Benefits of ashwagandha for the Brain, Thyroid & Even Muscles
Ashwagandha is one of the highly researched and extensively used adaptogenic herb. This ancient herbal extract has been used for ages, and it is popular in ayurvedic medicines. It is a medical herb and carries many health benefits for the body, brain, and muscles. Being classified as adaptogenic, ashwagandha manages several health conditions like anxiety, depression, stress, diabetes. It improves brain function and provides anti-inflammatory properties.
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha belongs to the Solanaceae family, and its botanical name is Withania somnifera. The word ashwagandha means “smell of a horse.” It has a strong aroma, and it’s said that people who consume this herb gain the strength and energy of a horse. Much research has been done on ashwagandha, and the results have illustrated it to be extremely useful and beneficial for the body.
Some of the fantastic benefits of ashwagandha on brain, muscles, and thyroid
Reduces stress and anxiety
Many studies have shown ashwagandha to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety. According to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, ashwagandha improves brain health, prevents symptoms of stress and depression, and increases the cognitive power.
A 2009 study published in PLOS showed that ashwagandha is comparable to many pharmaceutical drugs that act on the brain like imipramine. Being an adaptogen, it does not carry any side effects.
Improves thyroid function
One of the excellent aspects of this herb is providing cure to different thyroid problems. It has shown to improve the health of people with an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism. A study conducted in 2017 showed ashwagandha to be helpful for patients having hypothyroidism issues.
In the same way, when a person suffers from hypothyroidism, the thyroid in the neck does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which causes the metabolism to slow down and results in energy loss, weight gain, and other problems. Ashwagandha has proven to be effective in enhancing thyroid activity for optimal production of thyroid hormone.
Improves brain function
The studies performed on animals suggested that ashwagandha improves brain function problems linked to injury and disease. It may also improve memory and cognitive power. Ashwagandha reduces oxidative stress, and a study performed on rats for the treatment of epilepsy showed complete reversal of spatial memory impairment. In a controlled study, healthy men were given 500mg of ashwagandha extract, and reports showed significant improvement in task performance and reaction time.
In another study, 300mg of ashwagandha extract twice a day was given to people, and it showed improvement in memory, task performance, and attention of adults.
Improves muscle mass and provides strength
Many studies have proved the strengthening abilities of this magical herb. Some studies showed an increase in muscle strength in healthy people. Ashwagandha reduces the percentage of fat in the body and helps to gain muscle strength and increases lean muscle mass. It also improves physical performance and increases stamina.
It has calming effects that help to provide energizing effects to the brain and provides a feeling of relaxation to the body. Many studies have proved ashwagandha to be a beneficial tool for people who engage themselves in heavy exercise and want to strengthen their muscles.