Ashwagandha – The Key to a Stress Break?
Did you know that 75-90 percent of medical office visits are stress-related? Add to that statistic – many medical concerns such as heart disease, autoimmunity, cancer and recurrent infections are related to stress. Both western and eastern medicine advocate for ways to decrease stress. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a pill or herb that could help to circumvent stress?
Introducing Ashwagandha -hard to spell, hard to pronounce so what exactly is this herb and what can it do to benefit your health? Ashwagandha is a revered herb in the Indian Ayurvedic system, and besides treatment of disease, it’s considered one of the best restorative herbs in the family of adaptogens.
Adaptogens are as the name suggests – they help to assist the body with adapting to physical stress and can increase resistance to disease. Even more impressive is the effect Ashwagandha has on helping brain cells and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stages.
Historically Ashwagandha has been used to treat arthritis, insomnia, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, stress, and memory loss just to name a few. Some small short-term studies correlate Ashwagandha with improving anxiety, increasing energy and helping to delay cognitive decline.
Consumerlabs.com is an unbiased lab that tests supplements for safety, and content. They state Ashwagandha is safe and the only side effect is mild gastrointestinal issues in some individuals. Larger studies are needed to confirm beneficial findings.
You can purchase the dried herbs but capsules are more the norm and typical dosages are 250 mg. twice a day. If you are interested in adding this herb to your regimen please check with your health-care professional to see if this herb is safe given your current medications and/or supplements.
If you have the ApoE4 gene for Alzheimer’s risk this is one supplement you may want to consider. This 2000-year-old herb is now starting to be recognized by both sides of the medical world and can be a welcome addition to your health regimen. The calming effect it contains could be the key for those are constantly stimulated and need a stress break.