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9 Amazing Ashwagandha Benefits
It just has so many medicinal uses.
Below you will discover 9 really useful health benefits of the Ashwagandha herb.
Ashwagandha which is also commonly referred to by either its botanical name “Withania somnifera” or other
popular names like Indian ginseng and Winter Cherry is a natural herb that has been used for its numerous health benefits for over 3,000 years.
Withania somnifera is considered to be among the most powerful natural herbs found in the world today.
Ashwagandha’s unique rejuvenating properties resemble that of the popular ginseng herb explaining the origin of its other name ‘Indian ginseng. The plump shrub which is native to the relatively dry regions of the Middle East, Northern Africa and India also belongs to the “Solanaceae” plant family.
9 Health Benefits of the Ashwagandha Natural Herb
Table of Contents
Ashwagandha has slowly become one of the leading Ayurvedic herbs being used in the western world probably due to its wide range of beneficial activities that promote body rejuvenation, physical and mental health and longevity. The plant’s seeds, leaves, flowers, and roots are all used in making herbal medicine.
1. Strengthening the immune system
There are numerous benefits that can be obtained from having a strong immune system. Various studies carried out on the Ashwagandha herb have revealed that it contains potent immunomodulatory properties that are highly crucial in preventing myelosuppression (the decrease in production of immune inducing cells).
The studies also claim that the beneficial herbal remedy has the ability to increase platelet, white blood cell, and red blood cell count when consumed thus resulting in a much stronger immune system.
According to the “Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center1,” Ashwagandha contains high iron levels that are responsible for accelerating the red blood cell production process as well as promoting healthy growth, especially in children.
A randomized, placebo-controlled scientific study that was carried out on healthy 50-59-year-old men saw a significant increase in their hemoglobin and red blood cell count after consuming the herbal remedy.
2. Preventing and alleviating cancer
Ashwagandha has been proven to be a promising cancer prevention and treatment alternative over the years. The natural herb has shown amazing effects, especially on the central nervous, cardiac and endocrine systems.
Apart from preventing the growth of harmful cancer cells, the herbal remedy can also be used in chemotherapy procedures to treat cancer.
This is probably the reason why many cancer experts are increasingly recommending the use of Ashwagandha to prevent and treat the disorder.
A variety of studies have revealed that cancer patients are likely to reverse their condition even faster when using Ashwagandha as compared to using any other conventional cancer treatment.
A scientific study that was carried out in the year 2003 suggested that the natural herb can actively minimize the growth of colon, breast and lung cancer cells.
3. Increasing Fertility
Withania somnifera is a beneficial herb when it comes to solving various fertility issues, especially in men. The herb can be used to increase male fertility, cure impotence and also helps in restoring the depleted male libido.
This Ashwagandha benefit is commonly used in various parts of the Southern Asia.
- The potent male sexuality tonic is highly prized for its powerful fertility stimulating effects. Scientific research that was carried out on immature rats revealed that the plant extracts have a direct ‘spermatogenic’ influence that exerts a testosterone-like effect on the human seminiferous tubules2.
- The findings further claim that Ashwagandha could also be a potential source of hypocholesterolemic, diuretic and hypoglycemic which are all agents used in fertility. By relieving stress, which is also a key contributing factor to male fertility issues. Withania somnifera is an ideal remedy for the condition.
4. Stress, depression and anxiety reduction
Ashwagandha has been proven to reduce the various negative effects associated with stress, depression and anxiety. The adaptogenic herb works by modifying one’s response to the changing environment and any stress inducing factors.
An animal based scientific study that was published in the year 2000 discovered that Withania somnifera has a strong anti-anxiety effect resembling that of “lorazepam” which is a popular medication used in treating anxiety disorders.
Ashwagandha was traditionally administered to induce a calming and soothing effect on the depressed, stressed or anxious individual.
5. Treating diabetes
The natural herb has been used as an effective diabetes remedy, especially in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time now. Various research findings have recommended the increased use of Ashwagandha in treating diabetes.
Consuming the natural remedy daily for about 4 weeks is likely to create a significant drop in blood sugar levels.
Withania somnifera’s effectiveness in improving insulin sensitivity as well as normalizing blood sugar levels makes it an effective remedy for type 2 diabetes.
6. Brain development
Stress; be it physical, emotional or chemical in nature can have various damaging effects on the nervous system. Ashwagandha which is an effective stress reliever.
Has been proven to improve the symptoms of various conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression among others.
Apart from this, the stress reliever is also able to prevent the degeneration of the brain.
The natural herbal remedy’s powerful antioxidant properties help it in destroying harmful free radicals that are known to cause aging.
A team of researchers from the “National Brain Research Center” discovered that mice suffering from Alzheimer’s could easily reverse their condition after just 20 days of consuming the natural herbal remedy.
This is primarily because there is a reduction in substances responsible for brain degradation called “plaques.”
7. Fighting inflammation
Ashwagandha which contains increasingly powerful anti-inflammatory properties is very effective in dealing with various rheumatologic issues. The herbal remedy is also a powerful cyclooxygenase inhibitor(3) that is used to minimize pain while decreasing inflammation.
A research study that was conducted at the “Los Angeles College of Chiropractors” suggested that Withania somnifera’s unique anti-inflammatory properties originate from the steroidal lactones, saponins and alkaloids found within the herb.
A variety of animal studies that have been carried out on the natural remedy have revealed that Ashwagandha’s naturally occurring steroids are far superior to those of “hydrocortisone” which is a medical synthetic used to control inflammation.
8. Treating and managing heart disease
The Ashwagandha herb is a popular health tonic used in treating and managing various heart disorders. It is a potent heart-protective antioxidant that effectively reduces oxidative stress while alleviating the effects brought about by harmful free radicals found in the heart.
A scientific study that was carried out to test the herbal medicine’s effectiveness in treating and managing heart disease found out that Ashwagandha has the ability to increase the relaxation, heart rate and contractility in patients suffering from heart disease.
9. Energy Boosting
The herbal remedy also has potent energy boosting properties that can be used to improve the overall functioning of the heart while providing energy to it. By reducing stress, which is also a major cause of heart disease Ashwagandha thus increases the duration of contractility, heart weight and improves the overall heart health.
Ashwagandha although considered safe for use by most people can also result in various mild and rare side effects. However, it is important to note that almost all of these Ashwagandha side effects normally occur when there is an overdose of the herbal remedy hence can be easily avoided.
Some mild but rare Ashwagandha side effects include stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, loose stools.