Is Ashwagandha Good For Anxiety & Depression? | LIVESTRONG.COM

I came across ashwagandha a couple of years ago after I came to the conclusion that my anxiety wasn’t a mental issue but rather an adrenal gland issue. It started to make sense that mental disorders, like depression and anxiety, are often a result of a hormonal issue. I started looking for supplements that support or calm the adrenal glands. I began taking ashwagandha and my life changed. It stopped the feeling that impending doom was around every corner. It stopped the obsessive thoughts that kept me awake. It gave me a sense of calm I have never before experienced. I have been on Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Xanax, and none of them even came close to what ashwagandha has done for me especially with no side effects. It is good to see there is scientific data supporting what I know works amazingly well.


Troy White

Is Ashwagandha Good for Anxiety & Depression?


Ashwagandha, or “Winter Cherry,” is an adaptogen herb commonly used in ayurvedic medicine, a holistic form of medicine that originated from India. Ashwagandha appears to contain restorative and rejuvenating qualities as well as anti-inflammatory properties. The makers of Clarocet NRI, a product that uses winter cherry as one of its ingredients, claim the ashwagandha root can be used to treat mental and physical fatigue, nervousness, tension, anxiety, depression, and mild to moderate mood swings caused by stress.

About Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, is an herb made from the roots of a small evergreen shrub that is native to India, northern Africa and the Middle East but since has been cultivated across the United States. With its active compounds, specifically the alkaloids, steroidal lactones, saponins, and withanolides, ashwaghanda has anti-anxiety, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties that may be effective in reducing stress caused by physical and emotional fatigue; increasing mental alertness, focus and concentration; relieving nervous tension and anxiety; invigorating the body; decreasing inflammation and balancing out and leveling mood swings, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Ashwagandha is most often found in capsule form and usually needs to be consumed for two to six weeks before the benefits can be noticed.


Anxiety is marked by a feeling of worry, fear or apprehension that can cause a great deal of stress. Individuals who suffer from anxiety and anxiety related disorders often seek treatment because the severity of their feelings begin to affect their everyday life. Ashwaghanda, with its calming, relaxing, and sedative effects may help treat and relieve anxiety without having to use a prescribed medication. In a study published in the August 2009 issue of the medical journal “PLoS One,” researchers found that ashwagandha was an effective and safe naturopathic option to help alleviate anxiety. During this study, participants with moderate to severe anxiety of longer than six weeks’ duration were given either naturopathic care consisting of dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multivitamin and 300 mg of ashwagandha or standardized psychotherapy intervention, which included psychotherapy, deep breathing relaxation techniques and a placebo over 12 weeks time. The participants who received naturopathic care including the ashwagandha supplement found significant improvements to their mental health, concentration, fatigue levels, social functioning, vitality, and overall quality of life compared to the participants who had psychotherapy and the placebo. In fact, on the Beck Anxiety Inventory form, those participants who consumed the ashwagandha decreased their scores more than 26 percent than those who just took the placebo. In another study published in…Click below for the full article.

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14 Responses to Is Ashwagandha Good For Anxiety & Depression? | LIVESTRONG.COM

  1. Kari says:

    I am excited to get my order of Ashwaganda in the mail! I will let you know how it works! Thanks for all of your helpful information Troy!

    • admin says:

      Yes. Let me know how it works for you!

      • soccer_dude says:


        Is there any way to get in touch with Troy? Are you reading these
        comments Troy? I tried Rhodiola, and it put me in a very bad place like
        Lexparo did to me. I’m nervous about trying Ashwaghanda, but I really
        want something to work that is safer than SSRI’s. I’m also using Dr.
        Wilson’s Adreanl Rebuilder, and I think the Ashwaghanda could be a
        good addition. How much Ashwaghanda did you take to get the relief
        you found? What time of day did you take it? Did you take a product
        containing just the root, or root and leaf? Also, there’s a “Sensoril” form
        of it that I guess is supposed to be better for Anxiety? Anyway, just trying
        to get a little more info about this product. I think my anxiety is also
        adrenal related. The day I was hit hard with Anxiety out of the blue, I
        think I had some overflow of adrenaline, then I had a bad panic attack
        and had major adrenaline rushes that gave me bad insomnia. I was tested low on
        Serotonin, but have been taking 5-htp for months. But it hasn’t really helped.
        So, I’m hoping the adrenal rebuilder and Ashwaghanda can make a difference.
        I do know that Ativan can help me, but I don’t want to be dependent on it.
        Thank you.

