Holistic Health Tips For The Coronavirus Times

Preventative Tips on Staying Healthy

There is so much frenzy going on regarding the cornonavirus. I won’t belabor what is wrong.

So with that said, I felt I wanted to share with you MY tips to keep yourself healthy and boost your immune system. We forget that our bodies are designed to heal themselves. What I want to propose are ways to help strengthen your mind, body, and spirit during this crisis.

First, outside the basics of what is already flooded everywhere on the internet and social media such as good hand washing, minimize social contact, stay home if sick etc, there is more. I will NOT go into all that, but instead I will go into the OTHER stuff that sometimes is not addressed in the mainstream.

Are you ready for some of my home remedy tips?

Before we start, I would like to say, I do NOT do all of these at once. I pause. I listen to my body for what it needs intimately. Over the years in healing myself and my body, I have learned the power of building a relationship with my body and know what various emotional triggers, sensations, pains etc represent to me.

I encourage you to build a relationship with your body as it knows best what it needs. The body carries within it, infinite wisdom for your healing needs.

With that said, I will usually do a combination of these based on what I feel my body needs at that time. In this post I will address:

  • The herbal and vitamin tips
  • Things to increase
  • Eat more …
  • Things to avoid
  • and final thoughts

Here are my general recommendations:

The Herbal and Vitamin Tips

  • Elderberry: Elderberries have been used traditionally, and in some observational and clinical studies, as supportive agents against the common cold and influenza. (NCBI)
  • Turmeric (click here) has long been recognized for its medicinal properties. It aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. (NCBI). My favorite way of taking this is: turmeric root shaved 1 tsp (if only have access to spice powder then substitute), dash of cracked pepper in 6-8oz of hot water. Seep for 5min. Drink all. This is a chemical thing. Personally. I have found this combo work as effectively as other anti-inflammatories without the added side effects of liver and/or kidney damage. Click here for other top 10 evidence based benefits.
  • Vitamin D and Vitamin K2: Vitamin D has important roles in addition to its classic effects on calcium and bone homeostasis as well as immunity. I personally take 6000 IU of Vitamin D3 with added K2. Vitamins D and K are both fat-soluble vitamins and play a central role in calcium metabolism. Studies suggest that optimal concentrations of both vitamin D and vitamin K are beneficial for bone and cardiovascular health.  (NCBI)
  • Zinc and vitamin C: Supplementation of vitamin C was found to improve components of the human immune system such as antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities, lymphocyte proliferation, chemotaxis, and delayed-type hypersensitivity (PubMed). Likewise, zinc also plays a role in immune function.
  • Probiotics: A prospective study of probiotic supplementation results in immune stimulation and improvement of upper respiratory infection rate (NCBI). Considering the coronavirus attacks the lungs, this might be something very easily dismissed in its role by the mainstream. We forget that gut health is paramount for overall health.
  • Honey: Honey clasps several medicinal and health effects as a natural food supplement. It has been established as a potential therapeutic antioxidant agent for various biodiverse ailments. Studies show it exhibits strong wound healing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, and antidiabetic effects. It also retains immunomodulatory, estrogenic regulatory, antimutagenic, anticancer, and numerous other vigor effects. Research also shows that honey, as a conventional therapy, might be a novel antioxidant to abate many of the diseases directly or indirectly associated with oxidative stress (PMC). Personally, I choose raw organic unfiltered honey that is local or manuka honey for therapeutic treatment. Manuka honey has shown it kills bacterial pathogens.
  • EZC Pak –  This is a physician directed tapered immune support pack with high concentrations of organic Echinacea, Zinc, and Vitamin C.  EZC Pak (click here) is one of the main things I personally took  (on top of the other recommendations above) in December 2019 with some odd virus that was unlike anything I have ever had after travelling abroad in the fall. It was so odd, I actually researched “international diseases” for travelers aka warnings etc.  Was it COVID19 I had? … I am not 100% sure, but my symptoms matched it perfectly, and I am sure this is also was killed my beloved Ava

Things to Increase:

Rest & Sleep:

Have you noticed that when you do not get enough sleep, you are prone to getting sick? Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone. It may also lead to more inflammation in your body.

