An ancient medicinal herb, ashwagandha provides numerous benefits for you, mentally and physically. It is basically a plant, whose roots and berries are used to make medicine.Ashwagandha may even prevent heart disease, by lowering the amount of cholesterol in your body. Ashwagandha has many uses. It helps the body cope with daily stress, and acts as a daily tonic. There are many health benefits of Ashwagandha.
|Nutritive Values||Ashwagandha root powder|
|Crude Fiber (g)||32.3|
|Vitamin C (mg)||3.7|
An ancient medicinal herb, ashwagandha provides numerous benefits for you, mentally and physically. It is basically a plant, whose roots and berries are used to make medicines. Ashwagandha has many uses. It helps the body cope with daily stress, and acts as a daily tonic. There are many health benefits of Ashwagandha.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
1. Reduces stress
Over 3000 years, ashwagandha has been used to relieve stress, increase energy levels and boost your concentration. A daily ashwagandha dosage reduces cortisol levels, and consuming a fixed amount of ashwagandha for a couple of months may help reduce your cortisol levels drastically.
2. Reduces blood sugar levels
According to a test tube study, ashwagandha consumption increased insulin secretion, and also improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells(1). There have also been studies that suggest that ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels in both normal people and those with diabetes.
3. May be able to fight cancer
A compound called withaferin, present in ashwagandha helps induce apoptosis, i.e the programmed death of cancer cells. Withaferin also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in a number of ways.
4. May reduce symptoms of depression
A few studies point towards ashwagandha’s abilities to cure depression(2). Since it is a natural stress reliever, it helps augment the mood of people thus diminishing the symptoms of depression.
5. Boosts testosterone and increases fertility in men
Ashwagandha supplements may work as a natural libido increasing agent. They may affect testosterone levels, and reproductive health(3). Consuming this herb may also increase antioxidant levels in your blood. Thus there are many ashwagandha benefits for men.
[ Read: Boost Testosterone Naturally ]
6. Increase muscle mass
An ashwagandha powder dosage may increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and promote overall good health for men, according to studies(4) A great natural supplement option instead of off the shelf protein supplements.
7. Reduces cholesterol
The anti-inflammatory effects of ashwagandha may also improve your heart’s health, by reduction of cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
8. For Anxiety
This herb has certain properties that can bestow a sense of calm upon a person. A great alternative to allopathic anxiety drugs, this may be the best natural way to get rid of stress and unwanted anxiety.
9. Rejuvenation & Relaxation
Consuming the root of the plant may increase your stamina levels and also restore balance in your body. This is why it is called Rasayana in Ayurveda, which roughly translates to ‘herb that rejuvenates.’
10. Combats neurodegenerative diseases
The active ingredient in ashwagandha is a compound called withanamides. These compounds have shown protective effects against certain plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease.
The natural antioxidants found in ashwagandha scavenge free radicals and hence prevent cell damage. There are also studies that show the results of ashwagandha’s protective effects against Parkinson’s Disease.
How to Take Ashwagandha?
Typically, ashwagandha is used as a powder mixed with honey and warm milk. You may also drink a cup of hot milk mixed with a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha before bedtime. Actually, the best time to consume ashwagandha is before bed, for a good night’s sleep.
[ Read: Ashwagandha for Sound Sleep ]
The one myth surrounding ashwagandha consumption is to do with blood pressure patients. It may potentially lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The truth is that if mixed with other blood pressure medication, ashwagandha may have an adverse reaction. Hence, if you are taking any blood pressure medication, do consult your doctor before starting any herbal supplements.
Ashwagandha, like every other herb, comes with its fair share of side effects. Generally, consumption is okay when taken short term. In typical dosages, mild to moderate side effects such as headache, sleepiness and stomach upsets are common.
On the rarer side, allergic reactions and rapid heartbeats may occur. Ashwagandha may potentially lower blood pressure and blood sugar, so if you are taking any medication for the same, be careful.
Ashwagandha the herb is quite a superfood. In addition to alleviating signs of anxiety, it may also have a positive impact on your blood pressure. It is physically and mentally beneficial for you. Include some ashwagandha herbs in your daily diet, after consulting your physician, and you may see some positive changes in your life.
[Read: Benefits of Adaptogenic Herbs]
1. Can you take ashwagandha long-term?
Ashwagandha is possibly safe if orally ingested by the mouth, long-term. Large doses, however, may cause stomach upsets.
2. Is ashwagandha safe for the liver?
While the liver may be damaged due to prolonged and higher use of other drugs and exposure to other toxins, ashwagandha may actually help by scavenging all the free radicals thereby preventing long-term liver damage.