A Deep-Sea Remedy for Stress Relief
Share this post
The fish extract that combats anxiety
“What would I give, if I could live out of these waters?” So begins the lament of the mermaid princess Ariel, who dreams of someday living on land and “strolling along on the – what’s that word again? – street.”
Clearly, nobody has told The Little Mermaid protagonist about taxes, parking tickets, the Mommy Wars, and viral diseases that jump from bats to humans. Life on land is stressful! Lacking both fins and gills, we land-based mammals have nowhere to run when the pressure builds. Thankfully, we have access to a natural remedy for stress and anxiety that comes from the sea: An extract from the deep-sea blue ling fish known as Garum Armoricum®.
Jillian Finker, ND, CNS – a physician and nutrition specialist with almost 20 years of experience treating patients – told us about her observations of Garum Armoricum®. “I can honestly say that Garum Armoricum® really has been the most effective standalone supplement that I have ever used in my practice,” she said. “Comparatively, it works better than anything else I have used…for anxiety.”
“It works better than anything else I have used for anxiety.”
But let’s not just take one doctor’s word for it. Here’s what the scientific literature has to say about the deep-sea blue ling fish extract:
A crossover, double-blind study published in 1996 tested the effectiveness of Garum Armoricum® on weakness-related and fatigue-related depression and anxiety, as well as cognitive function and memory. This study clearly demonstrates that Garum Armoricum® may improve mental clarity and memory – particularly in those ages 45 to 55. Garum Armoricum® was also observed in this study to help people with chronic fatigue.
In a 2008 study, the extract was further shown to fight anxiety and depression in rats. The rats given Garum Armoricum® also more effectively learned to press a lever to turn off a light, suggesting improvements in their ability to learn and adapt. Amazingly, the anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant-like effects of Garum Armoricum® in this study were similar to those of the benzodiazepine drug diazepam.
Unlike benzodiazepine drugs, however, Garum Armoricum® is neither addictive nor chemically synthetic. And like pharmaceutical anti-depressant drugs, Garum Armoricum® may yield observable results after as little as two weeks of daily use.
Garum Armoricum® may yield observable results after as little as two weeks of daily use.
A 1995 crossover, double-blind study examined the effects of Garum Armoricum® (Stabilium) in 54 stressed-out college students between the ages of 18 and 25. As compared to placebo, Garum Armoricum® was associated with statistically significant (p<0.05) reductions in anxiety scores at weeks two, three, and four of the study, with lingering benefits even after the supplement was discontinued. According to an unpublished 2009 study, furthermore, Garum Armoricum® may also enhance immune function by improving sleep quality.
Dr. Finkler describes her observations in treating patients already taking other medications for anxiety: “The results [with Garum Armoricum®] sometimes are simply astounding – especially with patients no longer needing to take medications for lifelong anxiety that has been debilitating.”
Deep sea blue ling extract may also work especially well during this time of pandemic. We know that COVID-19 is more likely to cause serious illness in those with higher levels of inflammation, and that virus itself can trigger out-of-control inflammatory reactions in the body (thus damaging the lungs and other organs), and also increases the risk of life-threatening blood clots. Because Garum Armoricum® contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, however, it may have anti-inflammatory and mild blood-thinning effects., (Omega-3 fatty acids have also shown promise in the prevention and treatment of depression.,,,) We also know that stress compromises the power of our immune systems, and that adaptogens can thus support healthy infection-fighting immunity. These properties make the extract a compelling choice for pandemic-related anxiety, as it may not only ease our stress around the situation, but potentially also reduce our risk of developing COVID-related complications should we contract the virus.
Garum Armoricum® may not only ease our stress around the situation, but potentially also reduce our risk of developing COVID-related complications should we contract the virus.
Whereas the traditional adaptogens (in particular the animal glandulars) may sometimes aggravate anxiety in those with overactive adrenal gland function, or flare symptoms in those with autoimmune conditions, Dr. Finkler says that Garum Armoricum® is typically better tolerated – and may even work faster.
She explains that “If a patient’s adrenal [glands] are ‘underfunctioning,’ or ‘overfunctioning’ they respond well [to Garum Armoricum®], because the extract has a modulating effect.”
The supplement is typically tolerated well by extremely sensitive patients – including those with chronic fatigue.
