Ashwagandha Health Benefits Guide:
The following content details about Ashwagandha health benefits.
Introduction : Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in the Middle East, India, and parts of African continent. The roots and orange-red fruit have been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes. The herb is also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry. The name of ashwagandha indicates horse smell.
This herb is considered one of the most important herbs in the Ayurvedic medicine system, a healthcare practice that started in India over 3,000 years ago. Ashwagandha is from Solanaceae family and its medical title is Withania somnifera. The name ashwagandha implies the aroma of a horse. It really is called so due to the horse’s sweat odor which the roots emanate. The plant originated in India also it grows in dry regions. It is just a strong plant that endures the very higher temps to low temperatures which range from 40°C to as little as 10°C. Ashwagandha grows from sea level to the altitude of 1,500 meters over the sea level. The usage of ashwagandha for these hundreds of years has created modern medical science interested and also this turned on the interest to research the therapeutic qualities of the plant. Original research on ashwagandha pointed out the existence of possible healing capabilities in ashwagandha. Additionally, it demonstrated no connected poisoning within the chemical ingredients of the plant.
Scientific research in the plant suggests that it has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidizing, anti-stress, sleep inducting as well as drug withdrawal properties. Numerous formulations that are produced from ashwagandha enhance the musculoskeletal difficulties just like arthritis as well as rheumatism. It is tonic that helps in improving energy, as well as enhancing all around health and durability.
Plant: The plant of ashwagandha is an erect, perennial, much branched under shrub growing to 0.5 meter to 1.5 meter tall.
Stem: Stem is terate, branched, cylindrical, solid, clothed with mealy, stellate-hoarytomentun, at length somewhat glabrous.
Root of Ashwagandha: Root is straight, unbranched, thickness varying with age, roots bear fiber like secondary roots, outer surface buff to gray yellow with longitudinal wrinkles; crown consists of 2 to 6 remains of stem base; stem bases variously thickened; nodes prominent only on the side from where petiole arises, cylindrical, green with longitudinal wrinkles, fracture, short and uneven; odor, characteristic; bitter and acrid. The roots when dry are cylindrical, gradually tapering down with a brownish white surface and pure white inside when broken.
Leaves: Leaves are cauline and ramal, simple, exstipulate, petiolate, ovate, acute, entire, and up to 10 cm long. Petioles up to 1.25 cm long. The leaves on vegetative shoots are alternate and large while those on floral branches are opposite, rounded or somewhat produced at base, pubescent on lower surface and glabrous on upper surface unicostate, reticulate venation. Arranged in pairs of one large and one small leaf and arranged somewhat laterally, having in their axila cymose cluster of 5-25 inconspicuous pale green flowers.
Flowers: Flowers are ebracteate, pedicellate, complete, hermaphrodite, pentamerous, actinomorphy and hypnogenous, gamosepalous, 4-6 mm in diameter, lucid-yellow or greenish.
Fruits: Fruit is a berry enclosed in the green persistent calyx, 5 mm in diameter, smooth, more or less globose, green when unripe, orange-red coloured in ripening stage.
Seeds: Bean shaped, endo spermic, yellow and orange-red colored, somewhat scurfy. Fruit contains numerous small Capsicums like seeds.
Ayurvedic medicine uses herbs, special diets, and other natural practices as treatment for a variety of conditions. In ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is considered a Rasayana. That means it’s an herb that helps maintain youth, both mentally and physically.
Historically, the roots of ashwagandha have been used to treat the following.
- Skin conditions.
- Gastrointestinal issues.
- Nervous breakdowns.
- Snake bites.
- Memory loss.
- The leaves, seeds, and even fruit have all been used in different ways for various treatments.
Today, ashwagandha is sold as a supplement in the United States. It’s still used to treat many of the conditions listed above. It also continues to be important in Indian medicine. Read on to learn more about the potential benefits of the herb as well as possible concerns.
Available forms: Roots, Powder, Tea, Capsules/Supplements.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha:
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #1: Cardio-Protective Properties
Ashwagandha is rich with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-stressor properties and also good for cardiovascular health problems. It strengthens the heart muscles and can also control cholesterol. A study states that it possesses hypolipidemic properties that help in bringing down blood cholesterol levels.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #2:Anti-Inflammatory
Ashwagandha helps in solving a variety of rheumatologic problems. The herb is known to act as a cyclooxygenase inhibitor that decreases inflammation and pain. A research conducted at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractors suggests that ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties that come from the alkaloids, saponins, and steroidal lactones found within it. A study conducted on mice showed ashwagandha was found to stimulate immune activity and increased natural killer cell activity, ashwagandha extract was found to enhance the proliferation of lymphocytes, bone marrow cells and thyme cells.
