There exist complexities and intricacies with all mental health conditions. Each has its own set of complications and difficult side effects.
However, for those dealing with schizophrenia, those daily complications can be so overwhelming that it may feel like daily life is an insurmountable challenge. Those undergoing this struggle may turn to natural treatment options and that’s where ashwagandha for schizophrenia may help!
What is Ashwagandha?
Simply put, ashwagandha is a naturally occurring shrub that typically grows in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Ashwagandha can go by many names including Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, and winter cherry. ¹
Its utilization in herbal medicine dates back to tribal medicine uses in ancient India. Traditional uses were for inflammation and application against certain cancers. ²
How Does Ashwagandha Affect the Brain and Body?
Among the ancient benefits that ashwagandha provides, it may also possess these qualities:
- Reducing cortisol band blood sugar levels
- Helping in easing stress and anxiety
- Assisting in depressive-related symptoms
- Improving overall brain functionality
The last benefit listed here has many today feeling that ashwagandha for schizophrenia may be a beneficial treatment option. ³
Can You Use Ashwagandha for Schizophrenia?
Due to the belief that ashwagandha has an effect on the brain structure and its functionality, there is hope that the natural ingredient could provide some relief for those with schizophrenia. Through ashwaganda therapy, you may be able to dampen symptoms.
Ashwagandha has been shown to have an adaptogen, a hormone that helps the body adapt to stress by creating a normalizing effect in the brain to normalize bodily responses. This adaptogen response could explain how ashwagandha has stress and anxiety relief properties.
Furthermore, this adaptogen can explain how ashwagandha interacts with the brain and assist with the responses to mental health disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Adaptogens are reported to lower cortisol, a hormone that develops through stress. ⁴
What Does the Research Say?
While all of those benefits sound wonderful and conducive to treatment, what really matters is to find out if the research backs up these touted benefits.
Upon review of the research done on ashwagandha’s impact on mental health disorders, the results were insightful. There have been peer review studies, trials, and research into not only the medical and mental health benefits of ashwagandha but also in the underlying functionality of ashwagandha and how it interacts with the brain.
It has been shown that ashwagandha interacts with the brain’s internal structures, particularly on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis which elicits a modulating or calming effect in response to stress. This clinical trial also reported that its participants had lower cortisol levels and males showed higher testosterone levels. A decrease in cortisol understandably explains ashwagandha’s stress-relieving claims. ⁵
As for the benefits of ashwagandha for schizophrenia, studies have shown promise. One such trial implemented a dosage of ashwagandha to try and manage symptom exacerbation. What they found was that the natural ingredient administered over a period of 12 weeks provided a reduction of negative symptoms and made adverse events milder than originally described. ⁶
Ashwagandha’s depressive and anxiety response reduction was tested in schizophrenia patients that expressed higher levels of anxiety and depressive-related symptoms. In another 12-week clinical study, 66 participants reported having a reduction in depressive-related thoughts and anxiety.
The trial concluded with the belief that ashwagandha serves as a safe and promising treatment for anxiety. It may have use as an additional natural treatment alongside traditional medications. ⁷
Ashwagandha for Schizophrenia Dosage Recommendation
As for getting the proper dosing of ashwagandha for schizophrenia, there isn’t one clear dosage recommendation. The trials that we have previously touched upon utilized a 1000 mg dose of standardized ashwagandha extract in capsule form. ⁸
For generalized anxiety and insomnia, it has been shown that 200mg taken twice daily gives promising results such as better sleep and reduced anxious thinking.
Ashwagandha Safety and Side Effects
Although there have been promising results from ashwagandha on mental health disorders and against the exacerbation of symptoms, it’s important to be aware of the side effects and safety concerns that this natural supplement may cause.
We have compiled a list of the most common side effects and concerns while taking ashwagandha. However, it is always best to consult a medical professional on any and all medications to ensure that it’s right for you. ⁹
The most common side effects are:
- Stomach irritation
Long-term concerns for ashwagandha are:
- Extreme or prolonged fatigue, especially when mixed with other medications
- Pregnancy complications
- Interfering with meds, especially in males dealing with cancer
Ashwagandha for Schizophrenia Review
While it’s important to get the dosing of ashwagandha right, it’s also imperative that one gets their natural ingredients and supplements from trusted safe, and reputable distributors. There are many to choose from, however, we have created a list of trusted companies to help guide our readers to find what they need.
