Ashwagandha is gaining popularity as an incredibly healthy drug. This herb with centuries-old medicinal qualities is used for various medical ailments. With a rich Ayurvedic history, ashwagandha has benefits for various disorders like depression, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain, and inflammation. It is considered to be one of the greatest gifts of nature to mankind. It is classified as Rasayana (rejuvenation) in Ayurveda that promotes mental and physical health. Ashwagandha is used as a general body tonic and also to improve the immune system. It restores bodily functions and aids longevity. It is a wonder drug that energizes and calms at the same time. Although leaves and fruits also have therapeutic effects, the root of this herb is majorly used. The root extract of this commonly used and can be taken in the form of churna or tablet.
As mentioned above,ashwagandha powder benefitson the body are many. Some of the uses are as mentioned below:
Ashwagandha has an inhibitory effect on substances secreted by the immune cells (cytokines) that are responsible for inflammation. At the same time, it triggers the release of anti-inflammatory immune cells. Various studies in humans have shown that ashwagandha triggers the activity of the immune cells that fight infection. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker for inflammation and is linked to heart diseases. According to a study, ashwagandha resulted in a 36% reduction in CRP.
Soothes your anxiety
Ashwagandha is seen to create a sense of calmness and reduces anxiety. A 60-day study in stressed individuals showed a 69% reduction in anxiety. Use ofashwagandha for anxiety is not commonly known and is an undermined anxiety reliever.
Ashwagandha triggers apoptosis, a programmed cell death, of cancer cells. It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells by preventing the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Various animal studies have shown ashwagandha to prevent and treat several types of cancers like breast, brain, and lung cancers.
What happens when you face a lion? Sweaty palms, pounding heart, and pumped muscles? This is your body’s mechanism to prepare you against any perceived threat. Cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, prepares the body to face any challenging situation through the flight-or-fight mechanism. This acute mechanism is helpful and life-saving. However, chronic stress can cause a build-up of cortisol levels. Ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels by regulating neurochemicals and inhibiting stress pathway. According to a study, consuming ashwagandha for 6 weeks reduced stress in 88.2% of the population.
Lowers blood glucose levels
Insulin is a hormone responsible for normal blood glucose levels. It is secreted by the pancreas in response to high blood glucose levels. Ashwagandha triggers the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, improving blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance is a condition where the body cells are resistant to the insulin present. This is commonly seen in type 2 diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose levels. Ashwagandha improves insulin sensitivity, again lowering the blood glucose levels. Several human studies have shown to lower blood glucose level in both healthy individuals and those suffering from diabetes. Inflammation is one of the causes of insulin resistance. With its anti-inflammatory property, ashwagandha prevents this resistance and thus type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Improves male fertility
Low testosterone levels and sperm count are the commonest causes of male infertility. Ashwagandha is also used as an aphrodisiac in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Taking ashwagandha root extract improves sperm count and motility. Moreover, as ashwagandha inhibits the formation of ROS, it prevents oxidative sperm damage resulting from it, which is a cause for abnormal semen parameters. Consuming ashwagandha for 3 months is seen to improve semen volume by 53% and sperm motility by 57%.