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Withania somnifera, wondering what that is? In simpler and more recognized terms it is known as Ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), one of the most powerful Ayurvedic adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogen herbs help bring about a balance in your body. It is one of the key aspects of phytotherapy, which uses plants for its healing abilities. Plants that help balance, restore and put around you a protective shield help heal the body. It helps your body deal with the unending stress that you go through every day, helping normalize and influence the physiological functions.
Ayurveda believes that ashwagandha can provide you the “Strength of the Stallions,” and helps you regain your strength after a long illness. And science seems to agree with this claim made by the proponents of Ayurveda. Let’s explore the benefits here in brief,
- Helps thyroid function
- Boosts endurance
- Reduces adrenal fatigue
- Used in the treatment and prevention of cancer
- Helps in the reduction of stress
- Helps prevent degeneration of brain cells
- Lowers and helps balance blood sugar
- Helps in the cholesterol reduction
- Boosts immunity
Ashwagandha Health Benefits
Stress has some damaging effects on the body, and the beauty of this herb is that it helps the body manage the everyday stress that we have to deal with.
Are you someone who is unduly stressed? Well, if you are, then you will have a stress hormone cortisol flooding the body. Acute stress is tolerable as we activate the fight-or-flight response and it enables us to face stress. But when the stress reaches chronic levels, you end up with deadly diseases.
Chronically raised cortisol levels can lead to the following diseases such as,
- Type 2 diabetes
- Suppressed immunity
- Cardiovascular issues
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Fertility issues
- Sleep issues
- Thyroid disorders
There is substantial evidence backed by research that the Indian Ginseng minimizes cortisol production.
Ashwagandha Uses and Benefits for Men
Ashwagandha not only lowers cortisol but also helps balance hormones, specifically those that affect male vitality as it impacts the functioning of the thyroid.
Ashwagandha root powder has the power to increase the serum levels of testosterone and the luteinizing hormone. This hormone helps increase the testosterone levels in the body.
Healthy hormone levels in men do not only impact a man’s fertility but also equate to a healthy erectile response, healthy prostate, ideal body weight, high energy levels, right sexual function, sharp focus, brain function, adequate strength, and muscle development. Yes, there are that many positive effects on the body when your hormone levels are healthy and balanced.
Ashwagandha Uses and Benefits for Women
The impact of ashwagandha is not limited to men only, it has significant effects on the female body too, thanks to its hormone-balancing benefits.
A 2012 study on menopausal women showed that ashwagandha significantly reduces some distressing menopausal symptoms such as anxiety, hot flashes, anxiety, and mood swings.
Ashwagandha is that wonderful elixir that can substitute medicine such as lorazepam and imipramine, minus the deadly side effects. Studies carried out for 12 weeks on patients showed dramatic results when they were given 300 mg of Ashwagandha twice a day. Those patients who were given ashwagandha showed better results than the placebo group and reported reduced anxiety and much less fatigue.
A recent study even purported that ashwagandha root spiked energy levels and lowered stress-related conditions. Ashwagandha also provided sexual satisfaction in women by helping in increased blood flow. It also helps in reducing tension.
It is said that there are many things that affect female fertility; such as illness, hormone imbalance, and nutrient deficiency.
Your brain loves ashwagandha too as it is full of antioxidants and reduces free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause neurodegeneration.
Ashwagandha is more potent than common antioxidants and may even inhibit the proliferation of scavenging free radicals that lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene content in ashwagandha are what make such a powerful food.
Ashwagandha Root Benefits
While ashwagandha is regarded as safe for consumption for most adults, it is important that pregnant women stay away from it. Also, beware of contaminants that can make ashwagandha less of that potent force it is made out to be, it is always wise to buy organic ashwagandha to reap maximum benefits out of this wonder root. Let’s discuss in details here how ashwagandha helps you in myriad ways.
It is a Great Metabolism Booster
The antioxidants in ashwagandha turn your body into a fat burning machine by revving up your metabolism. Excess body fat may result because of a malfunctioning thyroid. Ashwagandha helps stimulate the production of T4 thyroid hormone from your thyroid gland, increasing the basal metabolic rate (BMR), thus helping the weight to drop.
Controls Cholesterol Levels
Ashwagandha has anti-oxidant properties that are great for treating cardiovascular problems. It controls cholesterol levels and helps shield your heart. According to a study conducted by the University of Arizona, it is beneficial for your heart because of its hypolipidemic properties.
Is a Natural Treatment Option for Erectile Dysfunction
Do you suffer from erectile dysfunction? Well Ashwagandha can come to your rescue! It is great for increasing libido in men but it is advisable that you supplement with ashwagandha only under the guidance of a medical practitioner.
Increases Fertility in Men
Ashwagandha helps improve the semen quality. Ashwagandha also acts as an aphrodisiac for increasing sperm count and sperm mobility.
Helps Reduce Anxiety
Ashwagandha helps in reducing anxiety and is great for improving physical and mental health. A study conducted by the Institute of Medical Sciences at Banaras Hindu University shows that Ashwagandha is greatly beneficial in curbing anxiety and depression.
We have to endure stress on an everyday basis, and ashwagandha root benefits include possessing anti-stress properties. It calms down and soothes down a person.
Ayurveda medicine has long considered Ashwagandha to be a competent remedy to treat diabetes. Research has also supported the claims made by Ayurveda. Both Fasting and postprandial levels improved significantly after consuming Ashwagandha for a period of four weeks! If you have been a diabetic for long, it is advisable you consult with your health practitioner before partaking Withania somnifera.
