Ashwagandha is an amazing ancient herb used for its medicinal properties. The herb has been used for thousands of years in ancient Indian alternative medicine called Ayurveda. The plant is a small bush, native to India and parts of Africa, that produces yellow flowers. The extracts and the powder from the plant’s roots have many natural healing properties. Two of its most amazing healing properties include decreasing stress and boosting neurotransmitter effects in the brain. It has been proven to be completely safe to ingest in moderate amounts with little risk for adverse reactions.
Lowering Cortisol Levels
The root is believed to be able to improve stress levels due to its ability to lower the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone which is released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. As a result, anxiety and depression are greatly improved.
Ashwagandha also functions in the brain by enhancing GABA receptors and serotonin. GABA is a neurotransmitter that directs chemical messages throughout the brain. GABA is one of the key players in cognition, behavior, and stress response. The neurotransmitter will inhibit the activity of neurons and other cells in the brain. Many studies show that this effect is able to control your feelings of fear and anxiety when the neurons become overexcited in response to stimuli. Studies have linked low levels of GABA to many mental disorders including depression, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia.
Serotonin is also a neurotransmitter that enables brain cells to communicate with each other. Low levels of serotonin are also linked to anxiety and depression. Ashwagandha’s role is to increase the receptors for GABA and serotonin, resulting in a higher uptake of these neurotransmitters thus increasing its effect.
If you are looking for a natural and healthy supplement to help with your mood and reduce the effects of stress, Ashwagandha is a great alternative. The powerful root will also boost your cognitive function. However, if you are pregnant or are taking other medications, you shouldn’t use the herb. It has powerful effects on hormones, and it could boost the effects of certain medications like sedatives or anti-depressants.