Ashwagandha | What Is It & What Are The Benefits?

Ashwagandha has a huge range of benefits some including better athletic performance and better sleep. Studies have shown that this herb may help people who experience conditions like anxiety and infertility.

Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda which is a traditional form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural health.

People will supplement with Ashwagandha to help relieve stress, increase their energy levels and improve their concentration. Ashwagandha is known as multiple different names; its botanical name is Withania Somnifera and it is also known as Indian Ginseng and Winter Cherry.

The actual plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers. The extract or powder from the plant's root or leaves are used to treat a variety of conditions like anxiety and fertility issues.

What Are The Benefits Of Ashwagandha?

May Help Reduce Stress & Anxiety:

Ashwagandha is known to help reduce stress and it is classified as an adaptogen which is a substance that helps the body cope with stress. Ashwagandha may help control mediators of stress including heat shock proteins and cortisol. It can also help to reduce the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal which is a system in your body that regulates the stress response.

Overall, Ashwagandha may be effective for reducing stress and anxiety symptoms and research has shown that people who supplement with Ashwagandha at the appropriate dose helped participants reduce perceived stress and had significant reductions in anxiety.

May Help With Athletic Performance:

Some studies have shown that Ashwagandha can have beneficial effects on athletic performance. One research study has shown that people who took Ashwagandha helped enhance overall physical performance including strength and oxygen used during their workout. Another study has shown that Ashwagandha has enhanced maximum oxygen consumption in healthy adults and athletes. Overall, Ashwagandha may help to improve measures of physical performance in athletes and healthy adults, including VO2 max and strength.

May Reduce Symptoms Of Mental Health Conditions

Some studies have shown that Ashwagandha may help reduce symptoms of mental health conditions including depression. In on study, researchers have found that the effects of Ashwagandha has reduced depression and anxiety significantly than those who took a placebo. 

May Help Boost Testosterone

Studies have shown that Ashwagandha supplements benefit male fertility and increase testosterone levels. In one study, it has been shown that supplementing with Ashwagandha has increased a sex hormone that is involved in testosterone production. Other studies have shown that supplementing with Ashwagandha significantly increased sperm concentration, semen volume, and sperm motility.

May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Studies have shown that supplementing with Ashwagandha significantly reduced blood sugar, hemoglobin insulin, blood lipids, and oxidative stress markers. This may be a certain compound within Ashwagandha called withaferin A which has a powerful antidiabetic activity and may stimulate cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream.

May Reduce Inflammation

Ashwagandha contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the body. Studies in animals have shown that the compound withaferin A has helped reduced levels of inflammatory proteins. 

May Improve Brain Function

Taking Ashwagandha may benefit cognitive function. There has been a study that shows that Ashwagandha could improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Ashwagandha may help improve memory, reaction time, and the ability to perform tasks.

May Help Improve Sleep

Many people supplement with Ashwagandha to promote restful sleep. One study has shown that taking Ashwagandha can significantly improve sleep quality and mental alertness upon waking up. 

Overall the benefits of Ashwagandha include reducing stress, improving sleep, boosting athletic performance, improving memory, increasing male fertility, reducing inflammation, and managing blood sugar.

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with various health benefits. Studies have shown that it may help reduce anxiety and stress while promoting restful sleep and even improving overall cognitive function. 

Jun 25th 2024

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