Hormone-Crazed Chickens
Tale of Two Wolves

Ashwagandha!

Ashwagandha Super Root
That sounds like a Hindi-style greeting, doesn't it? Ashwagandha! How are you today? Ginseng, thank you! How about you?

Ashwagandha is Indian ginseng. While I normally don't like to put the focus on supplements, this is one that, in my opinion, belongs in everyone's kitchen cabinet. You know, a cabinet that you actually open. Not the one with the champagne glasses and your grandma's antique tea set that gets opened once a year on Thanksgiving. 

The reason I've picked ashwagandha - OMG is there a shorter way to write this word? How about I call it "ash" for short? Great. So the reason I've picked ash is because so many people suffer from STRESS, and anxiety in particular. How many? 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,  anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting over 40 million Americans. That's 18% of the population! My math is stellar. Actually, I'm just really talented at copying info. Furthermore, people with anxiety are 3-5 times more likely to go to the doctor and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.

While there are many types of anxiety-related disorders, I'm going to focus on the more generalized, non-trauma-induced anxiety disorders. However! Even though I am relating to a more general and idiopathic type of anxiety, what I am about to suggest can certainly be used in tangent with psychotherapy. 

After my fifth kid, my body felt broken, and I had a very hard time dealing with all of the daily stress. I generally felt that I was going to freak out from being so overtired and stressed, and I felt sick all the time because of it. A friend suggested I start taking ashwagandha. OMG I just fell asleep for like 20 minutes at the computer. Ash is an adaptogen, which means it helps your body respond to and handle stress better. It's arguably the best adrenal support supplement that you can take.

So many people suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome and related diseases. Adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline in response to stress. Whether it's emotional, mental, or physical stress, your adrenals are working on overdrive if you're stressed out. And if they're on overdrive all the time, you're likely trapping yourself in a vicious cycle of physical stress/adrenal stress/more physical and mental stress.

When the adrenals are chronically overworked, they also begin to stress out and get tired. Basically, they want to quit and go on vacation in Tahiti. How long and how well can they function at such high output levels? The answer is not very long. Eventually, they're going to give up and go to sleep, just like I'd like to be doing right now.

What is the problem with your adrenals taking a little break? Well, that means that your body can't deal with stress as well as it should. When that happens, you may begin to suffer all types of anxiety disorders for problems that might have nothing to do with mental or emotional issues. I suspect that there are many others like me, who haven't (thank God) had a serious trauma in their lives, but suffer from all types of anxiety-related disorders.

In other words, you can be perfectly normal and balanced, yet still have anxiety! You're just too stressed!

The great thing about ashwagandha is that it has such a wonderful and powerful calming effect, that it can even be used by those who have really good reasons to be stressed, such as a traumatic life situation. 

Here are two links talking more about this superhero herb. I would encourage you to read up as much as you can on the tremendous benefits that ash has to offer, such as reducing blood sugar, increasing muscle mass, helping minimize symptoms of depression, increasing fertility in men, and so much more.

I take ash every day, twice a day. In the morning, I take one pill with my iodine, (which I hope to write about in the future,) along with a teaspoon of coconut oil in warm water. I gotta tell you, this combination gives me such a supercharge in the morning! I have so much energy at the gym, that the ladies in my Zumba classes give me strange glances from time to time throughout the class. Whatever. I think the espresso I have in the morning might also be a minor factor. Just a little bit.

Then, at about 3:00 pm, before the kiddies get home, I take another one because I know that I'm gonna get stressed. Big time. It helps me so much! It takes me so much more effort to scream at them and react to their uncontrollable boyness. 

If you're on anti-anxiety meds, do not stop taking them without discussing it with your doctor first! See how the ash works in tangent with your meds, and if you feel that it's helping you, speak with your doctor about weaning yourself off the meds and taking the ash instead. 

If you're not on meds and want to feel less stressed in any case, do what I do and take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I don't weigh much (about 115 pounds) so if I take two, I feel so relaxed that I just want to sit on the couch and chill. So if you don't feel any difference and you weight a little bit more than I do, try two of them after you eat something. 

Wishing you all a low-stress, high-energy, and HAPPY week! Let us know if you're taking it, and how you feel!

