Ashwagandha For Depression: Overview
Have you heard about taking ashwagandha for depression?
Feeling depressed can be debilitating and discouraging. And the worst part is there’s an aspect of it being all in your head.
When it’s hard to get out of bed and face the day.
Everything seems pointless or hopeless.
Your energy and motivation are gone.
You’ve been possessed by the spirits of lethargy and sadness.
Depression is a difficult but elusive disorder.
But there are certain herbs that have been proven to improve the mood and have lots of mental benefits.
Ashwagandha, as an adaptogen, is one of those herbs.
It’s been shown to improve and stabilize moods.
Because of its numerous benefits, ashwagandha can help with depression.
Symptoms of depression
Feeling depressed can cause lots of negative symptoms that interfere with daily life.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Trouble concentrating, decision making, and memory issues
- Fatigue or energy loss
- Continuous feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- High levels of irritability
- Loss of interest in things once pleasurable,(food, sex, entertainment, etc)
- Loss of appetite
- Soreness, aches, cramps, headaches that won’t go away
- Digestive issues that persist after treatment
- Feelings of anxiety, sadness, emptiness
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
A lot of these issues compound on themselves and with each other, making the entire experience worse.
But you don’t have to be a prisoner to your health.
Does ashwagandha help with depression?
Ashwagandha and other adaptogenic herbs have been observed to help with depression.
Especially when combined with positive lifestyle changes, which will be addressed later on in this article.
Let's take a look at some of the research.
The first study shows ashwagandha's ability to drastically reduce depression.
The second study shows that taking ashwagandha for depression worked as well as pharmaceutical antidepressants.
1. Those taking ashwagandha reported a 79% reduction in severe depression.
2. Ashwagandha worked on depression and anxiety as well as pharmaceutical antidepressants like lorazepam (Ativan) and imipramine (Tofranil).
Many people who take ashwagandha report a noticeable improvement in their mood and energy levels after taking it.
Natural herbal remedies like ashwagandha can be a great alternative to pharmaceutical drugs for people who don't want to rely on prescription medication for daily health needs.
How ashwagandha works exactly
As an adaptogen, ashwagandha supports the neuroendocrine system, specifically the adrenal function, which counters the negative effects of stress.
They're able to do this by asserting a biochemical influence on the hypothalamus and its two primary systems, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic-adrenomedullary system (SAS), to signal the body’s stress response.
To put it simply, adaptogenic herbs have a direct effect on nervous system health, meaning they’re great herbs for aid with mental issues.
Many adaptogens have antidepressant, anxiolytic, and nervine effects due to how they interact with the nervous system.
Ashwagandha, in particular, is noted for its antidepressant properties.
10 Natural Ways To Help Fight Depression
1. Cut down on sugar
Blood sugar levels can cause adverse effects like anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
2. Eat more fish, nuts, seeds
These foods have special fatty acids in them like omega-3 oils that promote neural and brain health.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals that keep the body’s neurotransmitters working properly.
4. Use herbal supplements
Adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, holy basil, rhaponticum, rhodiola, and schisandra can all help with depression.
5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant. Both of these substances can throw off balance in the nervous system.
6. Exercise regularly
Getting regular exercise is great for you physically and mentally. In addition to getting in better shape, it also increases natural endorphin levels in the body, resulting in improved mood.
7. Get enough sunlight
You need some fresh air and Vitamin D! Lack of natural light in the workspace is associated with physiological, sleep and depressive symptoms.
8. Sing and dance
Turn on your favorite music, move your feet, and raise your spirits. Try uplifting or upbeat music or music that reminds you of good times.
9. Spend time with positive people
Socializing with family, friends, acquaintances, or other loved ones can be great for improving your mood. They say laughter is the best medicine.
10. Daily mindfulness practice
A daily mindfulness practice like yoga or meditation is great for helping deal with depression. Meditation has been shown to promote emotional health, reduce stress, and improve sleep.
Taking ashwagandha to help with depression
Are you looking for healthy and natural ways to overcome depression?
If you struggle with depression, try to follow some of the advice in this article. In particular, the list of natural ways to help fight depression is a great place to start.
And if you’re new to hearing about ashwagandha and its effects, helping with depression is just one thing ashwagandha does out of many.
To learn more about ashwagandha’s other benefits, click here.