Ashwagandha is one of the most ancient and significant folk herbs of Ayurveda. It is a traditional alternative medicine founded on Indian ideas of natural healing. The Indian Ayurvedic medical tradition holds Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) in high regard as a Rasayana plant as there comes plenty of Ashwagandha health benefits.
Ashwagandha, which translates as “smell of the horse” in Sanskrit, refers to both the herb’s fragrance and its tendency to boost strength. People have taken ashwagandha to reduce stress, boost energy, and sharpen focus. (Source)
Nutritional value of Ashwagandha
Following are the nutrients included in Ashwagandha root powder (per 100g) as determined by chemical analysis: 7.45 percent moisture, 4.41 grams of ash, 3.9 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of fat, 32.3 grams of crude fiber, 245 kcal of energy, 49.9 grams of carbohydrate, 3.3 mg of iron, 23 mg of calcium, 75.7 g of total carotene, and 5.8 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. (source )
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha helps in reducing stress
Most people probably know ashwagandha for its capacity to lower stress. It is categorized as an adaptogen, a drug that helps the body handle stress. Ashwagandha seems to aid in the regulation of stress mediators, such as heat shock proteins (Hsp70), cortisol, and stress-activated c. (source )
Another study involving 60 individuals discovered that those who consumed 240 mg of ashwagandha extract daily for 60 days experienced much lower levels of anxiety than those who received a placebo. (source )
Ashwagandha Health Benefits – The Herb Helps in improving Sleep Quality
In contemporary societies, life is frequently characterized by stress, worry, and disturbed sleep. Stress, anxiety, and poor sleep quality affect everyone’s ability to lead healthy lives and act as early warning signs for a number of diseases. In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the usage of herbs to counteract these causes and effects. An adaptogenic Ayurvedic herb called ashwagandha has been used frequently to battle and reduce stress-related problems and consequently helps in improving sleep quality.(Source)
Ashwagandha Helps in Improving Fertility in Men
Supplements containing ashwagandha have been proven in some trials to improve male fertility and raise testosterone levels.
43 obese men between the ages of 40 and 70 who reported minor fatigue took ashwagandha extract pills or a placebo every day for eight weeks in one research.
DHEA-S, a sex hormone involved in testosterone production, increased by 18% more during the ashwagandha treatment than it did before. Participants who took the supplement also had a 14.7% larger rise in testosterone than those who received a placebo. (source )
Ashwagandha Benefits in balancing blood sugar levels in the body
Several ashwagandha constituents, notably withaferin A (WA) are believed to contain potent anti-diabetic properties and may encourage your cells to soak up glucose from your bloodstream. (source )
Benefits of Ashwagandha in improving athletic performance
Ashwagandha may improve athletic performance, according to research, making it a desirable supplement for athletes.
12 trials on men and women who took ashwagandha doses of 120 mg to 1,250 mg daily were included in one examination of the literature. The outcomes point to a potential for the herb to improve physical performance, including exercise-related strength and athletic performance source
Ashwagandha significantly increased maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) in healthy persons and athletes, according to an analysis of five studies. source
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha in Coping with Depression
According to certain research, ashwagandha may aid some characteristics that can help in lessening the signs and symptoms of depression and other mental health issues.
In one study, 66 individuals with schizophrenia who were also dealing with sadness and anxiety were examined to see how ashwagandha affected them.
Researchers found participants who took ashwagandha extract at a dose of 1,000 mg per day for 12 weeks experienced higher decreases in anxiety and depression than those who took a placebo. (source )
Let’s quickly know about the precautions you should take before using ashwagandha
- Advice from a doctor
If you have a peptic ulcer, talk to your doctor before taking ashwagandha or its supplements as they may induce gastrointestinal issues.
Ashwagandha should be avoided if you are breastfeeding due to a lack of scientific proof.
- Minimal Drug Interaction
Thyroid hormone synthesis is boosted by ashwagandha (T4). As a result, it is generally advised to frequently check your thyroid function while taking Ashwagandha and medications for hyperthyroidism.
Side effects of using ashwagandha
Small to medium doses of ashwagandha are typically tolerated by most people. However, insufficient long-term research has been conducted to adequately investigate any potential negative effects.
Ashwagandha can cause stomach problems, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting when taken in large doses. This might be brought on by intestinal mucosal inflammation. (source)