3 Herbal Supplements for Stress Relief

Live your best life: which vitamins and supplements reduce stress

3 Herbal Supplements for Stress Relief

Many people—millions, in fact!—live in a state of constant stress, accepting it as an unfortunate consequence of modern, fast-paced life.

While it’s perfectly natural to experience stress from time to time—the stress response evolved from our natural “fight or flight” response—it shouldn’t be a daily visitor.

Frequent stress leads to unwanted health consequences, including migraines and sleep disorders.

Far too often, we rely on unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking or frequent alcohol use, to manage our stress. This can perpetuate a negative cycle that’s difficult to break. Knowing this, it is not surprising that stress is a contributing factor in the six leading causes of death in America, including heart disease, cancer, and lung disease.

If you’re committed to leading a life of less stress, we’ve outlined simple steps that you can begin today. We aren’t promising total bliss, but learning to manage your stress effectively can literally add years to your life!

Unchecked stress can take years off your life

Chronic stress affects our physical health, our mental health, and ultimately, our mortality. Emotional stress is especially damaging.

While stress is pervasive, there are ways to mitigate its effects. Besides practicing mindfulness or deep breathing regularly, eating a healthy diet and getting good exercise, several herbal supplements and vitamins have been shown to help alleviate stress and its symptoms.

These 4 herbal supplements are nature’s stress remedies

While stress may be more common these days, it has affected people for thousands of years. In ancient times, people used herbal therapies celebrated in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda to help manage stress. Consider yourself a skeptic? Rest assured that recent clinical studies are lending credibility to long-held beliefs regarding the impact of herbal medicines.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has a storied history in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The entire plant, from roots to seeds, has beneficial properties, especially when it comes to stress reduction.

The benefits of Ashwagandha are wide ranging, but it’s a superstar when it comes to getting people to feel less stressed.

One particularly interesting study from 2017 showed a 44% reduction in stress levels after taking Ashwagandha, as opposed to just a 5.5% decrease in the group taking a placebo.

A randomized 2012 clinical trial showed similarly impressive levels of stress reduction after just 60 days.

2. Rhodiola

Rhodiola is a plant native to the arctic regions of Asia and Europe which has a rich history of medical usage dating all the way back to 77 C.E. This plant, also known as Golden Root, is used for for energy enhancement, to improve mood, and most critically, to reduce stress.

In a 2009, double-blind study, Rhodiola was shown to reduce stress, and increase alertness in doctors on night shifts. Working the night shift is notoriously stressful, so anything that can help those folks should be able to help others, as well.

The most extensively studied property of Rhodiola is it’s ability to help people deal with fatigue. Since exhaustion often contributes to stress, anything that reduces fatigue can help in the battle against stress.

3. Valerian Root

It might sound something from the HBO show Game of Thrones, but valerian is a perennial plant native to Europe. It has been used to help with nervousness, anxiety, and sleep disturbances since the second century A.D. There is encouraging evidence that supplementing with valerian root can reduce stress.

Valerian root is well-known for supporting quality sleep.. This is largely due to its calming, sedative effect. The best part?

Because lack of sleep is a trigger for stress, one of the best things you can do to improve your stress levels is get a good night's rest. If valerian root helps, it can be a potent, low side effect tool in your de-stressing arsenal.

4. Bacopa

Bacopa monnieri is a perennial herb that has proven stress-reducing benefits. It’s been used as part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to enhance learning, boost memory, sharpen focus, lower stress, and improve mood.

In a 2011 study using animals as subjects, Bacopa was actually shown to increase the length of the brain's nerves, which may result in speeding up communication between these nerves.

Modern research has also focused on Bacopa’s remarkable ability to relieve stress, which it achieves partly by lowering cortisol levels in the blood. Cortisol is the stimulating stress hormone, so lowering it has a powerful relaxation effect.

1. Vitamin B complex

Low energy and fatigue can contribute to irritability and stress levels. This is why the B vitamins, which are well-known for keeping energy levels high and improving cognitive performance, can have a positive effect. Clinical data suggests that supplementing with a vitamin B complex can help keep your energy high and stress low.

