If you've heard of ashwagandha root and have been wondering what it's helpful for, be ready to hear a litany of conditions it relieves and helps heal. High on the list is stress.
Ashwagandha is so helpful as a health supplement that some herbalists call it the Indian ginseng. It's also known as China winter cherry.
It is an adaptogen, which are traditional herbs that alleviate stress. Stress has a long list of ill effects on behavior, the mind and the body.
Some of the problems caused by stress include:
- Headache, chest pain, stomach upset, and muscle tension or pain
- Sleep problems, fatigue, and change in sex drive
- Anxiety, sadness, depression, anger, and irritability
- Restlessness, lack of focus or motivation, feeling overwhelmed
- Angry outbursts, overeating, under-eating, withdrawing from society
- Drug abuse, tobacco use, exercising less
As you can see, some of these stress-related problems can lead to still other problems, including sleep disruption, overeating, abuse of drugs and alcohol and tobacco.
Avoiding the stress of PMS
At VALI, ashwagandha root is included in Renew , a supplement prepared to give relief from premenstrual syndrome. It's included to help reduce stress, boost mood, balance hormones, and help reduce PMS symptoms.
VALI's blog has an article "13 ways you can treat menstrual cramps (and how to finally say ‘bye Felicia’ to it)."
Over-the-counter pain medicines, like ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain. Don’t forget to read the labels, follow instructions and consult your doctor before taking these!
Exercise and regular work out. According to a 2015 study, a 30-minute aerobic exercise done thrice weekly significantly improved the severity of dysmenorrhea in a span of 8 weeks.  Also, exercise releases those happy hormones called endorphins which could instantly lighten up your mood, ease pain, increase blood flow, and relax your muscles.
Heatingcould also help ease the discomfort. Evidence suggests that using heat to relieve menstrual cramps is as effective as taking painkillers.  So why don’t you try placing a heating pad just over your lower abdomen or lower back and see the throbbing fade. Similarly, try some self-care rituals by making a hot bath for yourself to relieve the cramps. It’s also a great way to de-stress.
To ease your PMS symptoms, eat a well-balanced diet. That means more fruits and veggies, less sugar and alcohol, a cutback on caffeine intake, and extra servings of whole grains.
Say goodbye to sodas, chocolates, candies – most sweet stuff – a week before your period.
Healthline discusses the benefits of ashwagandha.
What is ashwagandha helpful for?
“Ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to increase energy, improve overall health and reduce inflammation, pain and anxiety,” Dr. Yufang Lin told the Cleveland Clinic .
Ayurvedic medicine is traditional Asian Indian medicine and herbal practice. Ayurveda uses exercise, mindfulness practices, nutrition and herbs to bring balance to the mind, body, spirit, and practitioners' environment.
Dr. Lin says stress spikes cortisol levels, causing the heart to pump faster, breathing to increase in rapidity, and the body to produce more glucose. Therefore, ashwagandha fights disease.
“Unfortunately, when a threat is chronic — whether it’s stress from finances, work or the pandemic —the stressful response also becomes chronic. Over time, long-term stress can contribute to persistent inflammation and increases the risk for developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.”
Dr. Lin said research shows ashwagandha helps normalize levels of cortisol to reduce the stress response.The Cleveland Clinic states:
In addition, ashwagandha has also been associated with reduced inflammation, reduced cancer risks, improved memory, improved immune function and anti-aging properties. This is why people who are stressed or anxious, or people with chronic conditions might turn to ashwagandha to help ease their conditions.
Renew contains more than ashwagandha
Renew helps you normalize your hormones, relieve painful premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and support women's period health. It contains Vitamins C & B6, Magnesium, L-Theanine, Schizandra Berry, Passion Flower Powder, Chamomile, Ashwagandha Root, Licorice Root, and Chaste Tree Berry.
What the other ingredients in Renew do:
Can help with bloating, fatigue, breast swelling, and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Supports adrenal function and nervous system. Shown to have beneficial effects in women with PMS.
Shown to help mood changes, headaches, cravings, blood sugar levels, and dizziness.
An amino acid naturally found in teas, promotes relaxation, mental clarity, and enhancing mood.
An adaptogen shown to relieve stress and promote mental function. Increases glutathione for detoxifying the body.
Helps calm and soothe the nervous system against stress and anxiety to improve mood and reduce headache. Helps with relaxation and sleeping.
Eases anxiety and irritability that can be caused by PMS. Contains muscle relaxing properties that can help with menstrual cramps.
Lowers estrogen levels while raising progesterone levels, helping to balance the body’s hormone levels.
Chaste Tree Berry
Helps the body produce and balance hormones to their proper ratios. Useful for irritability, mood swings, anxiety, headache, and breast tenderness.
Before taking any supplement or medication, you should check with your doctor to make certain the ingredients won't interfere with any medications you take. Cleveland Clinic cautions:
Other conditions which require caution when it comes to using ashwagandha include if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have an autoimmune disease. In these cases, Dr. Lin advises talking to your provider before taking anything. She stresses this with pregnant women as ashwagandha could cause complications.