Ashwagandha, also known as, Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is a high-beneficial shrub. It used to originally grow in India, the Middle East, and various parts of Africa. With time, its popularity spread to other countries as well. Now it’s also cultivated in other regions including the United States of America and many European countries.
In Sanskrit, the Ashwagandha plant means “the smell of a horse.” The roots and the orange-red fruit of this evergreen shrub have various medicinal properties. It is important to note that their wide medical usage has only increased in a couple of recent years.
The medicinal root – Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps reduce the stress hormones present in the body. It also promotes learning and strong memory power. Its extensive use can prove to be highly neuroprotective, reducing the signs of brain aging. But these are not the only benefits of this good herb. Ashwagandha also cleanses your immune system, resulting in its proper functioning.
Ayurvedic medicines use many herbs for the treatment of various health conditions. One of those healthy herbs includes Ashwagandha. It is referred to as Rasayana in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a useful herb that effectively maintains both your physical and mental youth.
You can take ashwagandha in many forms. Generally, people consume it in the form of pills, a powder form or a liquid extract. For additional benefits, add this good herb in Kashmiri Kahwa. For ashwagandha to work, you need to make sure that you take the right dose of ashwagandha so that the particular condition is properly treated. Remember, every health problem requires a different amount of ashwagandha dose to effectively treat it.
Irrespective of the form you take ashwagandha in, it is likely to benefit you thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies conclude that ashwagandha contains chemicals that relax your muscles, reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, eliminate inflammation, and keep your immune system in check. However, more studies need to be done to determine ashwagandha’s exact mechanism.
The magical herb is over-abundant with antioxidants, iron, and amino acids that positively affect your body once you consume it. Ashwagandha also contains an active ingredient called withanolides that help combat the stress and anxiety of your daily routine. When you take ashwagandha, it instantly provides energy to your entire body. It also enables the body to reserve some of it for future use. The stored energy stabilizes your mood, helping you to stay active and concentrate better. You are also able to sleep better and more peacefully due to a stress-free mind.
- Helps dealing with oxidative stress.
- Helps reducing anxiety and stress symptoms.
- Helps in focusing and concentrating.
Since ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it takes some time to work in your body and protect you from oxidative stress symptoms.
Ashwagandha takes minimum 2 weeks to show positive results. For that, it is necessary that you make the appropriate dietary choices and adequate training into your daily routine. The recommended dosage that you need to follow is between 600 and 1000 milligrams, twice a day. If you stayed inconsistent, ashwagandha wouldn’t be as effective.
1.Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Several studies have shown the effectiveness of ashwagandha in successfully lowering the blood sugar levels. According to one test-tube study, ashwagandha increased the insulin secretion and promoted the insulin sensitivity present in your muscle cells. Ashwagandha is great for diabetics. It helps reduce the blood sugar levels.
According to a four-week study, people with schizophrenia noticed an average reduction of their already increased blood sugar levels when they consumed ashwagandha. Their blood sugar level decreased to 13.5 mg/dL while 4.5 MG/dL in those who took a placebo.
2.It Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Ashwagandha has the ability to hamper the growth of new cancer cells hiding in your body. One of the many ways this herb does that is by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are harmful to cancer cells but are beneficial to normal human cells.
It also impedes cancer cells by becoming more acceptant to apoptosis. A study done on mice suffering from ovarian tumors showed promising results. The mice experienced a 70% to 80% decrease in the tumor growth when they had ashwagandha.
3.Reduces Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is referred to as a “stress hormone.”When you are under a lot of stress or when your blood sugar level is too low, your adrenal glands release it automatically.
But in some cases, there are chances for the opposite to take place where cortisol level increases, resulting in the elevation of high blood sugar level. This may also lead to accumulation of extra calories.
Many studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps more in reducing cortisol level than increasing it. One study concluded that adults who were often stressful saw a greater reduction in cortisol level when they consumed ashwagandha as compared to those who took a placebo.
4.Reduces Stress and Anxiety
One of the most common reasons why people take ashwagandha is because of its stress-reducing ability. During an experiment on rats, researchers observe that it directly blocked the stress pathways in their brains. In a 60-day study on 64 people with stress reported a 69% average decrease in anxiety when they consumed ashwagandha. While only an 11% decrease was reported by people who used placebo as the intake.
5.Reduces the Symptoms of Depression
In a 60-day study on 64 chronically stressed adults, those who consumed 600 mg of ashwagandha per day noticed a 79% decrease in severe depression while those who consumed placebo observed 10% increase!
6.Enhances Brain Function
Various test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha has the ability to reduce memory problems that typically occur due to brain injury or disease.
In one study, healthy men who took 50 mg of this herb observed improvement in their task performances as they were able to focus more and remember more.
7.Induces Fat Cell Death
Ashwagandha has the power to reduce the viability and synthesis of fat cells. This results in the decrease of body fat and helps you to achieve the desired body weight.
There are many kinds of infections that ashwagandha is able to successfully treat. It restrains the growth of funguses, bacteria, viruses, and various dangerous parasites. By destroying these infections, you are able to live a more prosperous and healthy life.
