Ashwagandha 101: The 5000-Year-Old Secret to Less Stress
When it comes to fighting stress and fatigue, there’s no shortage of short-term fixes. Maybe you’ve tried guzzling copious amounts of tea or coffee, indulging in just a bit too much of your favorite comfort food, or even submerging yourself in 100 pounds of ice.
What if instead of slapping a (dare we say questionably effective) Band-Aid on the problem, you could enhance your resilience to stress using time-tested, science-backed tools? Sign us up. Here’s what to know about our favorite millennia-old natural stress remedy.
Enter: Ayurvedic adaptogens
The practice of Ayurvedic alternative medicine began in India thousands of years ago, promoting holistic wellness through the balance of body, mind, and spirit. Ayurvedic healing involves the use of medicinal herbs and roots; when these herbs and roots help the body counteract the effects of stress, they are known specifically as adaptogens. One of the most well-studied adaptogens—and star of this blog post—is the celebrated herb ashwagandha.
Get to know “The King of the Herbs”
You’ve likely heard someone mention ashwagandha before but may not have known exactly what it does or whether it actually works. Good news for our fellow stressed and anxious humans: research shows that this popular botanical supplement absolutely deserves the hype. Consider the following health benefits* supported by numerous peer-reviewed clinical trials:
- Reduces everyday stress & helps regulate stress hormones. Ashwagandha contains powerful compounds called withanolides, which influence various neural pathways associated with stress and anxiety. Regular ashwagandha supplementation reduces levels of the pesky stress hormone cortisol and reinforces your body’s ability to handle everyday stressors. It’s been repeatedly shown to reduce self-reported stress levels (by a whopping 62% in one study).
- Improves sleep: Running with the theme of calmness and relaxation, ashwagandha helps support healthy sleep patterns—improving both total sleep time and quality through a reduction in occasional sleeplessness. Is there anything this epic herb can’t do?!
- Balances energy levels: Sleeping better on its own is sure to give you that much-needed energy boost. But as an added benefit, ashwagandha helps to enhance energy and alleviate occasional fatigue (so you don’t get the crash typically associated with caffeine and other stimulants). Love that for us.
Not all ashwagandha is created equal
There’s good reason ashwagandha has withstood the test of time as everyone’s go-to natural stress buster—but not all products have the same impact. When choosing an ashwagandha supplement, be sure to look for a maximally bioactive, concentrated formula (like the highly potent organic ashwagandha used in Bragg’s new Daily Balance ACV Supplement, which is standardized to contain >10% withanolides).
Here's to a stress-free 2023, with a little help from our trusty herbal sidekick.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual results may vary.