Ashwagandha is an herb utilized by practitioners of Ayurveda, the ancient method of health and wellness in India. This herb’s root is considered to possess several health benefits, most importantly here being its capability to minimize anxiety and stress.
An Intro to Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a plant native to Northern Africa and India. For at least a couple of thousand years ashwagandha has been quite important in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional way of healing and medicine in India. You may also see this herb called Indian ginseng (though it’s not actually ginseng), or as Withania somnifera (its botanical name). While its leaves, root, and seeds have each been of use in Ayurvedic medicine, it is primarily the root that has now become popular in the United States.
The health advantages of this root are numerous and wide-ranging. Ashwagandha is used to lower cholesterol, improve memory, and reduce blood sugar levels. This root is most renowned for, however, is being an adaptogen: a medicinal, therapeutic plant that gives the body the capability to adapt, or modify its behavior and actions, to stress.
Ashwagandha Reduces Stress and Anxiety
There are a variety of plants, including ginseng and Rhodiola, that are thought to help you adjust to stress. Of all these many adaptogen plants, however, ashwagandha is believed to be the most beneficial.
Stress appears in an assortment of formats, such as psychological, emotional, physical. The captivating thing about an adaptogen is that it reduces the issues of stress regardless of the type of stress you are going through. That mostly has to do with the hormone cortisol.
There’s a rationale as to why cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Cortisol does not trigger stress, but rather is generated by the body in response to stress. It’s job is to help the body in preparing and reacting to any types of stress. This hormone performs its functions in an assortment of ways, from sending more sugars into the bloodstream and amplifying awareness to equip the body for a fight-or-flight reaction, to pressuring the body to cut back on less vital activities to allow the body to address activities essential to responding to stress.
Ashwagandha is able to lower cortisol levels in the body. Decreasing cortisol is the primary way ashwagandha scales down stress. Because stress and anxiety are tightly related, decreasing stress levels reduces anxiety. The ability to lower cortisol and minimize stress isn’t simply a hunch — it’s been backed up by research. In one study 60 subjects displaying indicators of anxiety were supplied with either 350 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo twice daily for ten weeks. For the subjects who took the ashwagandha supplements, stress and anxiety were dramatically lowered, and their quality of sleep greatly improved.
Improving sleep quality is a big plus in the battle to prevent anxiety. An unsatisfactory sleep cycle will render you exhausted over the course of the day, restless, moody, and not able to focus. Altogether, those issues may quickly cause anxiety. An ashwagandha supplement has been shown to be a great benefit in improving a person’s sleep cycle.
A high level of cortisol plays a part in sleep disturbances. Ashwagandha lowers cortisol release. Along with that, this supplement increases your body’s acetylcholine levels. Acetylcholine is a hormone that performs a critical role in promoting REM sleep — the phases of sleep when you dream the most. Too little REM sleep may interfere with regular daytime operations , creating stress and anxiety.
The Best Way to Use Ashwagandha Supplements
An ashwagandha supplement is the root of the herb ashwagandha, sold as a powder. You can purchase the ashwagandha powder either in bulk form distributed in a bag or jar, or in capsules for convenience. The powder type is made by grinding and then drying the plant’s root. If the product is labeled as extract then only the most essential elements of the root have been drawn out from the powder resulting in a more concentrated product.
There’s no predetermined size amount of ashwagandha root powder that is best suited for everybody. A dose is normally in the range of 300 mg to 500 mg on a daily basis. For managing the signs and symptoms of anxiety, about 600 mg every day might be the most preferred. No matter what amount you decide on, divide it into two doses per day: take your first dose in the morning and the second dose in the evening. Whether you take a dose of ashwagandha along with a meal or not will be up to you — the usefulness of the ashwagandha supplement isn’t dependent on whether you take it along with food.
For close to three thousand years ashwagandha root has been an important part of Ayurveda medicine. Recently the root of this herb has increased in popularity in health-conscious people who normally relied only on the medications and practices of Western medical treatment.
The ashwagandha root is considered to be an adaptogen — a medicinal herb that helps the body in dealing with stress. The root achieves this primarily by lowering the levels of the body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol. By managing stress, anxiety is also decreased. A huge number of people who deal with anxiety and stress, and even depression, have found relief by purchasing ashwagandha supplements.