Most of our body’s ability to repair itself happens when we are at rest. So ensuring we get enough rest is important. Also, increasing the dosage of sleep might be needed as forecast moving through the energies of 2020.

One new study has explained how sleep contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system (Medical News Today).


Meditation boosts antibodies. A recent study confirmed that, after being given weekly meditation training for 8 weeks, 48 biotech workers had significantly higher levels of antibodies than the control group.

Meditation stimulates immune system brain-function regions. Mindfulness meditation has shown increases in electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex, the right anterior insula, and right hippocampus, all parts that control positive emotions, awareness, and anxiety. These are also the areas of the brain that act as a command center for your immune system. When stimulated, they make the immune system function more effectively (The Chopra Center)

DON’T KNOW HOW OR STRUGGLE: Practice being present and try some mindful breathing or go into nature and UNPLUG from your devises. Sometimes 5-10 min a day is all the body needs.


Reiki is a Japanese complementary alternative mind body medicine therapy that works with the human body’s bioenergy field.

Our bodies are designed and fully equipped to heal themselves, but many of are so use to looking for external solutions, we may have forgotten. Reiki taps into those innate healing abilities. By doing to, it can also promote the body’s natural immune response.

Jikiden Reiki practitioners, for instance, are trained to sense levels of toxins present in the physical body. Reiki is then used to intensively promote detoxification and a return to the body’s normal homeostasis. When minor sicknesses, such as coughs and colds are being treated, they will typically move through the body much faster than usual.


Yoga is a mind and body practice with a 5,000-year history in ancient Indian philosophy. Various styles of yoga combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. (Medical News Today)

Research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine suggests that yoga can be helpful way to boost your immune system and decrease inflammation in the body. (Psychology Today)


There is growing body of research indicates massage therapy can benefit the immune system. Researchers have reported people who undergo massage experience measurable changes in their body’s immune and endocrine response. (Science Daily)

Thai Chi, Exercise, etc

With age, our immune systems become less nimble and not quite as ruthless. The number of T cells drop. The B cells also start to wind down, making fewer antibodies that respond to outside intruders and more errant ones that turn on the body itself.

Small studies have yielded some evidence that exercise seems to re-energize the immune system (Harvard Medical School)

Tai chi might have a strong effect on the immune system because it manages to bring exercise, relaxation, and meditation together in “one behavioral intervention,” the researchers said. They theorized that tai chi enhances T cell activity by quieting the nervous system’s “fight or flight” response, which can, in certain circumstances, interfere with the immune system. (Harvard Medical School)

Shin Rin Yoku

This is a Japanese term otherwise known as “forest bathing”. Current literature supports the comprehensive health benefits of exposure to nature and green environments on human systems on something that has been incorporated as part of the Shinto culture in Japan to decrease undue stress, potential burnout and “technostress.” (NCBI)

Studies have also found that “forest bathing” has “positive physiological effects, such as blood pressure reduction, improvement of autonomic and immune functions, as well as psychological effects of alleviating depression and improving mental health” (NCBI).

congerdesign / Pixabay

Eat more …

  • leafy greens such as spinach and kale,
  • bone broth is the secret ingredient in our mother’s chicken soup with all sorts of yummies for our immune health,
  • seaweed ( I like sneaking it in soups),
  • organic “berries” such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  • fresh rosemary,
  • holy basil,
  • fresh parsley,
  • ginger root – in teas, soups, dishes,
  • raw garlic has been shown to help fight viruses and bacteria. I eat this generously on the daily whether on toast or in dishes. It is one of my favorite go to foods.

… Things to Avoid …

Stress – Avoid or Minimize

Stress or at least work towards minimizing and taking steps to release stress when necessary. When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. Check out Stress, Illness and the Immune System.

WHAT TO DO: You can try CBD to help cope with stress which targets the endocannabinoid system.

Some studies suggest that cannabinoids like THC and CBD are immunosuppressant, which can explain the relief experienced by medical cannabis users with autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation. Other studies have shown that regular cannabis use can increase white blood cell counts in immunodeficiency disorders such as HIV, suggesting an immune-boosting effect.

