We have many options available to us today to ease stress and anxiety. There’s prescription medication, exercise, meditation, and natural remedies such as herbal supplements.
Many people don’t like the side effects of prescription medication, and we don’t always get as much time as we’d like to both exercise and meditate.
Herbal supplements are a great way to take care of yourself on top of other things you can do—and it’s the quickest and easiest thing to add into your self-care.
The nice thing about using traditional herbs for better health is we can research how it’s been used for thousands of years.
We also have new research to scientifically back up the benefits that people claim, and science to show which herbs to mix for the best results.
One such traditional herb is Ashwagandha. It’s native to the dry regions of India, northern Africa, and the Middle East. Today it’s grown in mild climates, including the United States.
The shrub has oval leaves and yellow flowers, and bears red fruit about the size of a raisin. While the leaves and fruit have therapeutic properties, the root is more often used in Western herbal remedies.
It’s also called “Indian ginseng” or “Indian winter cherry,” and is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing.
In Sanskrit ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” because they felt it could impart the vigor and strength of a stallion. It also apparently smells a little like a horse! But you won’t have to smell it if you take a pill supplement.
The benefits outweigh the smell anyway.
Examine.com says, “Ashwagandha has been called the king of Ayurvedic (traditional healing through herbs) for stress and anxiety relief. It may also provide neuroprotection, and is being researched for athletic performance as well.”
The site goes on to say, “Ashwagandha is best known for its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties: it can lower cortisol levels and may mitigate stress-induced insomnia, depression, and immunosuppression. It can also reduce low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), improve physical performance in both sedentary people and athletes, and maybe help treat Alzheimer's disease.”
It’s been used since ancient times for a long list of conditions such as failure to thrive in children, weakness in old age, rheumatism, constipation, insomnia, nervous conditions, stress, goiter, joint inflammation, and parasites.
People would treat boils and infections with a paste made from the root powder.
Traditionally, ashwagandha has also been prescribed as a nerve tonic.
That’s because it’s an adaptogen, an agent which helps the body adapt to various emotional and physical stressors.
Now you can find it in the form of a capsule, pill, powder, or blend, and it’s still well known for its calming effect and for its restorative and rejuvenating benefits.
A study from 2012 found that people who took ashwagandha supplements had reduced cortisol levels.
It is a highly effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety and stress that lowers cortisol levels and mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.
So it’s a powerful addition to any supplement mixture of calming herbs.
Another study from the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found 88% of volunteers experienced reduced anxiety while taking ashwaganda.
Ashwagandha actually contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, and amino acids, all of which offer health benefits.
It supports and energetic and rejuvenating sense of well-being because it actually helps with a wide variety of issues such as:
Ashwagandha appears to be a promising cancer fighter and might even destroy certain cancer cells. Research is finding that ashwagandha supplements can help fight cancer alongside other treatments like chemo and radiation.
It’s benefits are twofold. It also strengthens the immune system of patients undergoing chemotherapy by increasing white blood cell count.
Of course, it can help other illnesses by strengthening the immune system; it helps people after illness or surgery too.
Medical researchers have been studying ashwagandha with great interest because it can help in so many ways. There have been over 200 studies on its healing benefits.
A study from the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that due to its high withanolide content (which acts like a steroid), ashwagandha can help soothe joint pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
Here’s a fun fact about this herb: some studies have that taking a daily dose of ashwagandha powder increased hair melanin production, which means fewer gray hairs.
Other documented key examples of ashwagandha’s healing effects are:
Ashwagandha root extract is one of the many beneficial and natural ingredients in Nutrition Blends Inner Peace Formula, along with passion flower, ginseng, lemon balm, and chamomile.
Nutrition Blends actually has 18 ingredients that work together to recue stress, boost immunity, lower anxiety, boost mood, improve brain health, and give you better sleep.
Each ingredient is backed by numerous studies that have proven its effectiveness. The Inner Peace Formula is a carefully blended herb tonic that treats many conditions.
Read the research and learn more at www.nutritionblends.com.
D Choudhary, et al. “Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment with Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.” J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. April 6, 2016.
A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Andrade C1, Aswath A, Chaturvedi SK, Srinivasa M, Raguram R.