In this article, we will be exploring what is better for your anxious mind: kava or ashwagandha? But first what is anxiety?
Anxiety: A Story of “Ifs” and “Maybe”
It isn’t fear but it sure feels like it. At times, it’s crippling and at times, it is not. “What if” & “maybe” reign the brain all the time, in an endless loop.
Anxiety makes us feel all kinds of things and not in a pleasant way. It has been with us since the beginning of human existence.
Over 264 million people suffer from some form of anxiety. Out of these, 63 % are women. It is one of the most common mental disorders in the USA, affecting 40 million.
To alleviate anxiety, humanity has come up with many solutions. In the Roman empire, the Stoics suggested detachment, logic, journaling, and self-reflection. These methods have been time-tested and continue to form the treatment and management process for anxiety.
Beyond cognitive and creative approaches, pharmacological and alternative healing methods have existed too because there’s no one way to deal with anxiety.
In the modern world, one of the most popular paths to find relief from anxiety is a natural and alternative solution. It includes herbal solutions such as CBD, Kava, Ashwagandha, and more.
As already mentioned, we will be focusing primarily on Kava and Ashwagandha. Why are they so popular for managing anxiety? Let’s find out.
Kava, also called piper methysticum, dates back to South Pacific Islanders. Traditionally used for ceremonial, recreational, and medicinal uses.
Kava’s medical use has been widely studied. It is used as a neuromuscular restorative herb, that is, for calming the nerves, relieving headache, inducing relaxation, counteracting weakness or fatigue.
Kava is a highly reliable anti-anxiety and neuroprotective herb. What makes kava so effective? A chemical compound is called kavalactones.
Ashwagandha, on the other hand, is a herb that belongs to the ancient Indian holistic wellness system called Ayurveda.
Ashwagandha, also called Withania somnifera and the “Indian Winter Cherry”, has been used as a solution for overall health.
Scientifically, Ashwagandha has proven to be effective in increasing physical endurance and preventing stress-induced gastric ulcers.
Sitoindosides and acyl steryl glucosides, the two chemical compounds which make Ashwagandha an anti-stress agent.
Which One’s Better: Kava or Ashwagandha?
Here’s a quick review of the benefits that each herb offers. Post revealing these benefits, we’ll try and answer the question- what is better for your anxious mind: kava or ashwagandha?
- Helps relieve situational anxiety and even clinical conditions of anxiety such as a generalized anxiety disorder.
- Improves sleep and helps in overall health.
- It is a great social drink, often seen as a replacement for alcohol.
- It is affordable and accessible.
- Helps in improving physical endurance.
- Improves sleep quality.
- By lowering down the cortisol levels, it helps in the reduction of severe anxiety.
- Boosts fertility among men.
From the anxiety standpoint- kava has more leverage.
A quick search on any science journal reveals that kava continues to be studied for its positive impact on the treatment of anxiety.
On the other hand, ashwagandha has a strong base to improve the body’s physical strength and lowering of cortisol levels, that is, help relieve stress.
They may sound the same but there is a small difference. You may think, well, stress and anxiety are the same but that’s not true.
Anxiety Vs Stress
Anxiety and stress more or less produce similar bodily responses- sweating, fidgeting, irritability, anger, worry, difficulty concentrating, and sleeping.
What marks the difference between the two is anxiety’s persistent nature even in the absence of a stressor. Remember the “what if” and “maybe”.
Anxiety gives birth to imagined scenarios that induce fear. The cause of the fear is not real unlike in stressful situations.
For instance, an exam! It can cause both stress and anxiety, a double whammy. The stress here could be a result of the whole environment. Some people find it stressful to sit in an examination hall and write.
On the other hand, anxiety in an examination hall may be a result of doubts and fear such as “what if my ink gets over in the middle? What if I fail? What will my parents think of me? I’ll be a loser forever, nobody will respect me, OMG I am gonna die alone!”
Make The Right Choice
The above differentiation is a way to help you make the right choice for yourself.
For anxiety, kava has a long history and strong clinical evidence. Plus it has taken over many countries like the USA as a social drink, helping people relax and enjoy a fun evening with their friends and family.
Therefore, kava is a better choice than ashwagandha. However, this does not make the latter any less potent in improving your overall health.
In your journey of making the right choice, Ozia is here for you. We have a range of solutions for you.
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Anxiety stats in the U.S. (2020, May 6). The Checkup. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/anxiety-statistics/#worldwide-anxiety-statistics
Facts, W. H. (2020, March 23). How Did the Ancients Deal with Anxiety? Medium. https://medium.com/invisible-illness/how-did-the-ancients-deal-with-anxiety-f1bbe4b4ea58
Signs and Symptoms of Situational Anxiety: Secret Natural Remedies Awaits. (2021, August 13). Ozia Originals. https://oziaoriginals.com/situational-anxiety-natural-remedies/
Singh, N., Bhalla, M., De Jager, P., & Gilca, M. (2011). An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 8(5S). https://doi.org/10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5s.9