Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions, and is most well-known for its restorative benefits. In Sanskrit Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.
Ashwagandha is frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties, even though botanically, ginseng and Ashwagandha are unrelated.
Belonging to the same family as the tomato, Ashwagandha is a plump shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers. It bears red fruit about the size of a raisin. The herb is native to the dry regions of India, northern Africa, and the Middle East, and today is also grown in more mild climates, including the United States.
Ashwagandha Nutritional Value
Ashwagandha is actually a powerhouse of nutrition. You get the following in it:
- Fatty acids
- Steroidal alkaloids – sominine, somniferine, withanolides and anferine
Benefits Of Ashwagandha
1#.Improve Thyroid Health
A big chunk of the world’s population suffers from thyroid issues and sometimes they don’t even know it.
Studies have proven that Ashwagandha has a balancing effect on the thyroid hormone. It has adaptogenic qualities which means it can balance your hormonal levels whether they’re high or low.
The surprising part is that Ashwagandha is can be used for both kinds of thyroid – hypo (slow and sluggish) and hyper (overactive).
2#.Helps To Fight Cancer
Some studies suggest that immune boosting and antioxidant properties of Ashwagandha extract can stop the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting their proliferation. Ashwagandha has been indicated to useful in helping to treat the world’s most common cancers like lung, breast cancer, colon and stomach cancer.
3#.Regulates The Sugar Level
Insulin is released in response to elevated cortisol levels. Insulin enables the body to use blood sugar and store it as fat in your body. But Ashwagandha improves insulin sensitivity index quite effectively. It lowers the blood sugar level thereby contributing in losing the unwanted weight. It also lowers down the bad cholesterol and it is indeed a very powerful ayurvedic herb.
In past which is many centuries ago, Ashwagandha had been used as an aphrodisiac and people used it as a medication to improve vitality and fertility. A recent scientific study indicated that Ashwagandha plays an important role as an aphrodisiac medicine and is also a way to improve semen quality.
The roots of ashwagandha have antibacterial and antifungal properties which are beneficial for warding off infection. Extracts of ashwagandha can relieve pain and secretion in women caused due to vaginal infections. It also helps to cure uterine infections and inflammation.
Ashwagandha is very effective in treating insomnia. It’s rejuvenating and nervine properties produce energy which helps the body in getting a sound sleep. It rejuvenates the nervous system, eases stress and erases insomnia.
7#.Helps Ease The Stress
It has many anti-depressant properties and helps induce a soothing and calming effect on a person. Scientists did their experiment on animals and the study showed some significant reduction in levels of stress in animals who were put under extreme temperature variations.
Ashwagandha has been proven quite effective particularly in the case of depression according to a study. The study supported the benefits of Ashwagandha in relation to anxiety and depression.
9#.Helps Control Diabetes
Research on the use of Ashwagandha in the treatment of diabetes indicated positive results. Scientific experiments showed that blood sugar levels during fasting and post-lunch decreased considerably when Ashwagandha was consumed for a period of four weeks.
Ashwagandha contains compounds which possess strong antioxidant properties. It destroys free radicals in the body which pose one of the major reasons for several diseases in the body. This helps prevent the growth of tumors and other debilitating diseases in the body.
11#.Increased Blood Production
Past studies showed that red blood cell and white blood cell counts increased considerably in rats who were given the doses of Ashwagandha. This could mean a positive effect on human red blood cells as well, thereby helping to prevent conditions like anaemia.
12#.Support Heart Health
Ashwagandha is good for your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease. It improves blood circulation, prevents blood clotting, stabilizes blood sugar, maintains blood pressure and reduces high cholesterol.
13#.Boosts The Metabolism
The best thing that this herb offers us is its capability to increase the conversion of the T4 hormone (produced by the thyroid), into the active T3 hormone. This would boost your metabolism and help you fight unwanted weight gain. People who suffer from hypothyroidism have seen noticeable results after using this magical herb.
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is considered for treating male sexual dysfunction and infertility in traditional Ayurveda. There are various ways in which it exerts benefits on male reproductive system. Some clinical studies suggests its ability to improve sperm quality, while other study indicate its antioxidant property combating stress induced infertility. A study with aqueous extract of Ashwagandha suggests its testosterone like spermatogenic effect in development of testicular tubes. Another study provides evidence of spermatogenic activity of Ashwagandha in treatment of oligospermia.
15#.Prevents Premature Graying
Know about the ‘reverse’ procedure? Ashwagandha is a perfect example. And how? Well, it stimulates “melanin” production, the pigment responsible for your hair colour (natural one, not acquired hair color).
16#.Fights Hair Loss
There are many reasons behind hair loss – stress, ageing, imbalance in hormones. Ashwagandha fights all these negative drivers that lead to unhealthy hair.
17#.Controls Hair Fall
Ashwagandha is not just an Ayurvedic medicine, but a superb tonic for your hair. Its antioxidant and hormone balancing effects minimize hair fall and promote healthy and shiny hair.
19#.Fights Inflammation Of Skin
When it comes to treating skin disorders such as acne and inflammation, Ashwagandha is the trusted Ayurvedic healer through its roots and leaves.
Ashwagandha has antioxidant properties that boost blood circulation and immune system. This obviously reflects in glowing skin.
Do not take if congested. No significant side effects have been reported with ashwagandha.The herb has been used safely by children in India. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take ashwagandha.
Always consult your healthcare professional if you are taking other medications. Don’t forget to like and share.