Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is an adaptogen that is commonly used in Ayurvedic and conventional home remedies. This substance has been utilized for over 2500 years. Its potential for reducing thyroid issues, protecting the nervous system, mitigating anxiety, and combating inflammation has been investigated in more than 200 different studies.
In India, it is named the “stamina of the stallion” since it has long been employed to fortify the immune system once sick. This herb has been known as “Indian ginseng” due to its potential to boost your staying power and act as a natural tension reliever. Moreover, ashwagandha provides more benefits than these.
All adaptogenic herbs, including this one, aid the body in maintaining balance, even when faced with emotional or physical challenges. In Ayurvedic medicinal practice, turmeric is labeled as a rasayana which implies it is employed to promote physical and mental health, safeguard the body against disease and unfavorable environmental factors, and delay the aging process.
When individuals consume ashwagandha, they can witness an assortment of health benefits. Examining the advantages of ashwagandha and how this plant could potentially be advantageous to individuals is the focus of this article.
1. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
The body can experience many undesirable results from elevated blood sugar levels. When someone’s blood sugar is not under control, it can lead to a condition where the body does not respond properly to insulin. This causes insulin sensitivity to decline. A person is prone to getting diabetes when their blood sugar levels become too elevated.
Ashwagandha may help to improve blood sugar regulation. Studies have demonstrated that this plant can aid in boosting the pancreatic secretion of insulin. Previous research on ashwagandha’s influence on insulin and blood sugar levels revealed that the insulin sensitivity of muscle cells was boosted.
Some studies show ashwagandha directly affects blood sugar regulation. In a single experiment, participants ingested a pill of ashwagandha daily. The study lasted for 30 days. Researchers noted a reduction in blood glucose levels. The impact of ashwagandha was comparable to what patients go through when they take a pill form of medication meant to treat diabetes.
Researchers reported other benefits in the study too. The study members noticed an improvement in their cholesterol levels. Low-density lipoprotein levels were lower. Triglyceride levels also declined.
2. Anti-Cancer Properties
Cancer is a very common disease. Annually, many people are killed due to it. Scientists continually endeavor to develop fresh treatments for this condition. Presently, the standard approaches to treatment are chemo and radiotherapy. The patient may experience adverse reactions to these treatments which can leave them feeling uncomfortable.
Ashwagandha, which is an ayurvedic herb, seems to have the potential to be employed as an anti-cancer remedy. The herb contains an active chemical called withaferin. Research has suggested that withaferin is capable of triggering apoptosis in the body. Apoptosis is described as the death of cancerous cells.
Ashwagandha might be able to use its effect to help eliminate cancer cells in those suffering from the disease.
A research project demonstrates that the withaferin element stops the spread of extra cancerous cells. Taking this into consideration, it indicates the patient is at a decreased chance of having their cancer become worse.
Studies find that ashwagandha may be useful in different types of cancers, including:
- Colon cancer
- Brain cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
3. Reduce Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone in the human body. It is often referred to as the stress hormone. This is a result of the correlation between tension and cortisol. When the body is under pressure, the adrenal glands secrete the stress hormone cortisol.
The adrenal glands push the cortisol into the bloodstream. This causes a “flight-or-fight” response. When cortisol levels stay high for extended periods of time, it can cause adverse reactions in the body.
It looks like ashwagandha may be useful in lowering cortisol concentrations in the body. An investigation was conducted to observe the relationship between this herb and the cortisol levels of a sample of people. All of the participants were subjected to chronic stress. This was a double-blind control study. This is just one of the studies that have investigated the impact of ashwagandha on cortisol levels.
Those consuming a considerable amount of ashwagandha extract experienced a decrease of 30% in their cortisol levels. Those who were taking less of the dose experienced a decrease in their cortisol levels. The outcomes in the experimental group were substantially more powerful in contrast to the results from the control group.
4. Lower Stress And Anxiety
Stress is a common problem in the modern world. The numbers surrounding anxiety closely relate to those of stress. Millions of people struggle with these issues on a daily basis. Individuals afflicted with persistent tension often utilize Ashwagandha, a customary herb.
