Are You Under Pressure?
Stress is a condition arising from external physical or mental overload. It can make a person feel embattled, nervous, anxious or otherwise less capable of full and normal response to environmental demands.
Studies have shown that prolonged stress can have adverse effects on our mental and physical health, resulting in serious conditions such as insomnia, weakened immune system and high blood pressure. It can also play a role in developing disorders such as depression, heart disease and obesity. Stress can take a toll on your emotional and physical well-being, causing you to fall short of your full potential and reducing the quality of living.
It goes without saying that, to ensure you have a high quality of living and are able to enjoy experiences without fear and anxiety, proper stress management is a skill you and everyone else must learn.
KSM-66™ Ashwagandha extract & Lavender extract for Stress relief and more
Some common methods to combat stress can include journaling, meditation, and even doing some light exercise. However, there are times when it may not be convenient for you to whip out that journal or that meditation CD, for instance, when you're at work and you're stressing about that presentation in the afternoon. For times like these, using supplements may be a better choice instead.
Known scientifically as Withania somnifera, Ashwagandha is an herb used commonly in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine system of India. While various parts of the plants can be used, it is usually its roots which are used for supplements, as evidenced by the large number of studies done on this herb.
But how does ashwagandha work?
We must first understand how stress affects our body.
Stress causes our body to release the hormone cortisol, and its levels generally reset after physical release (e.g. exercising or sports). However, if you remain under chronic stress, cortisol levels continue to increase, causing you to remain on high alert, and without any suitable manner of output, this can negatively affect your body's most important functions. Often this leads to anxiety attacks, tension headaches and even depression.
Studies have shown that KSM-66™, a patented ashwagandha extract, can reduce serum cortisol levels by 27.9%, considered a significantly larger decrease compared to many other supplements. This in turn increases your body's stress tolerance limits, improving your capability to manage stress better.
Ashwagandha is also known to improve sleep quality. Stress and anxiety can often lead to restlessness and insomnia, so taking ashwagandha can help relax your mind and keep you feeling calm, allowing you to slowly fall asleep. This is especially beneficial for those suffering from stress-related exhaustion.
Besides that, ashwagandha plays an important role in mental and cognitive health, being able to provide antioxidant protection for brain cells and neurotransmitters from free radical damage. A study conducted using KSM-66™ ashwagandha extract indicated that taking ashwagandha can improve memory, increase information processing speed, and improve overall executive function without any side effects.
Lavender, on the other hand, is well-known for its ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety, as it works also by reducing cortisol levels. When paired with ashwagandha, it has a much better effect at increasing feelings of relaxation, thus improving sleep quality, particularly in insomniacs.