Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is an ayurvedic herb that people in India have used as a traditional medicine for ages. It is known for treating a number of conditions in ancient medicine, such as insomnia. Ashwagandha is a shrub that is native to India and Africa.
It has green leaves and a small red ripe. Ashwagandha roots, leaves, and fruits were known to treat many diseases in ancient medicine. Recent studies have also shown that ashwagandha has some positive effects on your health.
The cherry-like fruit from ashwagandha can be eaten raw, but not everybody may like its bitter taste. You can make tea from its leaves. Many people use its root by drying it and transforming it into a powder. The powder is then used in tablets, gummies, and supplements. It is becoming popular worldwide for its many health advantages.
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8 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
The studies on ashwagandha are limited, but as science progresses, more studies may prove other benefits. Here are some benefits of Ashwagandha you should know about:
1. May lessen blood sugar levels
Some studies suggest that ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels. It has shown some improvement in diabetes patients. It has a compound that supports cells absorbing glucose from the bloodstream, making it helpful for diabetic patients.
2. May lower stress and anxiety
According to Ayurveda, ashwagandha is very effective in reducing stress and anxiety. Recent studies have also shown that it may benefit those who experience stress and anxiety often. It lowers cortisol levels, a stress hormone, which results in low stress.
It can also help you sleep better, which may help with insomnia and reduce stress. Though the research is limited, ashwagandha can help in managing stress levels. As stress is a cause of many diseases, controlling stress can save you from illnesses.
3. May improve fertility in men
Ashwagandha supports the sexual health of men. Research shows that consuming ashwagandha can increase testosterone levels and regulate hormones to increase fertility in men.
It can enhance sperm quality and motility in men with low sperm counts, resulting in higher chances of pregnancy. Its effect of lessening stress can also support male sexual health and improve fertility. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is considered a natural aphrodisiac that may improve libido.
4. May boost immunity
Ashwagandha acts as an adaptogen, which can provide several advantages. It contains healthy compounds, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties that aid in fighting against ailments and reduce the risk of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. It also promotes the production of white blood cells that may help prevent illnesses. It is a natural immunity booster that may help combat diseases like flu and cold.
5. May improve brain health
As you age, your cognitive function declines, impairing memory and brain function. Ashwagandha contains flavonoids and antioxidants that can assist in improving brain health. The antioxidants may defend your cells and body from free radical damage, which can result in cancer.
It has neuroprotective abilities that can prevent memory loss and keep your cognitive function intact. Some studies also suggest that ashwagandha may slow the progress of brain degeneration. It can help patients with cognitive impairment and support brain function.
6. May help with insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that disrupts your sleep cycle. People with insomnia find it difficult to sleep at night. If they do sleep, they may wake up more often at night.
The active ingredients in ashwagandha make it easier to fall asleep. Ashwagandha also lowers stress and anxiety, which may help with longer and better sleep. More research is required to determine the effects of ashwagandha on sleep.
7. May improve female sexual health
Ashwagandha can be a sexual stimulant and improve sex quality for both men and women. It boosts blood flow which may resolve sexual dysfunction in women and balances hormones, and improve your sex drive.
As ashwagandha decreases stress, it can also increase the chances of conception in women. It also increases the hormone progesterone, which can help improve fertility in women.
8. May enhance bone health
Ashwagandha is rich in many nutrients, including calcium, which can help bone health. Bones can become fragile with time, and it can help prevent them.
It supports bones by increasing bone mineral density and plays a crucial role in bone healing and growth. Ashwagandha can provide relief from inflammation in the bones that may increase due to high cortisol levels. It also reduces cortisol levels which may help with inflammation.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Here are some potential side effects of Ashwagandha:
Even though there are several benefits of Ashwagandha, according to Ayurveda, much more research is required to get complete knowledge about this potent herb. Even though it is relatively safe, it may not suit some people, especially those with prostate cancer or thyroid.
Ashwagandha can interact with certain medicines and cause adverse impacts on your body. It is essential that you talk to your healthcare provider before adding Ashwagandha to your diet if you are taking any other medicines.
Consuming ashwagandha in excess can lead to problems with your gastrointestinal tract. It can also cause diarrhea and an upset stomach. In some cases, it may cause constipation. You should also avoid it if you have a stomach ulcer, as it can aggravate your condition.
Ashwagandha can lead to drowsiness in some cases due to its relaxing properties. Eating ashwagandha with sleep medication can make you feel sleepy. It may be alright if your goal is to sleep, but it may be a problem if you are busy.
Lowers blood sugar
It is both a benefit and a disadvantage of ashwagandha. It can reduce blood sugar levels, but if you are taking medications to manage diabetes, it can drop your blood sugar to a dangerously low level.
Though ashwagandha is helpful for improving fertility, do not consume it if you are pregnant. It can induce abortion and cause complications in pregnancy. Breastfeeding moms should also avoid taking ashwagandha.
You can consume ashwagandha in numerous forms, such as capsules, drops, tea, powder, or gummies. You can make tea from its leaves or use powder in tea or coffee. Taking it in the morning may be the best to get effective results, but it depends on the reason for which you are using ashwagandha. If your goal is to improve sleep, taking it at night may be more suitable. It is also available in creams and oils that you can apply to get relief.
The recommended dosage for Ashwagandha is 600mg, divided into two doses. The dosage can be higher for athletes as it can improve athletic performance. Ashwagandha has many uses, and the dosage may need adjustment according to why you are consuming it.
Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng and winter cherry. It is popular in India, as they believe it has many benefits, according to Ayurveda. Recent studies suggest that ashwagandha may have health benefits, which makes it a great addition to your everyday diet. You can consume it as a tea, in the form of powder or its raw fruit, which is bitter in taste.
Eating ashwagandha can be beneficial for your brain health, bone health, sexual health, and mental health. It may also lower your blood sugar levels, but if you are already taking medication for diabetes, it can lower blood sugar to dangerously low levels. Ashwagandha can help boost your immunity and be helpful for insomnia. It can help you sleep better at night, which helps your body function properly. The most prominent benefit of ashwagandha is that it can reduce stress and anxiety, making you feel healthy.
While it may be advantageous for many, it has its fair share of side effects. Even though it is generally safe, you should be cautious before taking it as a supplement or in any other form. It can induce an abortion if taken during pregnancy. You should not use it if you have other diseases, such as thyroid, autoimmune disease, or prostate cancer. It can also interact with other medications and cause issues. The best approach would be to consult a doctor before adding ashwagandha to your daily routine.
How do I know if ashwagandha is working?
You may notice a boost in your energy and improvement in overall well-being that can indicate that ashwagandha is working for you.
How do you feel after taking ashwagandha?
It may lead to drowsiness and slow breathing.
How long do the effects of ashwagandha take?
It can start taking effect immediately or it may depend.