Ashwagandha Inhibits Syndromes and Diseases Associated with Chronic Stress

By Kyle J. Norton

Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure in demanding situations over a period of time, leading to the release of hormone cortisol and adrenaline.

Most common factors associated with stress incidence include psychological pressures, such as work deadlines, and exams, high-pressure jobs, and financial difficulties.

Overtime unresolved chronic stress can cause a wide range of symptoms and increase the risk of developing physical and psychological syndromes, including anxiety and depression.

Most common symptoms of chronic stress are irritability, difficulty concentrating, rapid, disorganized thoughts, fatigue, headaches, feeling helpless, low self-esteem and difficulty sleeping.

Some patients may also experience symptoms of digestive problems, changes in appetite and loss of sexual desire.

Dr. Mohd. Razali Salleh in the examination of the chronic stress in the risk of diseases wrote, “The relationship between stress and illness is complex. The susceptibility to stress varies from person to person. Among the factors that influenced the susceptibility to stress are genetic vulnerability, coping style, type of personality and social support”.

And, “Stress also alters the acid concentration in the stomach, which can lead to peptic ulcers, stress ulcers or ulcerative colitis. Chronic stress can also lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis), especially if combined with a high-fat diet and sedentary living. The correlation between stressful life events and psychiatric illness is stronger than the correlation between medical or physical illness”.

In other words, chronic stress if untreated can cause a wide range of chronic diseases, inclduing psychiatric illness.

Ashwagandha also is known as Withania somnifera is a nightshade plant in the genus of Withania, belonging to the family Solanaceae, native to the dry parts of India, North Africa, Middle East, and the Mediterranean. The herbal medicine has been considered as Indian ginseng and used in Ayurvedic medicine over 3000 years to treat tumors and tubercular glands, carbuncles, memory loss, and ulcers and considered as anti-stress, cognition-facilitating, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging herbal medicine.

On finding a potential compound for the treatment of chronic stress, researchers examined the effect of Ashwagandha Root Extract on obese patients with long-term stress and anxiety.

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial included a total of 52 subjects under chronic stress received either Ashwagandha (300 mg) or placebo twice daily.

According to the tested differentiation at the start and at 4 and 8 weeks, including the Perceived Stress Scale and Food Cravings Questionnaire, Ashwagandha treatment group showed a significant improvement of stress associated with poor eating behaviors, including feelings of disinhibited eating, binge eating, hunger, and more ineffective attempts to control eating.

Moreover, according to the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, Ashwagandha treatment group are more satisfied including the body weight and happier than the control.

No adverse effect had been reported by participants.
Based on the results, researchers wrote, “The outcome of this study suggests that Ashwagandha root extract can be used for body weight management in adults under chronic stress”.
Taken altogether, Ashwagandha may be considered a remedy for the prevention and treatment of chronic stress, pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1)Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial by Choudhary D1, Bhattacharyya S2, Joshi K. (PubMed)
(2) Life Event, Stress, and Illness by Mohd. Razali Salleh, (PMC)