- Health benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is one of the ancient medicinal herbs, mainly found in India. This herb has a lot of therapeutic advantages and is in a lot of demand worldwide. Ashwagandha classified as an adaptogen. This means that this herb is advantageous in managing stress and anxiety. Apart from this, Ashwagandha also provides many other health benefits that help your body and brain. For example, Ashwagandha can boost brain function and lower the sugar level in your blood and even the cortisol level, thus helping you reduce stress and anxiety levels. The best part about this medicinal herb is that its benefits are scientifically proven too. Now, let’s look at some of the health benefits of Ashwagandha.
Health benefits of Ashwagandha:
- It is an ancient herb used in Ayurveda: Ashwagandha is one of the main herbs used in Ayurveda, which is a form of Eastern medicine based on principles of natural healing. The herbs of Ashwagandha have been used for more than 3000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and even improve concentration. Ashwagandha derived from a Sanskrit word. Ashwagandha is also known or proven to fight inflammation and tumor growth.
- Reduces sugar levels in the blood: Ashwagandha proven to reduce sugar levels in the blood. One test-tube study and research resulted in increased insulin secretion in the body and even improved insulin sensitivity in the muscle cells. According to a report, it is proven that Ashwagandha can reduce sugar levels in both diabetic and healthy people.
- Might contain anticancer properties: According to extensive research, it is found that withaferin- an element found in Ashwagandha – helps prevent cancer and kills cancer cells. It also hurdles the growth of many new cancer cells in many ways. First, withaferin may promote the increase of Reactive Oxygen Species inside the cancer cells. Animal studies indicate that Ashwagandha may help treat several cancers, including breast, lung, ovarian, liver, and brain cancer.
- Reduces Cortisol levels: Cortisol is a stress hormone that is known to induce stress(1) in the human body when it sees a rise in the adrenaline level. Unfortunately, in some conditions, cortisol levels may become elevated, resulting in a noticeable increase in the blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen. Studies show that Ashwagandha might be the cure to this as it helps in reducing cortisol levels.
- May prevent or help decrease anxiety: As we know, Ashwagandha is one of the best cures for reducing stress and anxiety. According to research, Ashwagandha blocked the stress pathway in the brains of rats. But, also proven that Ashwagandha helps reduce stress and anxiety considerably in humans. In 60-day research, 64 people suffering from chronic stress supplemented with Ashwagandha. In the end, approximately 70 percent saw a significant reduction in stress.
- May reduce depression: Although solid research not yet conducted, it is still believed that Ashwagandha may reduce depression. In a 60-day study, a high dosage(600mg) of Ashwagandha given to 64 people. In the end, approximately 80 percent of the people reported a significant decrease in depression.
- Has the ability to boost testosterone levels and increase fertility in men: Ashwagandha supplements can impact testosterone levels in men. In a study consisting of 75 infertile men, all of them given a daily dosage of Ashwagandha. This increased their sperm count and motility significantly. Research also concluded that Ashwagandha had increased the antioxidant levels in their blood.
- May increase strength and muscle mass: Research shows that Ashwagandha may have the powers and miracles to increase or improve body composition and increase muscular strength. In a study to determine this, healthy men took about 750mg of Ashwagandha daily for thirty days. This increased their muscle mass and strength significantly.
- May reduce inflammation: Several research concluded that Ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation. Initially, this was only tested on animals. Later, it was found that Ashwagandha increases the activity of natural killer cells, which helps fight infection and protect the body. In a controlled study, the group who took 250mg of Ashwagandha extract daily saw a 36 percent decrease in CRP.
- May lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels: In addition to anti-inflammatory effects, Ashwagandha may also help in improving heart health by reducing the cholesterol levels in the body. Animal studies found that it significantly reduced cholesterol levels. One controlled study proved that Ashwagandha decreased the cholesterol levels by approximately 45 percent in rats. In a 60-day human study, it was concluded that chronically stressed adults, after taking a high dosage of Ashwagandha, resulted in approximately a 17 percent decrease in LDL( bad cholesterol).