Ashwagandha is an herb utilized by Ayurvedic healers, the classical program of medicine in India. This plant’s root is believed to have countless wellness benefits, most importantly here being its potential to lessen stress and anxiety.

An Introduction to Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an herb that is native to India and much of Northern Africa. For over two thousand years this herb has been extremely crucial in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional system of medicine in India. You’ll also come across this plant referred to by its botanical name of Withania somnifera, or as Indian ginseng. Though the seeds, root, and leaves have each been used in the system of Ayurveda, it is the root that has recently become preferred in the Western world.

The health and wellness advantages of this root are countless and varied. People use the root to improve memory, treat inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and several other reasons. This plant’s root is most renowned for, though, is acting as an adaptogen: a medicinal, therapeutic plant that gives your body the ability to adapt to stress.

Ashwagandha Reduces Anxiety and Stress

There are a number of herbs and roots, such as Rhodiola and ginseng, that are used to allow your body to adapt to stress. Of all these several adaptogen plants, though, ashwagandha is considered to be the most effective.

Stress exists in a variety of forms, whether emotional, physical, or psychological. The interesting factor of an adaptogen is that it can reduce the issues of stress regardless of what form of stress you are dealing with. That mostly relates to the hormone cortisol.

ashwagandha plant blooming

There’s a reason cortisol is described as the stress hormone. The hormone cortisol will not result in stress, but rather is produced in the body during stress. Cortisol’s assignment is to help the body in gearing up and responding to any types of stress. This hormone performs its functions in a range of ways, from pumping more sugars into the bloodstream and increasing alertness to prepare the body for a fight-or-flight kind of reaction, to restricting the body to cut down on less crucial duties to make it possible for the body to prioritize tasks critical to reacting to stress.

Ashwagandha has the ability to decrease levels of cortisol in a person’s body. Lowering cortisol is the principal way this root extract scales down stress. Because stress and anxiety are closely connected, lessening stress levels also lowers anxiety. This capability to decrease cortisol and minimize stress isn’t merely a theory — this has been confirmed by studies. In one study 70 volunteers showing signs of anxiety were supplied with either 400 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo daily for ten weeks. For those individuals who were given the ashwagandha , stress and anxiety were significantly reduced, and additionally sleep quality was improved.

Improving the quality of sleep is a nice plus in the battle to minimize anxiety. An unsatisfactory sleep pattern will make anyone wore down throughout the day, anxious, temperamental, and unable to concentrate. Combined, those challenges may quickly lead to anxiousness. Ashwagandha extract has been shown to be a big aid in regulating a person’s sleep cycle.

An increased amount of cortisol plays a part in sleep disruptions. Ashwagandha lowers cortisol production. On top of that, this supplement increases your body’s levels of acetylcholine. This hormone plays a critical role in stimulating REM sleep — the time periods of sleep when you dream the most. Too little REM sleep will obstruct regular daytime activities , inducing stress and anxiety.

The Best Way to Use Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha supplements are the root of the ashwagandha plant, processed into a powder. You can get the ashwagandha powder either in bulk form distributed in a bottle or bag, or as individual capsules. The powder is made by grinding up and drying the plant’s root. If the packaging is labeled as root extract that indicates that only the most beneficial parts of the herb’s root are extracted from the powder resulting in a much more concentrated product.

You won’t read about a standard sized amount of ashwagandha that is best suited for everyone. A dosage is normally in the range of 300 mg to 700 mg each day. For dealing with anxiety, 600 mg per day might be the most common. Regardless of what milligram amount you choose, split it into two doses, or servings, per day: take your first dose in the morning and the second serving in the evening. Whether you take a serving along with a meal or not will be up to you — the usefulness of the ashwagandha will not be based on whether you take it with meals.


For over two thousand years ashwagandha root has been a vital part of Ayurvedic medicine. Over the past decade or so the root of this herb has increased in acceptance in many people who ordinarily relied only on the methods and medications of modern medical treatment.

The ashwagandha root is considered to be an adaptogen — a medicinal plant, root, or herb that aids the body in handling, or adapting to, stress. The plant does this for the most part by reducing the levels of the body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol is considered a person’s main stress hormone. In lowering stress, anxiety is also minimized. Lots of people who struggle with stress, and even depression, have benefited by buying ashwagandha root extract supplements.