You can also try taking Ashwagandha if you feel you need added support for your stress which supports adrenal type stress. This is one of my personal go to adaptogenic herbs that have helped me and others I know with underlying causes for stress such as PTSD. You can read here “Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness”.

Processed Foods: Avoid or Minimize

Research shows that dietary habits influence disease risk. Poor diet quality is implicated in almost every disease and health issue.  Processed foods harm your gut bacteria and promote insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and overall disease risk (NCBI).

WHAT TO DO: Research indicates that diets abundant in plant foods and low in processed products strengthen your health (Healthline). Choose whole grains and things that do NOT come in a box.

Alcohol: Avoid or Minimize

Clinicians have long observed an association between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia and more recently to a greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and certain cancers; a higher incidence of postoperative complications; and slower and less complete recovery from infection and physical trauma, including poor wound healing (NCBI).

Alcohol can cause dehydration and lower immune system function, which may worsen cold symptoms as well as adversely affect other cold and flu medications. Therefore, reducing alcohol consumption would be a wise move at this moment unless you are a hot toddy type of person.

EXCEPTION: Some suggest the warm beverage’s ingredients of a hot toddy are known to alleviate cold symptoms. Whiskey, specifically, also contains the antioxidant ellagic acid, which studies suggest may help treat viral and bacterial infections (Fatherly)

Processed Sugar: Avoid or Minimize

A high-sugar diet (HSD) induces Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity, which severely threaten human health including immune response. (PubMed). Eating or drinking too much processed sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria.

WHAT TO DO: When it comes to viral infections, eat healthier forms of sugars found in fruits, vegetables, and honey (as mentioned above), which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Go for a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots (WebMD)

Dairy: Avoid or Minimize

Dairy is a known inflammatory food and gut disruptor that can aggravate health conditions, such as: eczema, asthma, acne, mood disorders, autism, many autoimmune conditions, especially type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and more.

ALTERNATIVES: Healthier options include goat milk, flax seed milk, hemp milk. If you MUST do the dairy thing, I suggest things like yogurt and butter are generally ok, but avoid milk, cheese, ice cream.

… Finally,

What I have provided here is just a guide. There are so many other alternative and complimentary therapies that would be beneficial. I just wrote about what is in my filters of knowledge and expertise backed by research and other credible information.

I would sincerely like to know if what you found here was helpful to you during these crazy frenzied times we are currently in.

I was told my my wise Osteopathic physician father who has been practicing medicine for over 40+ years tell me, prevention is the best medicine.

Prevention includes making life style changes as well because a pill, an herb, a treatment session is still just a band aid in many situations if you do not correct the underlying culprit.

And as I stated earlier, this is a BIG year energetically where we are being called to do the needed inner spiritual work.

Spiritual bypassing will no longer be an acceptable route to take moving forward. If you missed my 2020 energetic forecast earlier this year, you can click here for the full post including tips to help you navigate these energies.

If you are unsure as to what works and doesn’t work for you, book an integrative holistic health appointment with me today.

Thank you for supporting me and my work

With appreciation,


Spiritual Medium, Healer, Speaker, Writer, Metaphysician, Advocate, Holistic Health Practitioner, Facilitator, Trauma Specialist, Empowerment Specialist and Spiritual Badass.

For more information about classes, click here and our events calendar, click here.

To book a private session, click here.


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Please note that content on this website is intended for informational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, not is it meant to diagnose or treat a health problem, symptom or disease. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website. Information provided on this website DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and any doctor affiliated with our website.


6 Foods That Cause Inflammation; Healthline; Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE on November 12, 2019

10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin; Healthline; Kris Gunnars, BSc; July 13, 2018

A comparative study of the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) on working age people with and without depressive tendencies; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Akemi Furuyashiki, Keiji Tabuchi, Kensuke Norikoshi, Toshio Kobayashi, and Sanae Oriyama; June 22, 2019

Adults demonstrate modified immune response after receiving massage, researchers show; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Science Daily; September 9, 2010.

Alcohol and the Immune System; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Dipak Sarkar, Ph.D., D.Phil., M. Katherine Jung, Ph.D., and H. Joe Wang, Ph.D. ; 2015

A high-sugar diet affects cellular and humoral immune responses in Drosophila; PubMed; 2018 Jul 15;368(2):215-224. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2018.04.032. Epub 2018 May 1.

Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Davidson RJ, Kabat-Zinn J, Schumacher J, Rosenkranz M, Muller D, Santorelli SF, Urbanowski F, Harrington A, Bonus K, Sheridan JF. ; 2003

A nutrition strategy to reduce the burden of diet related disease: access to dietician services must complement population health approaches; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Leonie Segal and Rachelle S. Opie; 2015

Biofield Science and Healing: An Emerging Frontier in Medicine; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Shamini Jain, PhD, John Ives, PhD, Wayne Jonas, MD, Richard Hammerschlag, PhD, David Muehsam, PhD, Cassandra Vieten, PhD, Daniel Vicario, MD, Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, Rauni Pritten King, RN, MIH, CHTPI, and Erminia Guarneri, MD, FACC; 2015

Can Food Act as Medicine? All You Need to Know; Healthline; Jillian Kubala, MS, RD on August 8, 2019

Cannabinoid-induced apoptosis in immune cells as a pathway to immunosuppression; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Sadiye Amcaoglu Rieder, Ashok Chauhan, Ugra Singh, Mitzi Nagarkatti, and Prakash Nagarkatti; 2010

Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Susan J. Hewlings and Douglas S. Kalman; 2017 Oct 22

Dairy: one of the biggest immune system stressors; Darou Wellness; Dr. Shawna Darou, ND;

Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Evelin Tiralongo, Shirley S. Wee, and Rodney A. Lea ; 2016 Mar 24

Honey as a Potential Natural Antioxidant Medicine: An Insight into Its Molecular Mechanisms of Action; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Sarfraz Ahmed, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Atif Amin Baig, Muhammad Ibrahim, Sana Liaqat, Saira Fatima, Sadia Jabeen, Nighat Shamim, and Nor Hayati Othman; January 18, 2018

How does yoga work?; Medical News Today; Hannah Nichols; September 25, 2018

How Meditation Helps Your Immune System Do its Job; The Chopra Center;  Deepak Chopra, M.D 1/14/15

How sleep can boost your body’s immune response; Medical News Today; Maria Cohut, Ph.D; February 13, 2019

Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions; PubMed; Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH. ; 2006

In Brief: Tai chi gives immune system a boost; Harvard Medical School; Harvard University Publications; 2007

Is a Hot Toddy Really Good for a Cold? Doctors Explain; Fatherly; Lauren Vinopal;  Nov 11 2018

Jikiden Reiki® Services; Healing With Spirit

Modulation of Gut-Specific Mechanisms by Chronic Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Administration in Male Rhesus Macaques Infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus: A Systems Biology Analysis; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Patricia E. Molina, Angela M. Amedee, Nicole J. LeCapitaine, Jovanny Zabaleta, Mahesh Mohan, Peter J. Winsauer, Curtis Vande Stouwe, Robin R. McGoey, Matthew W. Auten, Lynn LaMotte, Lawrance C. Chandra, and Leslie L. Birke; 2014

New Research On How Yoga Boosts Your Immune System; Psychology Today; Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D.; February 22, 2018

Prospective study of probiotic supplementation results in immune stimulation and improvement of upper respiratory infection rate; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Hong Zhang, Chiajung Yeh, Zonglian Jin, Liwei Ding, Bryan Y. Liu, Li Zhang, and H. Kathleen Dannelly; June 2018

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Nature Therapy: A State-of-the-Art Review; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Margaret M. Hansen, Reo Jones, and Kirsten Tocchini; 2017

Stress, Illness and the Immune System; Simply Psychology; Saul McLeod updated 2010

Therapeutic Manuka Honey: No Longer So Alternative; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Dee A. Carter, Shona E. Blair, Nural N. Cokcetin, Daniel Bouzo, Peter Brooks, Ralf Schothauer, and Elizabeth J. Harry; April 20, 2016

The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Adriana J. van Ballegooijen, Stefan Pilz, Andreas Tomaschitz,  Martin R. Grübler, and Nicolas Verheyen; September 12, 2017

Three Lessons 2019 Taught Us, Three Things To Know About Navigating the 2020 Energies, & What It All Means; Healing With Spirit; Laura Joseph; January 3, 2020

Vitamin D and the Immune System; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Cynthia Aranow, MD, Investigator ; 2012 Aug 1

Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness; Healing With Spirit; Laura Joseph; November 28, 2018

© 2020 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

Why Ashwagandha Root Could Be The Cure For The Western Epidemic of Stress Related Illness

I have decided to post about this important herb as a resource for our growing community searching for healthy alternatives.  Over recent years, I have seen how well it works for so many especially those with diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, addictions, and sleep issues that have astounded me.

