Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has a lot of health benefits. It may minimize anxiety and stress, help combat depression, improve fertility and testosterone in males, and even improve brain function. Supplementing with this herb may be a simple and efficient way to promote your health and quality of life. Ashwagandha is safe for many individuals, but some people shouldn't utilize it unless recommended to do so by their doctor. The standardized root extract is commonly consumed in 400–500-mg capsules once or twice daily.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it may aid your body manage stress. It also plenty of other health benefits for your body and brain. Like it may stimulate brain function, reduce blood sugar and cortisol levels, and aid in combating symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Here, we will discuss the Ashwagandha and its health benefits. Let's get started!
What is An Ashwagandha?
It is an evergreen shrub that is grown in India, the Middle East, and Africa. Ashwagandha's roots and orange-red fruit have been utilized for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. The herb is also known as Indian ginseng and winter cherry. The name is due to the smell of its root (like a horse). The term, ashwa means horse.
This wonderful herb is one of the most significant herbs in the Ayurvedic medicine system, a healthcare practice that initiated in India over 3,000 years ago. The grass may be useful for some cancers, Alzheimer's condition, and anxiety. But we need more research to prove this claim.
How does Ashwagandha work?
Ashwagandha, also called Indian ginseng, is a famous Ayurvedic herb. It is a tonic with a lot of properties. In the lab, this herb has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and relax the central nervous system in animals.
On the other hand, several different test results recommend that Ashwagandha may improve immune cells and impair or combat cancer cells. Still, more research is required to determine whether these can happen in humans. Several studies also suggest that it may aid in reducing anxiety, stress, and fatigue, but gain multiple studies are required to prove many of these effects.
This herb can influence some lab tests that check thyroid functioning and digoxin levels. Hemolytic anemia and abdominal pain seemed following the ingestion of contaminated ashwagandha supplements.
Where to Use Ashwagandha Herb
- To Minimize Stress and Anxiety
A few studies recommend it can be helpful for anxiety and stress.
- For the Treatment of Diabetes
Lab clinical trials suggest that Ashwagandha may maintain type 2 diabetes. But we still need enough studies.
Results from individual studies in patients suffering from cancer-related fatigue recommend benefit. Additional studies are required to confirm this.
A clinical trial recommends that a standardized extract may aid patients with knee joint pain. Mild side effects such as restlessness, nausea, and stomach irritation seemed in some patients.
- For the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
One small study highlighted that a compound of herbs and minerals comprising of Ashwagandha decreased rheumatoid arthritis pain. As the formula consisted of multiple herbs and minerals, whether it played a role in observed advantages is unclear.
Ashwagandha has a tranquilizing effect, and it is also used as a sedative.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Plenty of research-based studies recommend that it has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) property. Most of these studies are supportive of the remarkable effect of Ashwagandha for this purpose, and it seems to minimize cortisol levels.
On the other hand, enough research is required before we can confirm this claim or know the optimal dose. This beneficial herb may also be able to get rid of insomnia, minimize fatigue, and make you safe from the symptoms of anxiety or depression. Still, it has not been well-studied for these purposes.
Ashwagandha may enhance power output in untrained subjects during resistance workout and anaerobic running, but this observation depends on a small amount of study, and more is required. It may also cause modest reductions in blood pressure, blood glucose, and LDL-cholesterol while raising HDL-cholesterol. Also, it may improve testosterone and sperm quality in infertile males.
Below are some evidence-based health benefits of Ashwagandha are given;
Inflammation is a prevalent issue of health, may occur due to osteoarthritis. Ashwagandha can tackle this issue. It has anti-inflammatory qualities. Some studies show that it helps to lower the inflammation of the body. It is an ayurvedic herb that is best for the treatment of inflammation in your body. It can control the inflammation rate in your body.
Also, The balance of all essential elements in your body is necessary. It may manage the arrangement of these specific elements. It also enlarges the development of immune cells, which turn down the rate of inflammation.
