Stressed? Don’t Worry About Extra Pounds—Go With Ashwagandha

It’s not unusual for people to gain weight when they are stressed. After all, stress undermines some of our better habits, robs us of sleep, and because of hormonal responses, plays havoc with our metabolism.

However, ashwagandha, one of the premier, stress-reducing adaptogens long used in Ayurvedic medicine, can help. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, those in the ashwagandha group showed improvements in feelings of stress, weight and body mass, cortisol levels, and food cravings. So if a hectic schedule gives you the urge to binge-watch TV and snack on chips, try ashwagandha instead for a much better result.

Choudhary D, Bhattacharyya S, Joshi K. Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2017 Jan;22(1):96-106.

Chronic stress has been associated with a number of illnesses, including obesity. Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogen and known for reducing stress and anxiety in humans. The objective of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a standardized root extract of Ashwagandha through a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. A total of 52 subjects under chronic stress received either Ashwagandha (300 mg) or placebo twice daily. Primary efficacy measures were Perceived Stress Scale and Food Cravings Questionnaire. Secondary efficacy measures were Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire, serum cortisol, body weight, and body mass index. Each subject was assessed at the start and at 4 and 8 weeks. The treatment with Ashwagandha resulted in significant improvements in primary and secondary measures. Also, the extract was found to be safe and tolerable. The outcome of this study suggests that Ashwagandha root extract can be used for body weight management in adults under chronic stress.