Ashwagandha Promotes Bone Health
Ashwagandha helps in bone formation and acts as a bone-building agent. It also helps in Calcium retention and also in the process of bone calcification. It helps prevent and treat debilitating conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Ashwagandha Protects the Liver
Ashwagandha increases the bile acid content of the life and helps with high cholesterol.
Ashwagandha also circulates liver enzymes (Glucose-6-phosphatase) and glycogen and restores them to normal levels.
Ashwagandha is Perfect for the Gut
Ashwagandha helps treat intestinal ulcers, rectal bleeding, and irritable bowel syndrome. It can also prove to be a great medicine for constipation thus preventing and treating Hemorrhoids.
Ashwagandha Helps Protect Pancreatic Cells
Ashwagandha is used as a supportive treatment for improving in cases of pancreatic transplant outcome.
Ashwagandha Protects Kidneys
Ashwagandha root extract also helps in protecting the kidney.
For Cancer Treatment
Ashwagandha is largely used by holistic doctors to provide an alternative treatment option in oncology supporting conventional treatment options such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It can also reduce the telling side effects of chemotherapy.
Stimulates the Thyroid Gland
Ashwagandha stimulates the thyroid gland and hence s used by holistic practitioners to treat hypothyroidism. The right ashwagandha dosage for thyroid can increase the secretion of thyroid hormones.
Helps Increase Immunity
Research shows that ashwagandha has a positive impact on the immune system and said to prevent myelosuppression in mice induced by immunosuppressive drugs. It also helps improve the white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet count.
Helps Increase Blood Production
Hematopoiesis is known for producing new blood. According to research, Ashwagandha possesses hematopoietic properties. The study showed that red blood cell and white blood cell counts increased significantly in rats which were given Ashwagandha. This helps improve human red blood cells significantly thereby helping in preventing conditions such as anemia.
According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha helps in the prevention of seizures and convulsions. Ashwagandha root contains anticonvulsant properties that helps treat seizures and convulsions.
Promotes Muscle Growth
If you suffer from muscle weakness and need to improve the muscular strength especially of the lower limbs, ashwagandha will help you provide much relief from muscle weakness or muscle soreness. It also helps improve neuro-muscular coordination.
Helps Reduce Ocular Diseases
Because of its antioxidant and cytoprotective properties, Ashwagandha helps fight cataract diseases.
Possesses Anti-inflammatory Properties
Ashwagandha helps treat rheumatologic problems. It is a cyclooxygenase inhibitor that helps in decreasing pain and inflammation. Ashwagandha also has anti-inflammatory properties; and the components include saponins, alkaloids, and steroidal lactones.
Ashwagandha is greatly effective in preventing bacterial infections in humans. That’s not all, it also prevents urinogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tract infections.
Treats Adrenal Fatigue
Your adrenal glands help in the secretion of certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. If you feel overwhelmed with physical, mental, and emotional stress, it is because of a condition called adrenal fatigue. This condition disrupts the synthesis of hormones such as progesterone, leading to infertility and accelerated aging. Ashwagandha can provide great relief in combating this condition.
Ashwagandha helps stimulate DHEA, which helps both in the production of testosterone and estrogen and helps proliferate natural skin oils. It has vital compounds that are great for providing healthy skin, as it contains hyaluronan for skin hydration and elastin to keep your skin supple and glowing. Ashwagandha can also be used as a toner if you supplement it with dried ginger and lemon.
Ashwagandha is great in improving scalp circulation and also strengthens the hair, and controls dandruff. It also improves the production of melanin which adds the color to your hair. So, it may help in reversing greying of hair. It also helps control hair loss.
What is Ashwagandha Root?
Ashwagandha belongs to the Solanaceae family and is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. The plant originates in India and it grows best in dry regions. It is a robust plant and can thrive in extreme temperatures both high and low, ranging from 40°C to as low as 10°C. Ashwagandha can be grown at sea level and also at an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level.
Ashwagandha has increased the curiosity of modern medical science and thus more and more studies are conducted on it. The chief cause of interest is its myriad benefits and it has little or no toxic components in it.
Side Effects of Using Ashwagandha Root
- Ashwagandha consists of abortifacient properties so pregnant women should steer clear of it.
- Ashwagandha can interfere with regular medications, especially the ones for diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Don’t go above the ashwagandha dosage per day as it has side effects such as stomach upsets, diarrhea, and nausea.
You can get ashwagandha root in all forms such as powdered, dried, or fresh root form. The recommended dosage is 1-2 tsp or 5-6 gram of the powder, and you can consume it for your general wellbeing. The dosage can change when you are suffering from particular conditions or are on specific medications. You require the advice of your health practitioner in such cases.
Make Ashwagandha Tea: Make Ashwagandha tea by boiling the powder in water for 10 minutes. Consume straight up.
Ayurveda recommends you to consume ashwagandha root powder, along with a glass of hot milk before going off to sleep.
Where to Buy Indian Herb Ashwagandha
You can purchase Ashwagandha extracts, Ashwagandha powder, Ashwagandha oils, Ashwagandha tea bags, or Ashwagandha capsules from your online retailer, local pharmacy or local supermarket.
Ashwagandha root is a great herb. It is perfect for weight loss and provides a one-stop cure for many ailments. Hence, if you are thinking of adding it to your medicine cabinet, you are doing a great favor to your health. Stay healthy!