This article is especially useful for anyone who has used prescription benzodiazepines (like Xanax & Valium) or non-prescription alternatives like Phenibut in the past but experienced difficulties in terms of side effects or overuse; or for somebody looking for the benefits offered by these but prefer using a supplement with less risk of adverse effects or simply prefers taking supplements of natural origins. 

Drugs like Xanax and other "Benzos" (benzodiazepines) are among the most prescribed medication in the United States and carry significant risks for addiction, overdose, and dangerous side-effects and/or withdrawal symptoms 

Many people around the world take benzodiazepines to treat general anxiety disorder and as a powerful stress-reducing drug  Three benzodiazepines are in the top 10 most commonly prescribed psychotropic medications in the United States (


Why Do People Search Alternatives?

Despite the pleasant benefits , these needs to be used responsibly and with care. Unlikely most dietary supplements, These are not of natural origins. It is typically synthesized in a laboratory which means that it needs to be taken at the correct serving size and cycled correct, to avoid the risk of experiencing unpleasant adverse effects. (



This is the reason why it is so important to use many anti-anxiety treatments responsibly – within the recommended serving size. The reason for this is that it is possible to build a tolerance to their effects over time and when used at large servings, which can lead to dependence.


Top 10 Alternatives

1.     LiftMode’s Sleep Capsules

  • Combination of Four Top Supplements in a Single Capsule
  • Promotes Strong Feelings of Calm & Relaxation
  • Assists with Healthy Sleep and Stress-Reduction

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★★★

This great new addition to LiftMode’s catalogue provides the user with no less than four top calming supplements in a single capsule. The supplement stack is specially formulated to provide the best combination of naturally-derived supplements for stress-reduction, mood-boost and to promote healthy sleep.

In terms of its similarity to Phenibut, this is, most likely, as close as you’ll get with an alternative. The Sleep Aid capsules contain a combination of Melatonin, Oleamide, Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), and L-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP) – all of natural origins, and without any of the potential hazards of using Phenibut. Our favourite Phenibut alternative on this list!

2.     GABA

  • Great for Supporting Healthy Sleep
  • Provides a Natural Serving of GABA: The Calming Neurotransmitter
  • Helps to Promote a Healthy Immune System

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★☆☆

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a well-known calming neurotransmitter. As a natural hormone, it helps the body to ‘dull’ signals from the immune system, promoting rest, relaxation, and stress-reduction.[7]Many calming supplements and compounds target GABA receptors in the brain, and by using this supplement, you simply make more GABA available in the body.

The best-known effects of GABA supplements are for reducing stress and promoting healthy sleep. Studies have pointed to its efficacy at reducing the time taken to fall asleep.[8] However, it is not known to produce the same mood-boosting effects as Phenibut. We’d recommend this Phenibut alternative to someone who is more interested in a stress-reducing and sleep-promoting supplement.

3.     5-HTP

  • Significant Improvements in Mood
  • Helps to Maintain a Healthy Metabolism
  • Supports Healthy Sleep

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★☆☆

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a powerful amino-acid and the biochemical precursor to serotonin. When you take 5-HTP supplements, a large amount of this becomes available in the brain to synthesize serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter for supporting a healthy mood.[9]

Serotonin is also important for maintaining physiological and psychological functions in the body. These include supporting a healthy emotional state, promoting healthy sleep, and support for a healthy appetite, memory, learning, sex drive, immune systems, and muscle tone.[10] 5-HTP supplements are typically extracted from a plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia, which contains concentrations as high as 20%! Recommended especially to people who enjoy the mood-lifting effects of Phenibut.


4.     L-Theanine + Caffeine

  • Powerful Cognitive Enhancer
L-Theanine + Caffeine
L-Theanine + Caffeine
  • Strong Mood Booster
  • Energizing and Stimulating

Similarity to Phenibut:★★☆☆☆

The combination of L-Theanine and Caffeine is especially great for people who use Phenibut as a tool to combat stress and improve focus. Although this supplement combination works in a very different way to Phenibut – providing a mental and physical energy boost, in contrast to the more calming and relaxing effects of Phenibut – some of its benefits are seen as similar to those of Phenibut.

