It’s no secret. We have a serious stress problem in our hands. Up to 55% of Americans are stressed during the day. From finances to traffic, marital problems to annoying workplaces, the pressure is high. People with different personalizes may even experience stress levels that vary, pushing them to the edge. Constantly feeling stressed out can take a toll on your health.
In fact, stress has been linked to as many as 90% of modern-day illnesses and injuries. Luckily, there’s a natural solution that might help – Ashwagandha. While this natural herb is not a magic pill for stress and anxiety, it can help your body deal with stress a bit better.
Ashwagandha is a potent medical herb that has been used for more than 3000 years, especially in Ayurvedic medicine. This plant is native in India, North Africa, the Middle East, and China. It has yellow flowers with a distinct “horse-like” earthy smell. Don’t worry, though, as it doesn’t smell when you take it as a KSM-66 Ashwagandha supplement, or in any other form.
For many years, Ashwagandha has been used as an adaptogenic herb to help deal with stress and anxiety. It’s also known as Indian Ginseng or winter cherry. Adaptogens like Ashwagandha have been widely used in Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries. Research has shown that this herb has more benefits than previously thought, including:
- Rejuvenating capabilities that enhance the body’s resilience to stress
- Helping the body to regulate stress and adapt its functions
- Supporting the adrenal glands and helping counteract effects of stress
- Immune and neurological support
When taken as a supplement, the herb is bitter. There’s a lot to learn about Ashwagandha and it’s effects on stress.
Why Ashwagandha May Help
Ashwagandha is largely popular because of its positive effects when taken as a supplement. As an adaptogen supplement, this herb works by counteracting the harmful effects caused by stress in the body by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. This plays a key role in countering the effects caused by day-to-day work and life imbalances that may cause feelings of stress and anxiety.
Rather than dealing with stress alone, it helps soothe the various consequences of occasional stress that we experience every day like lack of sleep, irritability, and lack of concentration. It may also help reduce the perception of stress, meaning that it can help people with anxiety, social dysfunction, and insomnia cope with their situation.
What Research Says About Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha’s effectiveness has been widely studied with some impressive results. In one published study in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, participants that were given Ashwagandha during the study period reported significantly lower levels of stress and anxiety and improved well-being. Participants also experienced better sleep.
Another extensive study focusing on chronically stressed adults showed that Ashwagandha helped reduce cortisol levels without necessarily causing adverse effects. In another study, 88% of adults given Ashwagandha over a period of six weeks reported feeling less anxious. Modern scientific studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help you reduce stress and relax.
Who Can Take Ashwagandha
If you have stress and anxiety that is interfering with your normal daily routine, including your ability to focus, work effectively, sleep, relax, or even do other tasks, you can consider taking Ashwagandha supplements as part of your diet. When combined with other proven ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, such as exercise and meditation, it becomes more effective.
Ashwagandha also helps regulate the hormonal imbalances that often lead to anxiety and the increase of cortisol levels. With regular dosage, users can experience a boost in energy levels, helping them suppress stressful situations. The herb also helps calm your senses and aids in mindfulness in people who suffer from chronic anxiety.
Across all levels of Ashwagandha usage, feelings of insomnia, loss of appetite, self-reported fatigue, forgetfulness, irritability, and the inability to concentrate all significantly improve in the response of Ashwagandha dosage. While there’s no way to eliminate stress 100%, more people are taking Ashwagandha to improve stress resistance.
Who Should Not Take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is not recommended for use by pregnant women, as there’s still no comprehensive research about its effects on pregnancy. Also, if you’re allergic to other members of the nightshade plant family or adaptogenic supplements, don’t take the herb. You should also not take Ashwagandha if you’re:
- Have high blood pressure
- Suffer from any kind of autoimmune disease
- Take certain types of medications such as sedatives, thyroid prescriptions, etc.
What To Keep in Mind Before Taking Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is mainly taken in the form of pills. There are numerous companies now selling Ashwagandha supplements, both online and in local stores. Before you start taking it for stress and anxiety, first consult your doctor for expert advice. While there are no reported side effects documented to date, one should be cautious with dosage.
It’s best to take Ashwagandha as a dietary supplement. The dosage may depend, but just like other supplements, lower is better. Most people take one or two capsules daily for stress management. It’s also advisable to check the ingredients of the supplement you buy to be sure you’re getting naturally sourced Ashwagandha with no pesticides or other harmful elements.
Ashwagandha acts on all the three critical stages of the stress response in human beings – the alarm phase, the state of resistance, and the exhaustion phase. Taking Ashwagandha supplements helps dull the stress response in your body, which makes you feel more relaxed. Finding a natural way to deal with the regular stresses of everyday life can be a lifesaver.
Ashwagandha’s many benefits help you stay on top of it all. So long as you don’t have medical conditions that may be adversely affected by increased thyroid activity caused by Ashwagandha, it’s safe to take this amazing herb. Add it to your normal diet or include it as part of your daily supplement routine.
Remember that stress is induced by different factors. Do your best to live a happier life, embrace yourself, and acknowledge when things are not going fine, so you can cope better. It doesn’t hurt to reach out for help, too, whenever you can.