WHAT IS ASHWAGANDHA?
Ashwagandha is one of the most important medicinal herbs in Indian Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medicinal systems. Ashwagandha is thought to increase energy by enhancing your body’s resilience to physical and mental stress In one study, people given ashwagandha showed significant improvements in several measures of stress and anxiety, compared to those given a placebo. They also had 28% lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that increases in response to stress Strengthening these findings was a review of five studies examining the effects of ashwagandha on anxiety and stress All of the studies showed that those who took ashwagandha extract scored better on tests measuring stress, anxiety and fatigue. In addition to improving mental fatigue and stress, research also suggests ashwagandha can alleviate fatigue associated with exercise. A study of elite cyclists found that those who took ashwagandha were able to cycle 7% longer than those given a placebo
Ashwagandha may enhance libido in men and help with erectile dysfunction. Low production of sperm is a common cause of male infertility, and some studies show the root extract improves sperm count and increases sperm motility. Behavioral studies in mice show an increase in testosterone with the administration of an ashwagandha extract. This treatment should be discussed with a medical practitioner before use. Despite its many potential benefits, some people should not use ashwagandha. Pregnant women should avoid the herb. It can also interact with medications for diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Consumption in large amounts can cause nausea, an upset stomach, and diarrhea.
HEALTH BENEFIT OF ASHWAGANDHA (SUMMARY)
Ashwagandha to reduce anxiety, mental and physical fatigue and Stress, thereby increasing energy levels. In addition to improving mental fatigue and stress, research also suggests ashwagandha can alleviate fatigue associated with exercise.
Ashwagandha may soothe anxiety and promote relaxation and a sense of calmness. This effect comes from its phytochemicals, withholds. They act as precursors to the hormones that regulate the stress response in the body. This benefit is helpful for anxiety disorders, which are often associated with high stress levels. Ashwagandha has the potential to treat agoraphobia and stress-related infertility in men. Studies show that it could be as effective as pharmacological drugs, without the harmful side effects; drowsiness, loss of sexual desire, increased appetite, and insomnia are often experienced by people on antianxiety drugs.
Chronic stress is ever-present in modern society and increases the risk of illness. Ashwagandha’s ability to act as a mood stabilizer and improve resistance to stress has been the focus of research. Most studies show significantly better results in subjects given ashwagandha compared to those given a placebo. One study showed that using ashwagandha improved the cell health of chronically-stressed rats. In a large human trial, treatment with ashwagandha significantly reduced cortisol levels in 64 patients over 60 days. Cortisol, the stress hormone, has a variety of undesirable effects on the human body when produced in excessive amounts. High levels of cortisol negatively impact immune function and blood sugar control and contribute to muscle and bone loss.
There is some evidence that ashwagandha may help ease the symptoms of depression. One study found that adults who took ashwagandha experienced a 79% reduction in symptoms of depression, while the group who took a placebo reported a 10% increase in depressive symptoms. Ashwagandha is well-known for its stress-reducing capabilities, as well as its abilities to help ease anxiety, which often occurs alongside depression.
Diabetes affects about nine percent of people in the United States, and pre-diabetes afflicts even more. Ashwagandha contains phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, that help stabilize blood sugar levels. Studies show that the herb can help regulate the production of insulin. In fructose-fed rats, the extract inhibited an increase in glucose, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Another trial showed ashwagandha could raise levels of glucose-6-phosphatase, a liver enzyme that plays a crucial role in controlling blood sugar levels. In one study, The herb was also as useful as a standard hypoglycemic drug, reducing blood glucose levels by 12%.
5.Stimulates the Immune System
The immune system protects us against disease by distinguishing between pathogens and healthy cells. Pathogen-fighting agents produced in bone marrow travel to lymph nodes all over the body and act against these foreign bodies. One of ashwagandha’s possible benefits is its ability to modulate and stimulate the immune system. According to some studies, ashwagandha increases the activity of natural killer cells, those that fight viruses. It is possible, therefore, that ashwagandha may help the immune system fight off infection and prevent overreactions by reigning in inflammation. Studies show ashwagandha reduces CRP (C-reactive protein), a marker of inflammation.
Analgesics offer temporary relief from the pain caused by arthritis, but they can also cause severe side effects such as allergic reactions, stomach pain, high blood pressure, and heartburn. Animal studies suggest ashwagandha could be better at reducing inflammation than hydrocortisone. Human patients with rheumatoid arthritis have found its use can reduce pain and swelling. The herb’s anti-inflammatory properties come from the saponins, alkaloids, and steroidal lactones it contains.
7.Stimulates Thyroid Hormone Production
Thyroxine is a hormone secreted by the thyroid gland. It is converted to T3 or tri-iodothyronine, its active form. T3 affects almost every physiological process, including heart rate and body temperature. Ashwagandha increases the production of thyroid hormones.
8.Improve Muscle Strength
For those concerned about fitness, ashwagandha can be a valuable addition to the diet. Combining this supplement with ongoing resistance training can increase strength and improve body composition. This means users may experience more muscle growth, in both size and strength, than individuals performing resistance training alone. The former group also lost a significant amount of body fat compared to the exercise-only group.
Ashwagandha has shown potential in its ability to lower both cholesterol and triglycerides. The addition of ashwagandha to the diet has shown to reduce blood fat levels by over 15 percent. These changes occurred with no other modifications made to the diet. This, combined with ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory capabilities, make it a good natural option for those concerned about heart health but should be approved by a physician, first.
Ashwagandha has a long history of use for boosting memory. It protects against free radicals, including those in the nerve cells, which may be why it appears to have brain-protective benefits. Ashwagandha’s benefits are seen in its potential to improve not only memory, but brain function, reaction time, and focus, as well.