I have taken it for anxiety, and you are right - it is a life saver! I am glad you found my article and it helped you, too. Thanks for dropping by!

Take Care and Best Wishes! :-)

Tessa on February 23, 2015:

You have saved my life!!! I cannot begin to tell you how this product saved me. I have been sick with chronic high cortisol for 3 months that is killing me. Since taking this it stops the awful adrenaline rushes I get. This is a miracle! It has helped me get off clonazepam as well. Cheers to this wonderful product! I hope someone with high cortisol will read this and know that it could save your life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on May 12, 2014:

Hi Lorz! Yes, the L-Theanine works. Does your combination work?

Thanks for dropping by!! :-)

lorz on May 09, 2014:

Hi. thank you so much for the info. My anxiety is caused by overdose of glutathione. Does the l-theanine help? I'm currently taking B complex, non acidic vit C. Magnesium and DGL w/ licorice for my acid reflex which triggers also.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on February 01, 2014:

Shirley, I would not venture a guess. I have never heard of a reaction like yours. I would talk to an herbalist. Please take care, and stop taking anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. I am sorry I cannot be of more help. I know L-theanine works for me, but we each react differently. Again, take care! :-)

Shirley on February 01, 2014:

Question...I have drank, once in the morning, macha green tea and after the 4th or 5th day notice a strong feeling like an adrenaline rush where my whole body tenses even my intestinal tract. I have taken L-theanine with the same results. Am I not taking enough or is there another answer to why this happens...thanx

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on November 24, 2013:

Thank you, Passionate77! It has truly helped me. I encourage you to talk to your doctor before taking anything. We each have to do whatever works for us. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!

passionate77 on November 24, 2013:

very helpful information sholland dear you shared here, i just bookmarked the post for further reference. i take green tea a lot but i think i will consult some doctor about starting taking it at daily basis, but anyway thanks a lot and blessings for sharing such a great personal experience.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on November 24, 2013:

Mary, it has been a life-saver for me. I hope it helps your daughter. Thanks for voting and sharing! :-)

DreamerMeg, thank you! I hope it is helpful. I appreciate you dropping by! :-)

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on November 24, 2013:

Very useful and informative, thank you.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on November 24, 2013:

I've never heard of this before, but I'm glad I found this Hub! I don't suffer from too much stress, but I have a daughter who really would benefit from this information.

Voted up and will share.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 16, 2013:

You are quite welcome, Rose!

Thanks for dropping by and voting! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 16, 2013:

Hi Teresa! L-theanine has really helped me through some stressful times and times of anxiety. The teen years are TOUGH! I hope your son can enjoy his youth. Sounds like you are on top of it. My two kids are in their 20's now, but I remember those emotional rollercoaster rides.

Thanks for dropping by!

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on June 16, 2013:

Excellent article showcasing an alternative natural remedy that helps with anxiety issues. Thank you so much for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

Teresa Coppens from Ontario, Canada on June 16, 2013:

Loved this article. I have some of the symptoms mentioned as does my son. He has taken the theanine and found some relief although the life of a teenager is a rollercoaster ride of emotions at the best of times. Your explanations were well written and simple to understand. I will be trying this myself and look forward to positive results!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 11, 2013:

Dr. Fain, I am so honored that you read my hub and approved it. I have so much respect for your knowledge and advice. I love receiving your e-mails and learning from you. I have ordered from your shop and everything is very reasonable and competitive with other natural health products.

We'll probably be in Eureka Springs, Ark, next month. Your shop is my favorite spot. I could stay all day. Thank you and your assistant for helping me and changing my quality of life.

I am so excited that you dropped by!! :-)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 11, 2013:

Feel-Alive, I am so glad you found a natural way to deal with your anxiety. I believe it is much more healthy.

Welcome to HubPages!! You are going to love the the Hub community.

Thanks for dropping by!!

DocFain on June 11, 2013:

Susan, this is a great write up and very thorough. I'm glad you're getting the word out on the amazing usefulness of natural products. My L-Theanine is Private Label ensuring potency and strength which is why it worked so well when you tried it. I mail order everyday across the country and Canada. At this point, I charge no tax and only a small shipping fee. Best of all when you mail order you buy into our expertise which is considerable and on any ailment (I have a long background in medicine). 479-253-5687

Feel-alive from United Kingdom on June 11, 2013:

Hi sholland10. I have just wrote my first hub on how i beat anxiety and i would love for you to check it out? I must admit that i have never heard of L-Theanine before but this is very informative. In my hub i strongly recommend that no prescribed drugs are taken for anxiety because it only masks the problem and i love how this is a more natural remedy. :)

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on June 01, 2013:

You are most welcome, Missy! Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Missy Mac from Illinois on May 31, 2013:

Thanks for the informative article!!!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 18, 2013:

Ryan, I hope you don't have panic attacks often. I keep L-Theanine on hand just in case. You might try drinking green tea on a regular basis. Take care!

Thanks so much for dropping by, bookmarking, and voting up! :-)

ryanjhoe from Somewhere over the rainbow on April 18, 2013:

I got panic attacks around two months ago, it feels terrible for me. It's great I found your hub, it's very informative. Would love to try with L-Theanine treatment if I get panic attacks again, but I hope it already gone forever. Thanks for sharing this, bookmark and voted up!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on April 07, 2013:

Hi KikiBruce! I remember the first 10 - 15 years I taught school, I had a horrible panic attack the week before. I would dream of students rebelling against me. I still hate the first few days of school because it is all about establishing myself with the students - meaning I come off as a real B!+@# to them. Then, I am able to relax once I see they get it. I am so sorry teaching didn't work out for you. Maybe you will go back to it some day, or maybe you have a different path. :-)

I know what you mean about having anxiety for no apparent reason. I think that is what caused me to start taking it on a regular basis. Also, I can miss a dose and not feel withdraw from it. I love that it is natural and nonaddictive. I also love that I can either take it continually or as needed. There are days I have more stress, like everyone, and I take an extra capsule or two. It is a tremendous help. I hope it is for you, too.

Thanks so much for dropping by, and I hope you find peace. Take Care!

kikibruce from New York on April 07, 2013:

WOW Susan-

I am running right to the store. I have had horrible panic and anxiety since I became I teacher. Thought quitting teaching would kill my anxiety, but it hasn't. I am still taking Klonopin daily. I feel enslaved by prescription meds and want my body to get back to normal. The strange part is I am anxious without really having too much to be anxious about (well, besides being unemployed). I just have a gnawing, general worry. Thank you for your excellent tale of your experience and endorsement of something natural that may bring me some peace. Excellent hub!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 29, 2013:

Hi Greg! I don't think you can build an intolerance to it, but you might want to look that up. I just know it soothes me without making me sleepy. It helps me calm down and concentrate when feeling a panic attack/anxiety. I can take it or leave it, depending on what is going on in my life. I take the same vitamins you take. I don't take anything with it to aid it. I believe it is a God-send.

I take the Source Natural brand, mainly. If I run out and don't have time to get it through the mail, I go to my local health store. I like the 200 mg capsules. When going through a difficult time, it was a safe alternative. I have taken on RARE occasions up to 6 capsules a day. That was only when I had some horrible things going on in my life - by no means typical. It does help me is all I can say. :-)

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I hope L-Theanine helps you as much as it helps me.

Greg J. on March 28, 2013:

Hi SHolland10, just wanted to add to my comment above, with a few questions:

-How long have you been taking L-Theanine (Suntheanine)?

-What brands/mg would you recommend? (I'm trying the Natural Factors / Suntheanine 100mg, 60 chewables).

-How's your tolerance? Have you needed to boost the frequency or amount you take, to get that relaxed feeling?

-Anything else you're taking in conjunction with it, i.e. a cup of green tea with the pill? Other supplements, exercise, meditation,cognitive behavior therapy?

Just wanted to see if your experience seems to be in isolation from other factors, or if combined.

thanks again,


Greg J. on March 28, 2013:

I've taken L-Theanine for 2 days now, in the morning. It seems to give me a nice relaxed feeling, less time spent on negative ruminating thoughts. So, for my anxiety it's quite helpful.

I'll continue taking it once a day, hopefully I won't build a tolerance to it.

Thus far, I'm taking fish oil, magnesium, vit.D and now L-theanine.

Seems like a relatively harmless combination and I'd certainly like to find something natural rather than go the SSRI route.

Thanks for the article.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 25, 2013:

Hi Stamina! I know how you feel. L-Theanine works very well for me, but I advise anyone to do more research on it. I do not take any type of stimulant, so it is very effective for me. I hope you find relief.

Thanks for dropping by! :-)

Stamina1962 from Jamestown, NY on March 24, 2013:

Very well written and information packed. I hadn't heard of this alternative before and I suffer with anxiety daily. Thank you!

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 19, 2013:

Usually a person with a doctorate in alternative health are the ones who will tell you not to take an herb or mineral. A good pharmacist will also weigh in, but you have to ask. Since medical doctors sometimes look down on alternative health/herbs, they simply tell us not to take it. I am leery to what some medical doctors say. For instance, L-theanine is simply a concentrated form of green leaves. I can see where it might interfere with a stimulant but no, for instance, for a surgery. It does not cause you to bleed more - like aspirin - and can help calm you before a surgery. So many things need to be taken into consideration. Common sense is the main thing. Ask questions, look things up, and be safe. :-)

Thanks for dropping by!

Brad Masters from Southern California on March 18, 2013:

S Holland


BTW, I don't believe that the doctors do a good job of telling their patients, especially those with many and heavy medications about drug interactions not only with other drugs, or supplements, but with the food that they eat.

Grapefruit interferes with many heart medications, and many amino acids like theanine, and herbs like valerian all complicate taking medications.

Perhaps pharmaceutical chemistry should be a high school course.


Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 18, 2013:

Hey IB! Yep, you should definitely talk to a doctor as I stated above before using any type of herb or medication. I could see where you would not want to take L-Theanine with a stimulant.

Thanks for dropping by!

Brad Masters from Southern California on March 17, 2013:

S Holland 10

Very interesting article.

I didn't know that about Theanine, although I do drink green tea everyday.

I also take Valerian.

The problem with both of these is the drug interaction with medications.


When blood pressure medications or stimulants are taken together with L-theanine, drug interactions could potentially occur. These interactions can increase the risk of low blood pressure and decrease the effectiveness of stimulant medications. To help reduce the chances of developing negative L-theanine interactions, talk to your healthcare provider before taking any other medicines with the amino acid.

Susan Holland (author) from Southwest Missouri on March 12, 2013:

Hi TorriLynn! For me, it has been very safe and effective. I guess if someone were afraid of it, they could drink 8 cups of green tea, but you may not get the same result of calming as soon as you get it with the capsule. Probably have to make more trips to the bathroom too, but that's okay - the kidneys would be flushed out. LOL ;-)