Optimizing the top benefits of Ashwagandha is excellent for your brain, muscles and thyroid. Having been in use in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2 millenniums, Ashwagandha is one of the most beneficial herbs you can find, particularly if you are facing depression, chronic anxiety, thyroid malfunctioning and inflammatory conditions.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Some are unfamiliar with Ashwagandha. If you are, you’re missing out on excellent benefits, but thankfully, not anymore.
Ashwagandha is also known as Somnifera dunal and belongs to the Solanaceae family. In some quarters, it is also called winter cherry, Indian ginseng and somnifera root. Since time immemorial, the leaves and roots of Ashwagandha have been very helpful in treating thyroidal and mental defects. According to Indian medicine, Ashwagandha gives the strength of a horse when used and is commonly referred to as “strength of the stallion.”
6 Top Benefits Of Ashwagandha
According to studies, Ashwagandha is the most researched adaptogenic herb, and for good reason. As earlier pointed out, Ashwagandha has a lot of uses identified through over 200 studies. Let us look at the commonest benefits of this miraculous herb below.
Enhances Thyroid Function
In several studies, Ashwagandha has come through in the treatment of people with thyroid deficiency. So, if you suffer from underactive thyroid or Hashimoto disease, this may be the perfect cure.
Millions of people tackling underactive thyroids don’t know what they are facing. This also explains the reason Ashwagandha is effective in losing weight, as thyroidal troubles can cause weight fluctuations.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine made a publication on the effectiveness of 50 non-symptomatic participants suffering subclinical hypothyroidism. For 8 weeks, these participants were treated with 600 mg of Ashwagandha root juice daily while the control group used starch only. At the end, there were significantly higher levels of T4 (thyroxine) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) than the placebo group experienced.
Provides Relief From Adrenal Fatigue
Studies have suggested that Ashwagandha helps to support adrenal function and, thus, relieves adrenal tiredness. Remember that adrenals refer to endocrine glands charged with secreting hormones, particularly adrenaline and cortisol, in managing stress. As such, high levels of stress, whether caused by physical, emotional or mental factors, will overtax the adrenals, and thus lead to fatigue.
When your adrenals are no longer functioning, several hormones in the body will be disturbed. For example, there will be lower levels of DHEA, which is associated with longevity and a healthy body as well as poor levels of progesterone, which can lead to infertility.
Natural Stress & Anxiety Combatant
Ashwagandha provides natural relief from anxiety, which is an excellent thing given that pharmaceutical medications usually have adverse effects upon using them. According to a 2009 PLOS One study, Ashwagandha was as effective as popular drugs, Imipramine and Lorazepam, in treating anxiety. And the better thing was, it had no side effects.
The study lasted for 12 weeks and was on 75 people suffering chronic anxiety. There were two divisions, with Group A receiving naturopathic treatment while Group B received high-standard psychotherapy intervention. Members of Group A received standard multivitamins and 300 mg of Ashwagandha twice per day and dietary counseling. Group B, on the other hand, received placebo medications, underwent psychotherapy and practiced deep breathing daily.
After the study, the control group reported a 30% decrease in anxiety level while the Ashwagandha group reported an impressive 55%! Furthermore, the latter group recorded better results in vitality, general life quality, social functioning, concentration, fatigue and mental health. All these benefits without a single side effect. That’s not something you get everyday.
Regulates Levels Of Blood Sugar
Ashwagandha has been touted as an effective regulator or manager of blood sugar levels. This is attributed to its high levels of phenolic compounds, especially flavonoids. Studies have established that flavonoids have hypoglycemic properties, which thus boosts its chances of moderating blood sugar.
The Reports of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology published a research on the effects of feeding fructose-fed rats with Ashwagandha. The results were nothing short of spectacular. The Ashwagandha extract was able to inhibit the increases in inflammation, insulin resistance and glucose levels— which were induced by fructose.
This indicates that Ashwagandha extract has the power to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammatory markers, thus helping to regulate blood sugar levels.
Studies suggest that Ashwagandha slows down the growth of tumor cells, may even hinder the growth of cancerous cells, and is therefore highly promising in cancer treatment.
Research has established that an extract of Ashwagandha roots and leaves is an excellent inhibitor that prevents the development of cancer cells, particularly in the colon, lung, breasts and stomach, which are the most popular types of cancer globally. This inhibiting feature is credited to the high levels of antioxidants and immune-boosting properties of the adaptogenic herb.
Additionally, it is suggested that Ashwagandha can help to avoid the adverse effects of anti-cancer medications. A recent publication in the African Journal of Traditional Medicines claims that Ashwagandha improves the immune system and lifespan of a cancer patient.
Another study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reveals that using Ashwagandha as a supplement floods the body with higher levels of white blood cells, which are crucial to staying healthy. This is an especially beneficial property considering that the levels of white blood cells in the body diminishes greatly after chemotherapy, thus leaving the patient more vulnerable to other health diseases.
Slows Down The Degeneration Of Brain Cells
Persistent physical, chemical and emotional stress can damage the brain and nervous system slowly. There isn’t a way to completely avoid stress, so we all are exposed to this damage.
However, this can now be controlled with Ashwagandha, as research has shown that the herb has anti-degenerative effects. This is an especial solution to tackle neurodegenerative illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. A major reason for this ability is the high levels of antioxidants, such as Withanolide D and Withaferin A, in the herb, both of which are excellent in improving cognitive function.
Concluding The Top Benefits of Ashwagandha
There are many more top benefits of Ashwagandha, which include supporting immune function, battling depression, increasing stamina and endurance and enhancing muscle strength. Ashwagandha is widely available at cheap costs, so there should be no reason you aren’t supplementing with it. Keep in mind that “ashwagandha” might sound unfamiliar to some, so remember its other names.