For many people, the stress-reducing effects of Phenibut help them to focus better at work or studies. The combination of L-Theanine and Caffeine has been shown to be highly effective at promoting healthy cognitive performance and supporting learning and mental focus.[11] L-Theanine is also well-known for its ability to support relaxation.[12]


5.     Magnolia Bark Extract

  • Promotes a Calm, Relaxed State of Mind
  • Effectively Reduces Stress
  • Helps to Support a Healthy Circulatory System

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★★☆

Magnolia Bark Extract is rich in plant alkaloid compounds called Magnolol and Honokiol.Both of these alkaloids have been studied in depth for their ability to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and to support a positive mood.[13] Studies have also indicated the potential to use this great plant-extract as a natural sleep aid since it is effective in reducing the time taken to fall asleep.[14]

Magnolia Bark Extract has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, as a health-promoting remedy. Its traditional name is Houpu. Some people use this supplement for its potential cognitive benefits, although these are still being studied in more detail. This is one of our top Phenibut alternatives because of its similarity in terms of benefits on mood, stress, and sleep promotion.


6.     Oleamide

  • Relaxation and Mood-lift
  • Supports Healthy Sleep
  • Neuroprotector and Anti-inflammatory

Similarity to Phenibut: ★★★☆☆

Oleamide (cis-9,10-octadecenoamide) is a naturally-occurring fatty acid that is produced by the human brain to help promote sleep. It is a derivative of oleic acid, which is found in olive oil. When used as a dietary supplement, Oleamide is great for promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving mood.[15] Additionally, studies have shown that Oleamide is effective at reducing the time taken to fall asleep and also at protecting the brain from stress.[16]

Some people think of Oleamide as a ‘lighter’ version of Phenibut. It must be said, however, that it’s sleep-promoting effects are generally considered better than those of Phenibut. It is a little lighter on the mood-boosting and sociability-enhancing effects but is also without the potential for adverse effects.


6.     Oleamide

  • Relaxation and Mood-lift
  • Supports Healthy Sleep
  • Neuroprotector and Anti-inflammatory

Similarity to Phenibut: ★★★☆☆

Oleamide (cis-9,10-octadecenoamide) is a naturally-occurring fatty acid that is produced by the human brain to help promote sleep. It is a derivative of oleic acid, which is found in olive oil. When used as a dietary supplement, Oleamide is great for promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving mood.[15] Additionally, studies have shown that Oleamide is effective at reducing the time taken to fall asleep and also at protecting the brain from stress.[16]

Some people think of Oleamide as a ‘lighter’ version of Phenibut. It must be said, however, that it’s sleep-promoting effects are generally considered better than those of Phenibut. It is a little lighter on the mood-boosting and sociability-enhancing effects but is also without the potential for adverse effects.


7.     Baicalin

  • Powerful Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory
  • Promotes a Healthy Circulatory System
  • Used for Vitality, Relaxation, and Well-Being

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★★☆

Baicalin is one of our all-time favourite health-promoting supplements and a powerfulbioflavonoid. It is the active compound found in the Chinese Skullcap and is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been used for centuries for promoting health, vitality and relaxation. Studies have indicated that Baicalin has strong anti-stress benefits and can help to support a healthy brain.[17]

Like Phenibut, Baicalin acts on GABA receptors, albeit at a slightly lower potency.[18] One of the top things about this supplement is that it is very soluble in water, so it can easily be dissolved in a healthy juice for breakfast, to kick-start your day! All-in-all, this natural alternative comes really close to Phenibut’s effects and is easily one of our top recommendations. We love that it packs in a health-boosting punch in addition to it’s Phenibut-like effects.


8.     Melatonin

  • One of the World’s Best Natural Sleep Aids
  • Potent Antioxidant Benefits for Good Health
  • Helps to Improve Mood

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★☆☆

Melatonin is one of the best-known natural sleep aids available today. It is the brain’s ‘sleep hormone’ and is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland from serotonin, in response to changes in the dark-light cycle.[19]Melatonin supplements are also great antioxidants and help to support a healthy body by destroying dangerous ‘free-radicals’.[20]

Melatonin is recommended as a natural alternative for people who use Phenibut for its sleep-promoting effects. Study-after-study has indicated that Melatonin supplements are effective, not only at reducing the time taken to fall asleep but also at improving overall sleep quality. Some people who take Melatonin claim that it also helps to promote an improved mood and to support feelings of well-being.


