What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, aka Indian Ginseng, is a woody plant, popularly used as a powerful medicinal herb. It is a Sanskrit word which is a combination of the words “ashva” meaning horse and “gandha” meaning smell and it’s odour resembles that of a horse’s sweat. It is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicines. Ashwagandha has medicinal properties which are found mostly in its stem area. Its scientific name is Withania Somnifera, which belongs to the nightshade family. It is also known as the ‘King of All Ayurvedic Herbs’ There are many amazing benefits of Ashwagandha both for Men & Women: Now let us discuss the Health & Beauty benefits of Ashwagandha in details.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASHWAGANDHA
1. It helps to reduce Stress & Anxiety
Are you stressed? Try using Ashwagandha, a powerful adaptogen. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that help the body to resist all kinds of stressors both physical and mental. Clinically it can identify the elevated stress levels in a human body and helps to regulate it by reducing cortisol (a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands). Thus it subsides stress and anxiety levels to a great extent. It’s an ultimate stress buster.
2. It helps to improve the Thyroid Levels
In today’s world, a large percentage of people are suffering from increased levels of thyroid. Ashwagandha can be effective both for hyper (overactive) and hypo (low) thyroid levels since it helps to stimulate and balance your thyroid hormone levels.
3. It can help with Arthritis
Traditionally it is believed that inflammation is the root cause of Arthritis. So, if you have painful or swollen joints, ashwagandha can help reduce swelling. show that regular use of ashwagandha can naturally help cure a musculoskeletal problem like Rheumatoid Arthritis.
4. It can help to Improve Memory
This ancient herb has long term benefits of improving memory loss in elderly people and memory deficit in children. In a study conducted on cognitive performance and memory of people, results have proved that over time being treated with ashwagandha roots, significantly exhibited greater improvement in executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed.
5. It may reduce the symptoms of Depression
Depression is a mental illness with symptoms of sadness, loss of interest in activities, difficulty sleeping, loss of stamina. Some recent studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
6. It helps to protect & fight off Cancer
Ashwagandha produces antigens and increases white blood cells which protect the body from diseases. Some recent studies on animal found the fact that ashwagandha helps induce apoptosis which is programmed to kill cancer cells. Not only that it also prevents the growth of new cancer cells.
Animal studies suggest that it may help in several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain and ovarian cancer.
It’s extract may be beneficial in helping the body to fight off the side effects of chemotherapy.
7. It helps to maintain Blood Sugar Levels
If you’re suffering from Diabetes and looking for a natural way to combat it. Then this herb, may reduce the symptoms of Diabetes. Studies show that oral intake of a combination of ashwagandha and shilajit significantly reduces fasting blood sugar in diabetic patients thereby suppressing sugar cravings.
A report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences showed that flavonoids found in the roots and leaves of ashwagandha are used to cure diabetes. As part of the experiment, diabetic rats were monitored feeding them with the extracts of Ashwagandha. A conclusion was made that ashwagandha possesses antidiabetic properties that significantly decreases the blood sugar levels during fasting and the post-lunch period when consumed regularly for 4 weeks or more.
8. It helps to Increase Fertility in Men
An important benefit of Ashwagandha for men is increasing sexual drive. Men nowadays due to stress face difficulties in their sex life but Ashwagandha is known to boost vitality since the time of Kama Sutra. It is safe and powerful as is mentioned in one of the oldest books. It is also known to help men increase their testosterone levels. A study revealed that a group of 75 infertile men were treated with Ashwagandha which showed improved sperm count.
9. It helps to improve Cardiovascular Health
Ashwagandha is also important for treating heart health including high blood pressure, pulse rate, chest pain and high cholesterol. Supplements which contain Ashwagandha extracts if consumed can improve heart muscle strength and endurance.
10. It helps in Menopause related issues
When women go through menopausal transition, they experience hormonal imbalances which causes depression, hot flushes, anxiety, sleeping trouble. Ashwagandha is a safe and natural herb to fight off these symptoms. It generally works on normalising the secretion of hormones.
11. It helps to protect us against Neurological Diseases
Since Ashwagandha is full of free radicals and antioxidants, it can help prevent brain cell degeneration. In recent studies, ashwagandha’s ability to slow or prevent loss of brain function in people with diseases like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s has been successfully established.
