The Health Benefits of Ashwagandha – New!

Ashwagandha is an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3000 years, primarily for stress, increased energy levels, and concentration. But now, more health benefits have been discovered and lots of research is revealing the health benefits of Ashwagandha. Including its positive effects on the brain.

Here’s the science of it:

It’s also known by its botanical name, Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal and also Indian ginseng and winter cherry. Most people refer to it as ashwagandha, which means “smell of the horse” in Sanskrit because of it’s smell and strength-giving abilities (Spritzler, 2018).

Scientists have identified over 50 different chemical components of the various parts of the plant including steroidal alkaloids and lactones, all known as withanolides (Lopresti et al., 2019). It’s a small shrub with yellow flowers, native to India and North Africa and extracts are made from its roots or leaves. It’s an adaptogen to help balance the body and help it deal with stress.

With so many natural chemical compounds in it, Ashwagandha really has a lot of functions and uses. It’s widely used for anxiety and stress relief. That is probably what most people know about it. It is also reported to help with memory and brain function so we’re going to discuss this more heavily. It’s also being tested for cancer treatment, male infertility, and lowering blood sugar levels. Even thyroid treatment.

There are some things you need to know about Ashwagandha before using it though, including dosing. Keep reading.

Ashwagandha for Anxiety and Stress Reduction

A lot of research recently shows that Ashwagandha is very effective in reducing anxiety in people with a generalized anxiety disorder and chronically stressed people. Not only did participants in studies self-report less stress and anxiety but their cortisol levels (stress hormone) were lower and so were their blood pressure and pulse rate (Lopresti et al., 2019). It’s also good to know that it had minimal side effects. Keep in mind, they screened out participants who had risk factors for taking ashwagandha.

Feeling of well being

 

 

As a result of the recent study by Lopresti et al. (2019), participants had a reduction in cortisol levels by 22% for males and 25% for females on Ashwagandha. This was at the 60-day mark. Wow! This shows it really does relieve stress and anxiety and improves mood. It’s also used to help with adrenal fatigue after a long bout with stress, reducing cortisol and adrenaline levels. They also noted that some of the lowering of stress and anxiety might be due to the antioxidant properties of ashwagandha as well. This takes us to…

Ashwagandha for Cancer

So Ashwagandha has shown to kill cancer cells. Seriously. Studies on multiple types of cancers including brain cancers, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer and also recently, treatment-resistant and aggressive cancers such as hepatocellular carcinomas (Ahmed et al., 2018). It induces cell death in cancer cells.

Because the findings are so positive in the fight against cancer, it might be included in some types of treatment in the future. Its strong antioxidant properties help prevent cell damage. The study noted above used Egyptian Ashwagandha which they deemed different than Indian Ashwagandha. However, they both induce cancer cell death. And one animal study prevented the spread of cancer to other organs.

Ashwagandha for Male Fertility

Another surprising health benefit of ashwagandha is It increases testosterone levels in men and also increases sperm count and motility. Spritzler (2018) noted a study of 75 infertile men in which their testosterone levels increased significantly. And in another study on men who were taking ashwagandha for stress, 14% of the men’s partners had become pregnant after three months on Ashwagandha. The men also had increased antioxidant levels. That’s impressive as a result of a research study on a natural herbal supplement.

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Flowering Ashwagandha Plant

Ashwagandha for Inflammation

This wonder herb also increases natural killer cell activity (our fighter white blood cells). Lab results from people taking ashwagandha showed decreased inflammatory markers in their blood. As we’ve seen from other articles here, inflammation can lead to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and even cancer.

See Related Article: Bacopa Monnieri Benefits

Ashwagandha for Blood Sugar

Blood sugar levels are reduced in both people with diabetes and those without after taking ashwagandha. It even reduced fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes to the same level as if they’d taken an oral diabetes medication (Spritzler, 2018). Not only does it reduce fasting blood sugar levels, but it also increases insulin sensitivity in muscle cells, making them less resistant to insulin.

