Do you ever feel stressed out? If so, you're not alone. Stress is a natural feeling that all healthy adults experience and it is triggered by the body in order to protect us from danger, but when stress levels are enhanced or prevalent for a long period of time, it can cause some negative impacts on your health.
This can be considered concerning, especially when you read how 77% of people state that their stress levels impact their health, and various reports suggest that since the Covid-19 pandemic, chronic stress levels have increased drastically [i] [ii].
What are the Negative Effects of Stress?
Stress can affect our physical and mental health, and even change our behaviour. This can result in headaches, chest pains, sexual problems, concentration issues, feeling overwhelmed/worrying, issues relating to sleeping too little or too much, drinking and much more according to NHS England [iv].
The implications can go far beyond this though, with other reports suggesting that stress can increase your blood pressure, suppress your immune system, negatively affect heart rate and even cause IBS [v].
All of the above can lead to more significant health issues, for example, high blood pressure can result in being at an increased risk of heart attacks, heart disease, strokes and much more [vi].
If you would like to discover more research on the negative effects stress can have on your mind and body then click the link here to read our blog post.
What Is Ashwagandha Root Extract and Indian Ginseng?
It's quite clear that stress needs to be kept in check and controlled in order to stop any harmful repercussions to our bodies.
So, how does this link to ashwagandha root extract? This natural herb has actually been used for centuries in ancient medicine as a potential remedy for stress relief [iii].
This evergreen shrub (also known as the 'Indian Winter Cherry' or 'Indian Ginseng') originates from India, Africa and parts of the Middle East, and is usually grounded up into ashwagandha powder [vii].
The Health Benefits of Ashwagandha Extract
Recent evidence suggests that almost 20% of the US population suffers from some sort of anxiety disorder [x]. Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogen, which means that it is a plant that can help the body react in a positive way to relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue and promote overall healthy wellbeing [viii].
Anxiety symptoms include feeling nervous, feelings of panic, suffering from an increased heart rate, feeling weak/tired and much more [xv].
Additional studies also suggest similar findings around anxiety and the benefits of ashwagandha root extract, with a systematic literature review from 2014 stating that ashwagandha improved stress and anxiety scores compared to those consuming an alternative from a placebo group [xi].
Evidence suggests from another study in 2012 that ashwagandha root extract can improve an individual's "self-assessed quality of life" when supplemented into the diet [xii].
The ashwagandha plant is a powerful adaptogen, but it has the potential to do more than reduce stress symptoms.
WebMD also highlights how ashwagandha powder contains a chemical that could provide health benefits around immunity, reduce swelling, promote feelings of calmness and even lower blood pressure [ix].
All of these can have a knock-on effect on common day-to-day activities such as work, sleeping and physical performance in exercise.
I'm sure many of us can relate to how our sleep quality can also be affected by stressful events [xiii]. But did you know that a 2019 study looking into how ashwagandha affects non-restorative sleep (a condition that affects up to 10% of the population and means that sleep isn't refreshing or restorative to the body), concluded that the participants reported a 72% increase in sleep quality compared to those in a placebo group over a 6-week period? [xiv]
We've only just scratched the surface of what this wonderful herb can do, but it's clear to see that there is a reason why it has been used for centuries in ancient medicine.
How to Add Ashwagandha Extract to Your Diet?
You may be thinking to yourself 'great, but how can I consume ashwagandha and how easy is it to get a hold of?' Well, the answer is simple, this powerful ingredient can be added to your own personalised, freshly 3D-printed gummies today here at Nourished!
Our gummy nutrients are chewable, and easier to consume, and studies have shown that gummy form can lead to higher absorption of certain ingredients.
Want to Learn More About Ashwagandha Extract?