- May Control Your Blood Pressure
With the high usage of added or processed sugar, it is difficult to keep blood sugar levels in control. One research indicates that it may help to regulate blood sugar. Another study of 6 people with Type 2 diabetes discovered that Ashwagandha amazingly minimized blood sugar levels in the body. On the other hand, these results have unique similarities with some oral medications.
One report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences expressed that particular plant compounds like flavonoids available in the leaves or roots of Ashwagandha effectively assisted rats in getting average blood sugar levels. But a study that proves the same effect on humans is limited.
Overall, it is big news for individuals who suffer from insulin sensitivity, and you can take their dose after consulting your doctor or medical health care provider.
- Beauty Benefits of Ashwagandha
You were tired of seeing dry, dull, or wrinkled skin when you look in the mirror? You desperately want a solution and trust me, you cannot find any herbal solution more effective then Ashwagandha, so go for it without thinking twice why I am stressing to use this herb because of its natural skincare property.
Ashwagandha has powerful antioxidant properties that help protect your skin from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable and highly reactive molecules that increase oxidative stress and enhance the functions of harmful skin agents. These free radicals can boost the aging process and make your skin rough as you age. But don't worry, you can use Ashwagandha to get rid of these issues as it can improve your skin health by firming up the skin for a more youthful look.
Ashwagandha promotes DHEA that is a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen. It also encourages the formation of natural skin oils. It also triggers the creation of essential compounds and proteins for healthy skin like hyaluronan for skin hydration, elastin to make your skin supple and collagen for skin strength. For glowing skin, you can also utilize this herb as a toner with lemon and dried ginger.
- Healthy Hair
It is Utilized in the production of shampoos. Also, Ashwagandha improves scalp circulation and strengthens your hair. It can help prevent dandruff. Ashwagandha also appears to promote the creation of melanin. Also, It is a high pigment responsible for the color of your hair. Therefore, ashwagandha herb may reverse the greying of hair. And if that wasn't appropriate, it also facilitates deal with hair loss.
- May Decrees Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Ashwagandha may help in reducing the risk of heart problems by minimizing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. According to one recent research on rats indicated that it decreased total cholesterol by 50% and triglycerides by nearly 30%. Human studies stated less positive results, but still, efficient improvements were seen.
In a small 30-day study conducted on chronically stressed individuals, the group taking the highest dosage of Ashwagandha extract saw a 17 % reduction in "bad" LDL cholesterol and about 10% decrease in triglycerides. You can also try this herb, but before using it, for safety reasons, speak to your doctor or medical health care provider first.
- May Boost Stamina
According to past medical reports of the majority of men, sexual drive is one of the leading health concerns for them, particularly as they age.
Medical issues, depression, poor diet, and inadequate lifestyle all play a vital role in sexual wellness and activity. If you ensure that your body receives the nutrients it requires is a critical trigger in sexual health for both males and females. Ashwagandha, as a beneficial herb, promotes male's reproductive health and stamina by maintaining sperm count or semen quality.
Its soothing and comforting impacts on stress are also a factor, according to a new study. However, Ashwagandha maximizes more than just sexual stamina. It also improves cardiovascular endurance in healthy or fit athletes that are working out daily. Ashwagandha is also linked with maximized muscle mass, muscle endurance, and overall strength.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress are adverse factors in your life. It is essential to take steps about the solution to this problem. Ashwagandha is capable of tackling this serious issue. This issue is harmful to both the mind and body and affects the relaxation of your life. Some researchers suggest that Ashwagandha manages the chemical signaling in your nervous system and closes the stress track in your brain.
It enhances the capability of neurotransmitters in your mind, which can groom your mood. This effect may lower anxiety and maintain a relaxed attitude. You keep up your standard of living due to the reduction of stress and anxiety.
- Helpful in Case of Arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic issue, which means pain drugs have to be consumed for a longer duration. Most of the time, these medications cause side effects in your body. Individuals who have arthritis get treatment solutions that are least beneficial for their overall health.
Ashwagandha is a real hero in arthritis cases as it is a long term ayurvedic remedy for this condition. It is typically consumed in combination with other herbs such as Boswellia and turmeric to boost benefits. Ashwagandha comprises of steroidal compounds that are effective for individuals with arthritis.
