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Does Ashwagandha Help With Anxiety?

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Due to our hectic schedules, stress and anxiety have become a part of our existence. Be it work, school or college – everyone has felt anxious once in a while. But you may get a little rattled when this anxiety gets out of hand and starts interfering with your daily life. You might have tried to change the way you think, tried meditating, going for counselling and opted for other strategies.

If nothing seemed to have worked, opt for ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is a traditional ayurvedic medicine that helps to relieve anxiety and stress. Let us see how ashwagandha and anxiety are connected.

ashwagandha for anxiety

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a herb that is also called by other names such as Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry and Poison Gooseberry. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera.

It is considered an adaptogen, which is a group of herbs that assists you to handle mental and physical stressors. It has been in use for thousands of years to aid stress, improve concentration and enhance energy levels.

Ashwagandha for Anxiety

Ashwagandha is used to calm the mind. It has been observed that the plant is helpful in reducing anxiety. It is particularly efficient in treating a condition called agoraphobia, which is anxiety experienced in crowded places.

Ashwagandha can help reduce common symptoms of anxiety. These include nervousness, sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feelings of possible danger, etc.

According to a study conducted on people suffering from stress[1], it was found that ashwagandha could significantly reduce stress. In the study, participants in the placebo group had an average drop of 5.5 % in their stress scores. On the other hand, those who consumed ashwagandha twice a day experienced a significant 44% decrease in their stress score.

Then the doctors made the participants fill out depression anxiety stress scale (DASS) questionnaires. The results showed that the ashwagandha had an antianxiety and antidepressant effect. This is because the herb helps in reducing cortisol levels which helps you to calm down. As per another research conducted over a period of 6 weeks, 88% of the people supplied with ashwagandha had reduced anxiety levels.[2]                                                           

How can it impact your sleep?

The herb is also effective in reducing sleep-related problems. When you are stressed or anxious about something, you get restless & thoughts race through your mind. This can disrupt your sleep cycle and neurotransmitter production. All this further increases your anxiety and impacts sleep. Ashwagandha can help you sleep better by relieving stress.

If you choose ashwagandha for anxiety, know that it is effective for exhaustion caused by stress too.

Read More: 5 Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Brain

Other Ashwagandha Benefits:

Ashwagandha has other potential health benefits as well. They are:

  • Helps maintain optimal sugar level
  • Helps to relieve symptoms of depression
  • Supports   healthy muscle mass
  • Supports good cholesterol formation
  • Helps to improve memory
  • Helps to reduce inflammation
  •   (helpful for arthritis)
  • Can help to fight against cancer  

Ashwagandha should be cautiously used in individuals with liver problems, as ashwagandha can aggravate liver problems

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Also Read: What is Reiki Healing: A Comprehensive Understanding Through Research

Side Effects:

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic medicine and severe side effects have not been noticed with respect to adding it to your daily diet. However, if you end up overdosing on Ashwagandha, you are likely to face the following negative impacts:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea  
  • Upset stomach  
  • Vomiting as a result of irritation to the intestinal mucosa

Apart from consultation with a psychiatrist and management with allopathic medicines, mind body techniques, exercise, aromatherapy and music therapy are well known to help reduce anxiety.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Also Read: Ashwagandha Benefits for Men: A Research-Backed Guide to Natural Wellness

The Correct Way to Consume Ashwagandha

Depending on the level of stress and anxiety a person is going through, you will be prescribed the correct dosage by an expert practitioner in the field of Ayurveda.  

Some studies have revealed that taking about 200-600 mg of Ashwagandha daily can help to reduce stress significantly. The ayurvedic supplement can be bought from the store in either liquid, capsule or powder format.  

Approximately, one capsule contains about 250-1500 mg of ashwagandha extracts.  

So, if you are suffering from extreme anxiety, ashwagandha can be a help. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking ashwagandha.

Also Read: Does Ashwagandha Increase Testosterone? Exploring Research-Based Answers

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.  


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