How Ashwagandha Can Be Helpful for Kids and Teenagers
Have you been hearing buzz about Ashwagandha as of late and it’s led you to wonder if maybe this is worth investigating a little further? As a parent, have you wondered if it may be a good option for your kids and teenagers, offering them specific benefits and a reason to add it to their daily routine?
While Ashwagandha is nothing new, it's really only been in the past year that it has become mainstream and gotten all this buzz. Many attribute its rise in popularity to ideal timing as there has been an increased interest in personal health and well-being over the past year or two. People have been looking for natural ways to boost their immune systems and improve their health overall.
So, in order to decide if Ashwagandha can be helpful for your kids and teenagers, let’s take a closer look at what it is, where it comes from, what its claims are, and how that can impact your kids and teenagers.
What is Ashwagandha?
First things first, what exactly is Ashwagandha? Ashwagandha is actually an evergreen shrub that is on the small side and is grown in the Middle East, India, and various parts of Africa. The berries from the bush and the root have been used to make traditional medicines and some think it can help with stress.
There are chemicals that naturally occur in the bush and these can help to reduce inflammation and swelling, help to calm a person down by relaxing the brain, boost the immune system, and possibly help to lower blood pressure. Ashwagandha isn't meant to replace medications people use; rather, it can help a person with various health concerns.
You can actually find its traces in Ayurvedic tradition in India, which is thousands of years old. So this isn't a new product - it is just enjoying more mainstream attention at the moment.
What Are Some of the Benefits for Kids and Teenagers?
Understanding what Ashwagandha is and where it comes from is only the first step, it’s also important to look into how it may possibly benefit your kids and teenagers. One of the most impactful effects it can have is on stress and anxiety. Let’s face it, kids and teenagers are under a large amount of stress these days.
Once kids and teenagers feel more calm and relaxed, you may even start to see improvements in their quality and quantity of sleep - both of which are important for kids while they are growing and developing. There can be a number of reasons kids have a hard time sleeping, but stress can be a huge contributor. If left unchecked, stress can lead to depression, which is a big problem with teenagers.
What's interesting about stress is how it can go on to affect the body in other ways. Stress has been proven to cause your adrenal glands to release cortisol and adrenaline when you're in that stressed state. What this means is that glucose is also released right into the body's bloodstream. But after that initial spike in glucose, the blood sugar level then drops, which can spark cravings for junk food. Clearly eating junk food isn’t going to help maintain a healthy body weight, and so begins a cycle of weight gain.
All you have to do is look at this past year during the pandemic with schools opening, then closing, and opening again – it has been a very trying and stressful time for kids of all ages. This is one of the areas in which Ashwagandha can help, as it can calm and relax your children’s bodies and minds. Once they are feeling less stressed it allows them to focus better, do better in school, and just be more content all around.
But it's not just stress and anxiety that Ashwagandha helps with, as a powerful adaptogen it can also help with mood and memory. Empowering emotional equanimity and an enlivened memory will help children in social settings, as well as academically. This can lead to a greater sense of personal well-being and connection with the world all around them.
Then there are the claims that it can help boost the body's immune system and function, which then allows them to fight off germs easier and faster.
Are There Any Side Effects?
If you're considering Ashwagandha for your kids or teenagers, then you are probably also interested in learning about potential side effects. The good news is that it’s shown to be safe for the majority of people to take and as we can see from above there are numerous positive side effects. Negative side effects however do happen, in rare circumstances.
These are usually attributed to a dose that is too high, which can lead to nausea, digestive upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. These side effects are usually short-lived and not a reason for concern as long as they don’t last a long time.
Ashwagandha has been used for millennium in the healing science of Ayurveda, and can be used in the short-term confidently. There are a few health conditions and issues that may prevent a person from taking it, and these are:
- Thyroid disease
- Type 1 diabetes
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pregnancy (it can cause premature labor by creating distress for the fetus)
Of course, if you have questions regarding its safety, it would be wise to speak to your child's or teen's doctor and get their advice. The common dosage schedule for adults is 450-500mg, one to two times per day, so kids would obviously be on a smaller dose. It’s also important to note that not every product is made equal and doesn’t always contain high-quality ingredients.
You will want to do your research so you can learn how to read the product label, ensuring you are getting an organic and natural supplement without added fillers. Typically, you can find it in capsule, liquid, and powder form giving you options for picky eaters.
It Could Be Worth Looking Into
At the end of the day, Ashwagandha is a product that is getting a lot of interest right now and has an impressive list of potential benefits. This could make it worth adding to your child or teenagers daily nutrition regimen.