For those who regularly use herbal or ayurvedic medications, the herb, Ashwagandha, needs no special introduction. To those who never heard of it, Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that is sometimes referred to as the "Indian Ginseng." The scientific name of this herb is Withania Somnifera, where Somifera means "sleep-inducing."
In this article, we shall look into the top 10 benefits of this magical herb!
Top 10 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha:
If you wonder why Ashwagandha is used a key ingredient in many Ayurvedic formulations, then here is some interesting information for you:
1. Relieves Stress and Anxiety:
One of the key benefits of Ashwagandha is its ability to lower stress levels in the body. It works by reducing the levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone, which leads to lowered anxiety, mood swings, anger etc. Many doctors prescribe a specified dosage of Ashwagandha in the form of powder or pills to fight depression without any side effects. Infact, many studies also show that this herb showed better anti-depressant properties compared to traditional Allopathy medicines.
2. Induces Quality Sleep:
Ashwagandha is renowned as a sleep-inducing herbas it promotes good quality sleep. A study shows that patients with chronic insomnia who consumed a dose of 300gm of Ashwagandha twice daily has improved quality of sleep. Even the leaves of this plant can induce sleep with the help of a compound called triethylene glycol. You can try adding ½ spoon ashwangha powder to 1 cup of warm milk and drink before bedtime to enjoy a good sleep.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Levels:
Ashwagandha may protect you from many heart diseases such as blocks, high blood pressure, heart attacks etc. with its cholesterol-reducing properties. A study conducted on lab rats shows that Ashwagandha extract was effective in reducing the LDL cholesterol levels by almost 53%. Along with that, a 45% reduction of triglycerides was also observed. In humans, the reduction of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides was recorded at 17% and 11% respectively.
4. Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
In normal conditions, our body has a natural inflammatory response which reduces pain and inflammation in a particular area. However, in people with chronic inflammatory problems like arthritis, this response goes down. Ashwagandha works as a natural herbal remedy to curb excess inflammation in the body and offers relief from pains. With regular usage, it can also reduce the inflammation markers like CRP in the body.
5. Strengthens Immunity:
Immunity plays a key role in warding off potential life-threatening infections. Ashwagandha strengthens our natural immune system by increasing the activity of the fighter cells in the body. Taking a specific dosage of this herb in the form of capsules or powder mixed in milk can promote a healthy and disease-free life.
6. Activates Brain Function:
The benefits of Ashwagandha for good brain health are numerous. Along with reducing stress and depression, Ashwagandha is also known to improve memory and brain functions. Additonally, Ashwagandha may also slow down the occurrence of degenerative brain diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer's thanks to its anti-oxidant properties. With regular usage, Ashwagandha may also improve attention building, focus and overall cognitive skills.
7. May Increase Muscle Strength in Men:
Ashwagandha is one of the main ingredients in many ayurvedic muscle and mass gain products.It is known that this herb when used in conjuction with a resistance training program,can increase muscle mass and strength in men. Simultaneously, a reduction of body fat is also observed.Studies also show that Ashwagandha can also speed up the recovery rate in exercise-induced muscle injuries and damage.
8. Increases Fertility Rate in Men:
Men who are suffering from reproductive issues like poor sperm quality or lack of vigor can benefit from Aswagandha. This medicinal herb is known to increase sperm count and quality in men. Studies show that men who were given 5gms of Ashwagandha per day has increased chances of getting their partners pregnant in less than 3 months.
9. Has Anti-Cancer Properties:
Several studies show that Ashwagandha may reduce tumor size by selective fighting of cancer cells. The herb produces ROS, Reactive Oxygen Species which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells but pose no harm to healthy cells. Several studies show that Ashwagandha may treat several types of cancers like lung, colon, breast and ovarian by preventing the tumor cells from spreading to other organs. When combined with an anti-cancer drug, Ashwagandha can speed up the reversal and recovery process.
10. Can Improve Insulin Sensitivity:
Another significant health benefit of Ashwagandha is its ability to control diabetes. It works by increasing proper secretion of insulin in the body which can effectively lower blood sugar levels. By improving insulin sensitivity, Ashwagandha can slowly reduce the need for external insulin shots or medications in diabetic patients. It also can boost the overall metabolic rate for better digestion and elimination of wastes from the body.
Those are some of the best health benefits of Ashwagandha. You can consult an ayurvedic doctor to know about the recommended dosage and usage instructions. So, have you used Ashwagandha before? If yes, did you know about the many wonders of this herb?