The Science-Backed Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, is an adaptogenic herb that helps your body cope with stress. It may help reduce cortisol levels, a hormone released during stressful moments.
Ashwagandha also supports restful sleep and can boost energy levels. It’s also thought to improve memory and brain function.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
If you’ve been looking for a natural way to reduce stress and anxiety, ashwagandha could be the answer. It’s been a herb use in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is said to have many benefits, including reducing stress and improving sleep.
According to medical herbalist Katie Pande of Pukka Herb, ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps to regulate cortisol levels in the body. This is important, as stress can cause the adrenal glands to secrete more of the hormone. Too much cortisol can also negatively impact your health, such as digestion and sleep.
In addition to reducing stress, ashwagandha may also help to lower inflammatory markers in your body. One study found that people experiencing stress took ashwagandha extract for 60 days, significantly reducing C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-10 levels.
Another study examined a group of adults with chronic stress and showed that 225 milligrams of ashwagandha extract twice daily significantly reduced anxiety and improved their cognitive abilities. It also increases their serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and stress relief.
The study also revealed that ashwagandha positively affected blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It was even show to increase physical endurance in adult rats, allowing them to swim longer.
This aligns with the traditional use of ashwagandha, which is believe in providing horse-like strength and vitality. It’s also said to help protect the brain from cell degeneration that can lead to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Increases Energy Levels
Ashwagandha has been knowing to increase energy levels in people without the side effects associated with caffeine. This stimulant increases blood flow to the heart and can lead to high blood pressure and other problems. Instead, ashwagandha helps boost your energy by improving how you handle stress and restoring normal cortisol levels.
In addition, ashwagandha may also support your thyroid function and help overcome adrenal fatigue. When your adrenal glands become overtaxed by excessive stress, they release too many stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline, which can disrupt other hormones and affect your health and well-being.
Moreover, ashwagandha may also help to improve your immune function and reduce inflammation throughout your body. This is great for maintaining good health and preventing many diseases and conditions, including cancer.
The herb is a powerful anti-tumor agent, which means it can help to inhibit the growth of tumor cells and prevent them from growing in the first place. Its benefits are especially promising in the fight against breast, lung, stomach, and colon cancer.
It’s also useful for athletes looking to improve their strength and endurance and reduce muscle damage after exercise. In one study, participants who took 500 milligrams twice daily of ashwagandha extract for eight and 12 weeks saw significant improvements in their endurance, speed, and strength performance.
Moreover, studies have shown that ashwagandha can improve your quality of life, promote mental health and relaxation, and help you sleep better. But you should talk to your doctor before adding ashwagandha to your routine. You should also avoid taking it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, immunocompromised, soon to undergo surgery, or have a thyroid condition.
Improves Memory and Brain Function
Ashwagandha has long been using in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory and cognition. It is a powerful adaptogen that helps your body deal with stress and anxiety and boosts overall brain health. It also enhances the production of acetylcholine, which is critical for brain function.
It has been finding to improve the performance of several cognitive functions, including attention, information processing speed, and executive function. It is also safe to take and can help relieve stress and improve sleep quality.
Researchers have shown that ashwagandha has neuroprotective properties, which means it may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. These diseases occur when a protein buildup called beta-amyloid causes inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.
In laboratory studies, ashwagandha has been showing to reduce this inflammation and decrease the number of protein deposits in the brain. In addition, it has been showing to promote the growth of new nerve cells and protect existing neurons from damage and oxidative stress.
Another study found that ashwagandha may increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. This compound is essential for the formation of short-term memory and long-term memory. It is also important for maintaining emotional stability and regulating the nervous system’s activity.
The herb also boosts the production of a neurotransmitter known as GABA, which helps with mental clarity and relaxation. It also helps control the release of cortisol, produced when stressed or anxious.
To enjoy the benefits of ashwagandha, you can add it to your diet as tea or tincture. It can also support mental and physical health by balancing hormones and strengthening your immune system.
Strengthens the Immune System
Ashwagandha is a well-know adaptogen that has long been using to help your body cope with stress and boost its immune system. This herb also improves brain function and reduces the plaque buildup that causes Alzheimer’s disease.
Many factors affect our immune systems, including our genetic makeup, environmental exposures, and stress levels. This makes choosing a supplement that can support our overall health important.
A recent study found that a low-dose standardized ashwagandha extract containing withanolide glycosides can upregulate your innate and adaptive immune system. This includes the production of immune-enhancing cytokines such as IL-4 and IFN-g. The resulting enhanced immunity is particularly helpful for those suffering from autoimmune conditions and cancer.
To get the most out of this herb, finding a high-quality, well-formulated, and scientifically tested product is important. It’s also best to talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially if you have a preexisting condition or are pregnant. Choose the best ashwagandha supplements for your health and budget to get the most out of this herb. The most important rule of thumb is to keep your dosages small and frequent, as larger doses may trigger unwanted side effects.
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Supports Restful Sleep
The ashwagandha plant has long been used in Ayurvedic practices to calm the mind and promote restful sleep. It’s also known as an adaptogen, which helps your body deal with stress and anxiety healthily.
Good sleep is essential to physical and mental health, and a lack of sleep can make you feel tired and irritable throughout the day. Insomnia can also lead to serious health problems.
If you suffer from insomnia, a recent study found that taking an ashwagandha supplement can help improve your sleep quality. Researchers studied 40 healthy subjects and 40 people diagnosed with insomnia for eight weeks, showing that ashwagandha improved sleep efficiency, total sleep time, mental alertness on rising, and overall sleep quality.
This herb also reduces cortisol, a hormone high in the evening, and can disrupt the natural rhythm of sleep. Increased cortisol levels can lead to a lack of quality sleep, and in the case of women experiencing menopause, it can also contribute to symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
Studies have shown that the main active compounds in ashwagandha – withanolides and trimethylene glycol – promote sleep by acting on GABA receptors, one of the brain’s primary neurotransmitters for calming the nervous system. The trimethylene glycol in ashwagandha has been shown to reduce the time it takes for your body to enter the sleep state. In contrast, withanolides have been shown to enhance melatonin production, the natural hormone that helps regulate your circadian rhythm.