BENEFITS OF ASHWAGANDHA: THE ANCIENT HERB KNOWN TO CALM STRESS AND BOOST SLEEP
Do you struggle to sleep? Find stress has you wound tighter than a drum? Maybe you’re experiencing the signs and symptoms of poor slumber and psychological strain; a fluctuating blood glucose level, anxiousness or a fragile mood, or you might just feel downright exhausted?
Traditional medicine may offer respite in the form of Ashwagandha. An ancient herb revered by traditional healers, its therapeutic history dates back to around 6000 BC. Its literal translation infers consumption provides the “power of a horse.” According to Ayurvedic practice and modern science, this potent herb:
- Is an adaptogen, able to balance the internal workings of the body (homeostasis) and calm stress
- Enhances sound slumber
- Moderates blood glucose level
- Offers relief from anxiousness and anxiety
Re-energizes body and mind
Traditionally, Ashwagandha - or Withania somnifera — is also prescribed as a water pill, an aphrodisiac, to destroy parasitic infections, to reduce swollen membranes, as a painkiller and as a general restorative tonic.
Ashwagandha: What does modern science say?
If you haven’t yet heard about Ashwagandha, it’s time. This herb has the potential to substantially benefit your life. As the world uncovers the science-backed healing benefits of Ashwagandha, it continues to grow in popularity.
Its biologically active compounds include alkaloids, flavonoids, steroidal Lactones and saponins. Plus, as the study An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda said, the “Sitoindosides and Acylsterylglucosides in Ashwagandha are anti-stress agents.”
Experience stress relief, naturally
In the hustle and bustle of modern life, psychological strain is common. In the short term, the stress response is protective. It instantly preps the body to fight or flee; to remove oneself from a precarious situation.
In the long term, though, the health impacts are profound. Aches and pains, headaches, irritability, loss of libido, overwhelm, poor energy, stomach and digestive problems, trouble focusing, forgetfulness and anxiousness can stem from chronic psychological strain.
Yet Ashwagandha has been shown to calm the fight-flight response. As an adaptogen, it helps to achieve homeostasis and “adapt” in a way that diminishes stress.
Research shows this incredible herb increases resistance during stress; in essence, it provides a protective buffer. It reverses stress-induced hormonal changes like raised levels of cortisol, blood glucose and triglyceride. Psychological stress scale results improve, as does overall quality of life. Then there are the positive effects on sleep…
Faster, sounder, longer sleep
Stress reduces our ability to sleep. After all, if you’re hyper vigilant, if you are subconsciously seeking imminent threats, it makes sense that slumber should take a back seat. You don’t want to be caught dozing if it means vulnerability. However, the vast majority of modern day perils occur only in our minds. Sadly, we have very real physiological responses to our monkey mind and its imagination.
Then, on the flip side, when we don’t sleep well we can feel irritable, anxious and tense. A vicious stress-insomnia cycle occurs that takes a substantial toll on our well being.
Yet Ashwagandha acts as an effective and safe sleep aid, without the hangover associated with pharmaceutical sedatives. Studies show supplementation helps us more easily and quickly fall asleep, increases total sleep time and sleep efficiency, and encourages us to wake less during the night. The best part? With daily use, results continue to improve over time.
Stabilize your blood glucose level
By design, stress triggers a higher blood glucose level. This makes sense; more fuel in the bloodstream powers the muscles required to flight or flee. This is sensible — even life saving — in the short term. In the long term, though, it contributes to conditions like diabetes and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Once the threat is over, efficient transference of excessive glucose from the blood and into the cells is imperative.
Again, Ashwagandha comes to the fore. As a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences showed, its root and leaf extracts possess anti-diabetic and hypoglycemic activities. This herb can stabilize blood glucose level, even in diabetic individuals.
Find relief from anxiousness and anxiety
Mental illness is on the rise. Unsurprising when we consider that anxiety and depression are intimately intertwined with stress, insomnia and poor health. It can be difficult to separate the chicken from the egg to establish which came first. Likely, different aspects build on each other until the point of affliction.
Given what we’ve already discussed, Ashwagandha presents a sensible approach. The benefits of reduced psychological strain and improved sleep quality for mental wellbeing are already established… Along with the direct benefits of this herb in the treatment of anxiety.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is experienced as anxiousness and worry most of the time. It interferes with daily life and can be challenging to treat. A number of studies show that Ashwagandha supplementation can lead to “moderate to excellent improvements” in GAD.
Calm fatigue and re-energize yourself
Fatigue is one of the top reasons people seek help from health professionals. It has been estimated that up to 45% of our population suffers with ongoing tiredness, unrelieved by rest. This often comes back to our frenetic lives. We agree with the authors of a 2019 study who recommend:
Preventive measures such as stress management and health promotion like relaxation, time management and cognitive reframing… could improve sleep quality, increase self-rated health and consequently reduce fatigue.
Stress management, improved sleep quality, improved health… Again, Ashwagandha has an important role to play!
How can you take sufficient Ashwagandha?
Over countless millennia, people have ingested this therapeutic herb. Thankfully, technology means we no longer need to gnaw on its pungent bitter root. Supplementation provides a palatable, measured dose.
Thermosleep contains 140 mg Ashwagandha per serve. This formula also incorporates synergistic ingredients like vitamin B6, magnesium, passion flower, chamomile, 5-HTP and GABA to further calm stress and aid sleep; chromium, zinc and green tea to better balance blood glucose; lemon balm and vitamin B3 to alleviate fatigue. Simply mix one scoop in cold water 30 minutes before bedtime to slip off into a gentle, blissful slumber.