Ashwagandha for Stress Relief-Men's Health Month
Withania somnifera, or Ashwagandha, has long being used in Ayurvedic medicine as a general rejuvenating tonic. It is also commonly utilized as a male aphrodisiac for infertility and erectile dysfunction alongside lifestyle recommendations such as exercising regularly, eating a whole foods diet, reducing stress and decreasing the use of substances. Do you know Ashwagandha can also be used for stress relief? Ashwagandha is one of the most gentle and calming adaptogenic herbs available.
Adaptogens are herbs that improve the body’s responses to various types of stress. Although the exact mechanism of action is not well studied in human, they typically work to balance the endocrine, immune and central nervous systems. Ashwagandha is particularly helpful for chronic uncompensated stress, anxiety and stress-associated insomnia. Similar to most adaptogenic herbs, Ashwagandha needs to be taken long-term, at least several weeks to months, for optimal effects. It is a safe herb for extended use with no known significant side effects.
To make an Ashwagandha tea, simmer 10 grams of dried root in 150 ml (5 oz) of water for 15-30 minutes and drink it three times a day. Besides dried root, Ashwagandha comes in many other forms: root extract, root powder, and herbal tincture. All form is effective if dosed appropriately and taken as directed long-term. To learn if Ashwagandha can be helpful for your condition(s), schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Bastyr Center for Natural Health today.
Please note this article should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, please follow up with your doctor for a detailed work up as erectile dysfunction can be a sign for potential underlying cardiovascular disease and blood sugar dysregulation. For pregnant or lactating women, please consult with your doctor first before use.
Gardner, Zoe, and Michael McGuffin. "Withania Somnifera (L.) Dunal." American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC, 2013. 935-38. Print.
"Ashwagandha (Professional Monograph)." Natural Medicines Database, 11 Jan. 2017. Web. 09 June 2017.
Yarnell, E. (2007). Withania Somnifera (L) dunal (ashwanganda), Solanaceae and related species [monograph].
Dr. Yang is a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist practicing at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. His clinical interests include digestive wellness, sleep issues, men’s health, adjunctive treatments to anxiety and depression, biofeedback, musculoskeletal pain, acupuncture, western botanical medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.