The most important fact is that it can be taken indefinitely without any severe side effects. There are plenty of studies available that prove these benefits of Ashwagandha as a treatment for arthritis.
- May Improve Memory and Brain Function
Ashwagandha supplements may be used to regulate brain functions, thinking ability, focus, reaction times, and the capability to do jobs efficiently. This amazing herb can stimulate antioxidant activity that prevents nerve cells from toxic free radicals.
Test-tube and human studies suggest that it can reduce memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease. In one study, for example, rats treated with this unique herb had about a whole reversal of spatial memory impairment. It happened due to the presence of beneficial compounds in Ashwagandha that reduced the oxidative stress.
It works on people who have no injury or are not sick. According to the recent human study, healthy males who consumed 600 mg of the standardized extract regularly reported functional improvements in their reaction time and work performance, as compared to males who get a placebo.
Additionally, another seven-week study conducted on 40 adults highlighted that consuming 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice a day remarkably increased general memory, job performance, thinking, and attention. In short, it improves your brain functions.
Cancer has become a hazardous disease all over the world. Many people lose their life due to this harmful disease. However, Ashwagandha can tackle this severe issue. Some studies show that it can stop the growth of cancer cells in your body in several ways. According to some researchers, it may eliminate cancer by its interference with cancer cells. Withaferin is a useful compound of Ashwagandha. It is capable of killing the cancer cell in your body.
The other function of Withaferin is to encourage the synthesis of reactive oxygen species. It is also an essential element of anti-cancer drugs, which lower the growth of the tumor. Some studies show that there are several types of cancer, and it may play a supportive role in the treatment of these dangerous kinds of cancer.
Treatment of Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the severe diseases in the world, which may occur due to an increase in blood sugar levels. Ashwagandha is very beneficial for the treatment of this serious issue. It enhances the glucose metabolism system by lowering blood glucose. The enlargement of blood glucose causes the production of insulin. Many results have appeared after this effect, such as metabolic syndrome, type-2 diabetes, and obesity, Ashwagandha can tackle this disease.
It may save the cells from the breakdown and improve your immune system. It minimizes the chance of diabetes by lessening blood sugar levels. It decreases the other severe problems from diabetes, such as nerve pain, testicular dysfunction, and cataracts. A high amount of glucose originates from oxidative stress. The supplements of Ashwagandha develop antioxidant status.
Improve Heart Health
Many people in the world suffer from many heart-related diseases. Ashwagandha contains excellent qualities such as antioxidant, anti-stressor, and anti-inflammatory qualities. These qualities are sufficient for heart issues. It controls the cholesterol levels and consolidates the heart muscles. It also has hypolipidemic conditions that lessen the blood cholesterol levels.
It enhances heart health due to the depletion of blood pressure and the elimination of atherosclerosis. It lowers the chances of heart-related problems such as heart attack and stroke. It may give relieve you from chest pain, which occurs due to heart disease. It also secures you against oxidative damage because of chemotherapy and diminishes the triglyceride levels.
Ashwagandha is the best medicine for the enhancement of fertility in males and females. It can groom the health and boost up the potency of both males and females. Ashwagandha improves your mental and physical health. It is a useful herb that defends you against the barrier that causes infertility. Some studies show that it may enlarge the pregnancy rates of women and the motion of sperm.
The supplements of Ashwagandha magnify antioxidant levels in your blood. The quality of sperm is developed due to this effect. It also boosts the process of women's pregnancy.
The immune system protects you against harmful intruders such as bacteria and viruses. It is essential to maintain the development of your immune system. Ashwagandha can enhance your immune system. It boosts up the defense mechanisms and terminates the dangerous bacteria. Some researchers observe that it may develop your immunity by operating the white blood cells.
It enlarges the task of natural killer cells, which eliminate the viruses from the body. It enhances the immune system by the development of macrophages, lymphocytes, and bone marrow cells. It also blocks the reduction of white blood cells and expands Th1 cytokines levels.