Multiple studies indicate that ashwagandha may be useful in decreasing stress. Some studies suggest that the herb may be effective in decreasing the signs of stress. Researchers demonstrated that ashwagandha has an effect on the nervous system in a particular study. It assists in controlling the messages that are communicated between substances in an individual’s nervous system. This could potentially lead to a lessening of the intensity of anxiousness.
In another exploration, 64 individuals ingested a day-by-day enhancement that included Ashwagandha extricates. The study lasted for a period of 60 days. At the conclusion of the study, the majority of patients (69%) saw a decline in their anxiousness. The participants also reported improvements in insomnia symptoms. Only 11 percent of individuals in the comparison group showed an improvement in signs of anxiety.
5. Reduce Symptoms Of Depression
Individuals affected by depression may find help from taking ashwagandha supplements. Some research suggests that taking this plant may help reduce the symptoms associated with this mental illness. Evidence is somewhat limited on this subject. The clinical trials completed so far have demonstrated promising results.
One study6 introduced an ashwagandha supplement to 64 adults. One of the people taking part had experienced signs of depression in the past. It is commonly accepted that elevated levels of stress can lead to a heightened risk of developing depression. Every individual ingested a dosage of 600mg of ashwagandha extract on a daily basis. A high-dose extract was used.
There was a notable rise of 79% in symptoms related to intense depression. In the placebo group, only 10% of participants saw an improvement.
6. May Boost Testosterone
Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. This hormone is responsible for controlling the sex drive in males. This substance also assists with other tasks, including the dispersal of body fat, the promotion of heart well-being, and much more. Individuals with reduced testosterone levels are susceptible to certain health issues.
Research has demonstrated that some males may have a rise in testosterone levels when they take ashwagandha supplements. This does not appear to influence all males who consume the additive.
A single research project explored how ashwagandha impacts male semen quality. The research aimed to explore the influence of the herb on reproductive hormones. Men who took the ashwagandha supplement saw a decrease in oxidative stress. Testosterone levels started to increase in the process. Some of the male participants experienced a noteworthy rise in their testosterone levels, according to the study.
7. May Boost Fertility
The production of sperm is significantly affected by testosterone. Considering this fact, ashwagandha can potentially be beneficial for men who have difficulties with fertility. Men who see their testosterone levels rise may be this way.
When there is a rise in testosterone, sperm composition could be better. An increase in semen production could be partly caused by higher levels of testosterone. The result is a better chance of reproducing. This could be advantageous for men who are having trouble conceiving, particularly if they possess low levels of testosterone.
8. Boosts Immune Function
Since ashwagandha functions as an adaptogen that is able to lessen the body’s hormones of tension, it can bolster your resistance system and curb inflammation in the body. Experiments done on both animals and in labs demonstrate that immunoglobulin production can be increased, which in turn strengthens the immune system.
It is capable of fostering an anti-inflammatory state by diminishing pro-inflammatory cytokines. This adaptogenic herb may be a helpful resource for managing various inflammatory conditions by lessening the immune system when it has been weakened.
9. Increases Stamina and Endurance
Investigations indicate that ashwagandha can augment stamina while exercising by enhancing cognitive operation and diminishing discomfort. Research has shown that due to its ability to have an energizing and calming effect on the brain, as well as reducing hormones associated with stress, concentration levels, motivation, and determination have all been improved.
A 2015 trial was done in India, which involved randomly assigning either a placebo or a form of ashwagandha extracts to 50 healthy adult athletes. The study had a double-blind setup, and its purpose was to determine if ashwagandha extracts could improve cardiorespiratory endurance.
The peak physical effort of each participant during the 20-minute shuttle run test was recorded by measuring their oxygen consumption. The individuals were also presented with a poll concerning their bodily health, mental health, social ties, and environmental elements to check advancements in their well-being after taking ashwagandha.
Investigators determined that utilizing ashwagandha extracts over a two-month period boosted cardiovascular and respiratory capabilities, as well as noticeably enhanced the lifestyle of those in the extract class.
10. Helps Increase Muscle Strength
Ashwagandha Withania somnifera might be useful for people performing resistance training or other activities that can put stress on the muscles.
