Does Ashwagandha Help with Anxiety?
YES. But It Is Also Good for So Much More!
What the heck is ashwagandha, you might ask. I know if someone came up to me and said “ashwagandha”, I would reply, “Well if you did you have to clean it up yourself.”
Here is an outline of what we’ll be discussing in this article:
- Does Ashwagandha Help with Anxiety?
- An “Adaptogenic” Herb
- Ashwagandha for Arthritis and Rheumatism
- Ashwagandha for Cancer
- Ashwagandha for Insomnia
- Ashwagandha for Weight Loss
- Is Ashwagandha Safe?
Does Ashwagandha Help with Anxiety?
This plant is truly amazing. It has been used for healing ailments since ancient times. Native to India and western Asia, it is also known as poison gooseberry, Indian ginseng, and winter cherry. It is a member of the nightshade plant family.
The Latin name for this herbal medicinal plant is Withania somnifera or “sleep inducing”. And it truly does help with sleeping disorders, as well.
But does Ashwagandha help with anxiety and stress? YES!
An “Adaptogenic” Herb
For those of you who do not know what “adaptogenic” means, it is a herb which helps people to adapt to external stressors. They help to bring the body into balance by regulating hormones and healing the adrenal glands.
Ashwagandha is one of the most important adaptogenic herbs in the world.
Doctors believe that this herb is so versatile due to its high alkaloid content. Many alkaloids have
profound physiological effects on the human body. Clinical studies have proven that ashwagandha is very good for reducing the stress hormone cortisol. It has been used as a natural stress reliever for centuries. One study found that supplementing with 240mg of ashwagandha daily for two months significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.
Further, it can help those struggling with mental disorders like social anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Taking 120 mg daily for six weeks assisted in lessening symptoms.
Ashwagandha for Arthritis and Rheumatism
Having anti-inflammatory properties, some arthritis patients have experienced relief from this herb. It has also shown improvement in rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis.
Ashwagandha for Cancer
Some researchers believe that ashwagandha is helpful in the treatment and even prevention of cancerous tumors. There are two schools of thought as to how this may work. One suggests that a crucial ingredient in the extract contains an anti carcinogenic agent and the other credits triethylene glycol, present in ashwagandha’s water extractions, for being an anticancer agent.
Ashwagandha for Insomnia
As previously mentioned, this plant has been recognized for centuries as being therapeutic to insomnia sufferers. After being taken daily for eight weeks, all sleep parameters have shown significant improvements. Also, due to the triethylene glycol, which is a sleep inducing agent. It is definitely recommended trying Ashwagandha for insomnia, before resorting to any pharma chemicals.
And whether or not you have great success with ashwagandha for insomnia, we would love to hear from you, if you have tried it.
Actually, we would always like to hear from you! Please leave a few words in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
As to dementia, more studies need to be done but the overall consensus on tests that have been done is that the supplement is well tolerated and improved performance of cognitive tasks, executive function, attention, and reaction time.
Ashwagandha for Weight Loss
Weight loss is such a huge problem these days and ashwagandha can even help with that. Many people claim that it helps them reach and maintain their weight goals. One explanation for this is our many-faceted plant and its ability to lower cortisol levels which are huge contributors to obesity. It is also believed that the extract works by increasing energy expenditure on a mito-chondrial level in fat tissue and skeletal muscle.
Is Ashwagandha Safe?
Now to the nitty gritty. Is Ashwagandha safe? As with any other herb, supplement, or medical
prescription, there are potential side effects. Those on pre-scription drugs, such as anxiety or depression medication, should consult with their health care practitioner before starting on ashwagandha as it has been known to adversely interact with other antidepressants.
Pregnant or nursing women should not take it as the herb tends to change hormones.
Ashwagandha is sold in powder or capsule form, sold in most health food stores, but can be purchased as fresh root. There are many teas made from this wonderful product which are also sold in health food stores. But, as usual, some manufacturers add other herbs and tonics to their teas. If you are a “green thumber” you can purchase Withania somnifera seeds to plant in your garden.
For individuals not on prescription medication, the suggested dose is 1-2 500mg tablets per day. When taking it for the first time drink plenty of water and reduce sugar intake. You may consider a regimen of four weeks on and one week off.
It might have a name that is hard to curl your tongue around, but it is worth a try for so many ailments.
We have answered the question, “does Ashwagandha help with anxiety and stress?”, and learned that it does, indeed. But we’ve also learned that Ashwagandha has a whole bunch of other health benefits.
You can effectively use ashwagandha for insomnia, and regulating hormones. And because it contains an anti-carcinogenic agent, you can definitely say that it is hopeful to consider ashwagandha for cancer.
Many have had success with ashwagandha for arthritis and rheumatism, and it has shown to help dementia patients.
It has even been shown beneficial to take ashwagandha for weight loss, and again, is ashwagandha safe? Yes, if you are not on meds that may conflict.
As we have also said, you can buy ashwagandha seeds or root, and make tea from it, or you can purchase capsules or tincture.
Ashwagandha Root in a base of Certified Organic Alcohol (GMO-free, Gluten Free)
and distilled water.