Ashwagandha & Depression: A Viable Natural Remedy?
Updated May 28, 2020
People who are going through depression problems need to be able to receive treatment. Trying to get through depression on your own without medicine or therapy is going to be very difficult. Sometimes depression can get very tough to deal with. You might even find that it will disrupt your everyday life.
Even so, there are a lot of people out there who prefer to avoid taking antidepressant medications whenever possible. Some people worry about the side effects of these prescription drugs and see them as a potential detriment. This might not be a good way to think about things in all situations, but it's understandable why some people prefer to use natural remedies for depression. Do these really work, though?
One natural remedy known as ashwagandha has been gaining a lot of traction lately. This is a remedy that has been touted as a possible treatment for depression. Does it work well enough to be a replacement for antidepressant medications? It might not be as effective as antidepressants, but it does show some promise in several key areas.
What Is Ashwagandha And What Can It Do?
Before going any further, it's good to understand exactly what ashwagandha is. Ashwagandha is a plant that is used to treat many different things. People use stem and berries to make different types of medicine. It has been known to be capable of treating anxiety, arthritis, asthma, hiccups, and much more. Once you dig into what this plant is capable of, it becomes very obvious how useful it is.
One of the reasons why you see ashwagandha extract being sold in health stores around the country is that it has many anti-anxiety effects. Ashwagandha root extract is used to help reduce anxiety levels. People take this natural remedy, and it is capable of reducing cortisol levels. Many people know cortisol as a stress hormone and having too much cortisol can lead to anxiety issues.
Being able to reduce cortisol levels reliable makes this natural remedy very useful for those going through minor anxiety problems. You might want to discuss this with your doctor to compare its usefulness to other anti-anxiety medications. Regardless, this is a very popular natural remedy that many people are regularly using.
This can also be used to help patients get a better night of sleep. If you're experiencing insomnia issues, then they might be related to elevated stress levels. Taking ashwagandha might help to reduce these levels, and it will make it much easier for you to fall asleep. This is a very useful plant that many people are going to find helpful. It's been being used to help treat things for a long time, and there is some evidence to back up the claims for the things that it can do.
As long as you understand that this isn't a miracle supplement, you should be fine. This isn't likely going to be the magical treatment that completely alleviates anxiety symptoms, but it can help to keep things under control. It might be useful for people with mild insomnia, and it's seen as safe to use. It is a bit smelly, though.
This Plant Also Has A Strong Odor
You'll also need to know that this plant has a very strong odor. Even the ashwagandha extract that you buy at the health store is going to be quite potent. People have often compared the smell of this plant to that of a horse. In fact, the name of the plant comes from two words in Sanskrit that mean "horse" and "smell" respectively.
In the past, people even thought that this plant could give you the same strength and virility as a horse. This probably has something to do with why they named the plant the way that they did. Its strong odor is going to be very off-putting for some people. If you can't get over the smell, then this might not be the ideal remedy for you.
Regardless, this plant has proven to be fairly useful for treating anxiety symptoms in many people. It is good for reducing your cortisol levels and can help you to calm down. More studies do need to be performed to verifying certain things, but this is a very promising plant that is already used to create certain medications. It's known to be good at helping with certain things, so it doesn't simply snake oil.
Whether Ashwagandha Helps With Depression Is Unclear
Some people feel that this plant helps with depression symptoms too. It seems like there is more evidence to indicate that ashwagandha is going to be good for treating anxiety. There have not been substantial studies done to see how this plant impacts depression specifically. There has been a double-blind study that shows positive results for using it to treat anxiety symptoms, though.
The evidence that suggests that ashwagandha can treat depression is merely anecdotal at this point. More clinical studies need to be performed to give you a true answer. It is completely possible that this could be a viable natural remedy that can help depression symptoms in some way. There just isn't any real evidence to back that claim up right now. Ashwagandha & depression treatment might not go hand-in-hand, but further studies could reveal more information.
Regardless, knowing that it can be used to help fight anxiety problems is very beneficial. If you also suffer from anxiety, then you could consider using this to help alleviate some of your anxiety issues. You should consider speaking to your doctor about things before moving forward. He or she will be able to indicate whether they think that this is a good idea and will also be able to see if there are any risks given your medical history.
Seek Traditional Treatment if You're Feeling Depressed
If you're going through a bout of depression, then you should reach out to your doctors. Wanting to be able to take a natural remedy for depression is understandable. There just isn't any real evidence that says that ashwagandha is going to be able to help you with depression issues. Also, even mild forms of depression will likely need to be treated in several different ways.
You should make an appointment to discuss your depression issues with your doctor as soon as you can. Your doctor understands how to treat depression problems and can make a proper diagnosis. Once they understand the type of depression that you're going through, it'll be much easier to find an appropriate treatment. Getting the right treatment makes a living with depression easier, and you'll be able to cope so much better.
You shouldn't have to suffer from a depression problem when the right help is readily available. Your doctor might suggest using certain antidepressant medications. It's also possible that you may need the help of a skilled therapist. Being able to get over the depression issues that are plaguing you will take time. It's going to be simpler to deal with depression when you have people that you can rely on for help.
When you have the right support system in place, depression is going to seem far more manageable. Don't wait to reach out to your doctor if you're in need. They will be ready to help you out to the best of their abilities. You can move forward with a treatment plan that makes sense for your situation. You'll feel better over time, and you'll be glad that you decided to trust your doctors.
Online Therapy is Great for Helping Alleviate to Depression Problems
Online therapy is also great for helping you to alleviate depression problems. When you're feeling down, you might wind up starting to think that you're fighting depression all by yourself. It doesn't have to be that way when you can reach out to an online therapist at any time. These online therapists are available to speak to you whenever you're having a tough time.
This winds up being a lot more convenient than traditional therapy due to its availability. You can talk to an online therapist even at odd hours of the day, meaning that you don't have to adhere to strict office hours to get the help that you need. You'll be able to start working on the issues that are causing your depression so that you can move forward. An online therapist can teach you the best coping mechanisms so that depression won't be as big of an issue in your life.
All of the online therapists are going to be fully licensed as well. These professionals know how to help people with depression problems, anxiety issues, and so much more. You can speak to them in whatever way is going to be most convenient for you. You'll be able to choose from video chat therapy, phone therapy, text messaging therapy, and e-mail therapy. All of the options are very easy to use, and you'll always have a friendly voice available to you when you're feeling down.
Don't wait to sign up for online therapy if you're in need. Depression is a serious issue, and you shouldn't wait to get help if it's negatively impacting your life. You can work toward feeling happy again, and you'll be able to learn to avoid the things that trigger depressive responses in your life. With the help of a compassionate online therapist, your depression issues will be that much easier to manage.