Ashwagandha increased the expression of Th1 cytokines and stress-induced depleted T-cell population in chronically stressed. Ashwagandha suppressed Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC) and Tumor-Associated Macrophages. Ashwagandha extract also showed an enhancement in activity of macrophages.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #3: Promotes Graceful Aging
Ashwagandha helps in decreasing age it reduces 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 helps in improving resistance to stress, possibly decreasing cortisol production.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #4: Anti-Carcinogenic Properties
A research study has termed Ashwagandha as an emerging and novel alternative in the field of oncology because of its cancer killing properties, in association with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is also of interest because it is known to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy without interfering with the tumor cell-killing activity.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #5: Anti-Oxidant
Ashwagandha is a very good source of antioxidants. These antioxidants are very effective in scavenging and neutralizing free radicals produced during the process of metabolism. Chemo protective activity of Ashwagandha may be due to its antioxidant and detoxifying properties. It plays an antioxidative role in reducing kidney injury due to oxidative stress.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #6: Decrease Diabetes
Ashwagandha has long been used as a remedy for diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine. Research on the use of Ashwagandha in the treatment of diabetes indicated positive results. It was proven that blood sugar levels during fasting and post-lunch period decreased significantly when Ashwagandha was consumed for a period of 1 month.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #7: Decreases Anxiety/stress
The extracts of ashwagandha help in anxiety disorders. It showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels and decreases stress. Cortisol is a body stress hormone that contributes to muscle loss and weakness, wrinkles and cognitive impairment. It also helps in improving working memory of auditory-verbal in humans.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #8: Relieves Stress
Ashwagandha consists of anti-stress properties. Traditionally, It does soothing and calming effect on a person. The factors that are responsible for this activity are unknown, but various anti-stress properties have been observed in research experiments.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #9: Improves Brain Function
Ashwagandha belongs to a class of Medhyarasayanas. It helps in children with memory deficit and also prevents memory loss old ages. This also helps in improving long-term visual memory.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #10: Increases Blood Production
Researches have found that Ashwagandha contains Hematopoiesis properties, which helps in producing new blood. The count of red blood cells and white blood cells have increased significantly.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #11: Kills Fat Cells
Ashwagandha helps in reducing fat and kills fat cells. Its root extract can be used for body weight management in adult. Ashwagandha supplements helps decreases body fat percentage.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #12: Reduces Ocular Diseases
Research conducted shown that the antioxidant and cytoprotective properties of Ashwagandha were ideal in fighting cataract disease.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #13: Fights Infections
Ashwagandha is very effective against most of the phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria tested.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #14: Prevents Seizures
Ashwagandha contains anticonvulsant properties that are widely being used remedy for seizures and convulsions in ayurvedic medicine.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #15: Anti-Cancer Properties
Ashwagandha increases white blood cells count that helps in chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer. It has potential against cancer related fatigue and improves the quality of life. The water extract of ashwagandha effectively increases the WBC count. Ashwagandha is a potent and relatively safe radiosensitizer/chemotherapeutic agent.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #16: Decreases Alzheimer’s Disease
Ashwagandha helps in improving neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. It reversed ibotenic acid induced cognitive defects in Alzheimer’s disease.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #17: Decreases Hyperactive Disorder
A combination herbal product containing Ashwagandha may improve attention and impulse control in children with ADHD. The effect of Ashwagandha alone is unclear.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #18: Reduces Pain/Fever
Ashwagandha contains pain relive symptoms that soothes nervous system. It helps in reducing fever as well.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #19: Reduces Autoimmune Diseases
Ashwagandha root powder had a preventative effect on the mouse model with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Ashwagandha root powder reduced inflammation in pristane-induced model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #20: Helps to Promote Bone Health
Ashwagandha stimulates bone formation and is a bone building agent. Its supplements improve Calcium retention and bone calcification. It has beneficial effects on tibia bone Calcium and Phosphorus content on productive performance of hens without any adverse effects. Leaves of Ashwagandha were effective in preserving bone loss.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #21: Relieves Menopausal Symptoms
Ashwagandha acts on the endocrine system by encouraging hormone balance. A study conducted on 51 menopausal women supplementing with ashwagandha noted a significant reduction in symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, and mood.
Ashwagandha Health Benefits #22: Helps in Liver Function
Ashwagandha significantly increases Bile acid content of the liver with high cholesterol. Ashwagandha decreased circulating liver enzymes (Glucose-6-phosphatase), glycogen and restored them to normal levels in alloxan-induced diabetic. It prevents ionizing irradiation induced liver toxicity disorders in rats.
Nutritional Facts of Ashwagandha: The following are the nutritional facts of ashwagandha.
- Calories – 10.
- Sodium – 1 mg.
- Total Fat – 0 g.
- Potassium – 0 mg.
- Saturated – 0 g.
- Total Carbs – 2 g.
- Polyunsaturated – 0 g.
- Dietary Fiber – 1 g.
- Monounsaturated – 0 g.
- Sugars – 0 g.
- Trans – 0 g.
- Protein – 0 g.
- Cholesterol – 0 mg.
- Vitamin A – 0%.
- Calcium – 1%.
- Vitamin C – 0%.
- Iron – 7%.
Dosages of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a herb that is very beneficial and can be used by people of all ages.
- Tea: Take up to 3 cups.
- Capsule: 1 to 6 grams of herb orally.
- Tincture: 2 to 5 ml orally 2 to 3 times a day.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
- It may decreases blood sugar level.
- It may raises thyroid hormone level.
- Harmful and may create health issues during pregnancy.
- Might lower blood pressure.
- It should not be taken before or after a surgery.
- May cause stomach ulcers.
- It can cause drowsiness and alertmess.
- Gastrointestinal issues.
- Some times it may result in allergic reactions.
- Some people may get fever after using this.
- It may cause auto-immune disease.