Ashwagandha: A Natural Cure For Anxietyby Mike B. NLP Trainer
Guest Post by Jen Johnson
Ashwagandha: A Natural Cure For Anxiety
There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that there is an epidemic of stress, anxiety, and depression spanning the globe. It makes sense too, considering the state our world is in.
People are worried about the future. People are stressed out about the environment. The government. Their careers. College. Retirement. Raising children. Finding love. Daily survival in this oh, so crazy world that we live in.
The search for a cure-all for these chronic issues is also at an all-time high. While Western medicine has turned to the use of pharmaceutical drugs for an answer, Eastern medicine already had a powerful, hidden gem that, until recently, was unknown to Western culture.
Ashwagandha has been a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a wide variety of health conditions. In Sanskrit, ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse”, most likely due to the strong earthy smell that the root has. It also might indicate that this herb gives you the “strength of the stallion” by boosting your immune system.
For 5,000 years it has been prescribed as a nerve tonic and adaptogen - something that helps the body feel better and stronger when dealing with physical stressors. It has also been known to help inflammation, insomnia, constipation, rheumatism, hormone imbalances, and energy levels.
Recently, Western culture has been searching for answers to mental health conditions found in nature. Ayurvedic medicine has been becoming increasingly popular because of this, resulting in the name “ashwagandha” popping up everywhere. Modern medicine has decided to put these 5,000-year-old claims to the test, to see what this herb can really do.
Does it really reduce stress like these ancient texts claim?
In 2009, a 12 week controlled study, published in PLOS One, compared ashwagandha to the common pharmaceutical drugs lorazepam and imipramine. In this study, a group of 75 participants diagnosed with anxiety was divided into two groups.
The first group received naturopathic care, nutrition counseling, deep breathing relaxation coaching, a multi-vitamin, and 300 mg of Ashwagandha twice daily. The second group received psychotherapy, deep breathing relaxation coaching, and a placebo pill twice daily.
The results were pretty astonishing - the first group had measured lower levels of anxiety after the 12 weeks by 55%, while the second group's anxiety levels decreased by 30.5%.
What’s awesome about this is that no harsh side effects accompanied these results like ones that are usually experienced when taking pharmaceutical drugs (insomnia, increased appetite, drowsiness, etc). Alongside decreased anxiety, was also increased levels of vitality, concentration, social functioning, and energy.
Another double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial lasting 8 weeks tested 52 healthy subjects that had been dealing with stress for long periods of time. They were given 300 mg of Ashwagandha twice daily and had their stress measured by a perceived stress scale. After the 8 weeks, not only their stress levels had dropped significantly, but also their body weight. They had all experienced fewer food cravings, likely linked to high levels of stress.
A survey study of 218 healthy participants taking 1200 mg twice daily for 4 weeks, showed that they experienced a 66.9% improvement in sleep quality, also likely linked to high stress levels. The participants also reported experiencing a 42% increase in emotional health, which led to a 45% increase in their social life and activities. They were able to better enjoy spending time with their friends and family on a daily basis.
All of these studies have shown that ashwagandha holds its own against pharmaceuticals when it comes to relieving stress and anxiety. Now, the question you may ask is…
What is it about ashwagandha that makes it so powerful?
How this herb fights against stress is by actually reducing cortisol, the “stress hormone” in the brain. When your cortisol levels are high for extended periods of time, health issues can arise. Issues like adrenal fatigue, headaches, backaches, loss of sleep, fatigue/tiredness, weight gain, weakened immune system, junk food cravings, digestive issues, anxiety, and even depression.
There are a number of natural ways to lower cortisol levels in your body, but ashwagandha is the most effective herbal supplement you can take.
Ashwagandha is not only a proven weapon that can be used against stress, anxiety, and depression. It actually helps with many more health issues like concentration, poor memory, mental/physical endurance, joint pain, and libido.
If you are like so many other people out there looking to Mother Nature to help with your anxiety or depression, ashwagandha seems like an excellent way to go. It not only helps with those ailments, it also helps increase overall levels of health and happiness in people who incorporate it into their lives.
Considering the world that we live in, it sounds like something we can all use right about now.
Created on Aug 11th 2018 09:15. Viewed 317 times.