Clinical trials have also shown that supplementing with a vitamin B complex can help reduce “personal strain,” and depressed feelings when in high stress situations. In essence, it supports a feeling of calm and stability. If you want to be more relaxed (and focused!) under strain and pressure, supplementing with a B complex could be a major help.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for muscle and nerve function. Multiple studies have shown that magnesium is especially crucial for sleep, with supplementation helping in this regard. A 2012 study published by the National Institute of Health demonstrated that supplementing with magnesium improves sleep quality.

As mentioned, sleeplessness and stress go hand-in-hand. We all know the struggle and frustration of tossing and turning in bed all night. If that is something you struggle with, magnesium is worth consideration.

4 lifestyle tips for overcoming stress

It is important to keep in mind that the first line of defense against stress are three key lifestyle factors: relaxation, diet and exercise. If you eat a balanced diet and have a consistent movement practice, you are less ly to develop stress and anxiety disorders.

1. Be here now: mindfulness and meditation are key

Furthermore, breathing practices can be helpful for stress relief. Meditation in particular has been shown to be calming and helpful in reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

2. Unplug regularly

If it is work or personal relationships that have you stressed, you may want to “unplug” for a bit. Consider a 24- or 48-hour break from electronics and social media.

A 2011 study showed that detaching from work-related communication during non-work time was positively associated with employee recovery and health.

A small ritual putting your cell phone sight, or even turning it off can lend immediate relief!

3. Drink green tea

Another way to reduce stress is to consume green tea, due to it’s L-theanine content. L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves. Studies show that L-theanine is particularly adept at reducing both the psychological and physiological stress responses.

Dr. Jeffrey Gladd, an integrative physician, says, “While green tea can be helpful for stress, one must also consider the caffeine intake and how they respond to it. Caffeine can be over-stimulating, leading to additional stress rather than improvement. If this is the case, consider an organic decaf green tea or look for L-theanine as a supplement.”

4. Connect with nature

There is an emerging body of science indicating the restorative power of natural settings and environments. This could mean immersing yourself in the outdoors with a day at the beach or a hike. Alternatively, you could introduce natural elements, plants, into your office or home.

Live your best life

Yet, even those who meditate, drink tea, exercise, and eat healthy are going to deal with stress. It’s a part of living a full and active life.

That being the case, you will set yourself up for success if you strategically supplement with herbs and vitamins that are scientifically proven to reduce your anxiety and boost your energy. Consult with your healthcare provider, or take an online lifestyle assessment to receive personalized supplement advice tailored to your unique needs.

Источник: https://takecareof.com/articles/best-vitamins-supplements-for-stress-and-anxiety

15 Best Supplements For Stress & How To Use Them*

3 Herbal Supplements for Stress Relief

Stress, so many things in life, is best in moderation. In small doses, it's a positive force that prepares our bodies to spring into action, but repeated exposure can leave us feeling drained.

«It's not a good output for your body or your brain if you have high levels of stress all the time,» Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D., a brain plasticity researcher and professor of neural science at New York University, tells mbg.

Along with stress-relieving practices exercise and meditation, supplements can help bring your body back to baseline and relieve stress before it builds up into a problem.*

In a society that has, as Suzuki puts it, «co-opted our stress response» with constant external stimulation, these are the 15 best science-backed supplements to keep around for calm:*

Format: Gelcap/Softgel

Use for: Science-backed stress relief*

mindbodygreen's freshly renovated stress supplement, calm+, contains three relaxing botanicals—full-spectrum USDA- and E.U-certified organic European hemp oil, lavender oil, and ashwagandha root and leaf extract—in doses supported by the latest cutting-edge science.

When combined, the trio promotes next-generation mood support. Each gelcap contains 20 mg of nonpsychoactive hemp-derived CBD—a sweet spot that eases stress without leaving you feeling drowsy, making this a good pick to take any time of day or night for a quick hit of calm.


Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, mbg's director of scientific affairs puts it this way: «This is evidence-based, plant-based calm to carry on.» You can learn more about the thought process that went into this unique product here.*

mindbodygreen calm+ ($59/month)


Format: Gummies

Use for: Tasty in-the-moment calm*

If you're looking for a palatable but powerful treat, these tasty chews from Kentucky-based company Cornbread contain 10 mg of USDA organic hemp-derived CBD per serving (two gummies).

Un many gummies on the market, they're free of high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin, and artificial colors.

They're also vegan (made from apple pectin) and sweetened with organic tapioca syrup and organic cane sugar.

«The natural berry flavors are made from USDA organic blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, while the color comes from organic beetroot,» mbg's Ferira says of what makes them a cut above the rest. «That's one clean gummy.»

Cornbread Full Spectrum CBD Gummies ($39.99)


Format: Tincture

Use for: A healthy endocannabinoid system*

Hemp-derived CBD helps ease stress due to the way it interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Though there's still a lot we have yet to discover about this mysterious system, it seems to help regulate many body processes—including the stress response.

The compounds in hemp plants interact with the ECS and its receptors in a healthy way, helping it do its job as a master regulatory system.*

Full-spectrum blends that contain many different types of hemp plant compounds, Fab's, seem to do this the best. We also appreciate that their tinctures come in a portfolio of different flavors and strengths, making it easy to customize your calming experience.*

Fab CBD Oil ($129)


Format: Capsule

Use for: Calm and muscle relaxation*

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb with stress resilience, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. As an adaptogen, it interacts with the adrenal system to support the body's natural ability to rebound from stressors.*

Research shows that ashwagandha root and leaf extracts can be an effective stress remedy in doses 125 mg or higher. Nature Made's capsules contain that 125 mg threshold, as well as 300 mg of magnesium to support muscle relaxation.*

Nature Made Calm & Relax™ Veggie Capsules ($15.49)

Nature Made

Format: Capsule

Use for: A brighter mood and outlook*

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is another adaptogen that can be used for stress management (in quantities of 100 mg or higher).

Native to Europe and Asia, the root of this flowering plant is where the calming properties lie, and they've been shown to ease self-reported levels of stress, anger, and sadness when taken consistently. Hum packs 500 mg of rhodiola root extract into every vegan capsule.*

Hum Big Chill ($20)


Format: Gelcap/Softgel

Use for: Gentle relief from daily stress*

Known for its delightfully fresh scent, English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) can also be incorporated into relaxing supplements. The herbal compound has sedative properties and has been shown in research to help calm states of restlessness. Clinical trials show that the oil is most effective at doses higher than 80 mg.*

This supplement from Nature's Way contains 80 mg of lavender oil and not much else, making it a simple, straightforward pick for daily stress defense.*

Nature's Way CalmAid Lavender ($19.99)

Nature's Way

Format: Capsule

Use for: Bedtime relaxation*

Another calming botanical, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) also has sedative properties, and you'll often find it steeped into sleepytime teas. At 600-mg doses, it's been shown to increase self-reported calmness and support memory. However, it tends to decrease alertness, so it's best taken before bed.*

This blend from Life Extension combines lemon balm with L-theanine, a stress-relieving amino acid found in green tea, to double down on its benefits.*

Life Extension Enhanced Stress Relief ($21)

Life Extension

Format: Capsule

Use for: Healthy, balanced brain function*

This next supplement doubles down on L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to promote alpha brain waves, the same relaxing waves that occur during meditation. Due to the way it seems to inhibit excitatory stimuli in the brain, research shows that L-theanine can help ease stress and promote healthy cognition when taken as a daily supplement.*

It seems to work best when taken regularly, and Zuma recommends consuming one of their L-theanine capsules every four hours throughout the day to compensate for the extract's short half-life.*

Zuma Nutrition L-theanine ($44.95)


Form: Capsules

Use for: Fast relief from stress and agitation*

Pure's Emotional Wellness blend stacks L-theanine with GABA—another amino acid that promotes mental calm and clarity by enhancing alpha waves. Our brains naturally produce GABA to calm down overexcited neurons, but you can find synthesized GABA in stress-easing and sleep-promoting supplements too. Research shows that the relaxant gets to work relieving stress within an hour.*

