Ashwagandha, Perfect for anxiety, stress, low energy and the ravages of aging.
Ashwagandha is a perfect herbal solution for anxiety and stress. It has many benefits but is most commonly known for its ability to help people recover from the dangerous health issues sparked by stress. That makes this herb a perfect companion for modern life.
How Does Ashwagandha Work?
It works like a charm! Ashwagandha has been studied for its benefits to lower inflammation, help Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological disorders, and has been used as an adjunct in cancer care to support low white blood cell count. While this plant medicine contains many plant compounds that help balance the body’s physiology, Ashwagandha’s most well-researched phytochemicals are its alkaloids and lactones, which are thought to act as hormonal precursors. In holistic medical care, ashwagandha is seen as ‘adaptogenic.’ This means it will help to increase efficiency when activity is low but will block excess stimulation when activity is too high. This is a perfect choice for the wild hormonal variations that occur with anxiety and other stress symptoms.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
There are tons of health benefits! Ashwa is used to tone, support, and revitalize body functions. It has been revered over time for its dual capacity to energize and calm at the same time. Stress can cause fatigue, manifesting as hyper signs like agitation and difficulty with sleeping (may have trouble falling asleep, may wake up frequently or may cause insomnia). By providing a nourishing and energizing effect, Ashwa can support a healthy nervous system. With a long-term use of Ashwagandha, stress doesn’t impact the nervous system with such intensity and the hyper signs of stress and agitation will naturally resolve over time. In this way, Ashwa has a rejuvenating and calming influence on the whole nervous system and consequentially, on the entire being. In addition to its dual energizing/calming effect, it offers a number of benefits:
- Support a healthy immune system
- Calm mental processes
- Fosters healthy sleep patterns
- Ashwagandha also benefits a healthy reproductive system in both males and females.
- Supports sustained energy levels, strength, and vitality also including physical activity.
- Supports a healthy back and joints
- Promotes thyroid health
- Promotes healthy functioning of the adrenals
The Science of Ashwagandha
It has become of interest to a number of herbalist, researchers, and nutritionists particularly as it grows in popularity.
- Ashwagandha has been the subject of studies looking at the benefits on the immune system, including possible support of the immune system during radiation and chemotherapy.
- It can also support healthy cholesterol levels and antioxidant properties.
Ashwagandha and Ayurveda
Ashwa is used in Ayurveda to balance Vata and Kapha in excess, and because of its heating, unctuous, building nature, it can imbalance pitta and worsens ama (toxic build-up). Ayurvedic medicine recognizes Ashwagandha particularly for its building, strengthening, and nourishing nature.
Ashwagandha for Anxiety and Stress?
It is a perfect herbal solution for anxiety and stress. It is very helpful to calm anxiety, and specifically, help agoraphobia (anxiety in open or crowded places). Most of the understanding we have about Ashwagandha is based on its substantial anecdotal history and animal studies. Ashwagandha has a calming and sedative effect on the whole human body and is most famous because it is rejuvenating and nourishing qualities. Ashwagandha supports the proper functioning of the adrenal glands, boosting immunity and improving brain function. Ashwa is an excellent choice as a remedy for insomnia, anxiety, and stress. In recent years, scientific trials have shown to be as effective as some prescription tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs.
What can Ashwagandha do to your body?
- Showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels and a reduction in stress when compared to a placebo.
- Enhances GABA receptors and serotonin in the brain.
- Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone, which contributes to muscle loss and weakness, wrinkles and cognitive impairment.
- Extract improved auditory-verbal working memory in human subjects with bipolar disorder.
- Mood stabilizer for anxiety/depression.
- Is effective in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
- Is effective in the management of sleep loss and associated oxidative stress.
- Had significant anti-stress activity in rat models and animals treated showed better stress tolerance.
- The extract of Ashwagandha reduced chronic stress-induced ulcers than the chemical drugs, a decline in sex drive and cognitive impairment.
How does it work?
Since Ashwa enhances GABA receptors and serotonin in the brain, it has a sleep-promoting effect by a GABAergic mechanism. Other case studies using Ashwagandha also show benefit in stressed women with adrenal hyperplasia showing beneficial changes in cortisol, progesterone and pregnenolone (a valuable precursor hormone), as well as noticeable improvement in a difficult to treat hair loss known as alopecia. Other studies of men with stress-related fertility issues found higher antioxidant status and much healthier sperm when supplemented with Ashwagandha.
Dosage and Best Usage
Typical dosage is 300mg once or twice a day. Ashwagandha’s best use may be for someone with anxiety and a stressful life which is accompanied by nervous depletion and sleeplessness. It is also great for stressed out infertile men with poor sperm, women with stressed-induced hormonal imbalance, and may help with hair loss too.
A Quick Summary
Historical records show that the ancient people where using Ashwagandha to battle stress and fatigue. Today, the science largely supports these claims and shows promising results for the efficacy of Ashwagandha in reducing stress and anxiety for people in our modern world.