Ashwagandha: A known stress-reliever, ashwagandha improves blood circulation to the female reproductive organs increasing arousal and sensitivity. It also regulates the hormonal balance in the body and is effective in managing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and depression.

Popularly known as winter cherry, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a widely used herb due to its numerous medicinal and restorative properties.

Ashwagandha protects cells from oxidative damage and stress-related diseases such as depression, high blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions. Being an adaptogen, it improves a person’s ability to cope with stress.[1,2,3,4,5,6] It also improves lower limb muscular strength and neuro-muscular co-ordination.[7]

Besides this, ashwagandha’s antimicrobial properties and antibacterial activities protect against potentially dangerous bacteria, including Salmonella—a bacteria that causes food poisoning.[8]

Ashwagandha For Anxiety
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil that can manifest as a panic attack, phobia or depression. In a study done on 64 subjects with a history of chronic anxiety and stress, people taking 300mg of ashwagandha root powder extract for 60 days experienced less anxiety, improved their resistance towards stress and improved the quality of life.[9]

Two other clinical studies found that ashwagandha exhibited anxiolytic properties (antianxiety) and people who took it had improved mental health and overall quality of life.[10,11]

How To Take It
Ashwagandha can be taken as a fluid extract or supplement. Talk to a naturopath to determine the correct dosage for you. Drinking a cup of hot milk containing a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha before bedtime is also beneficial in relieving anxiety. You can buy ashwagandha powder here.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Natural Remedies here.

Read More:
Relieve It With A Herb: Kava Kava For Anxiety
5 Herbal Teas To Overcome Anxiety
Revitalize Your Chakras To Ease Anxiety & Stress With Reiki
Relieve It With A Herb: Cilantro For Anxiety
What Happens Next? How A Panic Attack Leads To Anxiety By Dr Keller Wortham
6 Herbs That Will Help You Sleep Better

1. Provino R. The role of adaptogens in stress management. Aust J Med Herbal. 2010;22:41–9.

2. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009;4:198–219.

3. Bhattacharya SK, Muruganandam AV. Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: An experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003;75:547–55.

4. Singh G, Sharma PK, Dudhe R, Singh S. Biological activities of Withania somnifera. Ann Biol Res. 2010;1:56–63.

5. Sharma V, Sharma S, Pracheta, Paliwal R. Withania somnifera: A rejuvenating ayurvedic medicinal herb for the treatment of various human ailments. Int J PharmTech Res. 2011;3:187–92.

6. Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. Withania somnifera: An Indian ginseng. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008;32:1093–05

7. Sandhu JS, Shah B, Shenoy S, Chauhan S, Lavekar GS, Padhi MM. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):144-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-7788.72485.

8. Owais M, Sharad KS, Shehbaz A, Saleemuddin M. Antibacterial efficacy of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) an indigenous medicinal plant against experimental murine salmonellosis. Phytomedicine. 2005 Mar;12(3):229-35.

9. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. 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. PubMed PMID: 23439798; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3573577.

10. Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, Mills EJ, Bernhardt B, Zhou Q, Seely D. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 31;4(8):e6628. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006628. PubMed PMID: 19718255; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2729375.

11. Andrade C, Aswath A, Chaturvedi SK, Srinivasa M, Raguram R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Indian J Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;42(3):295-301. PubMed PMID: 21407960; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2958355.

Armed with a PhD in Alternative Medicine, a graduate degree in Biotechnology, an MSc, and an MBA in Clinical Research and Clinical Pharmacology, Dr Jonathan is a certified practitioner of Alternative Medicine and is actively involved in patient education initiatives. He is also the author of the bestselling book, Outsmart Diabetes. Dr Jonathan loves to share his passion for herbs and other alternative medicinal practices with others through his writing.