When we rang in the 2020 New Year, no one could have imagined the modern times that were on the horizon. The last several months have left many people in the United States and worldwide, with increased anxiety due to the stressful nature of living through a global pandemic.
While many people have looked for ways to lessen their stress and anxiety, we have seen some great results through the use of Ashwagandha to help individuals cope during COVID-19 and quarantining.
What are stress and anxiety, and how does it impact the United States?
Stress can present itself in the form of:
- Body aches
- Heavy breathing or hyperventilation
- Chest tightness
- Angry outbursts
- Increased crying and sensitivity to previously tolerable circumstances
- Social withdrawal
Stress can appear in any of the forms listed above and so much more. Anxiety and stress can become uncontrollably overwhelming for so many people. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America, impacting 18.1% of adults 18 years and older each year. Though nearly 40 million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, only 36.9% seek treatment for it according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.1
What exactly is Ashwagandha, and where does it come from?
Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub that typically grows in India, the Middle East and parts of Africa. The roots and berries of the plant are used to make this stress-reducing remedy.
The Ashwagandha herb is considered to be one of the most transformative and reliable herbs in India’s 3,000+-year-old healthcare practice, Ayurvedic.
Compared to chemically made options, Ashwagandha is a natural alternative, which puts many people at ease. Many over the counter anxiety medicines contain sedatives and leave those suffering from anxiety feeling drowsy and “zombie-like,” with not much energy.
The soothed anxiety and increased relaxation are attributed to the herbs’ phytochemicals, withanolides. They direct the hormones of that body that control and regulate the human body’s response to stress. This allows people to deal with their anxiety naturally and then maintain the same quality of life they had prior to being overcome with anxiety.
What exactly does Ashwagandha help with?
Those who have taken Ashwagandha have reported reduced physical, mental and emotional fatigue, boosts of energy and mood, and control of stress-related weight gain.
A double-blind study2 published by the NIH’s National Library of Medicine online found that after six weeks, 88.2% of those who participated and took Ashwagandha reported a decrease in anxiousness and overall stress, while only 50% of those who took a placebo reported a decrease. An astounding 38.2% difference between the two groups!
As the social impacts of COVID-19 continue to persist, the mental health implications of prolonged isolation and stress/anxiety are becoming a concern for many health professionals.
“In a recent KFF poll, three nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health had been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus. As the pandemic wears on, it is like the mental health burden will increase as measures taken to slow the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, business, and school closures, and shelter-in-place orders, lead to greater isolation and potential financial distress.”
If you, or someone you know, suffer from anxiety related to the current world circumstances and COVID-19, please consider seeking help.