We all struggle with anxiety at one time or another. A big presentation, bills, or tough relationships lead to stress and anxiety.
Though it seems to creep in automatically, we can’t expect anxiety to go away on its own. Luckily, there is an herbal option that may reduce anxiety. Ashwagandha! Learn how taking Ashwagandha for anxiety can help.
What is Ashwagandha?
This root is popular in Ayurvedic medicine (Indian medicine) and has been used for over 3,000 years. Ashwagandha is known for a number of benefits, including thyroid regulation, battling anxiety and stress, helping depression, and decreasing inflammation. Ashwagandha for anxiety is the most notable and researched benefit.
It’s an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body cope with stress. Ayurveda uses it as a sleep aid and to balance various conditions that arise from ‘vata dosha’ imbalances. It encourages youth and vitality and considered a grounding and nourishing herb to support well-being.
Does Ashwagandha for Anxiety Work?
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng and Winter Cherry, caught my attention based on the number of studies showing great results for stress and anxiety related biomarkers. Ashwagandha for stress and anxiety is perhaps its most studied benefit.
One study with 64 people who struggled with stress showed significant improvement in stress levels over a 60 day period. These results were from taking 300mg of high concentration extract per day. 
In a different study, 88% of participants with anxiety disorders reported a reduction in anxiety, compared to 50% who took a placebo. 
In a double-blind, randomized study, ashwagandha reduced experiential and biochemical indicators of stress without any adverse effects. 
From the ashwagandha studies on stress and anxiety, results suggest it may support the following:
- reduce stress and anxiety
- decrease c-reactive protein levels
- decrease cortisol
- improve memory formation
- may help with neurodegenerative diseases
Ashwagandha is a well-researched herb with a strong track record showing positive results for those struggling with stress and anxiety. It is believed to be a safe supplement for long-term use without major side effects, though results may vary.
While this herb may not work for everyone, it can have a powerful impact on those struggling with anxiety and chronic stress.
Where Can I Buy Ashwagandha?
There are many ashwagandha supplements options online, many with stellar reviews. You can also buy the root powder by the ounce to mix with food, milk, or your favorite smoothie.
Ashwagandha supplements with root powder and ashwagandha extracts are the most common form. They often range from 200 mg to 1,000 mg of ashwagandha root per serving, though the potency and effectiveness will vary from product to product.
Other supplements such as Calm Now, mix ashwagandha with B-vitamins and other herbs to reduce stress and anxiety. Read our Calm Now review here.
Pregnancy concerns: Ashwagandha is not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It has abortifacient properties which may lead to miscarriage. While concerns are based on very high doses, it’s not worth the risk.
Hyperthyroidism: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ashwagandha may intensify hyperthyroidism. Many have differing viewpoints, but it’s fair to say, be careful if you have hyperthyroidism.
Medications: Ashwagandha is a mild central nervous system depressant, so it may interact with alcohol, anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives. If you are under treatment for any medical or psychiatric problems or take any prescription medications, talk with your doctor before taking ashwagandha.
When in doubt, always listen to your body (and Doctor).