9.     L-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP)

  • Blocks voltage-activated L-type calcium channels
L-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP) Levo-Tetrahydropalmatine
  • Promotes a healthy circulatory system
  • Works as an anti-stress and calming supplement

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★★☆

Levo-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP) is a plant compound found in Corydalis yanhusuo – which is an essential component to many Traditional Chinese remedies. This plant extract has been used for centuries as a herbal health tonic. Pure L-THP has been available in China for over half a century, where it is used as a pain-relief and anti-inflammatory compound. As a dietary supplement, it is best known for its beneficial effects on dopamine receptors, and for helping to reduce sensations of pain.[21]

Just like Phenibut, and unlike any of the other alternatives on this list, L-THP is a powerful blocker of calcium-gated channels (Ca2+ channel blocker).[22] This means that it prevents calcium from entering into the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls, which helps to support a healthy circulatory system. 

BONUS TIP: We recommend trying a combination of L-THP, taken along with either of our 4-star Phenibut alternatives: Baicalin or Magnolia Bark Extract.

This natural combination mimics both of Phenibut’s key mechanisms: Ca2+ channel blocking, along with stress-reducing GABA-binding effects. In fact, it may just be the best bet for producing a really powerful natural alternative!


10.  Agmatine Sulphate

  • Supports cognitive health
  • Helps to reduce stress and promote a healthy mood
  • May help with fitness performance and to support a healthy circulatory system

Similarity to Phenibut:★★★☆☆

Agmatine sulphate is a neurotransmitter that has only recently been understood. It is used for receptor signalling in pathways of the central nervous system (CNS) and is stored in the synaptic vessels.[23] Recent studies of Agmatine suggest that it has some great benefits, that may be very similar to those of Phenibut. The results of these studies are echoed by Agmatine reviews on internet forums. Its benefits include reducing feelings of stress, promoting an improved mood, and also good support for cognition, learning, and memory.

Like Phenibut, Agmatine may also provide neuroprotective benefits and support a healthy circulatory system.[24] It is found in many food sources and is produced naturally in the human body. As a result, Agmatine is generally considered safe for use and relatively free of side effects. As a result, it is a great alternative for people who enjoy the cognitive effects of Phenibut but are concerned about potential adverse effects.


Other Alternatives

There are a number of different Phenibut alternatives that could also be beneficial but are not currently offered on Although these products are not currently listed on our catalogue, we are working to include more of them in the future. Stay tuned for more information!  Other Phenibut alternatives include:


Ashwagandha: Also called 'Indian Ginseng', it is a part of Ayurvedic medicine, where it is used to maintain youth. It has effective benefits for pain-relief and stress reduction.

Lemon Balm: Traditionally used to improve mood and cognitive function. Recent research points to its additional benefits in reducing stress.

Passion Flower: Also known as Passiflora, this plant extract was long used by Native Americans for a variety of conditions. Some studies point towards its benefits on stress reduction and mood, through GABA receptors.

Kava: A plant endemic to the South Pacific islands and long used as a ceremonial drink to promote relaxation. Recent studies point to its stress-reducing and sleep-promoting effects.

Mulungu: Used for centuries by indigenous people in the Central and South Americas, the bark of the Mulungu tree is effective at supporting a healthy mood and reducing stress.

Magnesium: Magnesium, especially when taken in an easily-absorbable form, appears to be effective at reducing stress - which, scientists say, may be the result of a nutrient deficiency.

Lavender Oil: Lavender has been used in aromatherapy since ancient times for many different conditions. Today, research suggests it may be an effective means of reducing stress without the potential for abuse.



Thousands of people around the world successfully use this supplement without experiencing any negative side effects. However, it needs to be used responsibly. Overuse can be detrimental to your health. As a result, many people online are searching for natural/safer alternatives.

Our favourite alternatives include LiftMode Sleep Capsules and a combination of Levo-Tetrahydropalmatine (L-THP) with either Baicalin or Magnolia Bark Extract. This combination mimics the biological mechanisms underlying Phenibut’s effects, using naturally-derived supplements without the risk of adverse effects. There are many other dietary supplements that mimic one or more of anxiety and stress reducing benefits, although often with slightly milder effects.





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[2] Lapin I. Phenibut (beta-phenyl-GABA): a tranquilizer and nootropic drugCNS Drug Rev. 2001 Winter;7(4):471-81.