The supplement is also typically tolerated well by extremely sensitive patients – including those with chronic fatigue. (Unless they’re allergic to fish, of course!) In fact, at least two reports have shown that a dietary supplement of Garum Armoricum® prepared with sunflower oil and lecithin may help very fatigued patients dealing with severe anxiety.,
So, the next time Ariel ditches her mermaid tail for a pair of legs, she had better bring along some deep-sea blue ling fish extract to help her cope with life on land. (She might also want to check out our post on psychological resilience, and pack a KN-95 face mask.)
Click here to see References
 Allergy Research Group. Stabilium for memory, cognitive functioning, and chronic fatigue. FOCUS Newsletter. Winter 2000:1-3
 Allergy Research Group. “An extraordinarily useful tool” – a doctor reviews Garum Armoricum® for depression, anxiety, cognition and stamina. FOCUS Newsletter. March 2008:10-11.
 Allergy Research Group. Garum Armoricum®. FOCUS Newsletter. December 2015:18-22.
 Le Poncin M. Experimental study: stress and memory. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 1996;6(3):110.
 Messaoudi M, et al. Anxiolytic and antidepressant-like effects of Garum Armoricum® (GA), a blue ling fish protein autolysate in male Wistar rats. Curr Top Nutraceutical Res. August 2008;6(3):115-23.
 Dorman T, et al. The effectiveness of Garum armoricum (Stabilium) in college students. J Adv Med. 1995 Fall 8(3):193-200.
 Messaoudia M, et al. Effects of a fish protein autolysate on sleep improvement in human healthy volunteers subjected to the daily life stress. Unpublished study 2009. Cited at: https://www.clinicaleducation.org/resources/reviews/blue-ling-fish-food-for-a-healthy-brain/
 Abdelhamid AS, et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Jul 18;7:CD012345.
 Mori TA. Marine OMEGA-3 fatty acids in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Fitoterapia. 2017 Nov;123:51-8.
 Grosso G, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids and depression: scientific evidence and biological mechanisms. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014;2014:313570.
 Deacon G, et al. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment of depression. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Jan 2;57(1):212-23.
 Hallahan B, et al. Efficacy of omega-3 highly unsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of depression. Br J Psychiatry. 2016 Sep;209(3):192-201.
 Jahangard L, et al. Influence of adjuvant omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids on depression, sleep, and emotion regulation among outpatients with major depressive disorders – Results from a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Psychiatr Res. 2018 Dec;107:48-56.
 Crocq L, et al. Fatigue Study Group inquiry into asthenia in general practice. Psychologie Medicale. 1978;10:1943-53.
 Crocq L, et al. Treatment of astheno-depressive conditions by Minaprine-Multi-center study of 248 cases assessed by Fatigue Study Group Scale #4. Psychologie Medicale. 1980;12(12):643-61.
Share this post
Dr. Erica Zelfand
The Promise of NAC for Mental Health and Addiction
Numerous studies support the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for mood disorders and substance use cessation N-acetylcysteine (NAC), well-known for its function as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory,, is commonly used in the clinic as a mucolytic,, the treatment of choice for acetaminophen overdose, and to help prevent liver damage resulting from acetaminophen and other toxic…
Are You Surviving or Thriving?
Navigating the quarter-life crisis and beyond There is a fundamental difference between surviving and thriving. Surviving is defined as “to continue to live or exist” while thriving means “to grow or develop well, to prosper or to flourish”. Thriving implies being able to enjoy life despite the many challenges it presents. ” Life is…
Stimulants and Sedatives: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Use now, pay later? Problems associated with common stimulants and sedatives In our go-go-go world, it’s easy to feel drawn to stimulant substances to keep us going and sedatives to help us relax. Whether it’s coffee to get through the day and a glass of wine after work, or medications such as methylphenidates or…
Soothing heartburn naturally In last week’s post we described the real cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and explored why conventional strategies for managing the condition can come with negative health risks over time. Today we’ll take a look at some simple, natural, remedies for alleviating reflux at its root cause, primarily by (1)…
Ways to Ease Inflammation and Depression
Smart lifestyle choices for a happy brain and healthy mood In last week’s post we explored the ways in which inflammation can cause depression. The science shows that we cannot blame genetics alone for depression. That’s a good thing: it means there is a lot we can do to heal our brains. Here are…
Pine Bark for Blood Vessels Big and Small, Part 1 of 2
A natural solution for high blood pressure, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins At first glance, the ailments of high blood pressure, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins seem to have little in common. As any holistically trained healthcare provider knows, however, these conditions all share one common cause: poor vascular health. Also known as the circulatory system,…