Best Ashwagandha for Anxiety: Latest Research and Products Reviewed
In the never-ending quest to find natural alternative treatments for anxiety, scientists and researchers continue to explore possibilities for treatment that differ from traditional anti-depressants, sedatives and prescription drugs.
Supplements for anxiety are one effective method for treating anxiety by balancing chemicals and neurotransmitters throughout the body. Some of the best supplements for anxiety include St John’s Wort, B-Complex vitamins, GABA and L-Theanine.
Ashwagandha, or rather ashwagandha root, is often referred to as the Indian variation of ginseng. It’s an adaptogenic herb that is popular in Ayurvedic medicine and recent studies have shown that it holds great potential as a natural treatment for anxiety.
Anxiety results in symptoms including fatigue, sleeplessness, deterioration of physical health and the inability to focus. It is important that people suffering from anxiety receive treatment and ashwagandha is a promising supplement.
Our Favorite Ashwagandha Supplements for Anxiety:
Havasu Premium Ashwagandha 1000mg
Our overall favorite
Organic India Ashwagandha Capsules
Very well reviewed
Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder 1200mg
What is Ashwagandha?
The word ashwagandha (Withania somnifera in Latin) is derived from the Sanskrit language and means ‘horse-like’. The word ashva means horse and gandha means smell.
Together, the words reflect the root’s strong aroma that is often referred to as resembling the smell of a horse.
Ashwagandha is classified as a rasayana in the ancient Hindu system of medicine called Ayurveda. As a rasayana, it is a plant-derived drug popular for promoting mental and physical health, guarding the body against disease, increasing longevity and helping to balance out environmental factors.
It has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicines across India and parts of Asia. Common applications of ashwagandha in Ayurvedic medicine traditions include fertility treatments and asthma, as well as systemic illnesses.
The ashwagandha bush belongs to the nightshade family and is commonly known as poison gooseberry, or winter cherry. The bush is tremendously resilient and can endure extreme temperatures both cold and hot.
It can also grow at an altitude of up to 4,900 feet and is commonly cultivated in Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Yemen and India. It can also be grown in the drier areas of Africa and the Canary Islands.
As a medicinal plant, ashwagandha has been used to treat everything from infections to low energy and inflammation. As a treatment for anxiety, ashwagandha is an adaptogen that interacts with the body’s adrenal and nervous system to adapt to conditions of stress or stress factors.
As an adaptogen, the herb is able to regulate physiologic processes to calm the body’s response to stress.
Ashwagandha is thought to assist in balancing the hormones associated with anxiety. It helps suppress the central nervous system and hormones that encourage stimulatory responses.
By reducing stimulatory responses, ashwaghanda can help induce relaxation while providing a boost in energy levels.
Research on Ashwagandha for Anxiety
A study with trials on the use of ashwagandha as a treatment for anxiety demonstrated that the herb showed significant improvements in reducing anxiety when compared to placebos.
Only minor adverse effects were recorded and withdrawal of treatment with ashwagandha was mild in both control groups and experimental groups.
Another study showed that preliminary trials with ashwagandha confirmed little or no associated toxicity. Benefits recorded include anti-stress, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ashwagandha root was even found to assist in regulating thyroid functions and hormonal imbalances. The cardiopulmonary, endocrine and central nervous systems were shown to be positively influenced by ashwagandha root treatments.
Bioactive compounds derived from ashwagandha leaf were confirmed to have neuroprotective potential and could even serve as a supplement for brain health.
Ashwagandha extracts from the leaves, shoots and roots contain withanolides, which are known to stimulate immunity. They also serve to protect us against oxidative stress caused by hydrogen peroxide and industrial toxins.
Oxidative stress and damage in the brain can result in nervous system impairment and has recently been implicated in anxiety disorders and high anxiety levels.
Experimental models on rats treated with ashwagandha showed that the herb provided significant protection against stress-induced gastric ulcers following various stress trials.
A cognition promoting effect was also realized, especially in children with memory deficits and older people who suffer from memory loss.
This indicates the ability of ashwagandha to interact positively with the brain and accordingly deal with common stressors of anxiety such as neurodegenerative diseases.
A similar study on rats under conditions of chronic stress again confirmed the clinical use of ashwagandha as an antistress, adaptogenic treatment for anxiety.
The abundance of academic literature available on the use of ashwagandha roots, shoots, leaves and extract as a non-addictive substance that regenerates brain cells confirms its anti-anxiety properties.
Ashwagandha Dosage Recommendations
A typical dosage is 300mg of ashwaganda with a withanolide content of up to 5% taken once or twice daily. Ashwagandha is safely nontoxic in doses of up to 2 grams of ashwagandha root powder.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
As with any medication, ashwagandha could intervene with other medications such as sedatives and immunosuppressants.