12. It helps in Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleeping disorder which makes it very hard for people to fall asleep or staying asleep. Using aromatherapy oils infused with Ashwagandha can be useful for treating insomnia since it can calm the nerves and induce sleep.
13. It helps to boost Immunity
Another notable benefit of Ashwagandha is staying immune under chronic stress situations. It can also help to strengthen immunity against common colds, flu, and other common infections.
Ashwagandha can help increase red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets count, which in turn helps boost immunity.
14. It is a natural Whey Protein
Ashwagandha is beneficial for athletes because of its ability to reduce cortisol levels, increase energy, optimize testosterone hormone profile, enhance endurance, reduce recovery time between exercise sessions, boost overall exercise performance and exert antioxidant effects. It may help in reducing body fat percentage in healthy people and increase muscle mass.
2. It helps to slow down Aging
Scared of aging? Don’t worry Ashwagandha, has excellent anti-aging qualities which ensures you don’t get wrinkles, freckles, blemishes on your skin. Your skin looks young, supple and flawless.
3. It makes Hair Healthy & Lustrous
Not just skin, Ashwagandha benefits the hair as well. Regular use of Ashwagandha in your hair care routine can reduce dandruff, hairfall and prevent premature greying. It also has properties which can solve scalp problems like eczema and psoriasis, thus making hair appear nourished and healthy.
Consumption of Ashwagandha
Now that you already are aware of the benefits of Ashwagandha you can try using it in your daily diet to make the best use of this fantastic herb. You can use it in 2 ways:
1. Powder Form
Ashwagandha powder has a strong flavor and can be overpowering. If you can stand the smell and taste in the powder form then it’s pure and a great option. It is versatile in nature and can be consumed by mixing it with honey or even with smoothies to mask the taste and odour. In traditional ayurvedic practices, Ashwagandha powder with lukewarm milk works the best on your body.
If you cannot really overpower the pungency of the powder form of Ashwagandha then capsules or pills are your best friend. Look for supplements which have less ingredients with their main focus being Ashwagandha so that you don’t consume preservatives. If you find products with 100% pure Ashwagandha then just go for those.
Ashwagandha can be difficult to consume because of its pungent smell and bitter taste, you can overcome this by incorporating the herb in some tasty and healthy recipes.
Side Effects of Using Ashwagandha
There are no proven side-effects of using Ashwagandha, but if you consume it in large quantities you may suffer from some minor health issues like upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea. Further, using this herb is not suitable for:
- People with autoimmune diseases should not use this herb without consulting their doctor.
- People who suffer from respiratory diseases like Asthma should avoid inhalation or consumption of Ashwagandha.
- Ashwagandha must not be used by pregnant or lactating women since it might not be safe for the babies who are breastfeeding.
- Anyone who just had a fresh surgery should not put it to any use since it may slow down their recovery process
Top 5 Ashwagandha Product Recommendations
- Organic India Ashwagandha- 60 Capsules
- Patanjali Ashwagandha Churna, 100 g
- Himalaya Wellness Pure Herbs Ashvagandha General Wellness – 60 Tablets
- Morpheme Remedies Ashwagandha Withania Somnifera Pure Extract 500 mg – 60 Veg Capsules
- Nutriherbs Ohyes Shilajit , Safed Musli & Ashwagandha – 60 Capsules
Here are 17 amazing benefits of ashwagandha that are backed by science.
- Ashwagandha is a ayurvedic medicinal herb.
- It helps to reduce Stress & Anxiety.
- It helps to improve the Thyroid Levels.
- It can help with Arthritis.
- It can help to Improve Memory.
- It may reduce the symptoms of Depression.
- It helps to protect & fight off Cancer.
- It helps to maintain Blood Sugar Levels.
- It helps to Increase Fertility in Men.
- It helps to improve Cardiovascular Health.
- It helps in Menopause related issues.
- It helps to protect us against Neurological Diseases.
- It helps in Insomnia.
- It helps to boost Immunity.
- It is a natural Whey Protein.
- It helps to treat Wounds.
- It helps to slow down Aging.
- It makes Hair Healthy & Lustrous.