The COVID-19 Pandemic ushered in a new wave of stress, anxiety and depression amongst individuals. During the pandemic, 4 in 10 U.S adults have reported feeling anxious or experiencing a depressive disorder, which shows a significant increase from previous years.
The research also shows that more and more individuals are facing a hard time sleeping (36%) or eating (32%) while they are turning to substance abuse.
These figures are alarming, and come at a time when isolation, touch and interaction was limited. Human beings are a creature of habit and they value social settings, interacting with peers and coworkers, being able to eat out at their favorite restaurants etc. The sudden paradigm shift to a virtual social life shocked even the mighty and headstrong individuals!
We all know that stress, anxiety and depression can have an adverse impact on our daily functioning and interaction with the real world. One can witness physical as well as psychological symptoms that lead to loss in productivity, lack of interest and passion and also has the ability to set off grave disorders to do with obesity, cardiovascular disease and so on.
Mental health needs to be heard, those suffering need to be heard and they need to be given avenues that help them crawl out of their dire state. The masses consider depression to be 'sadness' but it is much more than that. They say 'anxiety' is nothing but feeling low, it's much more pronounced in reality. Stress doesn't simply melt away with a massage, it calls for a change in perception, way of life and much more. In all three cases, treatment is key.
The first step to treating any of these is acknowledgment which is then led by knowledge. Today, we are going to tell you how Ashwagandha could be a miracle herb for a healthy way of life that tackles the negative pillars of stress, anxiety and depression.
A small woody plant that is native to India and North Africa, Ashwagandha plant, particularly the root has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3,000 years now. Along with anxiety and mood disorders, it can help with your memory too. A study done on 62 subjects shows a significant impact of Ashwagandha on people when related to anxiety and stress scales. Another study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of full-spectrum extract in reducing anxiety or stress and the general well-being of people who have been undergoing these conditions. The results were on the same line where a significant improvement was seen in the cases of people who were taking regular Ashwagandha dosages.
Ashwagandha can help calm the mind, and specifically helps with anxiety disorders. Some symptoms of anxiety that the herb can help with are sweating, nervousness, rapid heartbeat to name a few. The herb helps reduce and regulate cortisol levels in the body which in turn helps tackle stress and anxiety. As it does bring down stress levels, it also helps you to sleep better and brings body functions to a balance.
Natural healing has its unique powers and you should give it a shot! You may wonder when to take Ashwagandha for stress or when to take ashwagandha for anxiety, the answer is before bedtime! Take the Forest Raga capsules with water after meals and let a few weeks pass before you start to see significant results. You can shop the bottle here.
Learn about a few pairings with Ashwagandha that are worth knowing about:
Holy Basil with Ashwagandha: In Ayurveda, they say that substances with similar properties complement each other and both these are adaptogens that help regulate the body and work well together.
Gaba and Ashwagandha: GABA is an amino acid produced naturally by our bodies and it helps relieve stress and anxiety by helping with neurotransmission. It fights excessive brain signals and reduces the hyperactivity of the nervous system. Ashwagandha mimics GABA in the sense that it helps nerve cells to effectively communicate.
Ashwagandha and Kava: Ashwagandha can interact with other sleep inducing elements like Kava so it is recommended to consult an Ayurvedic doctor before medicating yourself. While Kava has similar effects while reducing anxiety, Ashwagandha is considered better and safer in the long term. Some studies in fact suggest that long term usage of Kava can have a negative impact on organs including liver failures in recent years.
Ashwagandha and Valerian: Taking the two together as a herbal remedy for anxiety is a plus! In order to synthesize the GABA in our nervous system, the chemical compounds in Valerian and Ashwagandha can act as the raw material. These combinations help balance out hormone levels which lead to stress and anxiety reduction.
Ashwagandha and Anti-depressants: Medicines for depression are usually sedatives and when taken with Ashwagandha might just end up making a person extremely drowsy. It's always advisable to consult a doctor before starting medication!
Along with other medications, Ashwagandha and herbal remedies, one should be wary of their lifestyle too. Most stressors and anxiety stem from our thought patterns, food habits, irregular sleep schedules and a sheer lack of exercise. Include fresh greens and fruits in your diet, experiment with different forms of exercise and clock it in your daily routine, and start reading self-help books to aid with the overthinking. The more you understand stress, anxiety and depression the less control these disorders might have on you. Another magical change you can bring about is giving meditation a shot! People say sitting still is impossible and their mind wavers, but we suggest you trust the process. Start with just ten minutes of guided sessions a day and build it up slowly. Don't forget to get your dose of Ashwagandha as it will help transform your life!