Pure Encapsulations Emotional Wellness ($127.20)


Format: Powder

Use for: Drinkable calm*

If you prefer to drink your way to calm, this powder contains three forms of magnesium (citrate, malate, and glycinate) to promote muscle relaxation and a sense of mental ease. While there's no clinical scientific consensus, 100 mg of magnesium or more is thought to have a calming benefit.*

This powder contains 300 mg per scoop, and it'll give your glass of water a hit of slight sweetness thanks to its monk fruit extract.

MegaFood Relax + Calm Magnesium Powder ($34.50)


Format: Gumdrops, body lotion, and oil

Use for: Relief from mental and physical tension*

For a choose-your-own-adventure hemp experience, this gift set from fan-favorite Lord Jones contains hemp-derived CBD gumdrops, body lotion, and oil. While the topical lotion will be best for targeted muscle comfort needs, the gumdrops and oil can promote mental calm.*

Lord Jones Best Sellers Gift Box ($144)

Lord Jones

Format: Gummies

Use for: Chill time with your pet*

Why keep all that calm to yourself? This Charlotte's Web bundle contains full-spectrum hemp chewables for humans and dogs, so you and your four-legged friend can find your Zen together.*

Ferira explains, «In this creative combo, the dog chew delivers 2.5 mg of plant-based phytocannabinoids per chicken-flavored chew, while the hemp gummy for the pet owner delivers 10 mg of cannabinoids per two lemon-lime-flavored gummies.»

Charlotte's Web Calming Pet Chews + Calming Human Gummies ($79.98)

Charlotte's Web

Format: Tablets

Use for: Morning calm and clarity*

This botanical blend from MegaFood pairs ashwagandha with other adaptogenic herbs that have long been used for stress relief and mood support: rhodiola root, schisandra berries, astragalus root, and holy basil leaf.*

Some of these also promote stamina and ease fatigue, making this a good formula for getting your day started on the right foot. (MegaFood notes that it can be taken any time, even on an empty stomach.)*

MegaFood Stress Protect ($26.24)


Format: Tablets

Use for: A steadier mood and heart health*

Another herbal formula, this one gets its inspiration from traditional Chinese medicine. It combines quite the laundry list of plants and herbals that have calming properties (jujube and Asian ginseng, to name a couple) to help promote a steadier, more serene mood in the face of outside stressors. In traditional medicine, similar blends have also been used to support a healthy heart.*

Metagenics Serenagen® ($70.46)


Format: Capsules

Use for: Adrenal support*

Finally, these vegetarian capsules contain an array of water-soluble micronutrients vitamin C and B vitamins, along with targeted bioactives PABA and N-acetyl-L-tyrosine that can support a healthy adrenal system and help keep stress hormones cortisol in check.*

Designs for Health Adrenal Complex™($75.56)

Designs For Health

How often do I need to take a supplement to feel any difference?

While it depends on the supplement, most of the products on this list can be consumed daily or on an as-needed basis. Whether you take them before a particularly stressful call or during your nightly calming routine, you should be able to feel their calming effects.*

Again, it depends on the supplement, its ingredients, and your individual makeup. With stress-less supplements, more isn't always better, as high doses can lead to fatigue in some people.

Play around within the recommended range until you find a dose that's right for your stress needs, and then stick to it.

* Ferira adds, «If relevant to your situation, partner with your health care provider to personalize your goals and pivot strategies as needed.»

What should I look for in a supplement?

The best supplements always start with ingredients that have been scientifically vetted and studied in humans.

These vitamins, minerals, herbal botanicals, amino acids, and other bioactives should be present at doses high enough to be efficacious according to clinical science. Ferira always recommends watching out for «sprinkling»—or inadequate doses—in supplement products.

