Ashwagandha grows as a small shrub native to North Africa, India, and the Middle East. It has yellow flowers and red fruit, and the berries, fruit, seeds, and roots have all been used in Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine) for about 3000 years. The Ashwagandha plant is named for its distinct smell. Directly translated the name means "smell of horse." Traditionally it was believed to hold the abilities of the animal it smelled like, and was thought to give people who ingested it the strength and virility of the horse. The popular herb is also called winter cherry, or Indian ginseng.
Ashwagandha has numerous benefits, among them the eight below:
1.Blood Sugar Regulation
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, and as such it can regulate blood sugar levels in all people, but especially in people with diabetes. One study showed Ashwagandha both increasing insulin secretion and improving the insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. Keeping blood sugars balanced can have a positive impact on many conditions such as dementia and depression.
2. Athletic Performance
Ashwagandha is often linked to increased athletic performance, and the herb is thought to increase the amount of oxygen the body takes up during exercise. Several studies have shown the herb to have a significant impact on both lung capacity and energy levels in athletes. Benefits have also been shown in non-athletes.
3. Energy Increase
People who suffer from conditions marked by fatigue may be able to increase their daily energy levels with ashwagandha.
4. Immune System Support
In studies ashwagandha has had a proven positive effect on the immune system. It also decreases overall inflammation in the body. It's ashwagandha's anti-inflammatory properties that makes it a candidate for use in the treatment of diseases like arthritis.
5. Neurodegenerative Disease Protection
Ashwagandha is thought to protect against many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease. Withanamides, the active compounds in ashwagandha is thought to protect against plaques associated with Alzeimer's disease, and the natural antioxidants found in the herb is believed to prevent cell damage by destroying free radicals. In addition ashwagandha can also improve memory functions like attention and concentration, and assist with general thinking ability. Ashwagandha may also help with many of the cognitive symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases.
6. Supplemental Cancer Treatment
One animal research study determined that ashwagandha was able to decrease a lung tumor.and although there is nothing conclusive so far, the findings seem to show that ashwagandha might slow the growth of human cancers too, including prostate cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, and breast cancer. Ashwagandha impedes the growth of new cancer cells as well as inducing apoptosis, the programmed death of cancer cells. Another benefit of ashwagandha is that it can help with tiredness in people undergoing cancer treatment.
7. Stress and Anxiety Management
Ashwagandha is a proven adaptogen which means it can help lower cortisol levels, and help manage and decrease symptoms of anxiety both in the general population and in people with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Ashwagandha is useful in stress management as well, and has a positive effect on the adrenals in humans.
8. Cholesterol Management
Several animal studies have shown that Ashwagandha may be helpful in managing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thereby improving heart health and decreasing the risks of heart disease. A 60-day study in humans showed that on average the group taking the highest dosage of ashwagandha extract had an 11% decrease in triglycerides and a 17% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Is ashwagandha safe to use in pregnancy?
Pregnant women should avoid using ashwagandha supplements since the herb can possibly induce an early delivery. Nursing mothers and children under the age of 18 should consult their physicians before using ashwagandha.
Can you take ashwagandha daily?
While you should always check with your primary doctor before starting any new herbal supplements or medicines, and follow their suggestions for dosage, many studies follow patients that supplement with Ashwagandha daily. More studies are required to rule out side effects and to determine long term results.
What is the recommended dosage of ashwagandha?
The dosage of Ashwagandha will depend on the issue you are attempting to treat. Low doses of between 50-100mg have proven effective in some instances, but 300-500mg taken with meals is believed to be a safe dosage. There is no standard recommended dosage, and more research is still needed on the dosages and uses of Ashwagandha.
Is Ashwagandha rich in iron?
Yes! Ashwagandha is a great source of iron and can increase red blood cells.
Try Ashwagandha for Yourself
3000 years of use, and Ashwafandha is still a popular herb. There are many ashwagandha containing products to choose from on the market. The HealthImpaq Natural Ashwagandha Root Extract is one of them, and well worth a try if you want to reap some of these amazing benefits of Ashwagandha for yourself!