The herb is a significant part of Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine that originated in India. Due to the increasing number of studies that attests to its healing properties, ashwagandha has gained more traction even among conventional health care providers.
One study that focused on the benefits of ashwagandha took place in Asha Hospital in 2012. It involved 64 participants with histories of chronic stress.
Half of the participants made up the control group of the clinical study. They received a placebo that didn't actively trigger any effects.
The remainder underwent an ashwagandha root treatment course. Twice a day, they took a 300-milligram dose of ashwagandha root extract.
The trial lasted for 60 days. The Asha researchers checked the stress levels of the participants by measuring the concentration of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood and by having them answer a stress assessment exam.
The researchers found that the ashwagandha-treated participants enjoyed considerable reductions in their cortisol levels. The test scores of these patients were also much higher than their placebo-taking counterparts.
The findings of the Asha study showed that ashwagandha root extract can increase a person's natural resistance to sources of stress. The study also demonstrated the medicinal herb's safety and effectiveness in improving the condition of adults with chronic stress. (Related: These foods may be contributing to your anxiety.)
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb and one of the most effective ones in relieving anxiety. It contains adaptogens that inhibit the negative effects of stress, return the adrenal system to normal, and manage hormone levels.
Adaptogens got their name from the way they adapt to the needs of the body. These beneficial compounds help maintain homeostasis, the natural balance of various bodily functions.
Ashwagandha root has a variety of ways by which it supports the central nervous system. It increases a person's energy levels and also improves the quality and length of his sleep, allowing him to rest and heal better.
In addition to adaptogens, ashwagandha contains plenty of alkaloids that help people calm down and relax. Sitoindosides, in particular, has a mild sedative effect that naturally relieves anxiety.
Whereas pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for treating anxiety can cause many adverse effects, taking ashwagandha root has almost no side effects. It is much safer to take.
Even if a person doesn't experience any anxiety or stress, he will still benefit from taking ashwagandha root as a health supplement.
By lowering cortisol concentrations, ashwagandha sharpens the brain, strengthens the immune system, and makes bones stronger by increasing bone density. Getting rid of stress also helps people shed excess pounds and brings down cholesterol levels, which tend to increase when a person experiences considerable amounts of stress.
Reducing anxiety and stress levels makes a person feel much better about his life. Ashwagandha as a mood enhancer mitigates the symptoms of depression and helps prevent the onset of mental disorders.
Meanwhile, other plant-based compounds in ashwagandha root can fight harmful inflammation in the body, improve metabolism by reducing blood sugar levels, and increase libido.
Consult your health care provider before trying out ashwagandha root. The medicinal herb is available in health food stores and online shops. Make sure that the source of your ashwagandha supplement is a trusted one, and go for the highest concentration and purity available.
Ashwagandha root comes in capsules, teas, and tincture form. Most experiments use 300 milligrams of ashwagandha given once or twice a day.