Ashwagandha For Anxiety

June 09, 2020

Ashwagandha For Anxiety

Ashwagandha For Anxiety 

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that is classified as an adaptogen. This means it can help the body effectively manage stress and has been around for over 3,000 years. In addition to its stress-fighting powers, ashwagandha is used for anxiety, to help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone levels in men, and certain studies even suggest ashwagandha may help boost brainpower.  Here are 11 amazing benefits of supplementing with ashwagandha that is supported by science-backed research. 

How Does Ashwagandha Work? 

Ashwagandha contains many compounds that help balance the body's physiology. The most researched phytochemicals in ashwagandha are its alkaloids and lactones which are thought to function as hormonal precursors. Ashwagandha is seen as adaptogenic, meaning it can help the body manage stress and will increase in effect when activity is low but will block excess stimulation when activity is too high. This makes ashwagandha an excellent option for those who struggle with anxiety and the wild hormonal variations that are so frequent with it. 

1) Ashwagandha Has A Long History

Ashwagandha has been around for over 3,000 years and is one of the most essential herbs in Ayurveda which is an alternative form of medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing.  The Ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that is native to North Africa and India. 

2) Ashwagandha For Anxiety

Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, meaning it can effectively help the body manage stress. In a recent prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root powder concluded, "a high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life."

In a separate 60-day study that included "64 people with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia (on average) compared with 11% in the placebo group." Ashwagandha is one of the most widely used and research-backed ingredients for effectively helping reduce anxiety levels. 

3) Ashwagandha For Stress

Numerous scientific studies have shown that ashwagandha can help reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels safely and effectively. Due to the high-stress environment that many of us live in today, cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can not only lead to high blood sugar levels but also increased fat storage in the abdomen. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in chronically stressed adults. 

If left untreated chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to: 

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Insulin resistance
  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Memory issues
  • Sleep problems 
These are just some of the reasons why it is incredibly important to learn to effectively cope and treat life stressors. 

    4) Ashwagandha May Help Reduce Depression 

    Ashwagandha does show promise in the ability to reduce depression in certain individuals. For example, in a controlled 60-day study that included 64 stressed adults, those who took 600 mg of high-concentration ashwagandha root extract each day reported a 79% reduction in severe depression whereas the placebo group reported a 10% increase. This is one of the many reasons that ashwagandha is present in our daily fast-acting Thought Calmer™. 

    5 ) Ashwagandha Can Help Reduce Inflammation 

    Ashwagandha has been shown to increase natural killer cell activity and decrease markers of inflammation. Killer cells provide rapid responses to virus-infected cells and act around 3 days after infection and also respond to tumor formation. A controlled study that was conducted in India with healthy volunteers aged 55 and older found that ashwagandha increases the activity of natural killer cells that fight off infection and help keep you healthy.

    Ashwagandha has also shown the ability to decrease C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker of inflammation and is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. A controlled study that had the group take 250 mg of standardized ashwagandha daily saw a 36% decrease in CRP compared with a 6% decrease in the placebo group.  Overall, Ashwagandha has displayed a remarkable ability to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. 

    6) Ashwagandha May Improve Brain Function & Even Memory 

    Research shows that ashwagandha promotes antioxidant activity the brain that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can damage cells, resulting in illness and aging. A controlled study that included healthy middle-aged men who took 500 mg of standardized ashwagandha extract daily reported significant improvements in their reaction time and task performance when compared to those who received a placebo.

    In a separate prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that included 50 adult Americans who were either treated with ashwagandha root extract ( 300 mg twice daily) or a placebo for eight weeks found significant memory, task performance, and attention improvement in those who received ashwagandha root extract twice daily. The overall conclusion of the study was, "ashwagandha supplements may improve brain function, memory, reaction time, and the ability to perform tasks." 