A research paper published in 2015 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition demonstrated that taking ashwagandha was correlated with increases in both muscle mass and strength. A research project that lasted two months was conducted on fifty-seven men between eighteen and fifty years old who did not have much practice in lifting weights.
In the group receiving treatment, the participants ingested 300 milligrams of ashwagandha root extract twice per day while the control group was given starch placebos.
Investigators discovered that the group receiving the treatment exhibited considerably larger growth in strength on the bench press and leg extension workouts. Those taking ashwagandha exhibited considerably more expansion of the biceps and pectorals, less harm to the muscles due to exercise, a rise in testosterone, and a decrease in body fat percentage.
Despite having greater muscle bulk, your joints need to be all the more powerful to achieve optimal performance levels. Ashwagandha appears to help with that, too.
Studies that looked into conditions like normal joint discomfort and arthritis linked to rheumatoid arthritis yielded incredibly positive outcomes, with the herb being able to greatly reduce ache and not having any recorded negative effects.
Risks and Side Effects
Ashwagandha consists of steroidal lactones, such as withanolide A, withaferin A, and withanone. This herb possesses special configurations that are not found in other plants, and they yield distinct medicinal effects.
It is important to note the origin of an ashwagandha extract, as certain components of the plant, may be more prominent in one area than another. The concentration of withaferin A contained in extracts from leaves is typically greater than that found in extracts from roots.
It has been deemed safe for people to use when taken in the recommended amounts for treatment. Ashwagandha may result in uneasy feelings in the stomach, ejection of stomach contents, and bowel unrest. If you observe any of these problems, immediately cease consuming the herb.
Women who are expecting or lactating should never employ it. It seems there is a possibility that taking the herb could lead to miscarriages, and there has not been any research concerning the safety of breastfeeding while consuming the herb.
Those who take treatments for diabetes, hypertension, immune system control, drugs that make someone calm, or thyroid medicine should not consume ashwagandha unless they check with their physician first.
Individuals suffering from hyperthyroidism might recognize an extra boost in thyroid activity while using the herb and should only do so with the assistance of a doctor if doing it at all. Due to its ability to affect these conditions, taking the herb may produce unwanted reactions.
It might be the situation that taking ashwagandha could bring about an exacerbation of autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It is recommended that if you are scheduled for a medical procedure that necessitates being anesthetized, abstain from consuming ashwagandha for at least two weeks prior as this herb may additionally slow down your central nervous system.
How to Avoid Adverse Reactions:
To make sure that you are making the most of your supplement, make sure to use it as per the instructions, and pay special attention to how to consume ashwagandha properly. It’s wise to begin with a small amount and gradually increase the dosage to observe and evaluate your endurance.
Be certain to pick a premium supplement to make the most of the advantages of ashwagandha while also avoiding possible adverse effects of ashwagandha tablets. Make sure to purchase from a reliable store, examine the reviews of ashwagandha from other purchasers, and look carefully at the components list so you can select a product that is free of artificial substances, additions, and extenders.
It is significant to seek out supplements with a number of withanolides between 1 and 10 percent, which are the chief phytochemicals located in ashwagandha.
If you encounter any unfavorable reactions to ashwagandha root or tea, try lowering the amount you are taking and observe if the problem continues. If you experience severe consequences, stop using the product, and talk to your doctor.
How Much Ashwagandha Is Safe?
So how much ashwagandha should you take per day? No definite quantity of ashwagandha has been prescribed; however, taking about 300-500 milligrams per day is usually suggested, and then gradually increasing the amount up to 1,000-1,500 milligrams on a daily basis.
It is recommended to stay within a moderate dosage range and not exceed 6,000 milligrams per day without consulting a healthcare professional.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) holds significant value in Ayurvedic medicine because it helps several body systems, including the immune, neurological, endocrine, and reproductive.
The extensive advantages of ashwagandha make it one of the most widely utilized adaptogens. Ashwagandha is associated with a lot of health advantages that have been extensively studied. These include optimizing thyroid function, increasing energy, lightening fatigue connected to adrenal gland, lowering cortisol levels, managing strain and anxiety, relieving depressive symptoms, and several more.