        • admin says:

          Feel free to email me at
          I tried Rhodiola and it seemed to make my anxiety worse. I buy my ashwagandha from and it is pure root. I have had unbelievable results as have others I know who have begun to take it. I know of one person who tried it who was on an anti-depressant and it made her symptoms worse and was attributed that the ashwagandha being effective and by taking the ant-depressant she was over medicating.

          I take 2 pills (900mg) in the morning and 2 in the evening. Magnesium is also something that should be considered as anxiety and adrenaline surges deplete magnesium stores (which can cause anxiety and turn into a viscous cycle.) I take about 800mg per day.

          In addition to my multivitamin I also take the following:
          Vitamin B Complex
          Eluthero Root (this also has a calming effect on the adrenal gland)
          GABA (Helps with sleep and anxiety)

          Make sure you talk to your doctor first but I would suggest trying the ashwagandha and magnesium and see how that works for you. The incidence of negative side effects are low. Women who are pregnant shouldn’t take it. If symptoms improve but you are still having problems you might want to try adding some of the other suggestions.

          I don’t know if this is applicable to you, but spontaneous anxiety episodes can be attributed to high protein intake. People who are taking protein drinks or shakes can begin to experience anxiety. Increasing magnesium intake is often suggested to remedy this.

          I am on no medication and my anxiety is gone. After having it for almost 40 years, that is a good thing to be able to say.

          If you have any other feel free to email me.

          Best wishes.

      • mikette2013 says:

        Hi Troy,

        I found your website after doing a search for the herb Ashwaganda that has been indicated for me by a Hindu Health Guru to cure Depression. I am at wits end . My doc says he can no longer help me if the Wellbutrin is not working great. He added Remeron or Trazadone for sleep. I am really happy to have found your inspiring website. OK, I note I should take this with Magnesium. I dont take many vit/min and I know my adrenal gland is shot cause I can feel it low due to so much stress and anxiety in my life for years. So Im ordering the Ashwaganda and Magnesium from Swansons . Do I need to be sure I have enough Calcium as well for the Magnesium to work? I do have a multi vit/min that has calcium/magnesium in it but in lesser degrees. And can I continue with the Wellbutrin with these herbs in your opinion only. There is nothing written in the Wellbutrin website about taking herbs. So I think it might be ok for now. Thank you so much for sharing your story as it is an inspiration for people who have lost all hope !

        • admin says:

          Hi Mikette,
          I’m happy you found the website helpful and inspirational. I would ask your doctor about taking Wellbutrin with the Ashwagndha but I haven’t heard of any reactions in anything I have read or reported back to me. I have had one person say that when taking Ashwagandha while on an anti-depressant they became more depressed because the ashwagandha lessened the need and they were over-medicating so just something to watch for. Is the Wellbutrin helping at all? If not then you might talk to your doctor about weening yourself off. I was on Wellbutrin for many years and it was just OK. It is a mild AD.

          As far as taking calcium and magnesium, magnesium helps calcium to stay soluble so it can be absorbed but you shouldn’t need to increase your calcium intake if you increase your magnesium intake. I take a multi with magnesium and I also take a 250 mg calcium in the morning and one before bed. As I stated in the website, anxiety depletes your magnesium and it is slow to recover so it takes some time and larger amounts to build your stores back up and get balanced again. I take about 700 mg per day. I also take Eluthero root which also has a calling effect on the adrenal gland. It’s along the same line as Ashwangandha.

          Sleep is another issue. I had horrible insomnia for years. I would fall asleep without a problem but I would wake up at 2:30 or 3:00 and couldn’t fall back asleep. My mind was racing and I would obsess over everything over and over. I was taking Xanex to sleep at night and stay asleep. I finally found somethings that worked very well for me and I am sleeping through the night. I began taking Reishi mushroom in the morning because it is supposed to help you sleep at night. This gave me great energy during the day and did help me sleep at night. I then began taking Melatonin (extra strength) as well as 5HTP and GABA. I now sleep through the night and if I do wake up, I can fall back asleep. I never obsess any more. I am 100% drug free.

          So, just to recap, in the morning I take Ashwagandha, High Potency multivitamin, vitamin D, Ashwagandha, Eluthero Root, Reishi mushroom, and 250 mg of Magnesium. At night I take Magnesium, melatonin, 5HTP, and GABA.

          This is what works for me. You will want to try to find what works for you. Do your research and talk to your doctor to make sure any current health conditions or other medications you are on won’t interact negatively with any of these supplements. I have been anxiety free for about 3 years now. Please feel free to contact me via email Let me know what is working and what isn’t. I wish the best of luck and ask that you don’t lose hope. The answer is out there, you just have to find it. I hope this helps you on your path to finding peace within yourself. If you just need to chat, feel free to email me.


  2. Fiona says:

    How much do you typically take?

