I’ll be talking about some of the fabulous things you can do to replenish your adrenal gland stores to restore energy and vitality. Those of you who are feeling tired and wired at the same time should be paying attention closely—you know who you are!
Does this sound like you?
- Unable to fall sleep, quiet the mind
- Feeling nervous or jittery
- You may also startle easily
- You feel alert but at the same time exhausted
- Your life is a roller coaster of highs and lows.
One of the answers for you is ashwaganda, also known as Indian ginseng (latin name Withania somnifera). Origins of this herb are from Ayurvedic medicine, designed to prevent disease through the restoration of balance. Ashwaganda is fantastic in its ability to not only support and restore energy while calming and supporting irritability, anxiety, and insomnia. Its true strength is the rebalancing of the nervous system from an overstimulated, sympathetic state to a parasympathetic state. There are countless studies where the use of ashwaganda demonstrates anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anti-cancer, stress-busting, and sedating effects. However, because of its sedating effects it can add to the effects of benzodiazepines or pharmaceutical sleep aids. The benefit of this is that it could be used in place of pharmaceuticals to assist with sleep.
Cautions for use
- Cancer—Ashwaganda can be stimulating to the nervous system, and has done so in trials with leukemia
- Pregnancy—Although it is an incredibly safe herb with little evidence of toxicity, there is simply not enough data to say it is completely safe, and so we must err on the side of caution
- If you are already taking sleep supports like benzodiazepines (i.e. Valium), ashwaganda is thought to act on the same receptors called GABA receptors and may have an additive effect (increase sleepy feelings)
Typically ashwaganda is found in adrenal tonic formulas to support the system, and can be taken in liquid (tincture) or herbal form (in a compressed pill or capsule).
Now doesn’t that sound better than B12?
Information loosely compiled from:
Romm, Aviva (2010) Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. Churchill Livingstone, New York.
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