Ashwagandha: Everything You Need to Know
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a plant native to India, Africa and the Middle East, and has been used for thousands of years as a herbal remedy.
The Ashwagandha root is dried and ground into powder. It's also sold under names such as Indian ginseng (with no relation to true ginseng), winter cherry, poison gooseberry and desert berry (amongst others).
How is Ashwagandha used?
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, the root of the ashwagandha plant is used to treat stress and fatigue as well as boost fertility.
In modern supplements, Ashwagandha is often combined with other ingredients to make it more effective. For example, it can be combined with ginseng or green tea extract for its antioxidant benefits. To increase its effectiveness at balancing hormones and reducing stress, it can also be combined with other adaptogens like maca root.
What are its health benefits?
Ashwagandha contains several compounds known to have medicinal properties: withanolides (the active ingredient), alkaloids and saponins.
Taking Ashwagandha in supplement form can have many health benefits; some of these include:
Reducing stress, anxiety and depression
An adaptogen, Ashwagandha helps your body deal with daily stress. Because of this, Ashwagandha can be an excellent tool for managing symptoms of stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia. Research suggests that Ashwagandha may boost neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which can calm the nervous system.
Improve sleep quality
Studies have shown Ashwagandha to help with sleep quality by reducing overall sleepiness during the day and relieving feelings of stress and anxiety, which can keep you awake at night. It also has soothing properties, which can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Inflammation is a normal response to injury or illness in the body, it helps you heal, but if left unchecked, it can cause long-term damage. The root of Ashwagandha has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects on arthritis, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions.
Reducing inflammation can have many health benefits, such as reducing pain, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and more. Ashwagandha's anti-inflammatory properties can help protect the brain from damage and has been shown to improve focus and memory in older adults.
Increase strength and stamina
Ashwagandha is known for its ability to increase strength and stamina. Ashwagandha may also improve athletic performance, as studies show that it can help improve oxygen uptake and endurance during exercise.
Lower blood pressure and blood sugar
Ashwagandha has powerful antioxidant properties that protect cells from damaging free radicals. It can lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and clinical trials show promise that it may also inhibit the growth of some tumors and cancers.
Results published in several peer-reviewed journals concluded that Ashwagandha reduced triglycerides and blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. One study found that Ashwagandha supplementation reduced fasting blood glucose levels by 6% after six weeks of treatment.
Improve brain function and memory
Ashwagandha helps improve brain function and boost memory. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can be an effective treatment for people who experience memory loss due to stress or degenerative brain diseases. Additionally, several studies have concluded that using Ashwagandha can improve mental clarity, cognitive flexibility (our ability to adapt to changing situations), visual memory and overall mood.
Improved cognitive function can help enhance learning capabilities while reducing anxiety in those experiencing high levels of tension (such as during exams or those with high-pressure occupations).
Lower cortisol levels
Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by your adrenal glands during times of stress. Cortisol helps regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and affects your metabolism. When cortisol levels are high, your body tends to store fat instead of burning it for energy, leading to weight gain, low energy, and poor sleep quality. Because Ashwagandha helps reduce the effects of chronic stress on your body, reducing inflammation and improving sleep quality, it can also help to reduce cortisol production.
May improve fertility
Ashwagandha may improve fertility and sexual vitality in both men and women. Ashwagandha can help with fertility in men by improving sperm motility as well as reducing oxidative stress. In women, Ashwagandha may improve fertility by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. It may also help by improving physical endurance.
Improve thyroid function
Ashwagandha improves thyroid function by regulating the hypothalamus, which is the area of the brain responsible for hormone production. It also regulates the pituitary gland, which produces hormones that manage body functions, including metabolism and weight gain.
Specifically, Ashwagandha increases the body's conversion of T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) into T3 (the active form). This makes it an effective treatment for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Over 12 weeks, participants who consumed 200 milligrams of Ashwagandha extract daily significantly reduced symptoms of hypothyroidism, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Is it healthy to take Ashwagandha daily?
While Ashwagandha is generally safe to take daily, it's essential to consume it in a dosage-controlled form and to follow the manufacturer's recommended dosage. If you're pregnant, breastfeeding, taking prescribed medications or have any pre-existing health conditions, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
We recommend these products which contain Ashwagandha:
|ATP Science Vital Food||Kodiak Sports Coma|
|Nutritox Vibrance||Naughty Boy Wiseguy|