Ashwagandha is a Hindi adjective that is used to describe the horse like smell of the roots of Ashwagandha herb. It is commonly known by the name of Indian Ginseng. Its latin name is Withania Somnifera. Ashwagandha is one of the many Ayurvedic herbal medicines that are immensely popular amongst the masses.
It has great adaptogenic properties with which it helps to manage external factors like toxins in the environment. It also helps to manage the internal stress and anxiety that affects people due to many dietary and lifestyle problems. Ashwagandha is known for its amazing properties of rejuvenating the body and imparting a sense of well-being.
It is a great modulator that stabilizes the body’s immunity and restores its natural healing power to fight various diseases.
Promotes graceful aging
Stress, both metabolic and emotional, dramatically affects aging. Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, contributes to muscle loss and weakness, wrinkles, and cognitive impairment.
Research has found that ashwagandha improves resistance to stress, possibly decreasing cortisol production. One study of 64 individuals observed a reduction in stress and a significant decrease in cortisol levels in individuals taking ashwagandha compared with placebo.
Ashwagandha contains various biochemical and alkaloids which serve as very strong anti-oxidants in the body. It helps in rapid cell regeneration and rejuvenation which in turn helps in delaying signs of ageing especially pertaining to the skin. It helps in keeping the skin smooth, moisturized and free from wrinkling.
Regular usage of Ashwagandha root powder is a tremendous herbal supplement which binds the free radicals that are produced as byproducts of metabolism in the body. As a result, it protects the body from the rapid oxidative damage that occurs due to harmful UV exposure or toxic food consumption.
It is the most commonly known property of Ashwagandha roots. The Kama Sutra, one of the oldest surviving texts on human sexuality, mentions ashwagandha in its literature as a potent sexual stimulant.
Research indicates that the herb supports sexual health and vitality by increasing blood flow and reducing bodily tension. Women taking ashwagandha typically experience an increase in sexual desire and satisfaction.
Ashwagandha improves physical strength and builds stamina in males. As a result, it helps in case of problems like reduced vigor, premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction etc. Many diseases that cause male sterility are also managed effectively with the use of Ashwagandha roots.
Ashwagandha acts on the endocrine system by encouraging hormone balance. A study involving 51 menopausal women supplementing with ashwagandha noted a significant reduction in symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, and mood.
Manages mental problems
Recent research has shown that ashwagandha reduces memory impairment in animal models. The herb may also protect the brain from the oxidative stress that leads to neurodegeneration.
Ashwagandha is also used widely for patients who are depressed and find it difficult to maintain a positive frame of mind or have problems managing their high anxiety levels. It mimics certain neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) secreted in the brain which are responsible for elevating mood and relax the mind and body. Also improves long-term visual memory. The herb has a relaxing and calming effect on the mind.
It helps improve memory in patients of dementia by helping to delay the damage to the brain cells responsible for memory and learning.
Patients of Alzheimer’s disease also feel relieved after consuming Ashwagandha on a regular basis. It is also found to show anti –convulsant properties helping to control seizures.
The herb is absolutely safe for consumption and can be taken for a variable period of time depending upon the patient’s requirements.
Another benefit many people report after taking this herb is in regards to energy levels. This anecdotal evidence is supported by scientific investigation; a recent study reported ashwagandha’s benefits for improving energy while reducing stress-related disorders.
Ashwagandha is a known mood-boosting herb, and research suggests that the therapeutic plant may play a potential role in fighting mood imbalance. Women battling mood swings may benefit from supplementing with ashwaghanda.
Inflammation suppressing properties
Ashwagandha helps manage swelling and inflammation in any part of the body by controlling the release of histamines that stimulate an inflammatory response in the body.
Even in case of severe conditions like cancer, where rapid cell growth results in excessive inflammation of the nearby organs, Ashwagandha helps to contain the growth of the malignant cancer cells, prohibiting them from spreading any further. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy should take Ashwagandha for rapid regeneration of the cells that get damaged as a side effect of these treatment procedures.
In case of an injury or conditions that have an excessive production of pain in the body, Ashwagandha acts as a great herbal pain relieving agent.
The plant sterols present in Ashwagandha plant have a steroid like action on the inflammatory conditions in the body.
It is very beneficial for this reason in case of arthritic pain in which the pain results in reduced mobility of the joint involved and may result in permanent damage to the joints as a result of fibrosis.
Cardio –Protective Properties
Ashwagandha’s stress relieving and mood elevating properties prove to be very beneficial in the management of cardiac disorders especially dealing with muscular weakness of the heart.
It stimulates and strengthens heart muscles and boosts the heart’s ability to pump blood. It can be great for patients of heart failure where the heart muscles and muscle fibers become weak and are unable to perform their functions properly.
Care has to be taken especially in patients who have high blood pressure levels. Due to its stimulating properties it tends to boost the blood pressure levels as well, but the changes are not very sudden. It is always better to take Ashwagandha under the supervision of an Ayurvedic physician.
Ashwagandha can be found in liquid and capsule form. Always look for an organic supplement that comes from a trusted, high-quality source.