Ashwagandha for Anxiety

Ashwagandha for anxiety and depression has been accepted as part of traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is only relatively recently that western scientists have started to take a closer look at Ashwagandha benefits.

Medical Studies

Almost all of the studies have been performed on laboratory animals such as rodents. One study done in India, and published in the International J. of Phytotherapy (2000 Dec:7 (6):463-9), was performed on rats over a period of 5 days. Ashwangandha was given to one group and an anti-depressant was given to another.

It said that “the results support the use of Ashwagandha as a mood stabilizer in clinical conditions of anxiety and depression.”

This is quite a claim and, of course, one has to be cautious if you are interested in taking Ashwagandha for anxiety and depression.

It is important to note that the dose of Ashwagandha administered in the studies varied considerably. There is no agreed-upon dosage range for this herb.

What is Ashwangandha?

It is a shrub which is cultivated in India and North America. It is also classified as an anti-oxidant helping to rebuild damaged cells throughout the body. It is also classified as an adaptogen.

Another Study:

A study published online – Naturopathic Care for Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial- on August 31 2009 gave a positive review of ashwagandha. There were 75 participants in this study which compared standard treatment for depression and anxiety against naturopathic treatment. The natural approach combined relaxation techniques and vitamins with the ashwagandha. The results showed “a significant decrease in anxiety levels” between the two groups, the naturopathic PLOS Hub for Clinical TrialsWhat is Ashwangandha?

It is a shrub which is cultivated in India and North America. It is also classified as an anti-oxidant helping to rebuild damaged cells throughout the body. It is also classified as an adaptogen.

Adaptogens assist the body in coping and adapting during times of stress due to physical or psychological trauma.

Ashwangandha benefits: There are many claims associated with this herb suggesting it acts as:

  • A powerful antioxidant
  • An immune system enhancer
  • An aphrodisiac (mentioned in the Kama Sutra, no less)
  • A memory enhancer
  • An inflammation reducer
  • An anti-aging agent
  • Senile dementia treatment

Ashwangandha Side Effects

The side effects allegations can sometimes be as outrageous as the benefits. It appears that long-term side effects are unsubstantiated due to the lack of data based on long-term studies on humans.

As there have been reports that high doses of Ashwagandha can cause restlessness it is probably best to start with a low dosage and then, depending upon how you feel, increase it from there.

The standard advice applies here such as revealing to your doctor that you are taking a supplementary herb. It may interfere with prescription medication. This is particularly important if you are pregnant or nursing.

As always, “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “safe.”

Should you take Ashwagandha? Because it is classified as an adaptogen every morning many people take a low dose of it in tea form as part of a liquid cocktail containing other adaptogens. It is a nice addition to nutritional cleansing protein drinks.

There are so many good indicators suggesting that adaptogens are great life-supporters. It is reasonable to assume that taking Ashwangandha for anxiety and depression can help.

Many consider Ashwagandha to be an important part of a general approach to strengthen their bodies.

The regular use of a nutritional cleansing to remove impurities and toxins is popular. Adaptogenic herbs, minerals, powerful vitamins, exercise, and any other health-enhancing habit I can find, has been effective for me in keeping depression away.