Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurveda for over 5000 years as a rejuvenating (Rasayana) and adaptogenic herb. Also known as Indian Ginseng, this herb helps the body to resist physiological and psychological stress. Ashwagandha can be translated to mean “smell of a horse” due to the unique smell of the herb, as well as the virility of a horse. This is why Ashwagandha is traditionally used to support a healthy male.
Ashwagandha has been growing in popularity to the extent, it has become the subject of scholarly study by a number of researchers across the globe. Several types of research are being done to study the benefits on the immune system including on patients who undergo radiation and chemotherapy.
The Faculty of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy at India’s Guru Nanak Dev University conducted an eight-week experiment in 2012 with forty elite cyclists who were supplemented with Ashwagandha. The experiment showed significant enhancements in both cardiovascular and respiratory endurance. Similarly, research done in Malaysia proved that when Ashwagandha root extract was administered to people undergoing chemotherapy, they experienced less fatigue and improved their overall well-being.
The building, strengthening, and nourishing nature of Ashwagandha has been extensively recognized by Ayurveda.
Traditionally, Ashwagandha has been used to support, tone, and revitalize the functions of the human body. The numerous benefits associated with Ashwagandha include the following.
- Sustains energy levels, strength, and vitality
- Calms mental processes
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Fosters healthy sleep patterns
- Benefits of a healthy reproductive system
- Supports healthy back and joints
Ashwagandha is available in both powder and tablet forms. The powder mixed with milk and honey can be taken before bedtime to help with peaceful sleep, a better reproductive system, and strength. In fact, Ashwagandha awakens the body’s ‘inner pharmacy’ to perform to its best potential against the imbalance of Vata, pita, and Kapha.
The world over Ashwagandha is known as the best antidote for life’s many illnesses.
- Boosts Immunity – It boosts the immune system, wards off diseases and illnesses, and rebuilds the inner system.
- Acts as an Aphrodisiac – The herb calms the mind to elevate a person’s mood, and stimulate testosterone thereby, increasing sexual desire and performance.
- Relieves Stress – The adaptogen helps the body cope with stress, normalizes psychological function, and works on the neuroendocrine system and the HPA axis.
- Treats Insomnia – It rejuvenates the nervous system, eases stress, and erases insomnia.
- Improves Heart Health – It improves blood circulation in the heart and prevents blood clotting. It stabilizes blood sugar and controls cholesterol. It also helps to maintain blood pressure levels in the body.
- Protects Nervous System – Ashwagandha protects the brain cells from the deleterious effects of the environment. It is a promising alternative treatment for a variety of mental degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Ashwagandha supports significant regeneration of axons and dendrites of the nerve cells. Its extracts support the reconstruction of synapses, the junction where nerve cells communicate with other cells.
- Reduces Anxiety – A study concluded that Ashwagandha can successfully reduce symptoms of anxiety neurosis in patients.
- Contains Antioxidants – Ashwagandha contains compounds that possess strong antioxidant properties. It destroys free radicals in the body which pose one of the major reasons for several diseases in the body. This helps prevent the growth of tumors and other debilitating diseases in the body.
- Eases Inflammation – It eases the pain and disability associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Fights Cancer – Ashwagandha extract disrupts the cancer cell’s ability to reproduce – a key step in fighting cancer. It also possesses anti-carcinogenic properties which prevent cancer from forming new blood vessels to support its unbridled growth. It also normalizes the immune-suppressing effects of chemotherapy.
- Cures Infections – The roots of Ashwagandha have antibacterial and antifungal properties which ward off infections, including vaginal infections. It also helps to cure uterine infections and inflammation.
- Maintains Blood Sugar Levels – Ashwagandha helps to regulate blood sugar levels which aid in suppressing sugar cravings. This makes it very beneficial in treating type 2 diabetes.
- Guards Food Poisoning – The anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties of Ashwagandha protect against potentially dangerous bacteria called salmonella, an organism associated with food poisoning.
- Provides Strength and Vigour – Ashwagandha restores strength and vigor in those lacking in dynamism and energy. It stimulates the immune system and promotes the healthy functioning of the organism. It is extremely useful for patients suffering from rheumatic fever or tuberculosis.
- Fights Signs Of Aging – Ashwagandha contains high levels of antioxidants that fight the signs of aging like wrinkles, dark spots, fine lines, and blemishes.
- Heals Wounds – The leaves of this plant provide a healing poultice that quickly heals the wounds.
- Controls Hair Fall – Stress is one of the major causes of hair fall in both men and women. Ashwagandha controls hair fall by reducing cortisol levels in the body. It improves digestion and flushes out toxins from the body, thereby, promoting the health of hair.
- Prevents Premature Greying – Melanin is a type of pigment that gives color to the hair, eyes, and skin. Tyrosine, an amino acid found in ashwagandha helps stimulate the melanin production in your hair follicles which can help restore lost melanin and return hair to its natural color in youngsters.
- Stimulates Hair Follicles – Ashwagandha improves blood circulation in the scalp and activates hair follicles, accelerating hair growth. Ashwagandha hair masks are used to stimulate the hair follicles and maintain the health of the hair.
- Treats Scalp – The anti-inflammatory properties of Ashwagandha are useful for treating scalp conditions like scalp psoriasis, and eczema.