Ashwagandha- 10 Health Benefits, Uses, Doses & Side Effects

Ashwagandha- Health Benefits, Uses, Doses and Side Effects

Ashwagandha

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a tiny evergreen plant that can be found in India, the Middle East, and Africa. Withanolide is the active chemical component in this product. 

Ayurvedic medicine is made from the roots and berries of the shrub (traditional Hindu medical system). It comes in pills and powder form, which can be incorporated into soft foods (such as yogurt or oatmeal). In a wide variety of doses, the root, root powder, and standardized withanolide extracts are employed. 

(Unlike prescription medications, supplements, such as Ashwagandha, frequently have little—or conflicting—evidence about the appropriate dose.) Among other substances, It is found in certain dietary supplements designed to enhance sleep or cure stress.

What is Ashwagandha Good For?

A volume of investigations suggests that it has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties; most studies support ashwagandha’s use for this purpose, and it appears to lower cortisol levels. 

More research is needed, however, before we can have a high level of trust in it or determine the best dose. It may also help with insomnia, exhaustion, and depression symptoms, although it hasn’t been thoroughly tested for these uses. It also has strong antioxidant capabilities that aid in the prevention of cellular damage caused by free radicals [induced oxidative stess].

It is one of the most significant herbs in Ayurveda (India’s traditional medical system), and it has been utilized as a Rasayana for millennia for its wide-ranging health effects. 

Rasayana is a herbal or metallic concoction that promotes a youthful physical and mental state of health as well as happiness.

These medicines are given to little children as tonics, and they are also used by the middle-aged and old to extend their lives. It boosts memory and improves the function of the brain and neurological system. 

It promotes a healthy sexual and reproductive balance by improving the function of the reproductive system. Sometimes it also acts as a base powder/ herbal powder for other Ayurvedic medicines. 

10 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha powder is widely used as compared to other things like pills, syrups, capsules, etc. This powder has an unlimited range of advantages. 

The most popular uses of the powder are for alleviating disorders including leucoderma, constipation, sleeplessness, rheumatism, neurological breakdown, goiter, etc. 

To receive relief from inflammation and pain, a paste made from the powder is applied to the joints.

Even though there are many distinct types of ashwagandha, the Nagori Ashwagandha is the best of them all. Only fresh ashwagandha powder should be taken for optimal effects. 

As scientists throughout the world explore its usefulness against several illnesses, research continues to advance.

When these substances are eaten, they can interact with those that activate pathways in our cells, resulting in a significant effect on our bodies. Let us discuss its benefits in detail:-

1. Relieves Anxiety & Stress

As discussed above it is an adaptogen, which means it aids the body’s ability to adapt to stress. It can improve brain function and alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms. This herb has been shown in several controlled human investigations to help persons with stress and anxiety disorders. 

In a 60-day trial of persons with chronic stress, those who took ashwagandha supplements experienced a 69 percent reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared to 11 percent in the placebo group. It also lowers the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which controls the stress response in your body. Its supplements have been found in several studies to help reduce stress and anxiety.

2. Reduces Body Inflammation & Water Retention

Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to things like infection, poisons, and trauma. To restore equilibrium, the body will release an anti-inflammatory response under normal circumstances. 

However, in cases of chronic pain, the body is unable to control the inflammatory response. The end outcome is chronic discomfort and dysfunction. 

There are a variety of ayurvedic herbs that can help with chronic inflammation. Inflammatory response & water retention can be relieved by drinking ashwagandha herbal tea made from the leaves.

3. Fights Acne & Other Skin Blemishes

The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of ashwagandha root protect the skin from infections and blemishes. It also increases collagen production in the skin, which slows down the aging process. 

If you have acne, try using natural face treatments containing its powder. This anti-acne treatment treats pimples and blackheads, as well as scars, skin tone, and inflammatory processes.

4. Good for cardiac Health

It has several heart-health benefits, including the treatment of excessive cholesterol, high blood pressure, chest pain, and a variety of other cardiac conditions. Including ashwagandha powder in your diet can help you keep your heart healthy.

5. Constitute Anti-Cancerous Property

It also inhibits the formation of new cancer cells in a variety of ways. Withaferin is thought to encourage the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cancer cells, causing them to malfunction. 

It may also aid in the treatment of cancers such as breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer, according to research.

In one study, rats with ovarian tumors were given withaferin alone or in combination with an anti-cancer medication, and the tumor growth was significantly reduced. The treatment is also thought to prevent cancer from spreading to other organs.

6. Used for Treating Alzheimer

It has been discovered to reduce the formation of beta-amyloid plaques by researchers. These plaques, which are thought to be toxic to brain cells, form in the brains of persons suffering from neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. It has been shown to improve memory, brain function, and intelligence by increasing acetylcholine levels in the brain.

