Ashwagandha: Benefits and Use
If you are looking to improve your energy levels, reverse diseases, and look younger than Ashwagandha is the herb that you are looking for. Ashwagandha is also known as wild gooseberry, Indian ginseng and Withania somniferous. This adaptogenic herb has been popular in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years and has been shown to have incredible results in balancing the thyroid hormones, lowering cortisol levels, improving the thyroid function, and improving our mood.
Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng, and in India is known as the “strength of the stallion” because it has the ability to increase stamina while improving stress relieving properties.
There are over 250 studies on Ashwagandha’s positive effects with:
Improving focus and concentration
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Help with the negative effects of stress
- Increase stamina and endurance
- Prevent and treat cancer
- Support with adrenal fatigue
- Reduce brain cell degeneration
- Stabilize blood sugar levels
- Lower cholesterol
- Boost our immune system
- Improve the thyroid function
In this article, we are going to discuss many of the positive effects of Ashwagandha with improving our adrenal glands, thyroid, energy levels, mood, supporting cognitive function, and even preventing cancer.
Improves Brain Health
One of the major benefits of Ashwagandha is that it helps improve the health of our brain. Physical, emotional, and chemical stress can all have negative effects on the brain. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps protect the brain from degeneration. It can also help improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, depression, and even anxiety.
One of the main reasons why Ashwagandha is so effective at halting is because it has a high antioxidant count. These antioxidants help destroy free radicals. Free radicals are what leads to the negative effects of aging.
A study published in Research stated:
“Several studies have revealed that natural antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, may help in scavenging free radicals generated during the initiation and progression of this [Alzheimer’s] disease. But we found Ashwagandha afforded lipid peroxidation inhibitory effects more potent than commercial antioxidants.”
Researchers at the National Brain Research Centre found that mice with Alzheimer’s were unable to retain what they learned, but after 20 days of supplementing with Ashwagandha, this improved significantly. The results of the study found a reduction in amyloid plaques (these cause degradation of the brain).
Increases Natural Energy Production
Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help boost the natural energy production levels in the body. Ashwagandha helps improve the capability of the mitochondria – the part of the cell that converts food into energy. By increasing the mitochondria’s function our body is able to naturally increase energy production. And the natural energy is seen for hours.
A study showed that when lab rats were given Ashwagandha they were able to swim twice as long as rats that were not given any Ashwagandha. Scientists believed that this similar effect takes place in humans due to the Ashwagandha’ s ability to balance adrenal hormones that are involved in physical activity.
In this study, Ashwagandha was also shown to reduce pain in the muscles and joints while being able to keep energy levels more steady. This is a major reason why Ashwagandha is proving to be an effective supplement for athletes, or for those who find it difficult to be physically active due to pain.
But the natural energy effects are not just for those athletes. Everyone can benefit from the positive effects of Ashwagandha. Both the working adults who have long days, the busy parents who are taking care of children, or the students that need to focus and concentrate. Numerous demographics have reported positive effects after taking Ashwagandha.
Providing Relief From Stress
Ashwagandha has also been widely known to help lower higher blood pressure. One of the lesser known positive effects of Ashwagandha includes increasing our body’s natural energy production levels.
Ashwagandha extracts are used by many herbalists as an adaptogen. This is a term that is used to classify herbs that have the ability to improve the body’s resistance to stress. Ashwagandha does this and also reduces fatigue and anxiety levels in the system. When used as an adaptogen, the herb can strengthen your body. Traditionally, Ashwagandha is employed to calm the central nervous system. When taken along with prescribed sedatives, the herb is capable of enhancing its effect.
Improves the function of the immune system
Another benefit of using the Ashwagandha extract is that it can help improve the immune system’s function. This will enable your body to fight disease causing germs and bacteria more efficiently. The herb contains a high iron level and owing to this; the supplement can help stimulate the production of healthy red blood cells.
One of the most useful forms of the herb is Ashwagandha tea. This can aid in the proliferation of immune cells in your body, as a result of which your body will be better able to deal with pathogens. According to herbalists, Ashwagandha is extremely beneficial as an antibiotic, as it does not lead to the breakdown of cells when incubated along with erythrocytes.
Thyroid and Hormone Benefits
Ashwagandha is an amazing herb when it comes to improving the function of our thyroid. It’s not well known how exactly how adaptogenic herbs work, but they are extremely effective at balancing hormones.
One of the benefits of the adaptogenic herb Ashwagandha is that it can help balance our hypo-and hyperthyroidism. Ashwagandha is been shown to help support a sluggish thyroid for people who have low thyroid function (such as Hashimoto’s), but also has been shown to improve the thyroid for those with an overactive thyroid (such as Graves disease).
Adaptogenic herbs help bring the body back to where it should be, whether the levels are high or low.
Studies done in animals show that Ashwagandha has a positive thyroid balancing effect. In a 20-day study mice were given the Ashwagandha herb. Their T3 and T4 levels were followed. The study showed that a significant increase in serum T4 was found, showing that the herb has a stimulatory effect on a sluggish thyroid. These results prove that Ashwagandha can be useful in treating hypothyroidism.
Millions of people struggle with thyroid issues, and many don’ even known they struggle with this. Ashwagandha may just be the solution to this growing problem.
Ashwagandha contains steroidal compounds called withanolides. These elements can play a crucial role in lowering the level of inflammation in the body. The withanolides reduce the symptoms like pain and swelling that cause the inflammation.
Several animal studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation. Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy.
Ashwagandha has also been shown to decrease markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). This marker is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In a controlled study, the group who took 250 mg of Ashwagandha daily had a 36% average decrease in CRP, compared to a 6% decrease in the placebo group.
Evidence has shown that Ashwagandha is effective at helping with both depression and anxiety. In a recent study, Ashwagandha was compared with the pharmaceutical medications Lorazepam and Imipramine. This study showed that the Ashwagandha had similar positive effects as these medications, but without the negative side effects.
In the 12-week controlled study, 87 participants with anxiety were given 300mg of Ashwagandha two times a day or two placebo pills two times per day. The group treated with Ashwagandha resulted in much greater improvements in anxiety as well as focus, reduced stress, and decreased fatigue than the placebo group.
The other major benefit of Ashwagandha is that there are no adverse reactions by taking it compared to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications which can have terrible side effects.
How to Take Ashwagandha
It’s easy to see why Ashwagandha is one of the most popular superfoods out there. We recommend supplementing with this herb daily. There are numerous different brands of Ashwagandha and ways to take. We recommend taking it in a powder form. In the powder form, there is no need for a capsule to dissolve which non-vegetarian capsules can be harder on the gut.
We also recommend taking Ashwagandha with a number of other superfoods. When superfoods like Ashwagandha are combined they work synergistically together to create an exponentially positive impact on the body. Brilliant Way’s believes this is one of the most needed superfoods and so it is put into many of their products. Brilliant Ways believes in producing the highest quality products at affordable prices. Learn more about this amazing herb at www.BrilliantWays.com