Ashwagandha is considered to be one of the most important and a centuries old herb in the study of an alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing- Ayurveda. It is observed to be an adaptogen, holding the power to help calm the brain, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and manage physical as well as mental stress.
How can something significant of so much healing energy not be a wonder herb after all?
Ashwagandha – The Research Behind It
Ashwagandha also known as the “Indian Ginseng” In Sanskrit the literal meaning of which stands for the smell of the horse, which signifies both, its distinctive smell and the ability to boost strength. Withania somnifera is its botanical name.
Ashwagandha plant is a tiny shrub that is native to India and North America.
In an Indian household, one must have heard or been advised by the elderly of the family to just apply ashwagandha over inflamed joints, as a drink or to include in the skin care routine.
Though, the recent studies and research from all over the world is showing that Ashwagandha is more than just an anecdote and that this ancient ayurvedic remedy has many medicinal effects.
The benefits of Ashwagandha.
Being an important herb in the alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing, Ashwagandha has several health benefits:
- The high concentration of withanolides fight inflammation and tumor growth.
- Helps lower the blood sugar levels in healthy people as well as people with diabetes.
- Ashwagandha helps in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside the cancer cells, deranging its function. It also causes the cancer cells to grow less resistant to apoptosis ( the programmed death of cancer cells)
- Could reduce cortisol (stress hormone released by the adrenal glands as a reaction to stress) levels in chronically stressed individuals. This aids in lowering blood sugar levels and decreasing fat storage in the abdomen.
- It can help reduce the symptoms in people with insomnia, stress and anxiety disorders.
- Might help reduce the symptoms of severe depression.
- Helps boost testosterone levels and increase sperm quality and fertility in men.
- Might help gain muscle mass and strength and aid reduction in body fat percentage.
- Helps increase the activity of natural killer cells or immune cells, whose job is to fight infection, leading to reduced markers of inflammation.
- By decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Ashwagandha might help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Ashwagandha promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals. It also helps improve brain function, memory, reaction time and performance.
Ashwagandha and fertility.
Ashwagandha has had a reputation of promoting reproductive health and helping boost fertility, especially in men. From ancient times, Ashwagandha has been used by many Ayurvedic practitioners as an aphrodisiac to help reduce infertility.
A flurry of studies have validated the aphrodisiac and testosterone enhancing qualities of ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha has been found to prevent the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the semen of infertile men, in order to control the oxidative damage to the sperm.
Ashwagandha and stress.
Since ashwagandha is traditionally used as an adaptogen, it is used for several conditions related to stress. A study showed adults who took 300 milligrams of ashwagandha daily for 8 weeks had lower levels of anxiety and fatigue. It also made concentrating easier than adults who did psychotherapy, for the same amount of time.
Ashwagandha and Anti aging.
A new study suggests that extracts from Ashwagandha root might help increase telomerase activity, hence protecting against telomere loss and potentially delaying aging. Ashwagandha, aka Indian ginseng, is an adaptogen and rejuvenating Ayurvedic herb which was traditionally also used as an anti-aging agent.
Ashwagandha and bodybuilding.
Some studies suggested that those who consumed ashwagandha along with their diet and fitness regime had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size. Hence, Ashwagandha as a supplement might be useful with a resistance training program if the goal is achieving healthy gains. A daily dose of 500mg of Ashwagandha might provide gradual and steady gains in muscle mass and strength in as little time as 8 weeks. In today’s time, where a larger percentage of the BodyBuilding community is focussed on easy and quick fixes for games, being informed about such a natural and healthy way to go about it is a necessity. What team do you want to belong to, Team Ashwagandha or Team Steroids?
Ashwagandha for Women
Ashwagandha can turn out to be a magical herb for women. Due to its antimicrobial properties, several studies suggest that Ashwagandha can help lessen vaginal infections. As vaginal infections such as yeast infection are very common in women, Ayurvedic Practitioners recommend the use of this herb. This wonder herb relieves one from mental stress along with inducing a good mood. This leads to the increase in better blood flow and might as well enhance sexual potency, improve sexual dysfunctions in women and also accelerate the effort of achieving an orgasm.
Quite the Aphrodisiac Ashwagandha is, don’t you agree?
Ashwagandha for Athletes
The herb has proven to provide several benefits to both anaerobic and aerobic activities. It also helps reduce the rate of exercise induced injury, which can be quite the obstacle in an athlete's career. 300-600ms Ashwagandha root extract consumed daily, could be very beneficial for athletes. It aids in cutting down the demand for cortisol (stress hormone), hence helping to direct the production of hormones towards the more anabolic ones like, Testosterone and DHEA.
As we already saw how Ashwagandha helps gain muscle mass and size in a healthy way, it also helps improve endurance. If consumed in the above given ratio along with their respective training programmes, The athletes can observe a significant improvement in their VO2 max and endurance.
Where are the athletes at? Better be taking notes.
Ashwagandha and Weight Loss
The outcome of a recent study suggested that Ashwagandha root extract can help manage body weight in adults under chronic stress. A reduction of around 3.01% in weight was observed, which in comparison with the placebo group was way lower.
Ashwagandha and Arthritis
The elderly know the best, as they have been applying ashwagandha for quite some decades now. It was found that Ashwagandha eases Arthritis related symptoms like joint swelling and pain, specifically in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Where to find the best Ashwagandha?
Some people prefer Ashwagandha in the form of tables while other consume it in a powder form. It’s always more convenient to choose supplement brand that use Ashwagandha as an important ingredient. We, at BBETTER believe in providing only the purest possible ingredients packed into our supplements, all ready for you to consume. Ashwagandha happens to be one of our most valued health aid. Why don’t you check out for yourself?
The highly researched ancient Ayurvedic practices are really underrated by the Gen-Z and it is the need of the hour to begin taking informed decisions about health and well-being. Faster cures and fixes can only serve short term pleasure, instead why not for once experience these ancient practices as a part of our active lifestyle. One might not experience immediate results at times but it certainly won’t do the harm that some modern, artificial, chemical induced supplements can do to the body.
Getting back to the basics is what one needs at times.