Ashwagandha Root Benefits

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Introduction to Ashwagandha Root Benefitsashwagandha root benefits

In India, ashwagandha is known as the “strength of the stallion” because it traditionally has been used to strengthen the immune system after an illness. It’s also been referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its ability to enhance stamina and relieve stress.  I will go over this and much more as you read about Ashwagandha root benefits

Ashwagandha’s ability to work as a stress-protective agent is really what makes it a very popular supplement.  Ashwagandha helps the body maintain homeostasis, even in moments of emotional or physical stress. But the many Ashwagandha benefits don’t stop there.  This powerful herb has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol levels and balancing thyroid hormones. Plus, it’s been used for mood disorders and in the prevention of degenerative diseases, as ashwagandha appears to help with these conditions as well — and there are so many more ashwagandha benefits.

The Ashwagandha powder comes from the plant’s root or leaves and has been used for centuries are to treat a variety of conditions. Nootropics today is using this ancient herb, which may help increase mental cognition. Much research done on the Ashwagandha plant shows that it is a powerful adaptogen.

Ashwagandha Root Benefits for You

 

Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Ashwagandha is currently being studied as a treatment for Alzheimer’s because of its ability to inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid plaques which are amino acid formations which accumulate and interfere with the cognitive process in Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Some animal studies have shown Ashwagandha may act as a neuroprotectant which prevents any damage from Glutamate neurotoxicity associated with these neurodegenerative disorders.

Reduce Symptoms of Depression

Studies aren’t all in on this but may suggest that Ashwagandha may help with the symptoms of depression. Few studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate depression (1)

A 69-day-long study that included 64 adults who suffer from stress were given 600mg of the highest concentration of Ashwagandha showed a 79% reduction in severe depression. Those who took only the placebo actually reported a 10% increase. (2). The relevance of this study is in question because only one person actually had a history of depression.

May help Enhance and Protect Brain Health

There are several animal studies that show that the withanamids in Ashwagandha provide neuroprotective effects.

Ashwagandha has been shown to enhance memory and other cognitive functions. There has been a study of 50 adults, some given 300mg of the extract twice per day for eight weeks, others were given a placebo. The ones taking the Ashwagandha showed large improvements in immediate and general memory (3).

Ashwagandha for Stress

Stress these days is everywhere and its negative effects are showing everywhere. The everyday demands on us in our lives seem to be compounded every day contributing many illnesses or conditions.

  • Depression
  • ulcers
  • Heart Disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Compromised Immune System

Our Adrenal glands and stress go together with the adrenal glands producing Cortisol (stress hormone). It is quicker to release than other stress hormones such as adrenaline. If you remain stressed on a regular basis with the constant release of cortisol you are at risk of endangering your health.

Ashwagandha boosts the adrenals by supporting normal HPA Axis function, meaning it helps the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands communicate effectively. If these aren’t working together in balance your body could respond to a stressful situation quite severely.

Improved Muscle Strength and Mass

A classical use for Ashwagandha in Ayurvedic medicine is as a tonic to improve strength. This has been studied recently and it has been found that men who take 300mg-150mg per day had a significant increase in muscle strength where those taking the placebo had none. (4)

Boost Testosterone and Fertility in Men

In one human study that included 75 infertile men, the men treated with Ashwagandha showed an increased sperm count and motility. The treatment also led to a significant increase in testosterone levels.

In another study, men who received ashwagandha for stress experienced higher antioxidant levels and better sperm quality. After three months of treatment, 14% of the men’s partners had become pregnant.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Ashwagandha may help maintain proper and healthy blood sugar levels. Human studies are few if any, but a test tube study showed Ashwagandha improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells and dropped the blood sugar level in diabetics.

When you have low blood sugar you are tired lethargic and have a hard time concentrating. Ashwagandha may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. In a test tube study, ashwagandha improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. It even dropped fasting blood sugar in diabetic patients.[5]

Blood Pressure

Studies show that Ashwagandha may produce a small but useful decrease in blood pressure. One study done in 2010 with 100 people with hypertension showed over a period of six months they had an average 1.6% decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 5.6% decrease in diastolic blood pressure.

Reducing Inflammation

Humans studies have shown that Ashwagandha increases the activity of natural killer immune cells (cells that fight infection) (6, 7).

In one study where one group took 250 mg of Ashwagandha extract daily had a 36% decrease in CRP, on average, compared to a 6% decrease in the placebo group (3).

Support of Cardiometabolic Healthashwagandha root benefits

As I mentioned above under stress, we need a healthy and balanced response to stress. If not too much cortisol can easily increase your risk of insulin resistance, weight gain, hypertension, high cholesterol, and triglycerides. All of these individually or collectively an increase our risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

In one study, patients who took Ashwagandha had a

  • A reduction in fasting blood sugar
  • Reductions in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and very-LDL cholesterol
  • A reduction in triglycerides
  • An increase in HDL cholesterol

So, not only does ashwagandha help keep you energized so you actually feel like exercising, but it also supports healthy metabolism and cardiovascular function in more direct ways.

Boosts Immune System

In ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is commonly used to help boost the immune system after an illness. Your immune system contains two different types of white blood cells, called TH1 and TH2. Just like a seesaw, they need to stay balanced—if one gets out of control, it throws your immune system out of whack, which can contribute to inflammation and autoimmune conditions.

