9 Amazing Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

This ancient Ayurvedic herb deserves to take front and center stage as its many health benefits are divulged. Ashwagandha (Sanskrit for “smell of a horse” and also known as “Indian Ginseng” or Withania Somnifera) rejuvenates and restores the body to a low-stress, healthful state and is considered one of the most powerful herbs in the Ayurvedic healing tradition.

You can find Ashwagandha in its original form as a low-lying shrub with flat, wide green leaves and small, green bell-shaped flowers that produce orange-yellow fruit similar in appearance to cherry tomatoes. But Ashwagandha is no stranger to the tomato as both plants are in the same family.

As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha aids the body in managing stress. And who doesn’t need help managing stress? Even though stress is a natural and normal part of living it can get out of hand at times which puts our body’s systems on the fast-track to ill-health. So what does a little help from our friend look like?

9 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Decreases Alzheimer’s risk

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Debilitating neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s severely impacts the lives of not only individuals with Alzheimer’s but also family members, caretakers and society as a whole. Ashwagandha has shown in studies to improve neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss which are the major causes for the disease.

Reduces anxiety

Mental health concerns are surfacing as a major priority, anxiety being a prominent mental health hurdle for individuals of all walks of life. From low-level to severe, anxiety can impair an individual’s quality of life. In one study, naturopathic care, which included the use of Ashwagandha, significantly improved participant’s anxiety levels over general psychotherapy. And several more studies showed similar findings.

Lowers stress

Cortisol is a steroid-hormone within your body known as the “stress hormone.” It plays an important role in keeping you alive. It’s necessary. But it can harm your body when there’s too much of it in your system. It can impair your sleep, appetite, weight and mood. Studies show that participants taking Ashwagandha had a significant reduction in cortisol levels. Improved stress hormone levels lowers your overall risk for stress-related diseases.

Increases stamina

If you can run farther, physically or even mentally, then you can get be more productive and efficient in life. Ultimately, you can achieve your goals faster and better. In one study with swimming rats, those that were given Ashwagandha were able to swim for twice as long compared to the rats who didn’t receive any.

Promotes cognition

As we get older, our mental capacity slowly begins to decline. So any measure to improve or maintain our current level of functioning is certainly welcome. Ashwagandha has been shown to improve memory in individuals with impaired memories, such as those who incurred head injuries or are older in age. But aside from memory, responsiveness is an important element of brain health. One study shows that Ashwagandha significantly improves cognitive and psychomotor performance.

Enhances weight-loss

Chronic stress can cause many individuals to gain weight. So what happens when you throw Ashwagandha in the mix? Participants in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study were able to lose weight and stress thanks to this herb.

Aids blood sugar control

Insulin insensitivity leads to type-II diabetes, which is most often caused by an over-stimulated pancreas and washed out insulin receptors. But if you can improve insulin sensitivity with Ashwagandha, then you’re well on your way to better blood sugar management. Combine that with generally lower blood sugar levels after consumption, as shown in several studies, and you’ll be worry-free in no time when it comes to your blood sugar.

Improves male fertility

Ashwagandha mediates hormone levels in the body, which for men can be just what’s needed to improve fertility. The overarching theme with this wonder herb is its impact on stress. And stress can impair male fertility the same way it can in women. Studies show that lowering stress levels has had a positive impact on male fertility. Add that to the fact that Ashwagandha repairs the metabolic activity of seminal plasma which improves the overall quality of semen.

Anti-aging

Lowered stress, improved memory, weight-loss, better blood sugar, increased stamina and reduced anxiety all lead to a healthier body and sound mind. And as you improve on each system you can be sure you’re dramatically slowing the aging process. There’s no quicker way to age than to place yourself under abnormal amounts of stress.

Like with any herb or supplement, you’ll want to ensure you’re making the right choice for you at the right time. If you have any ongoing health concerns, then be sure to talk with your doctor about interactions between this powerful herb and your medical conditions and medications.

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia

111 comments

Lisa M
Lisa M16 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M16 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M16 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M16 days ago

Thanks.

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Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

thank you for sharing

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L4 months ago

thank you

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Sue H
Sue H4 months ago

Good to know, thanks.

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John B
John B7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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natasha p
Past Member 8 months ago

cool!

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ERIKA S
ERIKA S8 months ago

thank you for sharing

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