• Kim C

Ashwagandha Benefits & Why You Should Try It

Updated: Sep 16



People have been using the orange-red fruit and roots of ashwagandha for therapeutic purposes for hundreds of years.


This herb is used by practitioners as a general tonic to increase energy and lower tension and anxiety. Some people additionally assert that the herb may be helpful for anxiety, Alzheimer's illness, and specific malignancies.


Promising studies into the health advantages of ashwagandha have mostly been conducted on animals; more investigation is required.



 


What Is Ashwagandha Used For?


For hundreds of years, people have used the orange-red fruit and roots of ashwagandha for therapeutic purposes. The herb is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry.


Since "ashwa" by definition refers to a horse, the name "ashwagandha" describes the root's aroma as "smelling like a horse."


This plant is used by practitioners as a general tonic to increase energy and reduce tension and anxiety. Some claim that the plant may also be beneficial for certain types of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and anxiety.


More research is needed because promising studies on the health benefits of ashwagandha have primarily been carried out on animals.


Ashwagandha is used to treat the following conditions:

  • Stress & Anxiety

  • Fatigue & Pain

  • Skin Problems

  • Diabetes, Arthritis, & Epilepsy

The leaves, seeds, and fruit of the plant are among the parts used in various therapies.


 

Ashwagandha Health Benefits


According to scientific research, ashwagandha may be helpful for a variety of diseases.


However, little is known about how the herb interacts with the human body, according to researchers. Since animal or cell models have been utilized in the majority of studies to date, experts are unsure if the same outcomes will occur in people.


The following uses for ashwagandha are supported by some evidence:



1. Stress & Anxiety

According to a non-human study from 2000, ashwagandha may be just as good at reducing anxiety as lorazepam in terms of its ability to do so.


In a human study conducted in 2019, it was discovered that ingesting 240 mg of ashwagandha daily considerably reduced stress levels when compared to a placebo. This included lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.


In a different 2019 investigation in humans, ingesting 250 mg or 600 mg of ashwagandha daily led to decreased cortisol levels and self-reported stress levels.



2. Arthritis

By obstructing the central nervous system's ability to transmit pain signals, ashwagandha may have analgesic effects. Additionally, it might have some anti-inflammatory qualities.


As a result, numerous studies have suggested that it can successfully treat a variety of arthritis conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.


The plant may one day be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, according to a tiny 2015 trial of 125 persons with joint pain.



3. Heart Condition

Some people take ashwagandha to improve their cardiovascular health, such as:


  • Decreasing High Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

  • Relief of Chest Discomfort


More studies are needed to back up these benefits. According to a human study conducted in 2015, ashwagandha root extract may increase a person's cardiorespiratory endurance, which may promote heart health. However, more study is required.



4. Alzheimer's Disease

Numerous studies have looked into ashwagandha's potential to halt or stop the loss of brain function in persons with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Parkinson's disease, according to a 2011 review.


Memory loss and functional decline are caused by damage to the brain's connective tissue as these disorders worsen. This review suggests that when administered to nonhuman subjects in the early stages of a disease, ashwagandha may offer protection.



5. Anti-Cancer


A few encouraging studies revealed that ashwagandha may be able to inhibit cell development in some malignancies, according to the same 2011 analysis. In animal studies, this also involves a decrease in lung tumors.


 

How Much Ashwagandha You Should Take


Depending on the ailment they're trying to cure, different people will utilize ashwagandha in different ways and at different dosages. The presence of a usual dosage is not supported by current clinical studies.


Various research have made use of various dosages. According to some research, ingesting 250–600 mg daily may help with stress reduction. Much larger dosages were employed in other trials.


The dosages of ashwagandha in capsules typically range from 250 to 1,500 mg. The herb can be purchased as a pill, powder, or liquid extract.


High doses might occasionally have undesirable side effects. Ashwagandha is one of several new herbal supplements, therefore it is best to talk to a healthcare professional about dosage and safety before using it.


 

Is Ashwagandha's Safe?


Pregnant women shouldn't use ashwagandha because it can cause early labor and discomfort for the fetus. Herbs may be contaminated with heavy metals or they may not even contain the herb at all. Consumers should make sure to investigate the manufacturer before purchasing any products.


The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that some Ayurvedic items may have lead, mercury, and arsenic concentrations that are higher than what medical professionals believe to be safe for everyday consumption of humans.


 


Numerous studies have found that ashwagandha has health benefits including arthritic alleviation, stress reduction, and anxiety reduction. Pregnant women and others with pre-existing medical conditions should speak to their doctor before taking ashwagandha.


Consult your doctors first before using any supplements.

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