It is not a suitable treatment for pregnant or breastfeeding women as it may have abortifacient effects which could lead to miscarriage in pregnant women. The herb is also thought to affect the milk of lactating women and could harm babies.
Diabetics and people with pre-existing medical conditions of blood pressure problems and autoimmune disease should also be careful with ashwagandha use.
Allergic reactions have been reported so if complications occur, be sure to consult a physician.
Choosing an Ashwagandha Supplement
There are a few things to look out for when choosing an ashwagandha supplement. Generally, the roots from the plant are harvested and grounded into fine powder before being packed into capsules.
It is easy for root powder to be contaminated with heavy metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic from the soil. When choosing a supplement, look out for certified organic supplements which are more likely to be free from environmental toxins.
An effective ashwagandha supplement should contain active ingredients in the root. Peruse supplement labels carefully to ensure that the ashwagandha used in the supplement includes active ingredients including alkaloids, saponins and withanolides.
Also look at the percentage of each active ingredient.
Avoid supplements with fillers and additives as they minimize the effect and quantities of ashwagandha included. They also make supplements more expensive than they should cost.
The Best Ashwagandha Supplements for Anxiety Product Reviews:
Organic India Ashwagandha Capsules
This USDA certified organic product is free from GMOs and gluten. It is vegan friendly with an herb formula that supports hormone balance and thyroid functions, while acting as a powerful stress response to anxiety.
Each capsule contains 400mg of ashwagandha which is a light dosage and good for people trying the product out for the first time. This product is especially effective in:
● supporting brain and memory function through nerve regenerating properties
● providing relief from adrenal fatigue and stress
● balancing the body’s reproductive, nervous, immune and endocrine systems
Users report that regular consumption of Organic India Ashwagandha capsules made a remarkable difference in reducing the occurrence of anxiety attacks.
Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder 1200mg
NutraHerbals uses organically grown Ashwagandha root powder that does not undergo an extraction process. The product also contains black pepper extract to help the body better absorb the withanolides. The product has no fillers or additives and contains up to 600mg of ashwagandha per capsule.
Ashwagandha root poweder capsules will help with the following:
● balancing and stabilizing energy and mood levels
● lowering cholesterol and boosting immunity
● reducting inflammation and acting as an antioxidant
This product is a bit more expensive than others on the market but user reviews indicate that it is successful in relieving anxiety and stress related to disorders including menopause, ADHD, PTSD and adrenal fatigue.
BRI Nutrition Ashwagandha
With up to 500mg of ashwagandha per capsule and containing no fillers, BRI Nutrition’s product is a good choice to help treat anxiety. The capsule can be pulled apart and ashwagandha powder can be added to a drink for a lower dosage if necessary.
Ashwagandha capsules taken on a daily basis will help with:
● fighting mood swings and low energy levels
● regaining a sense of peace throughout the day by calming the mind
● encouraging a restful night’s sleep without causing drowsiness
This product also helps improve general mental and physical health by reducing cortisol levels and improving thyroid function.
Havasu Premium Ashwagandha 1000mg
This product is an Amazon choice for anxiety relief. Capsules contain 500mg of ashwagandha each, as well as 50mg of artichoke extract which acts as a digestive aid for better absorption of the supplement.
Havasu Nutrition’s supplement is a great natural solution for people who are:
● feeling overwhelmed and suffer from regular episodes of anxiety and panic attacks
● struggling to fall asleep
● stressed and struggling to control fluctuating moods and energy levels
One user claims that continued use of the product has helped lower blood pressure while encouraging a peaceful outlook and mental state even in stressful conditions.
Organic Ashwagandha Vegetarian Capsules
Another Amazon choice, this one is highly rated as a top choice for Withnia Somnifera (ashwagandha) products. Each capsule contains 5% withanolides and 300mg of ashwagandha extract. The capsules are small and easy to swallow. The product is USDA-certified and capsules can be broken open for smaller doses.
The benefits of ashwagandha capsules from True Veda:
● supports cardiovascular health and healthy aging
● immune booster that promotes endurance
● relieves anxiety and stress while enhancing mental clarity and concentration
Although ashwagandha products don’t work on everyone, this supplement has positive reviews from verified purchases and seems to be the real deal for treating anxiety and related symptoms.
Is Ashwagandha for You?
Ashwagandha is a great natural supplement that can safely be used to treat various forms of anxiety.
The herb contains withanolides that produce an adaptogenic effect: it interacts with the body to regulate and calm responses to stress while encouraging better functioning of the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular systems.
If you are not allergic to ginseng and not suffering from other medical conditions, ashwagandha is definitely an affordable alternative treatment to try out.