Ashwagandha is a well-known herbal remedy. there are many benefits of Ashwagandha.
It’s an adaptogen, which means it can assist your body cope with stress.
Ashwagandha also has a slew of additional health and mental advantages.
It can, for example, improve brain function, reduce blood sugar and cortisol levels, and aid in the treatment of anxiety and depression symptoms.
Here are 12 scientifically validated health benefits of ashwagandha.
1. Is a traditional medicinal herb
In Ayurveda, a kind of alternative medicine based on Indian concepts of natural healing, ashwagandha is one of the most significant herbs.
It has been used to reduce tension, enhance energy, and improve attention for over 3,000 years.
Sanskrit meaning “horse’s breath,” Ashwagandha alludes to the herb’s distinct aroma as well as its ability to boost vigour.
Withania somnifera is its scientific name, but it’s also known by other names like Indian ginseng and winter cherry.
The ashwagandha plant is a tiny shrub native to India and North Africa with yellow blooms. A number of ailments are treated with extracts or powder made from the plant’s root or leaves.
Its high content of withanolides, which have been found to combat inflammation and tumour development, is responsible for many of its health advantages.
2. Has the ability to lower blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha has been demonstrated in numerous trials to decrease blood sugar levels.
It enhanced insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells in one test-tube investigation.
In addition, numerous human research have indicated that it helps lower blood sugar levels in both healthy and diabetic patients.
Furthermore, individuals treated with ashwagandha showed an average drop in fasting blood sugar levels of 13.5 mg/dL, compared to 4.5 mg/dL in those who got a placebo in a 4-week trial in patients with schizophrenia.
Furthermore, supplementation with ashwagandha for 30 days reduced fasting blood sugar levels in 6 patients with type 2 diabetes in a small research. However, because the study lacked a control group, the findings seem suspect.
3. Possibility of anticancer characteristics
Withaferin, a chemical contained in ashwagandha, has been shown in animal and test-tube experiments to aid in the induction of apoptosis, or the programmed death of cancer cells.
It also slows the spread of new cancer cells in a variety of ways.
To begin, withaferin is thought to stimulate the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within cancer cells, causing them to malfunction. Second, it may make cancer cells more susceptible to apoptosis.
It has been shown in animal tests to help treat a variety of cancers, including breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer.
In one research, mice with ovarian tumours were given withaferin alone or in conjunction with an anti-cancer medication, and tumour development was reduced by 70–80%. The therapy also stopped the cancer from spreading to other organs.
Despite the fact that there is no proof that ashwagandha has similar benefits in people, the present study is promising.
4. It has the ability to lower cortisol levels
Cortisol is regarded as a stress hormone because it is released by your adrenal glands in reaction to stress and when your blood sugar levels go too low.
Unfortunately, cortisol levels can become persistently excessive in some people, leading to high blood sugar and increased abdominal fat accumulation.
Ashwagandha has been proven in studies to help lower cortisol levels.
In one research of chronically stressed people, those who took ashwagandha supplements had considerably lower cortisol levels than the control group. On average, those who received the greatest dose saw a 30% decrease.
5. May aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is well recognised for its stress-relieving properties.
It was discovered that through modulating chemical signals in the neurological system, it was able to inhibit the stress pathway in rats’ brains.
In addition, it has been demonstrated in numerous controlled human trials to help patients with stress and anxiety problems.
In a 60-day trial of 64 persons with chronic stress, those who took ashwagandha supplements had a 69 percent reduction in anxiety and sleeplessness, compared to 11 percent in the placebo group.
Another 6-week research found that 88 percent of individuals who took ashwagandha had less anxiety, compared to 50 percent of those who took a placebo.
6. It has the potential to alleviate depressive symptoms
Several studies show that ashwagandha may help relieve depression, however further research is needed.
In a 60-day trial of 64 stressed individuals, those who took 600 mg of high-concentration ashwagandha extract per day saw a 79 percent reduction in severe depression, compared to a 10% rise in the placebo group.
