Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha or Indian ginseng is very nutritious, has an extensive medicinal usage, highly powerful and safe at the same time. The benefits of ashwagandha are so powerful and safe that it is used from ages and it is still used all around the globe to treat many diseases. Let’s find out some of them!
Brief About Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha which is also known as Indian ginseng, Indian winter cherry and the scientific name of it, is Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is one of the ancient Indian herbs which is used from ages in Ayurveda and it is still taken as a dietary supplement.
Ashwagandha is a sanskrit word whose meaning lies in itself if you segregate the word properly. “Ashwa+Gandha” where ‘ashwa’ means ‘horse’ and ‘gandha’ means ‘smell’, which depicts the fact that the root of ashwagandha plant has a smell of horse’s sweat/odour and also signifies the historical reason that why ancients used to say that the regular consumption of ashwagandha will provide you the energy of a horse.
Top 5 Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is extremely rich in phytochemicals which possess the properties of anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antibiotic and immunomodulatory which amplifies your overall health. I
n Ayurveda, extremely few herbs are considered as “Rasayana” which means a “rejuvenating formulation”, and ashwagandha is one of them, as it increases the physical health, mental health, vigour, vitality and immunity, hence increasing the possibility of a longer and healthier life. 10 Scientifically-Proven Health Benefits of Amla
2. Enhances Athleticism
Ashwagandha can be used as an amazing supplement for athletes to increase endurance, strength, power and muscle mass significantly.
In 2012, the Faculty of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy conducted an experiment, published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medicine(J-AIM) showed that the 8 weeks of ashwagandha supplementation(500 mg capsules twice daily) to a group of elite cyclists resulted in increased cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory endurance capacity.
3. Brain Health
One of the greatest benefits of ashwagandha is that it has anti-stress properties which can be a game-changer for your mental health. Regular consumption of it can immensely suppress your stress and anxiety levels and also it is very impactful for people suffering with insomnia, amnesia and neurodegenerative disorders like alzheimer’s and parkinson’s.
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that ashwagandha has extensive potential to act as a neuroprotective in many brain disorders, though more studies are required to declare it as a promising drug candidate.
4. Disease Prevention
Ashwagandha is significantly beneficial for people with severe ailments like arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases, tumor, intestinal infections, etc., due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is the most powerful and safe herb to use, so all types of people can use it without any side-effects, but if you want you can take the supervision of your doctor in case you are suffering from any disease.
5. Sexual Health
Ashwagandha is renowned for its aphrodisiac(Stimulates sexual desire) properties majorly and optimises your sexual health. It is also seen beneficial in infertility and impotency cancer patients, but the studies are not that much conclusive. A study published in 2015, in BioMed Research International found that the 8 weeks of ashwagandha supplementation resulted in better sexual health, without any side-effects.
Does Ashwagandha increases testosterone levels or Sperm Count?
Many of you surely would have been surprised to not to see increase in testosterone as one of the benefits of ashwagandha. The reason that it cannot be considered among one of the top ones is because the studies on this topic are the most conflicting as compared to other benefits which are mentioned in the blog and that is why the possibility of the conclusion being vague is higher.
- A study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health in 2019 found that 8 weeks of ashwagandha supplementation significantly improved DHEA-S levels and testosterone as well, in healthy males aged between 40-70 years.
- But there are other studies as well which shows that ashwagandha does not work significantly in case of normal individuals who have adequate amount of testosterone, but maybe beneficial for patients with extremely low testosterone levels or infertility issues.
Conclusion:-So all in all, if you are suffering from extremely low sperm count, testosterone levels or any sort of sexual disfunction then consumption of ashwagandha may be significant.
But if your testosterone levels are already normal then consumption of ashwagandha will not shoot up your testosterone levels directly or immensely. Having said that, ashwagandha improves your overall sexual health which may impact your testosterone levels indirectly but that also does not guarantee any incredible rise.
Different Forms of Ashwagandha
The most common forms of oral consumption of ashwagandha are:
- Ashwagandha Powder
- Ashwagandha Capsules
The ashwagandha is also mixed with few other herbs and extensively used in making many of the ayurvedic formulations like:
- Ashwagandha Leheya
- Brahmarasayana, are just a name of few.
Ashwagandha is the safest though one of the powerful herbs which an individual can use to improve his/her health in every aspect, be it mental, physical or sexual. Regular consumption of it will do wonders to your body undoubtedly.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q1. Can ashwagandha be consumed regularly?
Ans. Yes, ashwagandha can be consumed regularly without any worry. It is always ideal to use any herb for 2-3 months and take a break of 15-30 days and then you can restart the consumption of it if you want to.
Q2. Is ashwagandha safe to use?
Ans. As discussed in the blog, ashwagandha is the most safest and powerful herb to use. No side-effects ever found in any of the studies but still exceptions are always there, so it will be beneficial to take doctor’s consultancy in case you are suffering from any severe disease.
Q3. How to take ashwagandha?
Ans. There are two ways which are the most common, easily available in the market and easy to incorporate in your daily lifestyle:
(i) Consumption of ashwagandha tablets.
(ii) Consumption of ashwagandha powder.
NOTE:-Few people find some digestive issues with ashwagandha powder, so do ensure the quality of the product before buying it or better still, opt for capsules.
[Pro Tip:-Ashwagandha powder mixed with warm milk and piperine/black pepper in it, increases its bioavailability/absorption in the body and reduces the chances of digestive problems, if you found any.]
Q4. When to take ashwagandha?
Ans. Ideally ashwagandha should be consumed at night before sleeping, which ensures better sleep. But researches have even found that consumption of ashwagandha twice daily, in the morning after waking up and at the night before sleeping is significantly better.