9.Promotes Heart Health
The best quality of ashwagandha is that it helps to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol level as well. Moreover, it inhibits the heart arteries to harden up.
In one study, rats with high cholesterol levels consumed ashwagandha root powder at 0.75 to 1.5 gm/day. This resulted in a major decrease in triglycerides, protecting them from heart problems.
Ashwagandha soothes your nervous system by relieving it from chronic pain. In addition to being a pain reliever, ashwagandha is also helpful in curing fever.
11.Ashwagandha for Women
This effective herb has the power to reduce several symptoms of menopause. It also lessens the symptoms of mood swings, hot flashes, and anxiety. Its consumption soothes their minds. An anxiety that maybe there is also taken care of.
12.Increases Bone Health
Ashwagandha is a bone-building agent that contributes to the healthy formation of bones and improves the bone health. Its intake is highly beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis as it helps to balance the deficiency of calcium present in the body.
13. Benefits for Weight Loss
Stress often leads us to binge-eat which results in the accumulation of extra calories. When you binge-eat, the level of cortisol present in your body increases which in turn increases the possibility of you gaining unnecessary weight. Experts explain that this “survival hormone” triggers a hunger response in your body, stimulating the production of glucose. Generally, stress-related weight gain causes belly fat.
This is where the benefit of ashwagandha kicks in. It works at a primary level to help you cope with stress. When you are less stressful, it is unlikely for you to binge-eat. Ashwagandha’s adapotogenic properties keep the stress hormones under control. According to a recent research, consuming ashwagandha can help you reduce cortisol levels by almost 28%.
Ashwagandha is a healthy and safe supplement that all doctors, nutritionists, and Ayurvedic gurus boast about.
However, there are some important things that one needs to remember while consuming this otherwise useful shrub. As long as you consume ashwagandha in the prescribed dosage, it will benefit you. If you start to consume it in large dosages, it can cause adverse effects. It may end up causing abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. If you notice these signs, it’s best to discontinue the use of this herb.
Ashwagandha Side Effects for Weight Gain?
Ashwagandha also carries the risk of causing an abortion which means that pregnant women must avoid taking this supplement. Some people may also feel sleepy or drowsy after consuming ashwagandha supplement but this condition doesn’t last for a long time.
How much ashwagandha should i take?
It is ideal to take the dosage of Ashwagandha between 500 mg to 1000 mg which you can take twice per day.
However, the dosage highly depends on the health condition you are consuming ashwagandha supplement for. Some conditions require a large amount of dosage while some demands a little less.
The supplement also comes in a variety of forms and each form differs in its effectiveness. The powdered form of ashwagandha is said to be the most effective as compared to capsules and tinctures.
Is It Safe to Take Ashwagandha Daily?
It is safe to take ashwagandha (450 – 500 mg) once or twice a day. However, its daily intake may not by safe for all the individuals. Hence, it is better that you first consult your doctor before consuming ashwagandha supplements.
Does Ashwagandha Work Immediately?
The effects of ashwagnadha are pretty fast. They start to work within an hour or two after the intake.
Although the axiolytic effects of ashwagnadha are very subtle, you will notice a considerable effect on your mood. You won’t feel as nervous or panicky as before, your nerves will be calmer and relaxed. However, in some cases it might take long for the supplement to show positive results. It’s best to give it at least two months to draw any serious conclusions.
There are many people who use ashwagandha supplement to treat physical and mental conditions. Here’s a look at some of the positive things that two of those people had to say about this beneficial herb:
“I’ve been taking ashwagandha (500mg organic pills containing the root powder) daily in the morning for quite some time now. After taking this dose first, I did feel a bit sleepy but this only happened to me once. Its regular consumption has made me more energetic and has helped a lot in treating my social anxiety and normal stress”.
“It is the best natural product that I have ever taken. It has really helped me de-stressing and concentrate better. I instantly feel relaxed and calmed after its use”.
- Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists.
- Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers.
- Involvement of hippocampal Arc in amnesia and its recovery by alcoholic extract of Ashwagandha leaves.
- Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on the development of chemotherapy-induced fatigue and quality of life in breast cancer patients.
- A biologically active constituent of withania somnifera (ashwagandha) with antistress activity.
- Protective role of Ashwagandha leaf extract and its component withanone on scopolamine-induced changes in the brain and brain-derived cells.
- Subacute toxicity study of the combination of ginseng (Panax ginseng) and ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in rats: a safety assessment.
- A comparative pharmacological investigation of Ashwagandha and Ginseng.
- Ashwagandha leaf extract: a potential agent in treating oxidative damage and physiological abnormalities seen in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease.
- Efficacy of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal. Linn.) in the management of psychogenic erectile dysfunction.
- Ashwagandha root in the treatment of non-classical adrenal hyperplasia.
- In vivo effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on the activation of lymphocytes.
- Immune enhancing effects of WB365, a novel combination of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Maitake (Grifola frondosa) extracts.
- Fixed-drug eruption caused by ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): a widely used Ayurvedic drug.
- Ashwagandha leaf derived withanone protects normal human cells against the toxicity of methoxyacetic acid, a major industrial metabolite.