Ashwagandha is a powerful herb that has been used in traditional Indian healing for many years. Its flexibility has also been recognized in the contemporary wellness practices across the world.
However, is Ashwagandha happy? This paper discusses this issue, shedding light on the advantages of Ashwagandha especially in terms of mood improvement and stress relief as well a mental state.
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is a shrub that grows in the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and some parts of Africa. Its roots and berries are medicinal.
ASHWAGANDHA AND HAPPINESS: THE CONNECTION
Many researches have revealed an improvement in the mood due to Ashwagandha. According to a study conducted in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, those who took ashwagandha had better scores on scales of stress and anxiety. Another research has revealed that Ashwagandha helped to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms among adult people.
STRESS AND ANXIETY REDUCTION
The adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha can contribute to stress management in the body, which may result indirectly into happiness. Ashwagandha controls the body’s response to stress, and by doing so can decrease anxiety symptoms while also inducing a feeling of calm.
IMPROVED SLEEP QUALITY
Ashwagandha has also been found to increase the quality of sleep. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it was observed that ashwagandha extract improved sleep quality and helped manage insomnia patients who had anxiety disorders. Better sleep results in a better mood and increased sense of well-being, which all contribute to happiness.
THE HISTORY OF ASHWAGANDHA USE
Ashwagandha is one of the oldest known medicinal plants with its history over 3000 years. The historical background of ashwagandha and how it was used in the past can explain why people use this herb today.
ORIGINS IN AYURVEDIC MEDICINE
Ashwagandha use goes back to Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine. The word Ashwagandha is Sanskrit and means ‘smell of the horse’ both in terms of its smell as well as what it was believed to do for a person, which was give him/her strength and vigor like that possessed by an animal[^9^]. In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha was a “Rasayana” herb that helped to maintain youth and prolong life[^10^].
ANCIENT MEDICINAL USES
Ashwagandha has been historically used in a broad spectrum of diseases. Some of these health conditions are arthritis (joint pain), constipation, insomnia, skin disorders, stresses gastrointestinal problems diabetes rheumatism and epilepsy[^10^] The multiple medicinal uses of Ashwagandha reflect its adaptability and possible health benefits.
ASHWAGANDHA IN OTHER CULTURES
Although Ashwagandha is connected with Ayurveda and Indian culture primarily, its use has not been limited to this area. Ashwagandha was also adopted by other regions such as Africa and the Middle East. In Africa, Ashwagandha was used to treat fevers and inflammatory conditions[^12^].
READ MORE: IS ASHWAGANDHA ILLEGAL?
HOW DOES ASHWAGANDHA WORK?
Ashwagandha is one of the adaptogens that help in coping with stress. They achieve this by regulating the secretion of stress hormones from adrenal glands. However, one herb that has been proven to lower cortisol levels is ashwagandha.
THE ADVANTAGES OF TINCTURES AS COMPARED TO POWDERS OR CAPSULE FORMS
Ashwagandha is widely available in many forms – powder, capsules and tinctures. From these, tinctures- a concentrated liquid form have several benefits.
HIGHER ABSORPTION RATE
Tinctures have a better absorption rate than capsules or powder. This is why they bypass the digestive tract and are absorbed directly into bloodstream, thus affecting faster.
Tinctures also enable better dose control. Unlike capsules or powders, as liquids you can adjust your dose drop by drop.
LONG SHELF LIFE
Tinctures are more durable than powders and capsules. Tinctures have a shelf life of several years when stored properly.
CONCLUSION: ASHWAGANDHA AND HAPPINESS
In conclusion, despite the fact that there is no clear answer to this question of whether Ashwagandha makes you happy or not but it has been shown from various studies that Aswhagadna possesses many properties which may contribute towards overall happiness. This involves mood elevation, stress and anxiety reduction as well as better sleep quality.
Ashwagandha especially in tincture form could be seen as a positive inclusion to holistic mental health practices. As with any supplement, one should consult a health care provider before using it.
This article’s content is purely informational and not a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
- NIH: Ashwagandha
- Indian Journal of Psychiatry: A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha
- Journal of Dietary Supplements: A Randomized, Double Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of Efficacy and Tolerability of Withaina Somnifera Extracts in Knee Joint Pain
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology: Effects of an Ayurvedic medicinal plant on sleep quality
- PubMed: Adaptogens
- Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine: Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
- The Chopra Center: What is Ashwagandha?
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology: Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Ashwagandha): A Review of Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology
- PubMed: Tinctures in Herbal Medicine
- NIH: Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition