Ashwagandha is a reasonably small shrub with small pale green flowers, simple leaves, and red berries. It has a unique smell, described as horse-like, which is where it gets its name, ashwagandha. In India, Ashwagandha (Benefits of Ashwagandha) is considered a powerful adaptogen. This means that is has a beneficial normalizing effect on the entire body.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha’s scientific name is Withania somnifera. It is commonly known as ‘Indian Ginseng’ or ‘Indian Winter Cherry.’ Its leaves, berries, seeds, and roots are utilized to make medicines. It has an abundance of antioxidants, and possess anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, anti-stress and antibacterial properties.
Ashwagandha helps in boosting your brain power, enhancing your nervous system, and bolstering your memory. It also helps in maintaining a reproductive balance & a healthy sexual equilibrium. It also holds essential immunity-boosting properties & can enhance your white blood cell-mediated immunity. Scientific studies are also proving what the traditional medicine has always stated about the plant’s many medicinal properties. Ashwagandha was used to treat arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, leukoderma, bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, and chronic liver disease, stress, focus, stamina, and strengthening. Let us discuss some significant benefits of ashwagandha.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
- Maintains Cholesterol Level: Ashwagandha is highly beneficial for cardiovascular problems due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can strengthen the muscular walls of your heart while simultaneously keeping those lousy cholesterol levels in check. Research shows that ashwagandha possesses hypolipidemic attributes that allow it to bring down bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Energy Boost: Ayurvedic practitioners recommend ashwagandha to the people who complain of general fatigue or lack of mental and physical energy. The energy boost is more balanced and is usually apparent as an increased ability and stamina to perform routine tasks without tiring quickly.
- Anti-carcinogenic: As per many experiments, ashwagandha is a powerful medicine against cancer. It helps in reducing the growth of new cancer cells and induces death in pre-existing cancer cells. Most of these findings have been in animal studies, but the results look promising to treat several cancers. As per the US National Library of Medicine, an experiment on mice found 70 to 80 percent reduction in tumor growth & complete inhibition of metastasis to other organs compared to untreated controls.
- Anti-aging: Ashwagandha is rich in antioxidants, such as catalase, glutathione and superoxide dismutase. They are all powerful free radical fighters and help in protecting against oxidation of the cells. These antioxidants may explain the extensive use of this herb for anti-aging.
- Improves Sexual Health: This herb is a potent libido enhancer in men and is also prescribed as a remedy for erectile dysfunction. Ashwagandha can also help in enhancing the semen quality. Ashwagandha is used as a potent aphrodisiac. As per many studies, ashwagandha was successfully able to improve sperm production in patients suffering from low sperm count as compared to those who consumed a placebo.
- Stress Relief: This herbal reduces anxiety without making you tired. Clinical studies have proven the effectiveness of Ashwagandha root extract as an anti-anxiety medication. Cortisol is a steroidal hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress. This hormone is essential for the body to kick-start appropriate responses that help us survive real stressful situations. However, constant high levels of cortisol due to chronic stress can be detrimental in many ways.
- Improves Heart Health: Ashwagandha reduces the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream. In one study, it decreased the levels of cholesterol by an average of 17 percent and levels of triglycerides by an average of 11 percent in chronically stressed adults.
- Improved memory: Ashwagandha is often suggested to elderly patients for the treatment of cerebral disorders, such as memory loss. As per one research, ashwagandha can increase acetylcholine receptor activity, partially explaining its benefit to the brain.
- Restful Sleep: As per the study conducted this year by the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, triethylene glycol is the somogenic or sleep-inducing active compound in ashwagandha leaves. People with sleep disorders are found to have an increased risk of congestive heart failure. Regular use of Ashwagandha can restore healthy sleep patterns which benefits the body as well as the mind.
- Improved concentration: In one study, ashwagandha was given in small doses of 2 mg to pre-school children for 60 days. Their ability to concentrate on learning tasks improved. Its potential in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) in school children is actively explored.
- Boosts Immunity: Immunity is worn down by stress, inflammation and lack of sleep as well as many other factors. Ashwagandha improves our immunity significantly. It also enhances the activity of natural killer cells, the immune cells that fight infection.
- Treatment for Anemia: The body produces new blood via a hematopoiesis process. As per some studies, ashwagandha possesses extraordinary hematopoietic properties. Mice that were treated with ashwagandha displayed a notable rise in their RBC & WBC levels. This makes it an excellent treatment for several ailments, including anemia.
- Stimulates Thyroid Function: Ashwagandha provides benefits to the people with a sluggish thyroid as well as those having hyperthyroidism due to an overactive thyroid. Unlike allopathic drugs which have a particular action on glandular function, either stimulating or dampening it, ashwagandha has more of a modulating & balancing effect on the thyroid.
- Reduces Inflammation: Many things cause chronic inflammation & one of its best cures is ashwagandha. It’s been found to reduce a marker of inflammation called C-reactive protein by 36 percent.
- Building & Strengthening Muscles: Indian ginseng improves the neuromuscular coordination and helps in strengthening the lower limb muscles. Ashwagandha is popular with athletes too. It promotes better oxygen flow to the cells in the tissues, which results in increased strength and endurance during exercise. This would enable the athlete to gain more lean muscle than ordinarily possible.
- Benefits of Ashwagandha in Eye-health: As per the studies conducted by researchers from Hyderabad, the abundance of natural antioxidants in ashwagandha can make it a possible alternative treatment to help fight cataract blindness. Ashwagandha could act as a cataract-static agent, i.e., it retards the formation of cataracts.
- Benefits of Ashwagandha in Treatment of arthritis: Ashwagandha is traditionally used to treat rheumatoid arthritis occurring from the inflammation of the membranes around the joints. The anti-inflammatory & immuno-regulatory actions of Ashwagandha may be able to tackle the autoimmune factor, in addition to reducing pain and swelling. People with osteoarthritis resulting from physical damage caused to the cartilage covering the bone joints may also benefit from Ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory effect.
- Helps in Gaining Weight: Ashwagandha is commonly starred as one of the ingredients in formulas meant to build muscles. However, there is no study to support this benefit. Hence, consult your doctor or healthcare provider before trying ashwagandha to increase weight.
- Speedup Wound Healing: Ashwagandha is excellent for healing wounds. It acts as a healing poultice that quickens your body’s therapeutic effects. Just chop off ashwagandha roots & then grind them. Mix with some distilled water to produce a smooth paste. You can also use ashwagandha oil instead of the powder.