  3. butterfly says:

    Great information!

    What brand of Ashwahganda have you found to be the best quality and effective?

    Did you begin at 900mg twice a day in the beginning, or more until you noticed it ‘kicking in?’

    Does it make a difference if you take it with food or not?

    Thanks for any tips as I’m doing my best to heal, as many of you too, may have found, on my own. My integrative doc helps with adrenal supps & bio-identical hormone creams but, I need more info and reassurance. (I’m sure moving last year and not meeting anyone here when this hit, 7 months totally bedridden, with a loving husband yet, that is gone to work 12-13 hrs a day–has not been good.). So, I’m very appreciative of any suggestions.

    I hope to be able to do the same for others once I heal.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Butterfly. I order my Ashwagandha from We have a local store here as well. They are about $4.99 and are very effective.
      I started with 900mg twice a day. I do know some women with mild anxiety who all they need is 900 in the morning.
      I usually take with food but I don’t that it makes a difference.
      I hope it helps. I wish you the best of luck and don’t give up. I felt like it many times but I am so glad I kept fighting. Please keep in touch and let me know how it works for you.

    • admin says:

      Butterfly, I read your profile and wow, you have been through an ordeal! Have you looked into Magnesium as well. I wrote more about this in the “heal your body” section Anxiety depletes your magnesium stores which can cause anxiety…which depletes your magnesium…you get the picture:-) I take about 900 of Magnesuim a day. I would also consider the book “Magnesium Miracle” it is in my link section. Magnesium helps carry electronic and hormonal messages. That could be a considerable help with your situation. Talk to your doctor to make sure it won’t interact with anything else you are on. It definitely helped me. I take a magnesium pill and also the magnesium spray. I also started taking a B-100 complex. If you are deficient it can cause anxiety. Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

  4. butterfly says:

    Oops, this may not sound sensible unless you read my profile on the site first. 🙂

  5. mikette2013 says:

    Thank you for getting back with me. I appreciate it.

    Yes, you are correct WB is a mild A DP. However it gives me some energy and focusing. I have low energy .
    As I am beginning all and wish to see the effect Ashwagandha has on my system, I am thinking to begin with taking one herb at a time as to know whats working or not.
    I see from your writings that at the beginning of your plight to well being, you did things differently from now, from trial and error I suppose.
    Even doctors say, try and see what works best for you.
    I do have a question, is Ashwagandha herb a stimulant or a relaxant? Meaning I would like to try one in the morning and one at night.
    I know little about this herb.
    (We know that Chamomile and Lemon Grass are calming and can be taken both morning for anxiety and night. )
    Thank you for your input.
    I am so happy that you are feeling well now. This is Great.
    my best,

    I am adding the magnesium because I feel I am lacking in any event. I do have a good multi. I just do not take regularly. Now I will.
    I ordered both from Swansons as suggested.
    I will order the Eluthero Root next. I wish some of these herbs were in ‘extracts’. so tired of taking pills.

    Yes, I forgot about Melatonin. I have a 3 or 5 mg formula here. And yes Gaba I heard is very calming.

  6. 3sillykidsnadog says:

    I have been suffering anxiety since October 2012 (at least that’s when I really started having trouble) I’m 43. I’ve had heart monitors, blood tests, breathing tests and my doctor always tells me “It’s anxiety.” I had started doing research on anxiety & it’s causes. I really do not believe my anxiety is really a “mental issue”. I found out I have mild asthma (breathing has been a MAJOR symptom with my anxiety). I have also just found out that my cortisol is high. So, my adrenal gland is messed up. I believe this is my whole problem! To just have anxiety show up out of the blue is a mystery to me! I’m a stay-at-home- mom but my stress level can be though the roof some days. I still have one more test for my cortisol that I have to do before the doctor does anything about it. I have a found a supplement called AdrenaSmart and along with Ashwagandha it also has Suma, Rhodiola rosea extract and Schisandra chinensis berry extract. I’ve asked my pharmacy and they said it looks like a good supplement. I had been taking 30mg Mirtazapine at bedtime but was experiencing really extreme fatigue. Dr switched to Wellbutrin as he thougt 30mg Mirtazapine may have been causing my brain fog. After 2 does of Wellbutrin I stopped because I just felt horrible!! I am now back on 15mg Mirtazapine & seem to doing okay. Have you heard of this supplement having bad effects when used with Mirtazapine?? This is the 1st website that I have found that really discusses anything about this herb. I just can’t seem to find any straight answers. My goal is to, hopefully, correct the issue with my adrenal gland and see if my anxiety goes away. I’d love to be “drug free” but until I can figure it out I do need the Mirtazapine. Thanks for any info and help you an provide!

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