Ashwagandha is a kind of shrub that nurtures in India, the Middle East, and some parts of Africa. Every part of the shrub is immensely useful in some way or the other. For hundreds of years, people have used the roots and orange-red fruit of Ashwagandha for various medicinal purposes.
Talking about Ashwagandha benefits, most of them are from the root and the leaves. The Ashwagandha leaves are commonly used in teas, and the root part can be utilized in many ways but when it comes to considering the herb as a supplement, most of us take it in dried or powdered form.
What Do People Use Ashwagandha for?
As all of us should know that Ashwagandha is an important herb in Ayurvedic medicine, it is considered a Rasayana, which means that it helps maintain youth, both mentally and physically. There is some researches have been done that suggests the herb can have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects – that underpins many health conditions and reducing inflammation that can protect the body against a variety of conditions.
For instance, people use Ashwagandha to help treat the following:
- 1 - Stress
- 2 - Anxiety
- 3 - Fatigue
- 4 - Pain
- 5 - Skin conditions
- 6 - Diabetes
- 7 - Arthritis
- 8 - Epilepsy
Today, the use of Ashwagandha has been used in the United States too. People residing in the west buy Ashwagandha as a supplement to cure diseases.
What Are the Health Benefits of Ashwagandha Herb?
Research has been shown that Ashwagandha can be more beneficial in terms of health. Most studies so far have used animal or cell models, meaning that scientists do not know if the same result would occur in humans. However, there’re evidences to support the use of Ashwagandha or the benefits of Ashwagandha for the following health causes:
Stress and Anxiety:
Ashwagandha may have a calming effect on anxiety symptoms when with the drug called lorazepam, a sedative and anxiety medicine. According to a research in 2000, the herb had a comparable anxiety-reducing effect with lorazepam, suggesting that Ashwagandha might be as effective for reducing anxiety though the study conducted in mice, not humans.
Another study in 2019 shows that taking a daily dose of 240 milligrams (mg) of Ashwagandha significantly reduced people’s stress levels when compared with a placebo. This comprised reduced levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
In another 2019 study in humans, taking the amount of 250 mg of Ashwagandha per day resulted in lower self-reported stress levels, as well as lower cortisol levels. Though this evidence is promising, scientists need to collect much more data before acclaiming the herb to treat anxiety.
Relieving from Pain:
Ashwagandha may act as a pain reliever, disallowing pain signals from traveling along with the central nervous system. Moreover, it may also have some anti-inflammatory properties due to which some research has shown it to be effective in treating forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.
In one research conducted on 125 people that those with joint pain found the herb to have potential as a treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis. However, safety of this treatment has not been evaluated.
Improve Heart Health:
Ashwagandha herb has been found to significantly reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream of both animal and humans. Though the effect is far stronger in animals than it is in humans yet still it reduced the levels of cholesterol by an average of 17 percent and of triglycerides by an average of 11 per cent in a 60-day study of chronically stressed adults.
Some people use Ashwagandha on a regular time interval to boost their heart health, including:
- lowering high blood pressure
- lowering high cholesterol
- easing chest pain
- preventing heart disease
One study in humans, conducted in 2015, suggested that Ashwagandha root extract could enhance a person’s cardiorespiratory endurance, which could improve heart health. However, more research is necessary.
Treatment of Alzheimer
The ingredients that are active in Ashwagandha, called withanamides, prevent against B-amyloid-induced plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to the reason of natural antioxidants present in Ashwagandha that remove free radicals to prevent cell damage.
According to a 2011 review, several studies have examined the ability of the herb that it prevents loss of brain function in people with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
When these neurodegenerative diseases progress, parts of the brain and its connective paths become damaged, due to which loss of memory and function can occur. This assessment suggests that when mice and rats receive Ashwagandha during the early disease stages, it offers some kind of protection.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar Level
Ashwagandha has been taken to stabilize blood sugar level due to which it reduces blood sugar when it's too high. This is an example of the adaptogenic effect of the herb. Considering the impact on blood sugar levels in diseases such as depression, this herb can have a profound impact on health.
Not only is this useful for the purposes of stabilizing blood sugar level, it is also helpful for people who struggle with their energy levels or those with fatigue-related conditions.
How Do I Take Ashwagandha Herb Doses for a day?
The dosage of Ashwagandha and the uses of Ashwagandha depends on the condition they are hoping to treat. There is no standard dosage based on modern clinical trials. Different studies have used different dosages. Some research suggests that taking 250–400 mg per day can be beneficial in reducing the stress. Other studies have used much higher dosages. Capsule dosages usually contain 250-1,500 mg of Ashwagandha. The herb comes in the form of a capsule, powder, and liquid extract though the Ashwagandha power benefits quite differently as it doesn’t possess any chemical inclusion.
In some cases, taking high doses can cause unpleasant Ashwagandha side effects. It is better to speak with a healthcare professional about safety and dosage before taking Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is an herbal treatment in Ayurvedic medicine. Some studies suggest that the herb could have a range of health benefits, including reducing anxiety, stress and improving arthritis. Pregnant women and patients with preexisting health conditions should consult to their doctor before taking the herb.
Many of the studies so far have been conducted in animals due to which researchers cannot say with certainty that it is an effective treatment. More work is yet to do. If a person chooses to use this herb as part of a treatment plan, they should be sure to discuss it with their doctor first before taking the benefits of Ashwagandha into health consideration.