Updated: Nov 21, 2022
Ashwagandha is a plant native to Asia, Africa, and the Middle East's subtropical and tropical climates. Ashwagandha's roots and orange-red fruit ha
ve been used for centuries as alternative medicine remedies.
The term "Ashwagandha" refers to the fragrance of the root and means "like a horse." Ashwa, by definition, means 'horse'. Ashwagandha has been known as a powerful tonic for its vitality and calming properties. It has notably been linked to alleviating conditions like cancer, Alzheimer's, stress, and anxiety, along with various health benefits.
What Is Ashwagandha Used For?
The herb ashwagandha is frequently used in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is one of India's various healthcare systems and ancient medicinal practices. In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is categorised as a Rasayana. In other words, it keeps your mind and body fresh for extended periods.
Evidence shows that Ashwagandha, whether in powder, tablets, or capsules, can protect nerve cells from damage and reduce inflammation. Many health problems may be traced back to inflammation, and vice versa: decreasing inflammation helps protect the body against many ailments.
Ashwagandha is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
What Are the Benefits of Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha's potential health benefits have been highlighted by research for a variety of issues. Ashwagandha has been shown to help people with the following conditions:
Anxiety and Restlessness
Ashwagandha may have a soothing effect on anxiety symptoms. Based on a study conducted in 2000, it appears that Ashwagandha may be just as beneficial as lorazepam in treating anxiety.
In a 2019 study, participants who took 240 milligrammes (mg) of Ashwagandha daily had significantly lower stress levels than those who took a placebo. Cortisol, a stress hormone, was one of the pieces of evidence indicating this was the case. Another study goes even further, saying that consuming 250 mg or 600 mg of Ashwagandha daily resulted in lower self-reported stress and cortisol levels.
Ashwagandha may work as a natural painkiller as it intercepts the central nervous system's transmission of pain signals. Additionally, it might have some anti-inflammatory qualities.
Ashwagandha use can help people boost their cardiovascular health, including:
lowering high blood pressure
lowering high cholesterol
chest pain relief
offsetting likelihood of heart disease
According to a 2015 study, Ashwagandha root extract can help improve a person's cardiorespiratory endurance, which may promote cardiovascular health.
A 2011 review indicated that Ashwagandha can help reduce or prevent loss of brain function in persons with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's.
Memory loss and other cognitive impairments result from disease-related damage to the brain and its connecting networks. The same study found that giving Ashwagandha to mice and rats early in sickness can provide potential protection from neurodegenerative disorders.
Improve Physical Performance
Choosing a herbal treatment may not be any aspiring or established athlete's go-to source for bulking up or improving muscular endurance. Ashwagandha's potential benefits include supporting muscle strength and recovery. With its potential to improve energy levels, it may also help with physical endurance, allowing you to keep working out for longer.
Improves Sexual Arousal in Women
When it comes to Ashwagandha benefits for women, at least one clinical trial suggests that it can help women who experience sexual dysfunction. According to the participants' accounts, Ashwagandha significantly enhanced their arousal levels, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction. It also led to a significant rise in the number of successful sexual encounters and a drop in signs that they were uncomfortable with their sexuality.
Improves Fertility and T-Levels in Men
The use of Ashwagandha for testosterone and reproductive benefits in men has yielded solid evidence. By normalising reproductive hormone levels, ashwagandha treatment for infertile men has been proven to increase the quality of their sperm significantly. There was a rise in pregnancy rates among male patients' spouses after treatment, with 14 percent of them becoming pregnant.
Regarding Ashwagandha benefits for men, it was reported that enhanced testosterone levels in men but not in women, according to a study examining the effects of stress on the herb.
While research is still in its infancy, preliminary results suggest that Ashwagandha may suppress cancer cell development, reducing lung tumour size.
How to Take Ashwagandha
Many studies have employed a wide range of doses to draw their conclusions. For stress relief, some studies have found that consuming between 250 and 600 mg daily can have a beneficial effect, with other investigations suggesting far greater doses. Ashwagandha is typically found in capsule, powder, or liquid forms ranging in dosage from 250 mg to 1,500 mg.
Taking any supplementation or medication in an unsafely high dose can result in unpleasant consequences. Before beginning any new herbal supplement, including Ashwagandha, it is strongly suggested that you consult your healthcare provider to discuss its suitability for your needs and the appropriate dosage.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Ashwagandha is generally well tolerated by humans when used at low to moderate doses; used excessively, Ashwagandha can cause stomach distress, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting. If a woman is pregnant, she should not take Ashwagandha since it could cause the foetus to experience distress and lead to labour starting too soon.
Where Can I Buy Ashwagandha in Australia?
These days, you can find Ashwagandha in many different forms, such as capsules, tablets, tinctures, raw powder, and an increasing number of commercial beverages and snacks. Because the effects of Ashwagandha are cumulative, you must take it regularly to reap the long-term benefits, whether you take it as a supplement or incorporate it into food or drink.
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