Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a natural herb that is receiving attention within the U.S. for its ability to ease anxiety and stress in men and women. It is a key component of the long-standing Ayurveda that is the oldest method of treatment in India and is utilized to treat various diseases, such as insomnia and rheumatism.
Its physiological impacts can be interconnected,” says Andrea Fossati, M.D., an integrative health specialist from Vermont. “For instance, stress reduction equals lower levels of cortisol. This means improved blood sugar control.”
However, numerous clinical trials have examined the herb’s properties on a limited number of participants. More and larger studies are required to prove the benefits of ashwagandha, particularly in the long term.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha can be classified as a group of plants known as adaptogens. These are that are known to have health advantages when consumed in teas, powders, or tinctures as well as in their pure forms.
Also called Indian ginseng winter cherry or the scientific title Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is the name of a plant that has berries and roots are utilized to treat ailments.
7. Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha research continues to develop as researchers around the globe investigate its effectiveness against various ailments.
Here are a few scientifically-proven benefits of Ashwagandha.
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is most likely best known for its ability to ease stress. Numerous studies have highlighted this benefit by observing the ability of ashwagandha to reduce stress and anxiety levels in a significant way.
A specific study showed that ashwagandha could improve in terms of quality of sleep. Researchers also found that people slept better when they took dosages of the herb in comparison to placebo dosages.
2. Reduces blood Sugar and Fat
A couple of clinical studies have found that ashwagandha can aid in reducing blood glucose levels as well as triglycerides (the most prevalent kind of fat found in the blood) Trusted source. A study compared the effects of ashwagandha on blood sugar to the effects of prescription medications to treat Type 2 diabetics.
3. Increases Strength and Muscle
Researchers continue to research the effectiveness of ashwagandha in increasing the strength and size of muscles. A study showed that participants had greater speed and power. Another study showed an increase in the strength of the muscle as well as a lower body fat percentage and lower cholesterol levels when ashwagandha is used. Certain participants also experienced more restful sleep, however, this study didn’t compare the effects of ashwagandha versus placebo.
Ashwagandha treatments yielded positive results in a different study that was conducted with only masculine participants. In comparison to the placebo group, the men who were treated with ashwagandha noticed significant improvements in their muscle strength. (measured through leg extension and bench press exercises) and the size of their muscles in their chests and arms, and chests. In addition to significant decreases in body fat percentage as well as an after-workout muscle injury.
4. Enhances Sexual Function in Women
A clinical study has shown that ashwagandha is beneficial to women who are experiencing problems with their sexuality. Ashwagandha’s administration led to significant improvements in arousal levels, the feeling of lubrication, satisfaction, orgasm according to the self-reports of participants. Also, it significantly increased the frequency of sexual encounters as well as improved measures of their distress over their sexual life and sexuality.
5. Enhances Fertility and Testosterone Levels in the male
Ashwagandha could also offer fertility benefits for males. Injecting ashwagandha into infertile males has been proven to increase the quality of sperm by balancing the levels of hormones that regulate reproduction. In one study, 14% of male patients’ companions were pregnant.
In a separate study on ashwagandha’s effects on stress, researchers found that the herb raised testosterone levels for males, but not females. Another study that looked at the effect of ashwagandha on strength and muscle mass in men found a significant rise in testosterone.
6. Sharpens the focus and memory
Ashwagandha can aid in improving memory, cognition, and the ability to execute motor reactions after instructions. A few studies have shown that, in comparison to the alternative, the ashwagandha supplement significantly increased the speed of reaction in participants. in tests of cognition and psychomotor (which test the ability to follow instructions and take an action).
A study found that ashwagandha significantly enhanced the participants’ attention spans in addition to their memory for immediate and general over a range of tests.
7. Helps Heart Health
Two studies have proven that ashwagandha has the ability to boost VO2 max levels, which is the amount of oxygen you can take during physical exertion. These levels are utilized for measuring the endurance of cardiorespiratory, which is how well the lungs and heart pump oxygen and nutrients to the muscles in exercise. Therefore, higher VO2 max levels could indicate a heart that is healthy and does well under these conditions.
But, as mentioned, the findings of this particular study might not be universally applicable. As it was conducted using active, healthy adults instead of a more diverse sample of participants.
Potential risks and side effects of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a healthy and non-toxic plant, however, there are some factors to think about prior to including it in your diet.
Do you use other medicines?
It’s a good idea to inform your doctor(s) to be aware that you’re planning to add an element new to your routine, like Ashwagandha. When you’re taking any other medication that ashwagandha can boost or diminish the effects.
Are there other health conditions to take into consideration?
Ashwagandha may be hazardous if you’re breastfeeding, pregnant or immunocompromised, are about to undergo surgery, or suffer from an issue with thyroid.
Also, it’s important to know that certain people who are sensitive to nightshades or suffer from certain grass allergies can’t take the ashwagandha plant well.
If any of the above situations occur to you, speak with your physician or an integrative healthcare specialist to determine if it’s safe for you to consume Ashwagandha.
What dose should I consume?
Experts say that our bodies might not be able to take in all 300 milligrams dose of ashwagandha, as an instance. The larger doses could cause undesirable side effects like diarrhea and vomiting. It is better to take smaller doses less frequently to reap the most benefit from its balanced effects.
How did the ashwagandha get its start?
Always check the origin of your herbs, particularly if you’re purchasing capsules of supplements. Begin by asking the staff at the natural foods or supplements stores for suggestions. If they suggest a particular brand is safe, do your own research about the company’s certifications, methods of testing, and the standards that they adhere to.
Particularly, you should check for the presence of heavy metals like arsenic and cadmium as well as mercury and lead, within their product. Exposure to these metals could cause harm to kidneys, the liver as well as the central nervous system, reproductive system, and immune systems.
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How to Take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha berries and roots are consumed to benefit from their medicinal properties However, typically, you will find ashwagandha capsules in supplements or powder form, tablets, tea, or tincture forms.
If you’re looking to become more imaginative, you can add the raw form of ashwagandha or the powder of ashwagandha directly to your meals. For instance, you could incorporate the powder into nuts, granola smoothies, overnight oats, or smoothies.
Make sure you don’t expose it to excessive temperatures, Clairmont says, which could negate the benefits of the herb’s healing properties and may even make it carcinogenic. Instead, place it in a pot over moderate heat or sprinkle it into your food close to the time of meal preparation.
Emily Clairmont, a registered dietitian at the University of Vermont Medical Center located in Burlington, Vermont, recommends starting with a cup of ashwagandha to help introduce the herb slowly into your diet and help you hydrate and also a key factor in overall well-being.