~Racheli

Rabbi Lazer adds:

In addition to all the benefits that Racheli has mentioned, Ashwagandha - which I like to call "super root" is great for athletes. Since it minimizes stress hormones such as cortisol, it paves the way to better results for the same amount of work in the gym or on the track, namely, development of muscle mass and reduction of body fat. Google "ashwagandha" and "athletes" and you'll get all kinds of clinical documentation. Unlike drugs, ash doesn't cause a "spike" peak performance followed by a "crash" letdown. Since ash stimulates testosterone development in men, it's great for male fertility. And, since it helps so much in relieving stress and burnout in women, it's a female fertility enhancer as well, since stress is one of the worst enemies of female fertility. Bright Beams blessings for your better health!

Comments

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Esther Rachel

B"H
Another reason to move to Israel.
So you can get Kosher vial of ginseng
extract?
That gives alot of endurance .
30yrs ago, before kosher, yes this
gives mucho endurance, no anxiety.
Helps alot with staying focused.

Chaim

How long does it take for the benefits of ashwagandha to start kicking it? Can anxiety and depression start improving a lot after the first few days or it takes a few weeks?

Debra

Where can I buy Ashwagandha in Israel?

Dr. Reuven Rosenberg

I've been using it for 17 years in practice with usually excellent results.

Racheli

Esther Rachel, I totally agree... except I ordered it from Amazon! lol
But the extra focus is completely true. I'll post the link to which one I get in a separate comment.

Racheli

Chaim, I notice that I start to have more energy within an hour of taking it. I also take a teaspoon of coconut oil at the same time, so together they give me a serious supercharge. I feel that it gives me a constant level of just feel-good energy. It doesn't give a spike of energy like caffeine does, and it also doesn't leave you with a low after it wears off. It's a nice steady lift, and I also find that I feel very mentally clear when I take it. My mind just works better. What can I say? It's a really nice feeling.
About your second question, I'm not sure how long it takes for anxiety and depression symptoms to start improving. I think it just varies based on the severity of the person's symptoms. In my case, I can't remember exactly when my anxiety started to improve, but I would say definitely within a few months. Now I feel like if I were to stop taking it, I would likely go back to anxiety mode when I get overtired. If you start taking it, let me know how you're doing, and if you see any changes. Thanks for writing in!

Racheli

Debra, I'm not sure - I get mine from Amazon! Here's what I order:
https://www.amazon.com/Organic-Ashwagandha-Capsules-Bottle-ECOPACK/dp/B01IZTDWDE/ref=sr_1_6_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1485975341&sr=8-6&keywords=organic+india+ashwagandha

Now I see that they have a new label, but it's still the same ingredient. So I'm not sure if it's just better marketing they're trying to do, or whatever. Here's the new bottle:
https://www.amazon.com/ORGANIC-INDIA-Ashwagandha-Supplement-Capsules/dp/B003PGE98K/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1485975341&sr=8-2&keywords=organic%2Bindia%2Bashwagandha&th=1

Please let me know how you're doing if you start taking it!

Racheli

Dr. Rosenberg, that's wonderful to hear, and so encouraging for our readers! Can you please elaborate on how you've seen it help your patients? Thanks so much!

Boroch

I don't see any Kosher certification label on the bottle.

Boroch

Kosher certification on the label?

Racheli

Boroch, I'm not able to post a picture in the comment forum, so send me an email and I'll forward you the picture of the kosher certification I took from my bottle. It's OU certified. racheli@breslev.co.il

lea moore

i have known the benefits of this herb for a long time and never tried it. I decided to have a go. My reason for taking it was to lower the inflamation in my body and also my blood sugar and blood pressure. My blood sugar went down and i started to feel lightheaded. My blood pressure has not changed. I started feeling a tightness in my chest but did not connect it to anything. I was not sure where it was coming from. I found my focus getting worse. In fact, I got lost on my way to the chiropractor and when I went to turn around on the interstate, I forgot to turn around. My thought process continued to deteriorate. I got to the point that I didn,t know what I was reading and was unable to study. Last night I decided to do a little more research. to begin, I found only the good side effects. Digging a little deeper, I found other people that have had the same problems and more. I didn't take any this morning and hope it will get out of my system soon. My husband is taking it with no problems. I have a tendency to have the rare side effects to meds and also herbs. Just thought it should be shared so that other people will know just incase they start having similar problems. Aside from those of us that are gifted at confusing the medical community, it is a good herb.

Racheli

I'm so sorry to hear that, Lea! I have not heard of such side effects, but as you said, you are a rare one. lol I once told a woman about silica for tightening the skin, and she said she got palpitations. I take it every day with no side effects. It's interesting how people can react so differently to the same thing. Well, at least your husband is taking it. I hope he starts to feel a difference in his stress and energy level. Keep in touch!

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