Ashwagandha can cure insomnia and anxiety
(NaturalHealth365) Given the relentless pace and pressures of modern life, it’s not surprising that conditions such as anxiety and insomnia are at near epidemic levels. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control notes that between 50 and 70 million American adults currently suffer from sleep disorders.
In addition to causing impaired concentration and daytime fatigue, sleep disorders exact a grim toll in increased automobile and industrial accidents, as well as raising your risk for dangerous conditions such high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, depression and cancer.
Sleep better and de-stress with ashwagandha
Naturopathic practitioners and Ayurvedic healers have long known of the calming effects of the root of the ashwagandha shrub – a member of the nightshade family also referred to as winter cherry and Indian ginseng. Ashwagandha is revered in Ayurveda as a “rasayana,” or a “royal herb” – that can boost the immune system, help the body adapt to stress, and prolong life.
For centuries, ashwagandha has been prescribed not only to treat infectious diseases, fevers and inflammatory conditions, but also to elevate mood, fight panic attacks, reduce anxiety and depression and alleviate insomnia. In fact, a clue to the calming effect of ashwagandha can be found in the second part of its scientific name, Withania somnifera; the word arises from the Latin word “somnus,” or sleep.
Of course, western medicine has been slow to acknowledge the therapeutic potential of ashwagandha – with, quite frankly, many doctors unaware of the herb’s effects. But recent scientific studies have caused medical researchers to join natural healers in recognizing the healing power of ashwagandha.
Animal and human studies have demonstrated that ashwaganda has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, adaptogenic, antipyretic and antimicrobial (germ-fighting) benefits as well as its anti-anxiety and mood-elevating capabilities.
Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air. These chemicals - the 'off-gassing' of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials - increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
Get the BEST indoor air purification system - at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers. I, personally use this system in my home AND office. Click HERE to order now - before the sale ends.
How does ashwagandha relax the body and mind?
According to medical researchers, ashwagandha owes its relaxant properties to a group of alkaloids called, withanolides. Other constituents – including other alkaloids called sitoindosides, along with saponins and assorted minerals – may also play a role in producing a state of relaxation. Ashwagandha works as a depressant on the central nervous system, causing sensations of tranquility and relaxation – making sleep easier to achieve.
What does the scientific research tell us?
In one well-designed clinical study published in 2009 in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One, 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root were given – twice daily – to subjects who had been diagnosed with moderate to severe anxiety; a control group received standard psychotherapy aimed at reducing anxiety. Evidence about the properties of ashwagandha came when results were compared – using the Beck Anxiety Inventory as a diagnostic tool – researchers found that the group treated with ashwagandha received a much greater clinical benefit with anxiety reduction of up to 50 percent more than the group that had received psychotherapy.
In a recent study published in Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 64 subjects with a history of chronic stress took either placebo or 300 milligrams of ashwagandha extract – once a day. After 60 days, the ashwagandha subjects reported up to 44 percent lower scores on the ‘Perceived Stress Scale’, as compared to the placebo group. They also had substantial reductions in serum levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. The team concluded that ashwagandha is a safe and well-tolerated treatment for reducing stress and improving quality of life.
Ashwagandha proven to be just as good as anti-anxiety drugs
In a 2000 study published in Phytomedicine, the calming effect of ashwagandha on rats was equal to that produced by the prescription anti-anxiety medicine lorazepam – sold under the trade name Ativan. The team concluded that the use of ashwagandha was supported for treatment of clinical anxiety and depression.
In contrast to Ativan — which can cause side effects such as nightmares, headaches and depression, plus it can be physically addictive – ashwagandha features no reported adverse effects in studies.
What is the best way to take ashwagandha?
Powdered ashwagandha root is available at health food stores and online – the dosage for most studies has been 300 milligrams per day. Many natural health experts suggest making a tea by boiling about 1 teaspoon of the powdered root for 15 minutes; drink up to 3 cups a day. You can also take ½ – ¾ of a teaspoon of ashwagandha tincture daily, some people may do well with more.
Naturally, you should consult a trusted medical health professional before using ashwagandha to treat anxiety or insomnia. There are no serious adverse effects reported with ashwagandha, but – as with any substance – allergic reactions are possible. So, don’t use ashwagandha if you are allergic to potatoes, tomatoes, peppers or other members of the nightshade family.
For sleeplessness stemming from anxiety and depression, ashwagandha may well be the remedy of the future, bringing gentle, natural, drug-free relaxation without side effects.
Looking for natural health solutions? Sign up now – for our free, weekly show featuring the greatest minds in natural health and science plus a free gift!
Food & Nutrition
Natural Health 365
Natural Health 365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The Food & Nutrition articles found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on eating healthy, nutritious foods and safely using supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you informed! Articles range in topic from the cancer fighting qualities of Olive Oil, to the remarkably high concentration of anti-oxidants found in blueberries, to how to make your own almond milk, to a nutritional comparison of organic vs conventional produce, to an analysis of the health benefits of tree nuts. You can find all of the Food News Articles here
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Artichokes, Olive Oil, Almond Milk, Blueberries
More Food & Nutrition Articles
Fresh Organic Produce Fights Cancer, Susan G. Komen on Organic Foods, Hemp Seeds for Inflammation, Pau D’Arco For Improved Immunity
In addition to exploring health benefits of certain foods, vitamins and supplements, we also aim to connect healthy eating and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to long-lasting health and adding healthy, happy years to your life. For example, did you know that eating Granny Smith Apples on a regular basis can reduce your chance of building up unhealthy gut yeast? Or that ingesting ground hemp seeds can significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body? Perhaps you didn’t know that Fresh Organic Produce has been found to have higher concentrations of key, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and vitamins than conventional produce? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
We’d love to know what you’re thinking! Please join the conversation on Facebook, post comments here on the website and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.
Please use and share the articles you find here with your friends, family and peers.