7. Proven Ayurvedic Medicine for Asthma

Shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest congestion are some of the symptoms of asthma. If you have asthma, It may be a natural treatment option for you. 

Asthma can be triggered by a variety of conditions, including dust, pollen, stress, anxiety, pollution, and so on. 

Several Ayurveda literature mentions various asthma treatments for children and adults. It entails the use of ayurvedic medicines and herbs, as well as a significant lifestyle change. 

Regular use of ashwagandha roots relieves stress & breathing issue, which aids in the treatment of respiratory disorders like this.

8. Aids Internal Ulcer

According to several research, it may be a natural ulcer treatment. Gastric ulcers are ulcers that form when the stomach lining is damaged.

Ulcers can be induced by stress, both psychological and physical. Ulcers can be treated as well as prevented using ashwagandha. 

According to the studies, ashwagandha, alone or in combination with other herbs, can lower gastric acid levels in the stomach, preventing the formation of painful ulcers.

9. Improves Thyroid Function

The thyroid gland is a gland in the back of the neck. It’s crucial to understand the many sorts of thyroid issues before discussing how they can help. 

Hypothyroidism is a thyroid condition defined by low thyroid hormone levels, whereas hyperthyroidism is characterized by high thyroid hormone levels. 

It may help manage hypothyroidism by increasing T3 and T4 thyroid hormone levels, but it can exacerbate hyperthyroidism symptoms.

10. Promotes Hair Health

It has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that aid in the health of the scalp. Flavonoids are abundant in ashwagandha powder, which also contains fatty acids, glucose, potassium, tannins, and nitrate. 

Tyrosine, an amino acid found in it, increases melanin formation and prevents melanin loss in the hair. It’s also been said to help prevent postpartum hair loss, and it’s frequently found in shampoos to assist enhance scalp circulation and hair strength. 

The activation of DHEA [Dehydroepiandrosterone] by the enhancement of sebum production promotes healthy hair development.

Read More:

1. Health Benefits of Isabgol

2. Health Benefits of Jeera Water

3. Health Benefits of Curry Leaves

4. Health Benefits of Bhringraj

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men

It has traditionally been used to treat male problems. One of the most important benefits of ashwagandha for men is its capacity to boost and control testosterone production in the body. 

Men’s health depends on maintaining adequate testosterone levels. It can even aid with Andropause, sometimes known as the “middle-age crisis.” It has been shown to boost and maintain healthy male fertility levels in men with poor sperm count and mobility. 

Other research has found that Withaferin-A, a compound contained in its leaves, can help with prostate cancer treatment. 

The herb has demonstrated a considerable improvement in erection onset and maintenance. Erectile dysfunction and libido loss are effectively treated with ashwagandha.

Benefits of Ashwagandha for Female

It improves endocrine system communication by strengthening the adrenal glands, lowering cortisol, and increasing blood production. Increased blood flow and hormone regulation have a good influence on libido and menstrual health, and can also help with fertility. 

Hormonal imbalances occur during menopause, which can result in hot flashes, anxiety, melancholy, and sleeping problems, among other things. It has been demonstrated to be the most effective treatment for these problems. It may also help women with androgen insufficiency syndrome by increasing testosterone levels. 

Ashwagandha Side Effects

1. Although it is generally safe to consume, it should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as persons with disorders including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes.

2. In small to medium doses, it is regarded to be well tolerated. However, there isn’t enough long-term research to look into potential side effects. Ashwagandha should not be taken by pregnant women because it can cause premature labor. 

3. It’s unclear whether nursing mothers who take ashwagandha transmit the herb’s components into their breast milk. Similarly, its effects on nursing moms and infants remain unknown.

4. The digestive tract may be irritated by ashwagandha.

5. Because it appears to stimulate the immune system, it may interact with medicines that inhibit the immune system. Cyclosporine, corticosteroids are examples of these medications.

6. It has the potential to make people sleepy or drowsy. As a result, mixing sedative-hypnotic medications (used to aid sleep) with ashwagandha may cause people to become too drowsy. eszoplicone, , quetiapine, and lorazepam are some of these sedatives.

7. Because it can raise thyroid hormone levels, doctors closely monitor thyroid function by conducting blood tests for anyone taking thyroid hormones and ashwagandha together.

How to take Ashwagandha?

There are various ways to consume ashwagandha, a few of them are mentioned below:-

1. You can have it in the form of a capsule.

2. You can consume its churna [ powder] empty stomach in the morning with lukewarm water

3. You can mix its powder with some homemade sauces and enjoy it.

4. The most common and best way to consume it is with milk. Ashwagandha milk is very popular in India. 

Let’s go through how to prepare it:- 

i) Combine 4 cups milk and 10 grams ashwagandha powder. Bring the mixture to a boil until it forms a thick paste. 

ii) After that, remove it from the heat. 

iii) Allow 10 minutes for the mixture to rest. 

iv) You can sweeten it with 1 teaspoon of sugar.