Traceability is also key. You'll want to ensure that the brand clearly identifies what its ingredients are and where they come from. With botanical products, a good rule of thumb is to make sure the botanical name (genus and species) and parts of a plant (i.e., root, leaf, aerial parts, etc.) are specified on the label.

These active ingredients should make up most of the supplement. Avoid fillers artificial colors and flavors, high-fructose corn syrup, etc., to ensure you're getting a high-quality product.

Are there any side effects I should know about?

The most common side effect of stress supplements is usually fatigue, and digestive upset is always possible (but uncommon) when you're taking something new. As always, talk to your doctor beforehand to ensure the supplement won't interfere with any of your other medications.

And if stress starts to hinder your quality of life at any point, it's best to seek professional support. While these supplements can help ease occasional stress, they are not a treatment for clinical mood disorders or any medical condition.*

There are a handful of ingredients that have been shown to relieve occasional stress and promote calm in clinical trials.* When integrated into a healthy stress management routine, they should help you approach life's daily challenges with a bit more ease.*

Источник: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/supplements-for-stress

Natural Stress Relief: Best Strategies and Supplements for Stress Management

3 Herbal Supplements for Stress Relief

Written by Laura Dan, BSc, NDTR

Stress is the body’s natural response to change and is an unavoidable part of life. This response may be triggered by emotions, day-to-day situations, or environmental factors, such as air pollution and climate.

(25) Not all stress is bad; in fact, short-term (acute) stress can help protect you from dangerous threats and trauma.

(12) It’s important for long-term (chronic) stress to be managed as it can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health.

While you can’t eliminate stress from your life, you can mitigate its effects on your physical and mental health by using stress management techniques and certain supplements. Continue reading to learn more about stress and which evidence-based natural interventions can help to reduce the effects of stress.

Different kinds of stress

According to the American Psychological Association, we experience three different kinds of stress: acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress. Each type of stress has distinct characteristics, symptoms, duration, and treatment approaches. (3)

Acute stress

Of the three types of stress, acute stress is the most common form.. It’s your body’s immediate reaction to something new — triggering your fight-or-flight response. Examples of acute stress triggers include being stuck in traffic, public speaking, or engaging in an argument. (16)

Episodic acute stress

When acute stress happens frequently, it’s called episodic acute stress. Individuals experiencing episodic acute stress are often described as being anxious or irritable. They may take on too many responsibilities at one time and may struggle with organization and time management. (16)

Chronic stress

If acute stress isn’t managed well and occurs for an extended period of time, it becomes chronic stress. Chronic stress can be caused by a number of situations, such as relationship issues, financial struggles, or a stressful job. Chronic stress may be difficult to identify, often because it becomes a normal part of life. (16)(12)

Signs of stress

Stress can significantly impact your quality of life, so it’s important to recognize and address stress early on.

Mental and emotional signs of stress

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Lack of focus
  • Lack of motivation
  • Restlessness
  • Sadness or depression (34)

Behavioral signs of stress

  • Drugs or alcohol abuse
  • Excessive eating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Reduced engagement in physical activity
  • Social withdrawal
  • Tobacco use (34)

Stress can manifest itself in many different ways, including headache, irritability, and lack of appetite.

There’s a good chance stress is affecting your health in ways you don’t realize. You may think decreased productivity at work, trouble sleeping, anger, headaches, and your frequent trips to the bathroom are separate issues, but in reality — they are all common signs and symptoms of stress.

Over time, chronic stress can lead to serious health issues, including depression, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. (26) Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. (24) Stress can also impair functions of the gastrointestinal system, leading to poor motility, increased gut permeability, or disrupted gut microbiota. (20)

Did you know?
If left unchecked, chronic stress can contribute to a range of health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, lung disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer. (23)

5 natural ways to reduce stress and anxiety

No matter what type of stress you are dealing with, you can use the following natural strategies to lower your stress levels. (3)

1. Try meditation and other relaxation techniques

Meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises can help minimize feelings of stress and anxiety.

Meditation has also been shown to lower high blood pressure, reduce resting heart rate, and decrease the body’s stress hormone, cortisol.