    7) A Compound In Ashwagandha May Help Kill Cancer Cells 

    Withaferin—a compound in ashwagandha helps induce apoptosis (programmed death of cancer cells) and is believed to promote the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cancer cells thus disputing their function. Test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may effectively help treat several types of cancer including breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer. Although this may not be the "main" reason people supplement with ashwagandha it is certainly an added benefit. 

    8) Ashwagandha Can Boost Testosterone and Fertility In Men

    Ashwagandha has shown a powerful ability to increase testosterone levels and boost sperm quality and fertility in men. In a study that included 75 infertile men, the group of men that was treated with ashwagandha displayed increased sperm count and motility. 

    • Researchers reported the group of men in the study who supplemented with ashwagandha had increased antioxidant levels in their blood.
    • Antioxidants are substances that can help protect your cells against harmful free radicals, which can play a role in cancer and heart disease among other harmful diseases.

    In another separate study, men who received ashwagandha for anxiety had better sperm quality and significantly higher antioxidant levels in their blood. What's more, after three months of treatment 14% of the men's partners had become pregnant. 

    9) Ashwagandha Can Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels 

    In several scientific studies, ashwagandha has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels. In fact, several human studies have suggested that it can reduce blood sugar levels not only healthy individuals but in those with diabetes as well. Furthermore, in a small 30-day study that included 6 people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing with ashwagandha lowered fasting blood sugar levels. 

      10) Supplementing With Ashwagandha May Lead To Increases In Muscle Strength 

      Ashwagandha can help individuals increase muscle size and strength while simultaneously reducing body fat percentage. An 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that included 57 young men with limited experience in weight training were randomly divided into treatment subjects (29) and placebo subjects (28). Those in the treatment group consumed 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily, while those in the control group consumed a look-alike placebo. 

      After the baseline measurements were complete both groups participated in weight-training for 8 weeks and measurements were at the end of week 8. The results found that compared to the placebo subjects, the group that supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater increases in muscle strength on the bench-press exercise and the leg-extension exercise while simultaneously significantly increasing strength in the arms.  

      Controlled Study of Ashwagandha Supplementation

      As mentioned briefly above, ashwagandha has shown the ability to help individuals increase muscle size and strength while reducing body fat percentage. A placebo-controlled study examining the effect of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) supplementation on muscle strength and recovery concluded, "ashwagandha supplementation is associated with significant increases in muscle mass and strength" and suggests, "Withania somnifera may, therefore, be useful for general weakness and to improve speed and lower limb muscular strength and neuro-muscular co-ordination."  

      11) Ashwagandha May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

      Ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels and improving blood flow. In a 60-day double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted at the Central Research Institute in chronically stressed adults, aged 18-60 found that those who took the highest dosage of ashwagandha extract experienced a 17% reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Furthermore, they also noticed an 11% decrease in triglycerides. 

      Ashwagandha Supplements

      Ashwagandha supplements are safe and widely accessible in health shops, supplement stores, and the Fitore Nutrition Thought Calmer. Those who are pregnant, on thyroid medication or breast-feeding mothers should consult with their medical professional before starting an ashwagandha supplement regimen. 

      Ashwagandha For Anxiety - Thought Calmer

      Ashwagandha For Anxiety Overview

      Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that is classified as an adaptogen—meaning it can help the body manage stress. Dozens of scientific studies have shown that supplementing with ashwagandha can help reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels safely and effectively. This is important because chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to a variety of health issues that when left untreated can become life threatening. 

      Additional Potential Uses of Ashwagandha 

      • Ashwagandha shows promise in the ability to reduce depression in certain individuals. 
      • Studies show that ashwagandha supplements have a powerful ability to increase testosterone levels and boost sperm quality and fertility in men. Supplementing with this ancient medical herb can also lead to an increase muscle strength.
      • Ashwagandha is one of the most effective natural stress and anxiety relief options on the market today. 
      •  When consumed on a daily basis, ashwagandha can lead to the death of cancer cells.

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