[3] Högberg L, Szabó I, Ruusa J. [Phenibut yielded withdrawal symptoms and psychosis. Drugs for cosmonauts--now marketed as dietary supplements online]. (Article in Swedish). Lakartidningen. 2013 Apr 17-23;110(16):825-7.

[4] Phenibut. (2018)., available online from[Accessed August 3, 2018]

[5] Högberg L, Szabó I, Ruusa J. Psychotic symptoms during Phenibut (beta-phenyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid) withdrawal., Journal of Substance Use. 2013, 18(4): 335-338

[6] Samokhvalov AV, Paton-Gay CL, Balchand K, Rehm J. Phenibut dependenceBMJ Case Reports. 2013;2013:bcr2012008381.

[7] Wu C, Sun D. GABA receptors in brain development, function, and injuryMetabolic brain disease. 2015;30(2):367-379.

[8] Boonstra E, de Kleijn R, Colzato LS, Alkemade A, Forstmann BU, Nieuwenhuis S. Neurotransmitters as food supplements: the effects of GABA on brain and behavior.Frontiers in Psychology. 2015;6:1520.

[9] Hinz M, Stein A, Uncini T. 5-HTP efficacy and contraindicationsNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2012;8:323-328.

[10] Mohammad-Zadeh LF, Moses L, Gwaltney-Brant SM. Serotonin: a review. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jun;31(3):187-99.

[11] Kahathuduwa CN, Dassanayake TL, Amarakoon AMT, Weerasinghe VS. Acute effects of theanine, caffeine and theanine-caffeine combination on attentionNutr Neurosci. 2017 Jul;20(6):369-377.

[12] Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja LR, Ohira H. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responsesBiol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45.

[13] Rempel V, Fuchs A, Hinz S, et al. Magnolia Extract, Magnolol, and Metabolites: Activation of Cannabinoid CB2 Receptors and Blockade of the Related GPR55. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2013;4(1):41-45.

[14] Woodbury A, Yu SP, Wei L, García P. Neuro-Modulating Effects of Honokiol: A ReviewFrontiers in Neurology. 2013;4:130.

[15] Boger DL, Henriksen SJ, Cravatt BF. Oleamide: an endogenous sleep-inducing lipid and prototypical member of a new class of biological signaling moleculesCurr Pharm Des. 1998 Aug;4(4):303-14.

[16] Coyne L, Lees G, Nicholson RA, Zheng J, Neufield KD. The sleep hormone oleamide modulates inhibitory ionotropic receptors in mammalian CNS in vitro. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2002;135(8):1977-1987.

[17] Srinivas NR. Baicalin, an emerging multi-therapeutic agent: pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and considerations from drug development perspectivesXenobiotica. 2010 May;40(5):357-67.

[18] Wang F, Xu Z, Ren L, Tsang SY, Xue H. GABA A receptor subtype selectivity underlying selective anxiolytic effect of baicalinNeuropharmacology. 2008 Dec;55(7):1231-7.

[19] Costello RB, Lentino CV, Boyd CC, et al. The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literatureNutrition Journal. 2014;13:106.

[20] Reiter RJ, Tan DX, Mayo JC, Sainz RM, Leon J, Czarnocki Z. Melatonin as an antioxidant: biochemical mechanisms and pathophysiological implications in humansActa Biochim Pol. 2003;50(4):1129-46.

[21] Gong X, Yue K, Ma B, Xing J, Gan Y, Wang D, Jin G, Li C. Levo-tetrahydropalmatine, a natural, mixed dopamine receptor antagonist, inhibits methamphetamine self-administration and methamphetamine-induced reinstatementPharmacol Biochem Behav. 2016 May;144:67-72

[22] Liu TT, Qu ZW, Qiu CY, Qiu F, Ren C, Gan X, Peng F, Hu WP. Inhibition of acid-sensing ion channels by levo-tetrahydropalmatine in rat dorsal root ganglion neuronsJ Neurosci Res. 2015 Feb;93(2):333-9.

 [23] Halaris A, Plietz J. Agmatine: metabolic pathway and spectrum of activity in brainCNS Drugs. 2007;21(11):885-900.

[24] Xu W, Gao L, Li T, Shao A, Zhang J. Neuroprotective role of Agmatine in Neurological DiseasesCurr Neuropharmacol. 2017 Aug 8

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