I began talking to others and exploring success ratios to my astonishment, which led me to begin working with many practitioners in the traditional broken American healthcare system educating them regarding my experiences personally and professionally. I am pleased to see some doctors, nurse practitioners and psychiatrists/licensed mental health prescribers beginning to consider this herb as a viable alternative to barbiturates, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, or other drugs such as the gabapentin.

As a matter of fact, I was recently diagnosed with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, and I had stopped taking the Ashwagandha root personally too. As a result, I have decided as part of my own personal treatment plan to start taking this again (including my daily meditation, thyroid anti-inflammatory diet, jikiden reiki practice, and mindfulness as well as increasing my daily Vitamin D3 to attain a more optimum level).

So, here is more information compiled from some trusted sources (listed below) for you regarding this amazing herb.

Disclaimer: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions.


What is it?

Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used in India for nearly 5,000 years for a wide variety of conditions.  One of the best known is its use as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps you manage emotional and physical stress.

The name Ashwagandha is from the Sanskrit language and is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like.”

In Ayurvedic, Indian, and Unani medicine, ashwagandha is described as “Indian ginseng.” Ashwagandha is also used in traditional African medicine for a variety of ailments.  Don’t confuse ashwagandha with Physalis alkekengi. Both are known as winter cherry.

A member of the Solanaceae family, or nightshade family, ashwagandha is related botanically to potatoes, pepper, and tomatoes.

Why Use Ashwagandha?

Do any of these common symptoms sound familiar?

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor memory
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low libido
  • Frequent illness
  • Anxiety
  • Low endurance (mentally or physically)
  • Joint pain
  • Neurological condition

The use of ashwagandha can help alleviate these symptoms and support an energetic and rejuvenating sense of well-being.

Ashwagandha as an Adaptogenic Herb

In Ayurveda, there are specific herbs with adaptogenic benefits—ashwagandha is one of them.

Adaptogens are substances (a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs) that modulate your response to stress or a changing environment. Adaptogens help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

One of the attributes of ashwagandha is its ability to induce calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the stress hormone cortisol.

Research has shown that consuming ashwagandha may not only reduce cortisol levels but also, as an adaptagen, can “substantially” reduce chronic stress to help your body adapt to and alleviate the stomach-churning anxiety stress can cause. (Mercola)

Research indicates there’s a likelihood that ashwagandha may be useful for helping patients in opioid withdrawal as well as reducing or eliminating dependence on benzodiazapene drugs such as Xanax and Valium.


Benefits of Ashwangdha

Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), glutathione (powerful antioxidant), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of sugars.

While the leaves and fruit have valuable therapeutic properties, the root of the ashwagandha plant is the part most commonly used in Western herbal remedies.

Medical researchers have been studying ashwagandha for years with great interest and have completed more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical.

Animal studies have found constituents of the herb, including alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and saponins, to reduce inflammation and calm the nervous system.

Ashwagandha, today, is used for arthritis, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), balance, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic liver disease. It is also used to reduce side effects of medications used to treat cancer and schizophrenia. Ashwagandha is used to reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood.

Ashwagandha is known to help people strengthen their immune system after illness, chemotherapy, or surgery. It is a highly effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety and stress—by lowering cortisol levels and mimicking the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

Some people also use ashwagandha for improving thinking ability, decreasing pain and swelling (inflammation), fertility problems in men and women and also to increase sexual desire.

Ashwagandha is applied to the skin for treating wounds, backache, and one-sided paralysis (hemiplegia).

