In Sanskrit, it means the “smell of the horse” which refers to the ability to increase strength. So, when you take Ashwagandha, the Indian Ginseng, you are consuming one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda that has been used for over 3000 years to relieve stress, improve concentration and increase energy levels.
Ashwagandha is a form of alternative medicine based on natural healing. What does this ancient medicinal herb have in store for us? Plenty of benefits that challenges the allopathic medicine. Let’s find out the benefits of Ashwagandha and know why it is revered for ages.
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety:
Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both human and animal studies. As per research findings, ashwagandha blocked the stress pathways in the brains of rats by regulating chemical signals in the nervous system. Humans studies have also shown that ashwagandha can reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
2. Reduces Inflammation:
Ashwagandha herb has an inhibitor that is effective in decreasing inflammation and pain. Most of the anti-inflammatory properties come from alkaloids and saponins found within it.
3. Reduces Eye Problems:
The antioxidant properties of Ashwagandha are ideal for fighting cataract diseases.
4. Prevents Seizures:
The natural extracts of Ashwagandha have been widely used to treat seizures and convulsions.
5. Increases Fertility in Men:
Ashwagandha supplements have a powerful effect on male reproductive health. In a study done on 75 infertile men, treatment done with ashwagandha led to increased sperm count, better sperm quality and increase in testosterone levels.
6. Increases Muscle Strength and Mass:
According to research, 750 to 1,250 mg per day consumption of pulverised Ashwagandha root helped men in gaining muscle strength after 30 days.
7. Boosts Immunity:
Ashwagandha in capsule form helps increase the count of red blood cell, white blood cell and platelets, which in turn help boost immunity.
8. Stimulates the Thyroid Gland:
Underactive thyroid, also called Hypothyroidism, is a situation in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha can help stimulate the thyroid gland. According to a published study, daily consumption of the root extract of Ashwagandha can increase the secretion of thyroid hormones.
Safety and Risk Factors
Ashwagandha is safe for most people. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume it. People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid taking Ashwagandha, unless advised by a medical practitioner.
Those on medication for thyroid disease need to be careful while taking Ashwagandha, as it can increase the thyroid hormone levels in some people. Since it can decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels, the dosage needs to be adjusted suitably.
The root extract of Ashwagandha is commonly taken in the form of 450-500 mg capsules once or twice daily, depending on the nature of the ailment or requirement. Ashwagandha is widely available at retailers, including health food stores.
Have you ever consumed Ashwagandha and for which ailment? What were the results? Do write in and tell us your experiences.