The health benefits of Ashwagandha have been promoted for over 8000 years due to its energy-giving and stress-relieving properties
What is Ashwagandha?
Otherwise known as Withania Somnifera or Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandha root is a small plant with yellow flowers and antioxidant properties, revered in Ayurvedic medicine – Indian traditional medicine. Across China, India, Nepal, and Yemen, people have taken Ashwagandha for several thousand years to improve a variety of mental and physical ailments.
Ashwagandha’s recent rise in popularity across the West as a natural way to reduce stress and anxiety with minimal side effects has been boosted as more potential uses are discovered. So what are the health benefits of Ashwagandha? Here are 7 benefits of Ashwagandha for brain health:
Could reduce anxiety
Studies have shown that Ashwagandha resulted in higher scores than placebo in outcomes on anxiety or cortisol levels. While more research is needed, it has been shown that Ashwagandha significantly reduced chronic stress by moderating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis – which regulates your stress hormones.
Improving memory and cognitive function
While more is needed, research suggests that Ashwagandha has been shown to improve brain function and be effective in enhancing general and immediate memory. It has also been shown to improve the ability to perform cognitive tasks, as well as boost reaction times by improving the speed of processing information.
Could ease depression
There is evidence that Ashwagandha may hold promise in the treatment of depression, as well as other mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. by reducing symptoms. A natural mood stabilizer, the effects of Withania somnifera are believed by many to be as effective as over-the-counter antidepressants.
May reduce inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response to stress, however chronic inflammation over time can result in diabetes, cancer, and poor heart health. Animal studies have shown that Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties in various vitro and in vivo models. It is believed that it reduces C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker, however, more research involving humans is needed.
Could improve sleep
Chronic sleep deprivation can result in multiple health issues such as cardiac disease and arrest, diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes. Other lifestyle problems from lack of sleep include lower libido, obesity, and a lower immune system. Studies have shown Ashwagandha combats insomnia and results in a significant improvement in sleep quality compared to a placebo group.
May increase male fertility and testosterone
Ashwagandha has been shown to improve sperm quality in infertile men by rebalancing hormone levels. Separately, it has been observed that the herb increased testosterone levels in males but not females. Increased testosterone has been evidenced in studies – this makes it highly desirable for males over 40 who have noticed a drop in endurance, libido, muscle mass, recovery, and strength.
Could improve athletic performance
Studies have shown that Ashwagandha may be a useful supplement for athletes for improving speed, lower limb muscular strength, and neuro muscular coordination. From boosting testosterone to increasing VO2 max (maximum amount of oxygen you can consume), it’s clear there are many benefits to physical performance from taking this herb.
Common questions about Ashwagandha
- Is Ashwagandha safe for women?
While it seems to benefit men in more ways, with regards to fertility and sexual health, Ashwagandha is safe for both men and women. If you want reassurance, then check with your healthcare provider.
- Is Ashwagandha safe during pregnancy?
It is advised to avoid high doses while pregnant, so either take a lower dose or not at all. Your doctor will be able to give you advice specific to you.
- How much Ashwagandha is safe during pregnancy?
Low doses are advised, however, it is best to check with your healthcare professional.
- Is Ashwagandha safe for kids?
Yes, and it appears that low doses seem to show benefits with stress and preventing colds.
- Is it safe to take Ashwagandha daily?
Yes, it is safe between 250 and 1000mg a day
Reap the benefits of Ashwagandha extract alongside other scientifically supported herbs and nutrients like Rhodiola Rosea, by taking a supplement like Focus – specifically formulated to boost cognitive functions for focus and alertness.