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Conquer Stress & Beat Fatigue Naturally!

I don’t need to tell you that over the long term high stress levels can kill. Relax, get more sleep, exercise…there are only so many things you can do to reduce its effects. But if you’re struggling with stress there may be one thing you haven’t tried yet, a supplement. For thousands of years Ayurvedic practitioners have been using a powerful herb to help fight anxiousness and occasional sleeplessness, and promote a healthy inflammatory response. It’s known as ashwagandha and it has helped many of my own patients reduce the effects of stress by helping to balance their stress hormones. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This means that the herb helps the body adapt to, or cope better with everyday stressors. It can help you bounce back from stress and drive off fatigue by improving energy levels. Ashwagandha is unique because it doesn’t work by stimulating the nervous system. Instead, it actually helps to balance stress hormones—specifically, reducing cortisol levels and increasing DHEA. The result is an enhanced sense of calm, better concentration, and more energy. Animal studies have shown that the herb may support healthy thyroid hormone levels, the main controller of energy and metabolism in cells. Now, a recent study has confirmed once again the powerful stress-busting properties of ashwagandha. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involved 64 volunteers with a history of problems dealing with stress. Before the study began participants had their blood cortisol levels measured and they filled out a questionnaire that assessed their stress level and assigning it a score. For sixty days one group received a placebo and the other group got one 300 mg capsule of ashwagandha extract twice a day. At the end of the sixty days those receiving the ashwagandha had a significant reduction in perceived stress scores…improving by a full 44 percent! This alone would have been an impressive result, but participants who had received the herb also had an astounding 59 to 89 percent improvement in all categories of their General Health Questionnaire. The ashwagandha-takers also walked away with improved sleep quality, productivity, and mental calmness to boot. And, perhaps most impressive of all, there was an average of 27.9 percent reduction in cortisol levels after the sixty days, a remarkable improvement. [1] Previous research in India has shown similar results. In one eight week study users give ashwagandha extract reported a 69.9 percent reduction in an overall measure of stress-related symptoms. This included health complaints such as irritability, sleeplessness, inability to concentrate, fatigue, sweating, occasional headaches, and muscle aches.[2]

[1]K Chandrasekhar, Jyoti Kapoor, Sridhar Anishetty. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress in adults. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. 2012, VOl 34, Issue 3, pgs 255-262.

[2] 2 Biswajit Auddy, PhD1; Jayaram Hazra, PhD2; Achintya Mitra, MD2; Bruce Abedon, PhD3; Shibnath Ghosal, PhD. A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Stressed Humans:A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. The Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. Vol. 11, No. 1, 2008.Used with permission from Dr. Mark Stengler’s Health Revelations (