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Why Use Ashwagandha For Stress Relief?

by Aveda Ayur 19 Feb 2024
Why use Ashwagandha for stress relief?

Body’s health depends on the balance of the humors triad or energy triad. The triad involves Vata, Pitta and Kapha or Kinetic, thermal and potential energies respectively. The balance of this triad can get disturbed because of our lifestyle along with our eating habits. That is when Ayurveda herbs come into frame. Herbs like Ashwagandha helps in maintaining fertility and reproductive health of the entire body when ingested on a regular basis. The Botanical name of this Plant is Withania Somnifera and it is also known by the name Winter cherry.

Key Takeaways

  • The active constituents of Ashwagandha are withanolides and withaferin.
  • Withanolides have adaptogenic properties, help in stress, maintain healthy neural transmission, and have immunomodulatory effect in the cases of cancer .
  • Due to the presence of withaferin in Ashwagandha, it shows effect on inflammation
  • Many studies have shown that withaferin has a neuroprotective effect as well.

In Ayurveda text, Ashwagandha is termed as balya, which means it has a nourishing effect on the body.

Is Ashwagandha Good For Stress?

As mentioned above, The active constituents of Ashwagandha like withanolides and withaferin are quite popular for their stress relieving effects on the body. Stress results in increased inflammation in the body, due to production of cortisol (primary stress hormone). Due to the presence of withaferin in Ashwagandha, it shows effect on inflammation by directly working on inflammatory pathways, helps in detoxification of the body by neutralizing the effect of free radicals (which are produced due to excessive oxidative stress) and also protects cells from oxidative damage.

How Can Ashwagandha Impact Your Sleep?

Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogenic herb which is believed to have potential effects on stress as well as on sleep. It is because of its ability to regulate hormones. Following are the impacts of Ashwagandha  on sleep:

Reduction in Stress

As discussed above, the herb helps in lowering the levels of stress thus directly contributing to improve the sleep wake cycle.

Cortisol Regulation 

Cortisol is a primary stress hormone which follows a natural circadian rhythm, peaking in the morning and lowers down at night. Ashwagandha helps to balance the cortisol levels and hence promote better sleep patterns.

Enhancement in Relaxation

As it provides a relaxation effect on the body by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress as well. Due to its such qualities it helps to regulate sleep wake cycle.

Interactions with GABA Activity

Ashwagandha, due to presence of withanolides may interact with GABA receptors in the brain. GABA or Gamma-aminobutyric acid is the most common inhibitory neurotransmitter in our nervous system. Means it lessens the ability of the nerve cells to receive, create or send chemical messages to other nerve cells. Hence known for its relaxing effects.

Benefits of Ashwagandha For Stress Relief

Benefits of Ashwagandha For Stress Relief

Regulation of Stress hormones

In response to stress the body releases hormones like adrenaline, noradrenaline, corticotropin and adrenocorticotropin. These result in the fluctuations in the blood pressure, blood glucose, heart rate and blood flow as well. Also, it results in production of excessive cortisol. Cortisol thus inhibits immune functioning, affects mood, emotions, behavior and disturbs the sleep wake cycle. But taking Ashwagandha Capsule alone can help in preventing this vicious cycle.

Reduces Inflammation

Aforementioned, Excessive cortisol levels results in the suppression of the immune system thus resulting in inflammation. Ashwagandha due to immunomodulatory effect helps in reduction of this inflammation.

Adaptogenic Effect

It helps the body to adapt to different stressors. Its active compounds like withanolides and withaferin are the key reasons for adaptogenic properties of Ashwagandha.

Improves Sleep

Sleep deprivation can also cause stress and increase in stress hormones. The situation can exist vice versa as well. In both of these cases Ashwagadha is of great help. Its chemical compounds have tendency to interact with GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter and thus results in providing calming effects.

Boost Testosterone levels

Testosterone is a male hormone which is responsible for development of primary and secondary sex characters in males. But its importance doesn't end here. This hormone is responsible for regulating many metabolic functions in the body of a man. In various researches it has been proven that testosterone booster plays a very important role in coping with stress and also has an impact on sleep cycle.


Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, which helps the body to adapt to various stressors. This Ayurveda herb offers a holistic approach to wellness in today’s fast paced world. It is known as a kind of herb due to its marvelous properties. These properties are the result of withanolides and withaferin present in this herb. In a world fraught with the pressures of modern living, ashwagandha emerges as a beacon of resilience, offering a sanctuary of calm amidst life's storms. The kingdom of ashwagandha extends far beyond stress relief, encompassing a myriad of health-promoting virtues.



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