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GABA is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid (now you know why we just call it GABA). It is your brain’s natural Valium. Actually, Valium is one of many tranquilizers designed to mimic or amplify GABA’s naturally calming effects. So why take a drug with all the detrimental side effects when you can take the safe and fast acting GABA?

Taken as a supplement, GABA can help you not only turn off stress reactions after an upset, it can even help prevent a stressful response when taken prior to an expected ordeal (like before an exam or getting on an airplane).

GABA can also be used for busy brain and anxiety. Note: anxiety is often a secondary symptom of low moods or depression and if you have anxiety you should check to see if you also need to boost your serotonin see FAQ under depression.


As a general rule you will get the best results if you take GABA on an empty stomach or away from food. If you can’t take it away from food, don’t worry, it will still work, it may just not be as fast acting.

For anxiety or chronic stress take 1-3 caps in the morning – and then take 1-3 caps in the afternoon.

For sleep issues take 1-3 caps mid-evening and then 1-3 caps before bed. If you wake up with busy brain, you can take 1-3 caps to help you go back to sleep.

GABA works within 20 minutes of taking it so that means you can use it on the days you need it (as opposed to a medication that will take days or weeks to have an effect) or you can use it daily. There are no negative side effects or withdrawal symptoms if you abruptly stop taking it.

If you need really fast actio n for an anxiety attack or severe upset, you can dump the contents of a GABA capsule under your tongue. It doesn’t taste great but it will work in less than 5 minutes.

You will not feel drugged out taking GABA, but you should feel something. If it does not appear to be helping then you either need to take more, or you need something else. For example you could need 5-HTP (an amino acid that increases serotonin – see the FAQ under depression) or passionflower may work better for you (see below). It is safe to combine all three: 5-HTP, GABA and passionflower.


It is an herb that has the most potent yet safest calming effect of any herb that I have ever experienced. So safe in fact, it can be given to children, pregnant and lactating women.
Passionflower is an herb that has been traditionally used for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. Interestingly enough, although scientists aren’t sur e, it is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of GABA in your brain.


Each person is entirely different and it is a supplement that is easy for you to figure out for yourself. It is a harmless herb. The worst-case scenario is that you might feel a little sleepy if you take too much, however I know of only one person that experienced that affect. Usually people don’t take enough.

Adults: Try starting with 15 drops two to three times per day and increasing to a max of 1 ½ tsp 4 times per day if needed.

If you have troubles sleeping you can also take it in the evening. If poor sleep is a problem for you, don’t just take passionflower before bed because it is usually the accumulated stress and tension of the day that keeps you awake at night. If you are experiencing sleep issues, take some passionflower in the afternoon and in the evening as well as at be dtime. Passionflower can be combined with GABA and/or 5-HTP.

Yours in Total Health,
Brenda and Megan

Copyright Brenda Eastwood 2010 –“CTH-22 Calm Your Nerves”
[email protected]

The information made available in this document is provided for educational or reference purposes only. Nutritional Therapy and/or Coaching is not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, prescription, or cure for any disease, mental or physical, and is not intended as a substitute for regular medical care.

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