(29) Not sure where to start? Set aside a few minutes each day to simply focus on your breathing without external distractions or try listening to a guided meditation exercise online.

2. Unplug from your devices and connect with nature

Technology is entwined with our daily lives, but too much screen time can lead to increased stress and feelings of anxiety. (19) Step away from your computer or phone at regular intervals throughout the day.

Spending time outdoors offers numerous health benefits, including improved mood and reduced stress levels. Can’t escape into nature? Research suggests that simply looking at photos of nature can help improve your mood.


3. Plan ahead and prioritize tasks

Set time each week to plan out daily tasks and upcoming events. Keeping yourself organized can limit unnecessary stress. Find strategies that work best for you, whether that’s using a mobile app or keeping a paper planner to efficiently manage your schedule.

4. Talk to friends and family

Staying connected with family and loved ones can improve resilience to stress and contribute to effective coping strategies. (27) Population groups across the world with the highest concentrations of centenarians, known as “Blue Zones,” prioritize family and social circles, which suggests that social connection plays a role in longevity and overall health. (9)

5. Stay active and exercise

Participating in physical activity can improve your stress resilience. (11) During exercise, the body releases chemicals such as endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce anxiety. (5) Adults should participate in at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity exercise each week to reap the many health benefits exercise offers. (31)

7 supplements to help manage and reduce stress

If you experience symptoms of stress, certain supplements may be able to help. Here is a list of seven nutrients and botanicals that have been shown to help naturally manage stress and anxiety.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile has long been used as a mild sedative to promote calmness and ease feelings of anxiety. (4)(15) Chamomile may improve moderate-to-severe symptoms associated with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), one of the most common chronic psychological disorders. (22) Furthermore, vaporized essential oils extracted from chamomile flowers may help relieve anxiety. (15)

3. Lemon balm

Lemon balm has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote well-being. (28) One study found that supplementing with lemon balm for eight weeks resulted in a significant reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. (17)

Drinking a beverage infused with lemon balm can help lower your stress and anxiety levels. (28)

L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has been shown to have calming effects.

A meta-analysis of nine peer-reviewed articles concluded that L-theanine supplementation reduces stress and anxiety in individuals experiencing stressful situations.

(36) One study showed that perceived stress was significantly reduced one hour after supplementation and cortisol levels decreased after three hours. (35)

Did you know?
Low-caffeine green tea can improve sleep quality in middle-aged and elderly individuals by suppressing stress. (32)(33)

5. Magnesium

Magnesium has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

Approximately 68% of North Americans don’t intake enough daily magnesium, which is associated with increased feelings of stress and anxiety.

Under acute stress, the body excretes increased levels of magnesium through the urine. Supplementing with magnesium can help maintain adequate magnesium levels and support the stress response. (8)

6. Valerian root

Valerian root, most commonly used for its sedative effects to improve sleep, has also been found to reduce both physical and psychological symptoms of stress.

(6) One of the compounds in valerian root extract, valerenic acid, has a tranquilizing effect and contributes to a calm state of mind by preventing the breakdown of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.

(18) GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter responsible for blocking impulses between nerve cells in the brain. Low levels of GABA are associated with increased anxiety. (1)

7. B vitamins

If you struggle with high levels of stress, B vitamins, most significantly B6, B9, and B12 may help alleviate your symptoms. (30)(38) Vitamin B complexes have a variety of scientifically-proven benefits when taken daily, including combating depression, anxiety, and the effects of work-related stress. (30)

Taking supplements and vitamins can make for an easy, cost-effective method for managing stress.

The key to managing stress is to pay attention to your body, mood, and behavioral warning signs listed above.

Chronic stress can take a toll on your health, but there are a number of strategies you can incorporate into your daily routine to help manage your stress. Certain nutrient and botanical ingredients can also be helpful in managing stress.

Before making changes to your treatment plan, consult an integrative healthcare practitioner for recommendations specific to your needs.

Источник: https://cobblestonemedicineandrehab.com/natural-stress-relief-best-strategies-and-supplements-for-stress-management/

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