Gaia Herbs has been in the business of connecting people, plants, and the planet to create healing since 1987. The company ensures that its products are organic, sustainable, and intentionally made. Each contains a HerbID which allows you to trace how that specific herb was cultivated.
Gaia Herbs offers the following products that contain ashwagandha, most of which are in capsule form:
- A positive boost to mood and stress. Beneficial for Anxiety & ADHD as well.
- Dairy, Gluten, Peanut, and Tree Nut Free
- Subscription to Company’s Newsletter Saves 20% Off First Order, Subscribing to Regimine Ordering System Saves You an Additional 10%
- Free Shipping Only Applies For Orders $49.99 and Over
Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha Root Extract Capsules is a supplement that contains ground root extract of ashwagandha. Each capsule is a 350 mg dose which is to be taken twice daily.
Gaia Herbs provide either a 60 count or a 120 count, which is a 30-day or 60-day supply respectively.
Bulk Supplements is an online retailer known to provide its products in bulk varieties in pouches. Their products are sustainably sourced and made from 500 harvested plants and ingredients. The retailer is FDA-registered and inspected regularly for purity and sustainability.
For ashwagandha, Bulk Supplements provide the following available products:
Price: $12.96 – 161.96 USD
- Promotes healthy mood and concentration as well as boosting energy, strength, and athletic endurance
- Works to benefit overall health
- Dairy, Gluten, Peanut, and Tree Nut Free
- Free Shipping only on orders over $59.99
- Free Shipping Applies For The Contiguous United States Only
Ashwagandha extract powder is sourced from the ashwagandha root in dried powder form. The sizes of the extract powder are from 3.5 ounces to 55 pounds. The powder is supposed to be dispersed in serving sizes 455 milligrams into plain water or teas and to be taken once to three times daily.
NOW Supplements is one of the largest and most recognized supplement manufacturers and distributors. They create supplements containing all-natural as well as sustainably sourced ingredients. They’re a family-owned company that creates affordably priced products for everyone can take.
For ashwagandha, NOW Supplements provides the following options:
- Made with Natural Ashwagandha Root Extract
- Provides Immune System Support
- Dairy, Gluten, Peanut, and Tree Nut Free. Halal & Kosher Friendly Manufacturing Processes
- Free Shipping Only Applies For Orders $49.99 and Over
- No Free Shipping Option to Hawaii
Ashwagandha Veg Capsules is a NOW Supplements ashwagandha product that contains ground ashwagandha root in vegetable-based capsules. They provide a 90-day or 120 days supply at one capsule taken daily. The daily dose is 450 milligrams of ashwagandha root extract.
Understandably, schizophrenia can be a complicated and overwhelming mental health disorder. It can tear apart the consistency of day-to-day life.
However, the exacerbation of symptoms can be controlled. The brilliance of living in the times that we are in today is that there is a ton of research going on into how the mind works, how mental disorders function within the brain, and how modern medicine, as well as healthy nature-based ingredients, can assist.
Those that are suffering should obviously reach out to mental health and medical professionals to try and get the diagnosis but there is hope in utilizing natural alternatives, like ashwagandha for schizophrenia, in order to find some relief. With the expansion of the use of natural alternatives, we can hopefully start to see some more paths to understanding their conditions and treating them.
Do you still have questions about ashwagandha for schizophrenia?
We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any further knowledge on the topic to offer – whether personal or professional – we’d also love to hear from you.
¹ Cleveland Clinic: What Is Ashwagandha for Schizophrenia
² Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: Ashwagandha – Purported Benefits, Side Effects & More
³ Prevention Health Magazine: Benefits of Ashwagandha
⁴ National Institute of Health: Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults
⁵ National Institute of Health – Center for Biotechnical Information: Stress-relieving and Pharmacological actions of Ashwagandha Extract
⁶ National Institute of Health – Center for Biotechnical Information: Adjunctive Use of a Standardized Extract of Ashwagandha to Treat Symptom Exacerbation in Schizophrenia
⁷ National Institute of Health – Center for Biotechnical Information: An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of Human Trial Results Reported for the Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha
⁸ US Library of Medicine – Clinical Trials: Ashwagandha for Persistent Symptoms in People With Schizophrenia