Only one of the study’s participants, however, had a history of depression. As a result, the results’ significance is debatable.
7. Can help males enhance their fertility and testosterone levels
Supplementing with ashwagandha may have a significant impact on testosterone levels and reproductive health.
The group given ashwagandha exhibited improved sperm count and motility in a study of 75 infertile males.
Furthermore, the therapy resulted in a substantial increase in testosterone levels.
The herb-taking group also had higher antioxidant levels in their blood, according to the study.
Men who took ashwagandha for stress had greater antioxidant levels and improved sperm quality, according to another study. After three months of therapy, 14% of the men’s partners were expecting a child.
8. It has the potential to improve muscular mass and strength
Ashwagandha has been found to enhance body composition and strength in studies.
Healthy males who took 750–1,250 mg of crushed ashwagandha root per day for 30 days improved muscle strength in a research to identify a safe and effective dose for ashwagandha.
Another study found that individuals who took ashwagandha saw substantial increases in muscular strength and size. It also more than quadrupled their body fat percentage decreases when compared to the placebo group.
9. It has the potential to decrease inflammation
Ashwagandha has been found to help reduce inflammation in animals in several investigations.
Natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight illness and help you remain healthy, have been reported to increase in activity in human studies.
It has also been proven to lower inflammatory indicators like C-reactive protein (CRP). This marker has been related to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
The group that took 250 mg of standardised ashwagandha extract daily showed a 36 percent drop in CRP on average, compared to a 6 percent decrease in the placebo group in one controlled trial.
10. It has the potential to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides
Ashwagandha may assist improve heart health by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties.
It has been shown in animal tests to dramatically reduce the amounts of these blood lipids.
It reduced total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 53 percent and almost 45 percent in rats, according to one research.
Controlled human investigations have found some notable improvements in these indicators, albeit the outcomes have been less striking.
In a 60-day trial of chronically stressed people, those who received the highest dose of standardised ashwagandha extract had a 17 percent reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an 11 percent reduction in triglycerides .
11. It has the potential to boost brain function, particularly memory
According to test-tube and animal research, ashwagandha may help with memory and brain function issues caused by damage or disease.
It boosts antioxidant activity, which protects brain cells from damaging free radicals, according to research.
In one research, ashwagandha treatment virtually completely reversed spatial memory deficits in rats with epilepsy. This was most likely due to a decrease in oxidative stress.
Although ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory, only a tiny amount of human research has been done in this field.
Healthy males who took 500 mg of standardised extract daily reported substantial increases in response speed and task performance when compared to men who received a placebo in one controlled trial.
Another 8-week research found that consuming 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily enhanced general memory, task performance, and attention in 50 people (34Trusted Source).
12. Is quite safe for the majority of individuals and generally available
For the most part, ashwagandha is a safe supplement, however its long-term consequences are unclear.
Certain people, such as pregnant and nursing mothers, should avoid taking it.
People with autoimmune disorders should avoid ashwagandha unless their doctor has given them permission. People with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes fall into this category.
Additionally, persons using thyroid medication should exercise caution when taking ashwagandha, as it has been shown to raise thyroid hormone levels in some people.
If you take it, your prescription dosages may need to be changed since it may lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
The amount of ashwagandha that should be taken varies on the supplement. Extracts are more effective than the raw root or leaf powder of ashwagandha. Always remember to read and follow the directions on the labels.
Standardized root extract is usually taken once or twice daily in 450–500 mg capsules.
It’s sold by a number of supplement companies and may be found in a variety of places, including health food stores and vitamin stores.
There’s also a wide range of high-quality supplements accessible on the internet.
Last but not least
Ashwagandha is a traditional medicinal plant that has a wide range of health advantages.
It can help battle depression, decrease anxiety and stress, increase fertility and testosterone in males, and even improve brain function.
Ashwagandha supplementation may be a simple and effective approach to enhance your health and quality of life.