Some key examples of the healing effects of Ashwagandha are:

  • Protects the immune system
  • Helps combat the effects of stress
  • Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
  • Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
  • Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Offers anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits
  • Contains anti-malarial properties
  • Enhances sexual potency for both men and women
  • May be an effective anti-tumor agent
  • Promotes new nerve growth


How does it work?

(Per WebMD)

Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling (inflammation), lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system.

Stress.Taking a specific ashwagandha root extract (KSM66, Ixoreal Biomed) 300 mg twice daily after food for 60 days appears to improve symptoms of stress.

Reducing side effects associated with medications called antipsychotics. Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia but they can cause levels of fat and sugar in the blood to increase. Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Cap Strelaxin, M/s Pharmanza Herbal Pvt. Ltd., Gujarat, India) 400 mg three times daily for one month might reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood in people using these medications.

Anxiety. Some clinical research shows that taking ashwagandha can reduce some symptoms of anxiety.

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Some clinical research shows that a combination herbal product containing ashwagandha may improve attention and impulse control in children with ADHD. The effect of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Bipolar disorder.Taking a specific ashwagandha extract (Sensoril, Natreon, Inc., New Bruswick, New Jersey) for 8 weeks might improve brain function in people being treated for bipolar disorder.

A brain condition called cerebellar ataxia.Preliminary research shows that ashwagandha in combination with an alternative form of medicine known as Ayurvedic therapy might improve balance in people with cerebellar ataxia.

Fatigue in people treated for cancer (chemotherapy).Early research suggests taking a specific ashwagandha extract 2,000 mg (Himalaya Drug Co, New Delhi, India) during chemotherapy treatment might reduce tiredness.

Diabetes. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

High cholesterol.There is some evidence that ashwagandha might reduce cholesterol levels in patients with high cholesterol.

Male infertility.Some preliminary clinical evidence suggests that ashwagandha might improve sperm quality, but not sperm count, in infertile men. It is not known if taking ashwagandha can actually improve fertility.

Osteoarthritis.Early research shows that ashwagandha taken along with a zinc complex, guggul, and turmeric might improve arthritis symptoms. The impact of ashwagandha alone is unclear.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).Early research shows that ashwagandha root extract might reduce symptoms of OCD when taken with prescribed medications for 6 weeks better than taking the prescribed medication alone.

Parkinson’s disease.Preliminary research suggests that a combination of herbs including ashwagandha improves Parkinson’s symptoms. The effect of ashwagandha alone in Parkinson’s is unknown.

Rheumatoid arthritis. Early research shows that ashwagandha powder taken for 3 weeks followed by 4 weeks of sidh makardhwaj (a mixture of gold, mercury, and sulfur) slightly improves symptoms in some people with RA. The impact of ashwagandha alone in RA is unclear.

Increasing interest in sex.Early research shows that taking ashwagandha extract daily for 8 weeks along with receiving counseling increases interest in sex and sexual satisfaction in adult women with sexual dysfunction better than counseling alone.

Also, ashwagandha has shown to be beneficial for:

  • Altering immune system function.
  • Inducing vomiting.
  • Liver problems.
  • Preventing the signs of aging.
  • Swelling (inflammation).
  • Other conditions.


How to Add Ashwagandha to Your Diet

angelorosa / Pixabay

According to Ayurveda, our bodies are woven from food. The nutrients we ingest are metabolized into the energy and information that form our cells, tissues, and organs. Every day our bodies need essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to maintain our body’s delicate balance.

Ashwagandha is classically taken as a fine powder mixed in honey or ghee. In western countries, it typically ingested in capsule form.

The typical recommended dose is 500 to 1,000 mg. For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha or an ashwagandha capsule before bedtime is beneficial.


Special Precautions:

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha)

Prescription Medications – American Pharmaceutical DRUGS

qimono / Pixabay

Before I go to precautions with Ashwagandha, let’s look at the side effects of some commonly prescribed medications before we judge the side effects of this powerful herb.

Let’s compare. Then you decide which is safer.

What I see as the alternatives being prescribed daily in our traditional healthcare system carry MORE serious concerns.

Many traditional medicinal prescriptions carry side effects ranging from leading to addiction to causing dementia or increase risk for suicide. Yet the medical community is concerned about recommending Ashwagandha because why????