This ashwagandha milk recipe is the best drunk on an empty stomach since it allows for improved absorption of the active ingredients in ashwagandha. Just make sure you’re not lactose intolerant or that milk doesn’t cause acidity when consumed on an empty stomach.

Ashwagandha Doses

1. For reduction of Anxiety and Stress: The majority of the benefits are connected to daily doses of 500–600 mg administered for at least one month.

2. For general maintenance of health:- With meals, take 300–500 mg of a root extract (with breakfast, if taken all at once). More research is needed to see if higher doses provide more advantages. In rare cases, lower doses (50–100 mg) have been demonstrated to benefit, such as lowering stress-induced immune suppression and improving the impact of other anxiolytics.

3. To Help diabetes: Ashwagandha may aid in the reduction of blood sugar levels. Benefits appear to begin as little as 250 mg per day in certain cases.

4. To Increase Muscle Mass, endurance, and Strength: Daily doses of 500 mg of ashwagandha can result in muscle mass and strength gains in as little as eight weeks. While the majority of studies have focused on men, some evidence suggests that women may benefit as well.

5. For inflammation:- Supplements containing at least 250 mg of ashwagandha or 12 ml of ashwagandha extract provide the highest benefits in terms of reducing inflammation and aiding in the fight against infection.

6. For polishing memory & cognitive function: Taking 500–600 mg of ashwagandha root extract per day can help with a variety of memory issues.

Precautions When Using Ashwagandha

There are no such precautions mentioned or found anywhere. But there should be moderation in dosages and one should avoid using it if any allergic reaction is observed.

Conclusion

Withania somnifera is its botanical name, and it’s also known as Indian ginseng and winter cherry. According to certain research, withaferin, a chemical present in ashwagandha, aids in the induction of apoptosis, or the programmed death of cancer cells. 

It boosts the body’s stress resistance because it has powerful adaptogenic potential that’s why it can go with a maximum number of eatables and Ayurvedic medicines. 

This Ayurvedic herb has been used to lower stress hormones and increase blood flow to female reproductive organs. 

Supplementing with ashwagandha resulted in a considerable boost in testosterone levels, increased sperm quality, and greater antioxidant levels in men, according to studies. 

Various side effects have been also observed. So it is being instructed to everyone who’s reading this informative article that please get a consultation from a doctor, dietitian, or any other health professional before incorporating it into your daily diet. 

FAQ

1. Is ashwagandha safe?

Yes, ashwagandha is safe to ingest, however, it should never be taken more than the authorized doses or for longer than the advised time.

2. What does ashwagandha do to the body?

Chemicals in it may aid to relax the brain, reduce edema, lower blood pressure, and change the immune system. It is utilized for a variety of stress-related illnesses because it is traditionally employed as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that are thought to assist the body cope with physical and mental stress.

3. Who should not take ashwagandha?

Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as those with medical diseases such as diabetes, high or low blood pressure, stomach ulcers, autoimmune illness, or thyroid issues, should avoid using ashwagandha.

4. Does ashwagandha make you gain weight?

No, It is high in antioxidants, which are necessary for weight loss and overall health.

5. Does ashwagandha cause hair loss?

No, it is good for the hair-loss issue. It is a very effective herb to reduce cortisol levels in the body and, as a result, follicle damage and hair loss.

6. Does ashwagandha give you energy?

Yes, consumption of this herb helps you to boost your energy level.

7. Which is the best ashwagandha powder or capsule?

Although, every form of ashwagandha is a good powder is preferably best as it can be consumed with other eatable items like milk, chutney, etc. 

8. Is ashwagandha good for the lungs?

Yes, it increases lung capacity and also removes mucous from the lung.

9. Is ashwagandha good for the liver?

Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), a commonly used medicinal herb, has lately been linked to liver damage if consumed more than the recommended dose. It may promote the reduction of toxins from the liver. 

10. Is it OK to take ashwagandha long-term?

When taken for up to three months, ashwagandha may be considered safe. Ashwagandha’s long-term safety is unknown. Ashwagandha at high doses might cause stomach distress, diarrhea, and vomiting. Because we don’t have long-term evidence on ashwagandha, we can only say that it’s ‘maybe safe’ when taken daily for up to three months.

11. Will ashwagandha make me sleepy?

Ashwagandha might cause headaches and tiredness as well as other negative effects. Sedatives, or sleep aids, can also produce drowsiness and slower breathing. When used with sedative drugs, ashwagandha might induce respiratory issues and/or excessive sleepiness.

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