- Ashwagandha and thyroid health
The thyroid is a little, butterfly-shaped gland present in the neck. When the thyroid is off-kilter, it causes plenty of problems like weight gain, brain fog, and hair loss. Many individuals with under or overactive thyroids, seek substitute herbs to regulate adequate functioning like Ashwagandha.
There are several studies on the direct association between ashwagandha and thyroid health. However, individual researchers indicate the herb's influence on cortisol levels as a definite advantage.
Stress stimulates cortisol formation in your body, and chronic overproduction of cortisol may cause a set of other health problems. By restoring balance in the stress response, this herb may help overall adrenal health.
Also, one recent study from 2018 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine expressed that this herb could be useful in normalizing thyroid levels in particular thyroid issues.
- May Minimize the Symptoms of Depression
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that the main depressive issue influences more than 16 million adults each year in the US. So, it makes this disease the leading trigger of disability for people aged 16-44.
Scientists are interested in Ashwagandha's property to relieve the symptoms of depression, mainly when utilized in combination with other lifestyle changes.
While there have been clinical results, previous studies have produced positive results. In 2013, a study conducted in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that its root increased the ability to deal with stress. An older study from 2001 also stated that Ashwagandha has a positive impact on mood.
Precautions & Warnings
- Pregnancy and Breast-feeding
It is unsafe to utilize Ashwagandha when you are pregnant because there is a possibility it may lead to miscarriages. Similarly, we do not have enough scientific evidence to prove that it is safe to use it when you are breastfeeding. So, avoid its use for safety reasons.
This herb may reduce blood sugar levels. It may also interfere with medications utilized for diabetes and lead your blood sugar levels to go to low. If you have diabetes, check the blood sugar first.
- High or Low Blood Pressure
Ashwagandha may reduce blood pressure. It may cause blood pressure to go too low in individuals suffering from low blood pressure. It may also interfere with medications utilized for the treatment of high blood pressure. You should use it carefully if you have low blood pressure or consume medicines for your blood pressure.
It is more than good f you go to your doctor and medical health care provider and discuss your condition, whether you should use ashwagandha supplements or not!
It may disturb the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. So, avoid using Ashwagandha if you have a stomach ulcer.
If you are suffering from a Conditions like lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other issues, then don't make a mistake of using ashwagandha supplements. It may lead your immune system to become more active and increase the symptoms of auto-immune conditions. If you are suffering from one of these conditions, so, it is recommended to be at the safe side and don't use it.
Ashwagandha may reduce the working of your central nervous system. Healthcare providers or doctors say that anesthesia or other medications during and after surgery may enhance this effect. Thus, you should not consume Ashwagandha at least one week before a scheduled surgery.
This herb may enhance thyroid hormone levels. It must be used carefully. Or you can avoid it if you have a thyroid condition or consume thyroid hormone medications.
How is Ashwagandha taken?
The dosage and the way Ashwagandha is utilized relied on the disease you are going to treat. There is not a standard dosage that has been tested by advanced clinical trials.
You can utilize it in powdered form in dosages ranging from 450 mg to 2 g. You can purchase it in dietary supplements, capsules, powders, or as a liquid extract from a pharmacy, health food or supplement market. You can also order these supplements from an online store. But always buy from some trustworthy online store like Amazon and any other you can feel it is good to be ordered from there.
Ashwagandha is a little evergreen shrub. This fantastic herb is mostly grown in India, the Middle East, and Africa. You can use its roots and berry to prepare a large number of medicines to cure different infections.
There are a lot of health benefits of this herb, but most importantly, we use it to relieving stress and uplift mood. It is also utilized as an "adaptogen" for numerous other conditions, but there is no enough scientific evidence to support these claims. However, overall, Ashwagandha is a beneficial herb.
Avoid confusing it with Physalis alkekengi. Both are called winter cherry. Also, don't confuse this herb with blue cohosh, codonopsis, ginseng American, or eleuthero. Ashwagandha comprises of chemicals that may aid in calming your brain, reducing swelling (inflammation), lowering blood pressure, and improve the immune system.
Ashwagandha supplements are also available in the market. But before taking, you should speak to your doctor first to avoid any side effects!