Ashwagandha essential oil is a relatively lesser-known oil that is known to relieve stress and anxiety. Both these debilitating conditions affect nearly 55 and 18 percent of the American population respectively on average. As a result, many people suffer from frequent headaches, sporadic spurts in blood pressure, chest pain, body pain, heart palpitations, attention deficiency, and sleep loss. Ashwagandha essential oil for stress and anxiety is beneficial due to its sedative and relaxing properties, which makes it a popular choice for aromatherapy.
What is Ashwagandha Essential Oil?
Ashwagandha essential oil is extracted from the medicinal herb, ashwagandha, which is known for its natural healing powers. It is a very important herb in Ayurveda. In Sanskrit, ashwagandha literally means ‘smell of the horse’ that is associated with both a unique smell and an ability to enhance strength. The ashwagandha shrub (Withania somnifera) is a small shrub with yellow flowers that are mainly grown in India and North Africa. It is also referred to as Indian ginseng and has the same properties as that.
This oil is extracted from the roots of the shrub through a process known as steam distillation. Light-golden brown in color, ashwagandha oil is usually blended with another oil such as sesame oil, flaxseed oil, or white sandalwood oil as the smell of its fresh roots can be reminiscent of ‘horse sweat’, which may be too strong for many to withstand. You can buy the oil on t any online e-commerce platforms like Amazon or a drug store.
Ashwagandha Oil for Stress & Anxiety
There’s a lot of research available on ashwagandha, but not much on ashwagandha essential oil. However, traditionally people use it to manage their stress levels and anxiety. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this essential oil is potent and is used to reduce stress, improve sleep, boost cognitive functions, and relieve body pain. It is used in aromatherapy to calm anxiety and other nervous conditions. Anecdotal evidence also shows that the oil works as an antidepressant and helps lift the spirits.
In Ayurveda, it is known for its vata constitution, which is associated with air and space. This vata constitution balances the overall energy in the body and contributes to sound cognitive abilities and an efficient nervous system. However more scientific evidence is required to corroborate this.
The other benefits of ashwagandha oil are:
- Skincare: Ashwagandha oil is used to improve and prevent skin conditions due to its astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Massaging the skin with this oil may help maintain soft, supple, and youthful skin and protect against any bacterial infection. Topical usage with a carrier oil can help with that.
- Boosts Immunity: Ashwagandha oil may also help boost immunity as it has potent antioxidant properties that protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, its antiseptic and antibacterial properties further prevent infections of any kind.
- Prevents Body Pain: It is common for people with anxiety to experience aches and pains throughout their bodies. A blend of ashwagandha oil with either one or more oils can help significantly reduce muscular and neuropathic pain.
How To Use Ashwagandha Oil?
Ashwagandha oil is mostly used in aromatherapy to calm the nerves and make you feel energized. It is used for massaging the joints and the parts of the body that are experiencing pain. You can use a few drops, diluted with a carrier oil, which can then be topically applied to reduce inflammation and pain in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, sores, and bacterial or fungal skin infections. However, ensure you do a patch test on your arm to avoid any kind of skin reaction.
Word of caution: While ashwagandha essential oil is thought to be relatively safe to use, it is advisable to consult a doctor before using it. Sometimes it may cause a burning sensation or rash, especially among those who have sensitive skin. Even those who don’t, it is best to dilute it by blending it with a carrier oil. This will also help temper the sharp smell. Also, you should exercise caution before using this oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding because there isn’t any research available to definitively tell if it’s safe or not.