Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogenic herb that has been used for thousands of years in ancient Ayurvedic medicine to relive several health conditions and help calm the body and mind while restoring balance and relieving stress without the use of prescription drugs. This evergreen shrub is native to the Middle East, Africa, and India and is used primarily for tea or taken in supplement form. Ashwagandha is undoubtedly a natural wonder that is well known for its ability to reduce stress and spice up your love life, too. Here are just a few of the other amazing benefits of this potent herb.
Ashwagandha root extract has been shown to decrease feelings of stress that cause brain fog and hamper concentration. It does this by reducing the stress hormones and sharpening the mind for the task at hand.
Decreases adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is a serious health concern that can occur after prolonged periods of intense stress and excess adrenaline. Essentially, it is when your adrenal glands become overtaxed and exhausted and are unable to produce proper amounts of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline that allow your body to respond appropriately to stress. When faced with moments of emotional, physical, or mental stress, you become tired, and moody and potentially experience brain fog instead of the healthy response of stress sharpening your reactions.
Studies show that ashwagandha can help repair your damaged adrenal glands and restore them to full functionality. This allows your body to better handle stress and can prevent burnout.
Reduce blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha may be of particular interest to those with diabetes as it has been shown to help regulate blood sugar and control insulin. It also proved a useful blood sugar management tool for healthy individuals as well. In fact, one small study showed that it was just as effective as an oral diabetes medication for lowering fasting blood sugar levels.
Could improve memory and brain function
Ashwagandha has been known to promote antioxidant activity and protect cells from harmful free radicals that cause mental decline, especially in older individuals. In one study, test subjects showed a significant increase in reaction time, memory, and mental performance compared to the placebo control group.
Relive pain from arthritis
Because ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties, it has been studied in relation to arthritis. This herb acts as a pain reliever and may help treat rheumatoid arthritis, according to research.
Improves sexual function
This herb not only helps increase testosterone in males, thereby improving sex drive and sexual function but can also act as a potent natural aphrodisiac. If things have been getting a little uninspired in the bedroom, try taking ashwagandha to help spice up your love life. Studies have shown that it can also increase sperm count and motility, which makes it an excellent supplement for boosting fertility.
May help treat cancer
Though most of the research has been performed on animal test subjects and in test-tubes, the early evidence of ashwagandha as a cancer treatment is promising. These studies show that is may be effective in treating lung, ovarian, brain, colon, and breast cancer. One study on mice with ovarian tumors showed that ashwagandha in combination with an anti-cancer drug was able to reduce tumors by 70-80 percent and prevent the spread of cancer to other organs.
Fights anxiety and improves mood
Ashwagandha may be just as useful as the sedative and anti-anxiety medication lorazepam, according to a study published in the journal Phytomedicine. It also has antidepressant effects and could act as a mood stabilizer due to its adaptogenic effects that help the body cope with the strain of stress.
Ashwagandha health notes:
- Pregnant women should not take ashwagandha as it can cause early delivery.
- Supplements aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it is important to do your research to ensure that you are purchasing from a reputable source.
- Ashwagandha may cause side effects such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting, but it is generally considered safe for short term use. Discontinue use if you experience any adverse reactions.
- Consult your doctor before starting ashwagandha if you are on any prescription medications.
-The Alternative Daily