Commonly prescribed medications that carry serious side effects include:

  • Gabapentin (Seizures, Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety, Depression, Pain): dementia, addiction (which is rarely listed but increasing problem),  suicidal thoughts, life threatening rash, organ failure, blurred vision, kidney problems, could make moods worse, aggressive behavior, chest pain, bloody stools, and more.
  • Lamictal (Seizures, Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety) :carries a black box label that can cause life threatening rashes to meningitis to suicidal thoughts. Irritable bowel type symptoms which is NOT listed.  – – – My story: I was given this drug for PTSD and Anxiety. My IBS symptoms went from 7 days a week to 1-2x a mo instantly when I stopped this drug several years ago.  This drug is also listed on Psycom as “The side effects of Lamotrigine are relatively harmless as compared to other options” REALLY?  “Lamotrigine induced mania is usually treated with Topiramate or lithium” (Pscycom) REALLY? Another DRUG to treat a side effect of this drug?
  • Paxil (Depression, PMS, PTSD, Anxiety): decreased interest in sex, changes in sexual ability, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, numbness/tingling, easy bruising/bleeding, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures.
  • Xanax (Anxiety, PTSD): hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, slurred speech or difficulty talking, loss of coordination, trouble walking, memory problems, and can lead to addiction.
  • Adderall (ADD/ADHD):  Psychosis Caused By A Drug, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, high blood pressure, seizures, anger outbursts, and can lead to addiction.
  • Synthroid (thyroid): hair loss, nervousness, mood swings, tiredness, diarrhea, shaking (tremor), headache, shortness of breath, bone pain, easily broken bones, chest pain, fast/irregular heartbeat, swellingseizures.

Ashwagandha Precautions:

Pregnancyand breast-feeding: Do NOT use ashwagandha if you are pregnant. There is some evidence that ashwagandha might cause miscarriages.

Diabetes: Ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels.  If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely.

High or low blood pressure: Ashwagandha might decrease blood pressure. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously if you have low blood pressure or take medications for your blood pressure.

Stomach ulcers: Ashwagandha can irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using ashwagandha.

Surgery: Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system. Healthcare providers worry that anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery might increase this effect. Stop taking ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Thyroid disorders: Ashwagandha might increase thyroid hormone levels.

Moderate Interactions

(discuss with your physician before taking Ashwagandha):

Ashwagandha may increase the sedative effects of benzodiazepines such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, and other depressants. It may also interact immunosuppressant medications. Talk with your doctor before beginning a supplement regimen that includes ashwagandha.

In animal studies, high dosages have been linked to toxicity, including impacts on thyroid function; however, human studies are limited.

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha seems to increase the immune system. Taking ashwagandha along with medications that decrease the immune system might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system. Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Sedative medications (Benzodiazepines) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Drugs that cause sleepiness and drowsiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some of these sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), and others.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking ashwagandha along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness. Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others. 

Minor Interactions:

Thyroid hormone interacts with ASHWAGANDHA – The body naturally produces thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha might increase how much thyroid hormone the body produces. Taking ashwagandha with thyroid hormone pills might cause too much thyroid hormone in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone.

Medical Caution:  Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using supplements if you have any health conditions. Laura Joseph and Healing With Spirit are not licensed medical physicians. Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant.


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Laura has been providing spiritually based integrative holistic health enrichment services, classes, and programs since 2006. She has experience as a domestic violence advocate, college educator, and over 15 years working in the healthcare industry with multiple certifications in  areas in holistic health, spiritually based practices, healing, and more.

Her primary office is located inside Cohasset Medical in seaside Hingham, MA.

To book a consult, contact us here today.

Recommended Resources:

WebMD: Ashwagandha Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning

The Chopra Center: What is Ashwagandha

Dr. Weil: Ashwagandha

Dr. Mark Hyman:  Are You Suffering From Adrenal Dysfunction?

Dr. Mercola, DO.:  The Healing Wonders of Ashwagandha

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 © 2015-2019 Laura Joseph. All Rights Reserved. This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your specific medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional. Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns. This article does not share the opinions of Healing With Spirit or its affiliates.  Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.