lifestyle 

Ashwagandha and Stress Relief: What the Science Says

November 14, 2019 3 min read

Ashwagandha capsules in a dish

Finding ways to manage the frustrations of modern life can be an all-consuming task for some. Technology, traffic, holidays, finances, diet, and exercise all contribute to everyday stress, which is an unavoidable part of life. But persistently high levels of stress and anxiety can lead to serious health issues, so exploring ways to manage stress is extremely important for your overall health and well-being. 

While some people have healthy coping mechanisms, like meditation and exercise, others resort to alcohol, prescription medication, and food as a crutch. For those exploring alternative solutions to relieving stress, research supports ashwagandha as an effective, natural way to help. What's more, this herb doesn't carry the harmful effects of drinking too much or eating too many sugary, processed, or fried foods.

Originating in India many centuries ago, ashwagandha is an herb used as an all-encompassing solution for a variety of mental and physical problems. Recently, scientists have discovered the herb contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both of which explain the broad range of ashwagandha benefits.

Ashwagandha and stress relief

One of the most highly regarded advantages of ashwagandha is its capacity to serve as a natural remedy for stress and anxiety.*

In a 12-week study investigating the potential of ashwagandha to combat stress and anxiety, researchers split 75 individuals diagnosed with anxiety into two groups. One group received ashwagandha supplements and naturopathic care, while the other was treated with conventional psychotherapy methods. 

After 12 weeks, researchers assessed the patient's anxiety rates, leading them to discover that the group given ashwagandha supplements had reduced anxiety levels by 55%

On the other hand, the control group receiving traditional psychotherapy only saw anxiety levels decreased by 30%. Researchers also noted significant discrepancies between groups upon examining levels of concentration, social functioning, and vitality, with results indicating better outcomes for the group given the ashwagandha supplements.

Nearly as impressive as ashwagandha's benefits is its lack of side effects. When compared to anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication, many of which are prone to a host of side effects, many individuals appreciate ashwagandha for its ability to ease stress without producing other ailments.

Ashwagandha and adrenal function

In addition to improving chronic stress and anxiety, research indicates ashwagandha can help improve adrenal functioning.* 

The endocrine glands are responsible for distributing hormones, particularly cortisol and adrenaline, so regulating the release of these stress hormones into your body helps prevent adrenal fatigue. 

When the adrenal glands wear out, other hormones in the body might also be affected, disrupting fertility and depleting hormone levels associated with overall body health.

Ashwagandha for depression

Not only does ashwagandha help those who endure anxiety and long-term stress, but it can also be beneficial for those who experience symptoms of depression. 

Since stress is a well-known cause of both acute and chronic depression, ashwagandha can serve as a natural method of alleviating the symptoms of depression.* 

An experimental study in 2000 sought to compare the efficacy of ashwagandha to an anti-depressant known as imipramine. In the study, researchers discovered the effectiveness of ashwagandha was proportionate to the overall effectiveness of mood stabilizers. 

While this herb is unlikely to remedy major depressive disorders, it's worth speaking with your doctor or mental health practitioner to see how ashwagandha can fit into your daily wellness regimen. 

The research on KSM-66 Ashwagandha

Further supporting the evidence that ashwagandha is useful for stress relief, the extremely potent formula of KSM-66 Ashwagandha has been studied in 22 gold-standard human clinical trials. 

One study in particular following 64 adults showed that KSM-66 Ashwagandha safely and effectively improved subjects' resistance to stress. In a similar vein, another study demonstrated that KSM-66 could help to reduce stress-related food cravings. This finding provides promise for healthy weight management during times of stress. 

In summary

Ashwagandha has been an integral element of traditional and ayurvedic medicine for centuries, in part due to its capacity to relieve stress. Modern clinical trials have echoed its stress-relieving properties, citing improvements in mental well-being, adrenal support, and weight management.

If you're suffering from chronic stress and seeking a natural solution to relief, talk with your doctor or mental health practitioner to see how you can fit this herb into your daily care routine.