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Ashwagandha for Anxiety: How Long Does It Take to Work?

 Sometimes life can feel like a never-ending race, and anxiety can be a heavy weight to carry. That's where ashwagandha, an ancient herb, steps in as a potential solution for anxiety troubles.

Ashwagandha for Anxiety

Ashwagandha isn't some fancy, unknown plant. It's a small shrub that grows in India and other parts of Asia. People also call it Indian ginseng or winter cherry. Inside this unassuming plant are tiny compounds called withanolides, and these are believed to be the secret behind its healing powers.

Ashwagandha is often referred to as an adaptogen, which means it may help the body adapt to stress and maintain balance.

How Ashwagandha Helps with Anxiety

We don't have the complete manual for how ashwagandha eases anxiety, but here's what we think it does:
  • Calms Down Stress Hormones: Anxiety often comes with a troublemaker hormone called cortisol. Ashwagandha seems to lower these cortisol levels, helping us feel less stressed.
  • Boosts Feel-Good Chemicals: Inside our brains, there's a chemical called GABA, and it's like a chill pill. Ashwagandha appears to increase GABA, giving us a sense of calm.
  • Clears Up Your Mind: Anxiety can make our thoughts all tangled up. Ashwagandha may help untangle them by improving our thinking abilities.

Best Ashwagandha for Anxiety

There are many different brands and types of ashwagandha available, so it can be difficult to determine which one is best for anxiety. Here are several factors to consider when choosing an ashwagandha supplement for anxiety:
  • The type of extract: Ashwagandha extracts come in various forms, including standardized extracts, root powders, and whole root extracts. Standardized extracts are the most common type and contain a specific amount of the active ingredient, withanolides. This makes it easier to compare different products and ensure a consistent dose.
  • The concentration: The concentration of the extract is also crucial to consider. A higher concentration means that you'll need to take fewer capsules or tablets to achieve the same amount of withanolides.
  • The source: Ashwagandha is grown in different parts of the world, and the product's quality can vary depending on the source. It's important to choose an ashwagandha supplement made from organic, non-GMO roots.
  • The brand: Numerous brands of ashwagandha supplements are available on the market. Be careful to select a reputable brand that has undergone quality testing.
Some of the best ashwagandha supplements for anxiety include:
  • KSM-66 Ashwagandha: This highly researched and respected ashwagandha extract is made from organic ashwagandha root and standardized to contain 5% withanolides.
  • Sensoril Ashwagandha: Another well-researched and standardized ashwagandha extract, it is also made from organic ashwagandha root and standardized to contain 10% withanolides.
  • Ashwagandha Extract Powder: If you prefer ashwagandha in powder form, this is a suitable option. It is made from organic ashwagandha root and is free from fillers and binders.
  • Ashwagandha Capsules: These capsules offer a convenient way to take ashwagandha. Look for capsules made from gelatin or vegetable capsules.
Before considering ashwagandha for anxiety, it's essential to consult your doctor. Ashwagandha can interact with certain medications, so it's important to ensure its safety for you.

Some additional tips for using ashwagandha for anxiety:
  • Start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed.
  • Take ashwagandha regularly for at least 6-8 weeks to experience its full benefits.
  • Consume ashwagandha with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset.
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications, consult your doctor before taking ashwagandha.

How Much Ashwagandha To Take for Anxiety?

The ideal dose for anxiety is typically around 300-600 mg per day. If you are taking ashwagandha for the first time, it's a good idea to start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed. You can find it in capsules or as a powder.

Ashwagandha can be taken with or without food. Some people find that taking it on an empty stomach helps improve its absorption, while others find that it causes stomach upset. It's best to experiment to see what works best for you.

The key here is patience. If anxiety doesn't pack its bags after 8-12 weeks, have a chat with your doctor.

Best Time To Take Ashwagandha for Anxiety

The best time to take ashwagandha for anxiety is in the morning. This is because ashwagandha has a calming effect that can help to promote relaxation and sleep. However, if you are taking ashwagandha for other purposes, such as improving athletic performance or boosting the immune system, you can take it at any time of day.

How Long Does Ashwagandha Take to Work for Anxiety?

Here's the thing: Everyone's journey with Ashwagandha is unique. Some folks might start feeling better in a few weeks, while others need a few months. A study found that folks who took 300 mg of ashwagandha daily for 8 weeks had less anxiety. Another study showed that people who took 600 mg daily for 6 weeks also felt less anxious. But, remember, these studies were relatively small and didn't go on for very long.

Ashwagandha's Safety

Generally, ashwagandha is pretty safe when you stick to the recommended doses. However, some people may experience side effects such as drowsiness, upset stomach, and headache.

And, if you have health conditions like diabetes or thyroid issues, check with your doctor first. Ashwagandha can also mix strangely with some medicines, so always talk to your doctor if you're on any.

Resources about Ashwagandha for Anxiety

  • The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): The NCCIH is a government agency that provides information on complementary and alternative health approaches, including ashwagandha. You can visit their website here.
  • The American Botanical Council (ABC): The ABC is a nonprofit organization that provides information on herbs and botanicals, including ashwagandha. You can visit their website here.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH is a government agency that funds research on a variety of health topics, including ashwagandha. You can visit their website here.

In Conclusion

Ashwagandha is a nature-made remedy for anxiety. It's promising, but we need more research to be sure it's the real deal. Before you start, talk to your doctor. And remember, it's not a one-herb-show. Combine it with relaxation methods, get enough sleep, and cut down on caffeine and alcohol. With these steps, ashwagandha might just be the calm in your storm.

Finally, I want to remind you that while ashwagandha has shown promise in helping with anxiety and stress management, it should not be considered the sole or primary treatment for severe anxiety disorders. It is best used as part of a holistic approach to anxiety management, which may include lifestyle changes, therapy, and other treatments recommended by a healthcare provider.


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