Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb. It can help your body manage stress.
Ashwagandha has several benefits also which include; boosting brain function, lower blood sugar, and cortisol levels, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
12 benefits of ashwagandha that are supported by science.
1. Is an ancient medicinal herb
Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing.
It has been used to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentratiON.
Ashwagandha is Sanskrit for the smell of the horse, which refers to both its unique smell and ability to increase strength.
The ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that’s native to India and North Africa. Extracts or powder from the plant’s root or leaves is used to treat a variety of conditions.
Many of its health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth.
Ashwagandha is a prominent herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and has become a popular supplement due to its health benefits.
2. Can reduce blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha lowers the blood sugar levels.
One test-tube study found that it increased insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. It can reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes.
Limited evidence suggests that ashwagandha reduces blood sugar levels through its effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity.
3. Might have anticancer properties
Withaferin is a compound in ashwagandha which helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells. It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in several ways.
Withaferin is believed to promote the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cancer cells, disrupting their function. Second, it may cause cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis.
Animal studies suggest that it may help treat several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer.
There is no proof that ashwagandha exerts similar effects in humans, the current research is encouraging.
Animal and test-tube studies have shown that withaferin, a bioactive compound in ashwagandha, promotes the death of tumor cells and may be effective against several types of cancer.
4. Can reduce cortisol levels
Cortisol is known as a stress hormone given that your adrenal glands release it in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low.
In most occurrences cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen. Ashwagandha helps reduce cortisol levels sometimes.
Ashwagandha supplements may help lower cortisol levels in chronically stressed individuals.
5. May help reduce stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is best known for its ability to reduce stress.
Researchers have reported that it blocked the stress pathway in the brains of rats by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system.
Also, several controlled human studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders.
In another 6-week study, 88% of people who took ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety, compared with 50% of those who took a placebo.
Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both animal and human studies.
6. May reduce symptoms of depression
In some cases, ashwagandha may help alleviate depression.
The limited research available suggests that ashwagandha may help reduce depression.
7. Can boost testosterone and increase fertility in men
Ashwagandha supplements may have powerful effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health.
The treatment led to a significant increase in testosterone levels. The researchers also reported that the group who took the herb had increased antioxidant levels in their blood.
Ashwagandha helps increase testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men.
8. May increase muscle mass and strength
Research has shown that ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength.
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and increase strength in men.
9. May reduce inflammation
Several animal studies have shown that ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation. Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy.
It decreases markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). This marker is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase natural killer cell activity and decrease markers of inflammation.
10. May lower cholesterol and triglycerides
Its anti-inflammatory effects, ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Animal studies have found that it significantly decreases levels of these blood fats.
Ashwagandha may help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
11. May improve brain function, including memory
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may mitigate memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease. It promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals.
Although ashwagandha has traditionally been used to boost memory in Ayurvedic medicine, only a small amount of human research has been conducted in this area.
Ashwagandha supplements may improve brain function, memory, reaction time, and the ability to perform tasks.
12. Is safe for most people and widely available
Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people, its long-term effects are undefined. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take it.
People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid ashwagandha unless authorized by a medic. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes.
Additionally, those on medication for thyroid disease should be careful when taking ashwagandha, as it may increase thyroid hormone levels in some people.
It may also decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels, so medication dosages may need to be adjusted if you take it.
The recommended dosage of ashwagandha depends on the type of supplement. Extracts are more effective than crude ashwagandha root or leaf powder. Remember to follow instructions on labels.
The standardized root extract is commonly taken in 450–500-mg capsules once or twice daily.
It’s offered by several supplement manufacturers and available from various retailers, including health food stores and vitamin shops.
Although ashwagandha is safe for most people, certain individuals shouldn’t use it unless authorized to do so by their healthcare provider. The standardized root extract is commonly taken in 450–500-mg capsules once or twice per day.
The bottom line
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits.
It can reduce anxiety and stress, help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone in men, and even boost brain function. Ashwagandha supplements help in boosting a healthy life.