Many of us experience stress daily between our jobs, families, and every day responsibilities. It’s easy for it to add up. Stress can have a lot of negative effects on the body we might not even be aware of not only in the short term, but also long term. Short term stress can manifest in physical symptoms like headache, muscle tension, fatigue, stomach upset, and disruptions in sleep. Unfortunately, our bodies are not able to determine the difference between a deadline at work or a lion chasing us and responds the same way to the stress.
When we perceive a threat, our bodies respond by producing adrenaline which increases our heart rate, raises our blood pressure, and increases our energy supplies. This also leads to a release of cortisol, the main stress hormone, which in the short term will increase glucose in the bloodstream and allow the body to react quickly in a ‘fight or flight’ response. In the short term, this is not a problem, but when we experience chronic stress, this reaction stays turned on in the body which leads to an overproduction of cortisol, which in the long term can lead to increased health risks for things like anxiety and depression, digestive issues, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory problems.
Ashwagandha, or “Indian Ginseng,” is a part of the adaptogen family, a compound known for its ability to help the body regulate stress and adapt its functions. Adaptogens, including ashwagandha, work to support the adrenal glands and help counteract effects of stress in the body while correcting imbalances. Adaptogens have been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and recently research has shown ashwagandha to have even more benefits than previously thought including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and rejuvenating qualities and can enhance the body’s resilience to stress.
A study done in the Journal of Indian Psychology showed that a group of subjects who received a high concentration of ashwgandha showed a significant reduction in their stress assessment scores. Serum cortisol levels were also reduced relative to a placebo group. Ashwgandha has been shown to help reduce the stress hormone cortisol and overall perception of stress with a general conclusion that any adverse effects are mild, and supplementation is considered safe.
Persona’s Sensoril® Ashwagandha provides the highest level of bioactives on the market and may also help boost energy, improve sleep, mood, and overall vitality. Ashwgandha can be taken at any time of the day, as it’s not considered sedative. For restorative sleep, it is best taken in the evening or before bed.
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