Ashwagandha is an herb that has been gaining popularity in the west thanks, in part, to its ability to regulate anxiety and stress. It is part of a class of plants called adaptogens that are well-known for their numerous health benefits. Known as Indian Ginseng, ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. In Sanscrit, the name refers to “horse” and “smell” because the root has a horse-like smell and bestows a horse’s virility and strength. Perhaps you have been a little stressed out as of late, but you are skeptical about herbal supplements. We are here to cover the basics and introduce you to the health benefits of ashwagandha.
Where Does Ashwagandha Come From?
Ashwagandha is native to India and Sri Lanka and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. The roots and berries of the plant are used to make various forms of ashwagandha, including powder, capsules, and extracts. The herb is said to have a range of benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, boosting energy levels, and aiding in the treatment of infertility. While more research is needed, ashwagandha remains a popular herbal remedy for many people.
It Helps Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Ashwagandha is probably best known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Since it is classified as an adaptogen, we know that it is a substance that helps us cope with stress. There have been several studies on the effects of ashwagandha; one study, in particular, discovered that participants who consumed ashwagandha supplements experienced remarkable sleep improvement in quality compared to those who were given a placebo.
This study had participants take 250 or 600 mg of ashwagandha extract over a period of eight weeks. The results of this study found that the participants enjoyed significantly reduced levels of perceived stress compared to those who were given placebos. In addition, The participants who took the ashwagandha supplements also experienced reduced levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
It May Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
There is limited research that suggests ashwagandha may be of benefit for those suffering from diabetes. However, a few clinical studies found that participants with diabetes who took ashwagandha enjoyed a significant reduction in blood sugar levels and reduced blood lipids, insulin, and oxidative stress markers.
Possible Increased Muscle And Strength
There has been research that found ashwagandha might improve muscle size and strength. One study, in particular, found its participants enjoyed increased speed as well as strength. The gains in muscle strength were measured by leg extension and bench press exercises. In addition, measurements gauged muscle size in the chest and arms. Not only did the men who were treated with ashwagandha see increases in muscle mass, but they also enjoyed a significant reduction in body fat as measured in percentage and damage that occurs when you workout.
It May Improve Memory And Sharpen Focus
If you have trouble remembering what happened just a few weeks ago, ashwagandha may be helpful. A few small studies have been done, and they have discovered that ashwagandha significantly improved cognition. In addition, another study found that ashwagandha also improved attention span.
It May Support A Healthy Heart
Ashwagandha is a powerful, natural remedy that can increase VO2 max levels and help you achieve your health goals. In addition, a study in animals has shown it to be effective at increasing cardiorespiratory endurance—meaning the heart’s ability to deliver oxygen efficiently during physical activity; this indicates an overall healthy lifestyle for those who take advantage of ashwagandhas’ benefits.
It Could Boost Testosterone Levels and Fertility In Men
The ancient herb ashwagandha has been shown to provide a range of benefits for both men and women, including the potential treatment or prevention tool against some significant diseases. A recent study found that 14% percent of females whose male partners took this natural supplement became pregnant after being infertile due to high-stress levels. Another study found that ashwagandha increased muscle strength and testosterone levels in males but not females.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ashwagandha
How Much Should I Take?
It is essential to talk with your healthcare provider about the amount of ashwagandha you should be taking. While it is a safe herb to consume, larger doses might come with unwanted side effects, including diarrhea and vomiting.
What Conditions Should I Consider?
It is best to avoid ashwagandha if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, or if your immune system is compromised. You should also know that people with certain grass allergies don’t always tolerate the herb all that well. You should also know that ashwagandha has a relatively low incidence of side effects. However, it is still a good idea to speak with your healthcare professional before taking any type of supplement.
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