Beat stress with Ashwagandha

22nd April 2021 / Health / Products

Beat stress with Ashwagandha

Emily Shannon

Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is nothing new, it's been used for many centuries as part of holistic Indian medicine, known as Ayurveda.

Traditionally, it was used to help boost immunity, as it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant as well as immune supporting properties. However, in recent years been researched in modern complementary medicine for its ability to stress and anxiety reducing properties. It's a herb I've seen have great results with in practise - in my opinion both the science and clinical evidence really stack up!

I use it regularly with many clients and even take it myself for a time. Stress is more often than not a factor in our physical and mental wellbeing. Having something as useful as ashwagandha to help down regulate stress pathways and improve the body’s ability to cope with chronic stress is extremely useful. Stress on a physical level can express itself in all sorts of ways; from weight issues, to immune response, poor sleep and often is related to symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.


One of the benefits of ashwagandha is that it works on a different pathway to anti-depressants, so can be taken safely alongside them as complementary therapy to medical management of mood disorders. It also has no side or adverse effects, the only caveat you need to take into account is that it is a herb not recommended during pregnancy or if you are actively trying to get pregnant.


Ashwagandha is what is known as is an adaptogen, a substance (a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs) that modulate your response to stress or a changing environment.


Adaptogens help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety or insomnia. In terms of chronic stress hormones, one study showed a 28% decrease in the chronic stress hormone, cortisol, after taking 300mg of ashwagandha extract . Other studies have shown that it helps with those in chronic stress loose weight, improves sleep quality  and another showed in otherwise healthy adults it had a beneficial effect on stress and anxiety.


There is no real evidence of when to take ashwagandha and because it's an adaptogen it shouldn't matter too much. Regulating cortisol levels throughout the day will help with sleep at night too. I would recommend splitting the dose throughout the day, for example one capsule with breakfast and one with dinner to maximise absorption. If you find it difficult to remember to take two doses separately you will still get benefit from taking two capsules together morning or evening - so don't panic!


Link Nutrition’s Ashwagandha is an standardised extract which guarantees a high potency 32.5mg of withanolides, the active ingredient of the ashwagandha root. This is one of the highest potencies on the market! 


It's always good to remember, whilst ashwagandha can’t take your life stresses away can help you cope with them better.