Are you looking for a way to relieve some stress and anxiety? Do you ever wonder if there are natural remedies to help against a variety of health problems? Whatever solution you may be looking for, this is the right article for you. Keep reading to learn about Ashwagandha and how it is recognized as one of the most powerful herbs.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a small shrub native to India and South Africa that has been around for over 2,000 years. Classified as an adaptogen (can help your body manage stress), Ashwagandha has become increasingly popular due to its amazing health benefits.
The name comes from Ashwa (horse) and ghanda (odor). This popular root seeks out to give you the strength and endurance of a horse. Read below for the 10 health benefits of Ashwagandha.
10 Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha
1. Combats Anxiety and Stress
The Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine published a study to test the effectiveness of Ashwaghanda in reducing anxiety and stress. In this controlled experiment, the participants who were given Ashwagandha reported lower levels of stress and anxiety compared to those who received the placebo. Researchers concluded that Ashwagandha improves an individual’s resistance towards stress, and their self-assessed quality of life.
Another study performed in 2009 tested the effectiveness of Ashwagandha on anxiety symptoms through a randomized trial. They concluded that the participants given the treatment showed a decrease in their anxiety scores to 55%. They also reported an increase in scores for fatigue, vitality, concentration, and overall quality of life.
2. Normalizes Blood Sugar Levels
Ashwagandha is known to be beneficial in normalizing blood sugar levels for those with and without diabetes. In a 2000 study, 6 subjects with Type 2 diabetes were treated with Ashwagandha powder for 30 days. It was concluded that Ashwagandha reduced blood sugar levels and the effects were comparable to oral medications.
In other words, Ashwagandha has been shown to stimulate the secretion of insulin in the bloodstream, thereby improving the breakdown of sugars in the blood. Researchers found that blood sugar levels remain low when you consume Ashwagandha over time as it ensures the less harmful sugars are being stored in your body.
3. Boosts Memory and Reduces Brain Cell Degeneration
If you are someone who struggles to remember things or have difficulty focusing, Ashwagandha may be worth trying. People who have taken Ashwagandha note they saw improvements in their performance, attention, and general memory.
In 2017, researchers completed a study to determine the effectiveness of Ashwagandha in improving memory and cognitive function in adults with mild cognitive impairment. The subjects in this experiment were treated with either Ashwagandha root extract twice daily or given a placebo for eight weeks in total.
The study concluded those treated with Ashwagandha showed significant improvements in immediate and general memory compared to those in the placebo group. They also demonstrated improvement in executive function, information-processing speed, and attention.
4. Helps With Men Fertility and Men and Women Sexual Function
Ashwagandha is known for improving male fertility as well as sexual function. In one study, Ashwagandha significantly increased sperm count, sperm volume, and motility while also improving sexual hormone levels. The study revealed that out of the 46 men who participated,14% of the men who struggled with infertility who took Ashwagandha reported they had become pregnant by the end of the study.
Another study of 50 women aimed to determine the effectiveness of Ashwagandha on improving sexual function in healthy females. The results demonstrated that the women who received Ashwagandha reported improved sexual function in terms of orgasms, lubrication, and arousal, compared to those who received the placebo.
5. May Prevent Cancer Cell Growth
While there is no human research that shows that Ashwagandha has anti-cancer properties, there have been animal and lab studies that show hopeful effects. Withaferin, a compound in Ashwagandha has been shown to induce apoptosis (the programmed death of cancer cells). Withaferin is known to disrupt the function of cancer cells by promoting the formation of reactive oxygen species inside the cells.
6. Increases Muscle Mass and Strength
In 2015, there was a study conducted to determine the effects of Ashwagandha on muscle mass and strength for healthy men who were engaged in resistance training. The study found that Ashwagandha is associated with significant increases in muscle mass and strength. It was also noted they doubled their reductions in body fat percentages compared to those in the placebo group.
7. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection, toxins, and trauma. Typically, the body will produce an anti-inflammatory response as a way to restore balance. However, with chronic pain, the body is unable to regular the inflammatory response, thus resulting in chronic pain and imbalance.
Ashwagandha has proven to be effective in reducing inflammation by suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines. In one study, the group that took 250mg of Ashwagandha daily had a 36% decrease in C-Reactive Protein, compared to only a 6% decrease in the placebo group.
8. Boosts Immunity
According to PubMed, Ashwagandha significantly improves the body’s defense system against disease by improving cell-mediated immunity. Furthermore, it has antioxidant properties that are known to protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals. If you are someone who finds that you are always getting sick, Ashwagandha may give you the strength to fight off any illness.
9. Improves Sleep Quality
Are you someone who suffers from insomnia? Or someone who struggles to get quality sleep? It has been observed that Ashwagandha has sleep-inducing properties that improves sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients who suffer from insomnia.
10. Improves Heart Health
In today’s world, heart health is one of the most prevalent issues. If you are someone who is looking for natural ways to support your heart, Ashwagandha may help. It has been noted that Ashwagandha has been found to reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream. In a 60-day study, the participants who were observed showed reduced levels of cholesterol by around 17 percent and a decrease in triglyceride levels by 11%.
In another study, Ashwagandha was shown to provide antioxidant support, protecting against free radicals. Researchers found that it supported healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels which as the major factors in heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems. Also, it was noted that it has anti-inflammatory benefits that allow the heart to work more effectively.
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb that is shown to have a variety of health benefits. Using Ashwagandha can be an effective way to improve your overall health and quality of life. As always before you take Ashwagandha, be sure to consult your doctor as it may cause problems with other medications you are taking. Below are the 10 health benefits of Ashwagandha proven by science.