Ashwagandha: Top 12 Health Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

Ashwagandha has chemicals that may help relax the brain, reduce swelling, lower blood pressure, and change how the immune system works. As a result, people use the herb to treat various problems, such as sleeplessness, aging, anxiety, and many more. Also, you can use extracts or powder made from the root or leaves to treat several conditions, such as anxiety and problems with getting pregnant. Ashwagandha, or Somnifera dunal, is a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that helps the body adapt. It is valued for its anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and neuroprotective effects.

In India, It is known as “stallion strength” because it has long been used to boost the immune system after getting sick. Ashwagandha is a safe herb that is becoming more popular in the U.S. because it helps people feel less stressed and anxious. The herb is essential to Ayurveda, India’s traditional medicine system. It has been used as general medicine in India for hundreds of years, but scientists recently found that it can reduce inflammation and fight free radicals.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

1. Improves Underactive Thyroid Function

Improves the Function of a Slow Thyroid, Ashwagandha root extract has been shown to help people with Hashimoto’s disease or a slow thyroid. Researchers found that the herb extract changed the levels of stimulating thyroid hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) in the blood compared to the placebo. In another study, people with bipolar disorder took the herb for eight weeks to improve their brain function.

2. Stress and anxiety reduction

Ashwagandha is a stress-relieving adaptogen. In 2009, researchers found it equivalent to lorazepam and imipramine without side effects. In both groups, there are no or very few harmful effects. Stress hormones like Hsp70, cortisol and c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase can be controlled by ashwagandha (JNK-1). It decreases the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which governs the stress response. But there isn’t enough information to determine the best dose and form for treating neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety and stress. 

3. Balances Blood Sugar Level

Ashwagandha root and leaf extracts have been studied for their anti-diabetic effects, which are made possible by the presence of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids. A review of 24 studies found that treatment with The herb significantly lowered blood sugar, A1c (HbA1c), insulin, hemoglobin, blood lipids, and oxidative stress markers. In addition, some of the compounds in ashwagandha are thought to have anti-diabetic solid effects and may help your cells take up glucose from your bloodstream.

4. Reduces Brain Cell Degeneration and Improves memory

Ashwagandha root extract contains powerful antioxidants that destroy the free radicals that cause aging. Early evidence suggests it could improve cognitive function in some populations, including older adults with mild cognitive impairment and people with schizophrenia.

5. Increases men’s fertility and testosterone levels

Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help raise men’s testosterone levels. It has been shown that giving it to infertile men improves the quality of their sperm and brings their reproductive hormone levels back into balance. More research and high-quality studies are needed to confirm the possible benefits for male fertility.

6. Aids in Fighting Cancer

It has been shown that ashwagandha extract can help stop the growth of cancer cells, which is one of the world’s most common types of cancer. In addition, in an animal study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, more white blood cells were found in the body. This means the immune system can better protect the body from disease and other harmful invaders when taking the herb.

7. Increases Stamina and Endurance

In conducted studies, Ashwagandha root extract can help improve concentration, motivation, and stamina. It can also help increase muscle mass and strength, which could be helpful for resistance training. In addition, they find it to relieve joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis and general arthritis in clinical trials.

8. Sharpen Focus and Memory

Ashwagandha may improve cognition, memory, and motor skills. For example, small studies showed that ashwagandha improved cognitive and psychomotor reaction times. However, these findings came from relatively modest research. 

In one study, ashwagandha increased participants’ attention spans and immediate and general memory.

9. May reduce inflammation

Ashwagandha contains compounds, including WA, that may help reduce inflammation in the body. WA targets signals called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). It may also help reduce levels of inflammatory proteins such as interleukin-10 (IL-10).

10. Immune-boosting

Ashwagandha can enhance your immune system and reduce inflammation since it reduces stress hormones. In addition, animal and lab studies demonstrate it boosts immune function by increasing immunoglobulin synthesis.

It suppresses pro-inflammatory cytokines to promote anti-inflammation. This adaptogenic herb may help cure inflammatory conditions by downregulating the immune system.

11. Antidepressant

Ashwagandha helps with anxiety, stress, and depression. The plant enhances stress resistance and self-assessed life quality, according to research.

In a 2000 rat research, ashwagandha was compared to imipramine. When rats were tested for “behavioral despair” and “learned helplessness,” it had antidepressant effects similar to imipramine.

Ashwagandha can be used to treat clinical depression, researchers determined.

12. Boosts muscle size and strength.

Ashwagandha root extract can help people who do resistance training or other exercises that can be hard on their muscles. In 2015, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study that showed that treatment increased muscle mass and strength. In one study, the people who took part got faster and more robust, and their body fat percentage and cholesterol levels went down.

Side Effects

Ashwagandha has a lot of steroidal lactones or withanolides, like withanolide A and withaferin A. There are more of these compounds in some parts of the plant than in others. It is considered safe for human consumption when taken in appropriate therapeutic doses. You shouldn’t use ashwagandha if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a weak immune system. Some people can’t handle it because they’re allergic to nightshades or certain types of grass.

Toxic overdose can cause stomach upset and possibly vomiting and diarrhea. Check where your herbs came from, especially if you are buying capsules.

Conclusion 

Ashwagandha is a traditional Indian medicinal herb used for hundreds of years and may have many health benefits. Some studies show that it may help with several health problems, such as reducing stress and anxiety and making arthritis better. It is considered relatively safe for most people, but it is not appropriate for everyone, so consult a healthcare professional.

Where to Buy Wild cherry bark?

You can find it at grocery stores, health food stores, and online.

DISCLAIMER OF MEDICINE

This information is not meant to provide medical advice or replace a personal physician’s advice or treatment. All readers of this information, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should check with their doctors before initiating any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program. In addition, the statements and goods on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

 

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