 

It supports a healthy thyroid

Ashwagandha has been proven to boost an underactive thyroid. In fact, one study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that after just eight weeks of supplementing with ashwagandha, participants with a thyroid disorder had much healthier TSH and T4 levels, and therefore more normal thyroid function (8).

 

Inhibits of Prevents Spread of Cancer

Ashwagandha has been shown in many studies to significantly fight against the growth of various types of cancer.  Specifically, ashwagandha was able to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells and slow cell division in breast tumours. It was also linked to melanoma cell death in cases of skin cancer. It has also been shown to stimulate the production of immune-supporting white blood cells that are often depleted during chemotherapy (9,10,11,12).

 

Lowers Cholesterol and Improves Heart Health

Ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce cholesterol and decrease the inflammatory markers that increase the risk of heart disease. Plus, ashwagandha increases muscle endurance which indirectly improves the heart function.

 

Is Ashwagandha Safe?

Yes, it is. Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people.

However, there are a few that shouldn’t take it. Anyone with an autoimmune disease such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

If you are on medications for a thyroid problem you should consult with your physician before taking Ashwagandha.

If you are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant, you should not take it. If you are lactating you should not take it.

 

How to Use Ashwagandha

Traditionally Ashwagandha has been used in powder form and mixed with water milk and or honey.  It is generally taken before you go to bed.  Taking it at this time produces a calm effect promoting healthy sleep patterns, supporting a healthy reproductive system and strength.

Take as 1/4-1/2 tsp once or twice per day.

 

Where to Buy

Ashwagandha has been studied for years and has been deemed very safe to take. Its history alone makes it a very popular supplement to take.

Therefore, it can be bought at your local vitamin store, but beware of brands that are of very poor quality. Good places too but Ashwagandha are Nutropics Depot and eBay

Conclusion

Ashwagandha has been studied over and over for many uses and shown to be a strong adaptogen that helps our bodiesAshwagandha Root Health Benefits
and brains with stress.

Being an anxiolytic, it may improve mood and help us regulate our sleep. Its neuroprotective properties may help treat and prevent some neurological disorders.

It works well stacking and is featured in an example stack in my article How to Stack Nootropics

Ashwagandha does not directly improve or give us a cognitive boost. What it does indirectly such as lowering our anxiety, depression and improving our quality of sleep will allow us to think clearly and acutely.

12 thoughts on “Ashwagandha Root Benefits”

  1. Thank you for sharing with us this great article on Ashwagandha Root health benefits.I am always amazed by the miraculous plants we have in our environment and the way they are beneficial to our health.

    I am very impressed by the benefits of Ashwagandha root and I will look for it to .

    Good article.

  2. Ginseng is absolutely wonderful I have used it for many years to help with my depression systems. I am especially interested in the potential benefits for Alzheimer’s . My mom of 88 years young has stage 3 so she doesnt have much time left, We did start giving ginseng to her last year and we have seen little improvements. Wish we had known about this sooner.

  3. Hi Stew, thanks for this post, wow! Ashwagandha sounds like an amazing miracle herb. I’m amazed at all the things just one herb can do to improve one’s health. You did mention that women thinking of getting pregnant or those already pregnant should not take ashwagandha. Is it some form of contraception? Or can it be used as a contraception? 

    • No, it’s not a contraception and nor can it be used as one.  

      When taking most supplements  I usually say to avoid them if pregnant of planning to be or lactating.  Supplements have not been studied enough to know the effect they would have on a fetus of child.

  4. Hi Stew – thanks for sharing this interesting article. I had not heard of ashwagandha before, but it certainly appears to have many benefits. I have been looking for a natural supplement to reduce inflammation in my joints. I note that you say that it is not suitable for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, I wonder if the same is true of osteo-arthritis, which is caused by wear and tear? I will certainly look into this further. All the best, Diane

    • Thank you for the great comment.  I really don’t think there is a problem with osteo-arthritis.  The benefits I don’t know however.

  5. Herbs can be the missing links in mordern health in human  benefits of this plant  exceed it’s many more mordern Medicine I  have been  taking the the plants for various reasons and it happens once you take the  herbals  many more illiments  that we’re forming themselves disappear so which mordern medicine can do that non

  6. Ashwagandha root does basically everything. I’ve tested some other herbal products and got to find out that most of the things they claim it cures almost everything, most of the times, the product doesn’t work out. My question is, If I get this, is there any return policy incase it does work for me? 

    Thanks. 

    • Return policies are the responsibility of the seller or manufacturer.  As an affiliate marketer I don’t sell directly so you would have to check with the seller

  7. The power of plants never ceases to amaze me. I feel like I should have heard more about ashwagandha before. Why is it that I haven’t? I’m really interested in it for the benefits of reducing stress and anxiety. Those are things that I struggle with from time to time, and I feel like this could be a great benefit. 

    I see it comes in powder form. Do you just mix it in water or tea? Um, I have to say, I’m a little nervous about the fact that it smells like horse sweat. lol

    • Ya, the smell is a little off putting, but you can mix it with just about anything but alcohol.  The smell doesn’t = bad taste in a drink

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