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 relieve anxiety and stress. Let us see how ashwagandha and anxiety are connected.
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 release stress, improve concentration and enhance energy levels.
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 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, 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 anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effect. This is because the herb helps in reducing the cortisol levels which helps you to calm down. This, in turn, reduced the impact of your flight and fight response.
As per another research conducted over a period of 6 weeks, 88 % of the people supplied with ashwagandha had reduced anxiety levels.
How can it impact your sleep?
The herb is also effective for 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
- Relieves symptoms of depression
- Enhances strength and muscle mass
- Promotes good cholesterol formation
- Boosts libido in men and women
- Improves memory
- Reduces inflammation
So, if you are suffering from extreme anxiety, ashwagandha can help. If you are unsure about taking ashwagandha then consult a doctor before consuming it.