Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera or Physalis somnifera) is a small evergreen shrub, also known by the names: “Indian Winter Cherry” and “Indian Ginseng”. It is a very useful medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times in Indian medicine for its tonic and rejuvenative properties.
Ashwagandha is a component of Rasayana — a set of formulas that prolong youth, health and vitality on a physical and mental level, as well as make a person to be more satisfied in his life.
Withania somnifera is one of the world’s most potent adaptogens, traditionally used in Ayurvedic herbal medicine to help the human body adjust to physiological and psychological stress.
Ashwagandha is one of the most common general tonics used in India, where it occupies an important place, like ginseng in China. It acts mainly on the reproductive and nervous systems, and is usually used to increase the vitality and restore the body after a chronic disease.
Ashwagandha is literally translated from the Sanskrit as “horse smell”. This is due to traditional beliefs, according to them the plant gives a man the strength and fertility of the stallion. But to put aside traditional beliefs aside, today we have more than 300 scientific papers on ashwagandha, considering different aspects of the health benefits of Ashwagandha, and most of the results support the theory that this plant is real super food.
Useful Properties Of Ashwagandha
Reduces stress hormon.
Ashwagandha decreases cortisol level, a stress hormone, so it helps you lose weight. Cortisol is considered to be the “stress hormone”, since it is secreted by the adrenal glands in response to the stress. If the level of cortisol keeps up chronically high, the blood sugar level also rises, and fat deposits in the abdominal area increase respectively. In a study on adults, Ashwagandha was shown to reduce cortisol levels by 30%.
Treats male reproductive system.
Studies have shown the extraordinary efficacy of ashwagandha in the treatment of diseases of the male reproductive system, in particular, impotence, spermatorrhea (condition of excessive, involuntary ejaculation), sperm quantity, sperm poor quality (low sperm count), inflammation in the prostate gland. In one study, data was even obtained, indicating that taking ashwagandha increases the male fertility rate by 14%.
Contribute to building muscle mass.
Taking the root of this plant helps to increase muscle strength, increase stamina. Ashwagandha deserves the attention of people who consider bodybuilding as a part of their life. Ashvagandha substances contribute to building muscle mass. With regular exercises and parallel use of the supplement you can achieve quite impressive results. A study was conducted, in which adults involved in strength training took Ashwagandha extract. The result was a greater increase both in muscle strength and muscle size compared with a group of people who also practiced strength training, but were not given Ashwagandha root extract.
Improves brain function.
For schoolchildren, students, people of advanced age, it may be interesting that this medicine improves brain function, increasing the rate of learning, ability to concentrate and think logically.
So in a controlled study on people who were supplemented by 500 mg of Ashwagandha extract on a daily basis, showed significant improvements in their response and in performing tasks compared to those who received placebo.
It is especially recommended for elderly people to activate all vital processes in the body.
Which form to use and Doses Recommended
There are many Ashwagandha supplements on the market to choose from, both in capsule and powder form. Of course, the specific instructions for use will depend on the form of release.
Traditional use is powder mixed with warm milk and honey. It is usually taken before bedtime — this method contributes to a strong, healthy sleep, increases vitality. The usual dose: from a quarter to half a teaspoon 1-2 times a day. Another option: with melted butter (ghee) and honey in equal amounts (in this case, honey and ghee are “carriers” that improve the effect of medicine or food).
If you choose to take pills, dosage may vary, depending on your needs, but 250–750 mg per day for at least one month seems effective.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
Hypersensitivity to Ashwagandha is a contraindication. In addition, Ashwagandha should not be used if you have the following health issues:
Ashwagandha is not recommended for women who are pregnant.
Ashwagandha is considered to increase the amount of thyroid hormone in the body, so this may not be a wise choice for people having hyperthyroidism (endocrine disorder that occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormones).
And even individuals diagnosed with hypothyroidism (common endocrine disorder resulting from deficiency of thyroid hormone) must consult their doctor before taking ashwagandha — though, it can provide relief in this case.
Ashwagandha extract is known to be a successful stimulator for the immune system. Consequently, adults with any type of autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or lupus, should not take this supplement. This is due to the fact that medications taken for treating autoimmune diseases help to decrease immune system response, and supplementing them with ashwagandha may significantly reduce their effectiveness.
What Is the Best Ashwagandha Supplement Brand to Buy
You can buy it at your local health food store or online. It comes in a variation of forms like tea, tincture, and supplement.
When it comes to choosing a supplement it can be difficult with so many different options available.
You can find here an additional information about best choices you can make on the market today:
Well, these are the both useful properties and side effects of ashwagandha herb. The health benefits of Ashwagandha could be outstanding and it could be a real panacea produced by nature, but still, you must take your precautions. Thus, If you have a medical condition, it’s essential that you talk with your doctor before taking Ashvagantha.