Herbal Ashwagandha, the Natural Depressant

By Kyle J. Norton

Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure in demanding situations over a period of time, leading to the release of hormone cortisol and adrenaline.

Most common factors associated with stress incidence include psychological pressures, such as work deadlines, and exams, high-pressure jobs, and financial difficulties.

Overtime unresolved chronic stress can cause a wide range of symptoms and increase the risk of depression.

Depression is a common and serious psychological illness, affecting physical and mental functions of patients, including the patients feeling, thinking and acting.

Some patients with depression may feel sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.

There is no exact cause of depression. Changes in hormone levels, medical conditions, stress, grief or difficult life circumstances that initiate the change of brain chemistry in inducing depressive syndrome are some of the most prevalent factors found in patients with depression.

Most common symptoms of depression include sadness, hopelessness, guilt, change of mood, loss of interest in friends, family, favorite activities, and sex.

In severe case, some patients with depression also experience cognitive symptoms of trouble concentrating, making decisions, remembering and thoughts of harming his or herself.

According to the statistics provided by the Anxiety and Depression of Association of American, major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3, affecting more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 and older.

Conventionally, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is the primary medication for the treatment of depression due to its relatively lower side effects comapred to depressants. Other types of antidepression medication may include serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), typical antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

On finding a potent compound for the treatment of depression, , researchers examined the effects of extracts of Withania somnifera (WSE)as an adjunctive treatment in patients with schizophrenia experiencing an exacerbation of positive symptoms.

The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind 12-week study included patients with schizophrenia received 1,000 mg of standardized WSE. conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Based on the 66 patients with depression symptoms, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. showed the WSE exerted medium effect sizes of 0.683 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16 to 1.21) comapred to placebo.

More importantly, the adverse effects were mild and transient, according to patient reports.

Collectively, researchers wrote after taking other factors into account, “WSE may hold promise in the treatment of depression… symptoms in schizophrenia”.

Taken altogether, Ashwagandha may be considered a functional herb for the prevention of depressive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia, pending to the result of larger sample size and multicenter study

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Effects of a standardized extract of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on depression and anxiety symptoms in persons with schizophrenia participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial by Gannon JM1, Brar J, Rai A, Chengappa KNR. (PubMed)