[Effects of Ashwagandha Extract] From Stress to Insomnia, and Anxiety. 3 Benefits of Ashwagandha

[Effects of Ashwagandha Extract] From Stress to Insomnia, and Anxiety. 3 Benefits of Ashwagandha

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Effects of Ashwagandha Extract] From Stress to Insomnia, and Anxiety. 3 Benefits of Ashwagandha

3 Benefits of Ashwagandha
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Ashwagandha
1. Reduces stress and cortisol levels
2. Enhances sleep quality
3. Improves anxiety

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

"Are you currently struggling with stress? While it's impossible to completely avoid stress in life, there are people who are particularly vulnerable to stress or suffering from chronic stress.

In that case, I'd like to introduce 'Ashwagandha' to you today. Ashwagandha is a traditional herb in Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian system of medicine. It's also known as 'Indian Ginseng' and has been widely used for promoting overall well-being.

This is because Ashwagandha is believed to enhance the body's resistance to stress. Nowadays, there is ongoing research in the academic community to explore the use of Ashwagandha for improving symptoms like insomnia and anxiety.

Now, let's take a look at the benefits of Ashwagandha that have been proven through research."

1. Reduces Stress and Cortisol Levels

It's now well-known that when we experience stress, a hormone called cortisol is released.

While cortisol is necessary to respond to stress, excessive cortisol secretion due to chronic stress can lead to various health issues. One of the most common symptoms of excess cortisol is increased appetite and the promotion of fat storage. In other words, when we're stressed, our bodies tend to gain weight more easily.

In a human clinical trial conducted in 2021, 130 adults were given 300mg of Ashwagandha extract daily. The results showed a reduction in perceived stress measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and a decrease in serum cortisol levels.

"On the fourth visit, when comparing the consumption group to the placebo group, the consumption group had lower PSS-10 scores, serum cortisol levels, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQ) scores, but higher Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ) scores. This implies significantly reduced stress levels and a notable improvement in psychological well-being and sleep quality. No side effects were reported."

Reference :  Gopukumar, K., Thanawala, S., Somepalli, V., Rao, T. S. S., Thamatam, V. B., & Chauhan, S. (2021). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract on Cognitive Functions in Healthy, Stressed Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2021, 8254344.
2. Enhances Sleep Quality

Experiencing a morning that doesn't feel refreshing due to not getting a deep sleep is an experience that most people have had at least once. In fact, there is a concept that describes this, known as Nonrestorative Sleep (NRS). As the term 'nonrestorative' suggests, it refers to the kind of sleep where you have slept, but when you wake up, you don't feel refreshed. It's estimated that around 10% of the global population experiences fatigue symptoms due to nonrestorative sleep.

In another clinical trial published in the SCI-grade scientific journal Sleep Medicine, involving 150 individuals experiencing nonrestorative sleep, they were given 120mg of Ashwagandha extract daily for 6 weeks. The results showed significant improvements in various indicators, including overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, total sleep time, and wake-up time after falling asleep.

As a result, Ashwagandha extract has been recognized by the Korean Food and Drug Administration for its sleep health functionality.

"Self-reported sleep quality increased by 72% in the treatment group, whereas it increased by 29% in the placebo group. Based on activity monitoring data, significant improvements were observed in sleep efficiency, total sleep time, sleep latency, and wake after sleep onset in the treatment group compared to the placebo group after 6 weeks. Quality of life scores in the Ashwagandha treatment group showed significant improvement in physical, psychological, and environmental domains."

Reference :  Deshpande, A., Irani, N., Balkrishnan, R., & Benny, I. R. (2020). A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study to evaluate the effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep quality in healthy adults. Sleep medicine, 72, 28–36.
3. Improves Anxiety

The tyranny of stress doesn't end here. Due to prolonged and unbearable stress, many individuals are diagnosed with 'anxiety disorders.'

In particular, anxiety disorders are believed to be associated with the dysfunction of the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, which connects the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands.

According to a clinical trial published in the 2019 SCI-grade journal Medicine, the consumption of Ashwagandha extract was shown to help improve anxiety through the regulation of the HPA axis.

"Compared to the placebo, supplementation with Ashwagandha was statistically significantly associated with a decrease in HAM-A (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale) and a nearly significant decrease in DASS-21 (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale). (Omitted) These results suggest that the stress-reducing effect of Ashwagandha may occur through its regulatory effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis."

Reference :  Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Malvi, H., & Kodgule, R. (2019). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Medicine, 98(37), e17186..

So far, we've explored the benefits of Ashwagandha consumption through research. In addition to the benefits mentioned today, Ashwagandha is a health ingredient that has gained attention in the academic community for its various advantages, including immune regulation, neuroprotection, antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and potential anti-cancer properties.

Therefore, if you are looking for assistance in stress management and overall health, it might be a good idea to give it a try.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

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