How Does Ashwagandha Soothe Anxiety?

How Does Ashwagandha Soothe

Ashwagandha, which means the smell of the horse in Sanskrit, is one of the most used Ayurvedic herbs. It is also known as Withania Somnifera, Ginseng equivalent and Indian winter cherry. Ayurveda mentions Ashwagandha in the treatment of many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, etc. However, it is most popular for its adaptogenic activity that helps to manage stress and anxiety effectively.

Ashwagandha is Tikta (bitter), Katu (pungent) and Madhura (sweet) in taste and exhibits Laghu (light) and Snigdha (oily) qualities. It is hot in potency and is known to pacify Vata and Kapha Dosha while slightly aggravating Pitta Dosha in the body. Owing to the many therapeutic uses and benefits of Ashwagandha, it is vastly used in the treatment of many diseases, including anxiety and depression.  

How is Ashwagandha Beneficial in Alleviating Anxiety?

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  • Reduces Levels of Cortisol:

Cortisol is a hormone that adrenal glands produce as a response to stress. High levels of cortisol can lead to many diseases such as anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Therefore, it is extremely important to maintain cortisol levels to treat anxiety. According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is one of the most effective herbs to reduce the levels of cortisol.  

  • Eases Symptoms of Anxiety:

Apart from reducing cortisol levels, Ashwagandha also helps relieve many other symptoms of anxiety such as nervousness, sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, etc. 

  • Regulates Sleep Cycle:

According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha helps to induce sleep. Anxiety and sleep are related to each other. Sleep deprivation can cause insomnia and anxiety, whereas anxiety can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Therefore, regulating the sleep cycle and treating sleep disorders is essential to managing anxiety. 

  • Boosts Brain Function: 

Ashwagandha is also known to reduce oxidative stress in the brain and improve brain function, which further helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Pacifies Vata Dosha:

According to Ayurveda, anxiety is a Vata disorder that occurs when excess Vata gets accumulated in the nervous system. Ashwagandha is one of the best herbs to reduce Vata in the body, thereby treating anxiety. 

What are the Other Benefits of Ashwagandha?

  • Ashwagandha is vastly used in the management of type 2 diabetes. It is highly effective in stimulating insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity, thereby controlling the blood sugar levels in the body.
  • It is also one of the most effective herbs for increasing the levels of testosterone in males and improving their overall reproductive health.
  • One of the most popular uses of Ashwagandha is in increasing muscle mass. It is known to improve muscle strength and body composition. Therefore, it is vastly used by bodybuilders. 
  • Ashwagandha is also highly beneficial in reducing the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. Therefore, it is regarded as one of the best herbs to boost heart health.
  • It is rich in antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help to treat skin infections and acne. 
  • Ashwagandha is also one of the best herbs to boost immunity and improve metabolism.    

How to use Ashwagandha?

  • You can consume Ashwagandha in the form of tea. For this, boil some Ashwagandha root powder in water for 2-3 minutes.
  • You can also take Ashwagandha in the form of capsules, tablets, or powder. Depending on your medical condition, it can be blended with ghee, milk, water, or honey.

Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha does not have any severe side effects. However, since Ashwagandha is a powerful medicinal herb, it is always advisable to see an Ayurvedic doctor before consuming Ashwagandha. It is essential to take the herb in the right method and dosage. If taken in large dosage, you may suffer from side effects such as diarrhoea, vomiting, liver problems, etc. It is also recommended that pregnant women should avoid consuming Ashwagandha.    


Ashwagandha is one of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs to alleviate anxiety. It helps reduce cortisol levels, boost brain function, regulate the sleep cycle and pacify Vata Dosha, all of which are important for managing anxiety. Furthermore, it is also beneficial in the treatment of many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, skin disorders, heart diseases, etc. 


Dr. Ashwini Konnur

Dr. Ashwini has 17 years of experience in Clinical Practice, Research & Education in the field of Ayurveda with competency in acute & chronic conditions & lifestyle diseases. She has also expertise in treating Female Infertility disorders, other Gynecological Problems & General disorders along with specialised focus in Ayurvedic detoxification therapies, Panchakarma & other Ayurvedic treatments