The health benefits of ashwagandha are pretty amazing. But there’s more..

Ashwagandha for Lowering Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Studies are showing the potential for increased cardiovascular health from taking ashwagandha. It does lower cholesterol and triglycerides pretty significantly. In one study, 17% had a decrease in ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides. It sure beats taking statins which are known to be bad for your overall health.

This could be a good answer for people with high cholesterol who use it with other strategies to reduce bad cholesterol and improve your chances of not getting heart disease.

Ashwagandha for Memory and Brain Health

It’s still early days for the study of ashwagandha for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia. Early studies show that ashwagandha has neuro regeneration abilities though. AD and dementia have multiple causes and points of the destruction of brain cells.

One of the biggest causes is neuroinflammation. Preliminary studies show ashwagandha promotes cellular health and prevents neural cell death. When microglial cells are protecting the brain from a perceived threat, they can sometimes go into overdrive and actually damage the neurons. In addition, amyloid plaques are formed to try and protect the brain but this has the opposite effect and is a feature of AD and dementia.

Several studies point to ashwagandha as a potential treatment for neurodegenerative and cognitive impairments. They also showed increased memory and better coordination. It has been used to boost memory in Ayurvedic medicine. In a few human studies done, one showed that this herb significantly improved memory, task performance and attention (Spritzler, 2018).

Who Should Not Take It

If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll definitely want to check with your doctor before trying ashwagandha. You might have to watch closely and adjust your insulin.

If you have thyroid disease or are on medication, also check with your doctor as you might need to adjust your medication or see if your doctor approves of you taking ashwagandha. It can raise thyroid levels.

If you have an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, lupus or type 1 diabetes.

If you have gastrointestinal issues or diseases, you should check with your doctor before taking it. It can cause some stomach upset if you’re susceptible to that.

With all the studies I read about, very few people had any side effects taking it. But they did rule out people with the above issues from participating.

Dosage:

The standardized root extract is usually 450-500mg once or twice daily. Follow the directions on the bottle. There are several formulations available now at 1950mg and 2100mg. That’s fine. It is available in capsule form or powder to mix as you please.

Where We Are Now

The health benefits of ashwagandha are many, as we have seen. Cancer, anxiety and stress, male fertility, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, blood sugar lowering. And the super important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s also a super neuroprotectant against some of the cell actions that happen with AD and dementia. Plus it helps memory and motor function.

With the neuroprotective properties and anti-cancer properties alone, it’s well worth taking this amazing herbal supplement. I’m including links to a few for you here. Check them out today to get the best one for you.

Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum? ; Ashwagandha 570 mg-120 Tablets

Planetary Herbals Full Spectrum ; Ashwagandha 570 mg-120 Tablets

From the Manufacturers Label:. Rejuvenating Tonifier.** Ashwagandha is one of the worlds most powerful adaptogens, used traditionally in Ayurvedic herbalism. Planetary Ayurvedics Full Spectrum Ashwagandha combines whole root powder with root extract to capture all the plants valuable compounds. Manufactured by Planetary Herbals.









The Health Benefits of Ashwagandha - New! 2

Organic India Organic India? ; Ashwagandha-90 Vegi Caps

Organic India Organic India ; Ashwagandha-90 Vegi Caps

From the Manufacturer:Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb used for centuries as a natural source of energy and vitality. *. Made with Certified Organic Herbs. Stress & Vitality Support.** Vegetarian. Gluten Free.









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Thank you for reading about ashwagandha today. I appreciate you visiting mywellbrain. Please leave any questions, comments or your experience with ashwagandha in the comments section below.

References:

Ahmed, W., Mofed, D., Zekri, A. R., El-Sayed, N., Rahouma, M., & Sabet, S. (2018). Antioxidant activity and apoptotic induction as mechanisms of action of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) against a hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. The Journal of international medical research46(4), 1358–1369. doi:10.1177/0300060517752022 from the NCBI database.

Lopresti, A. L., Smith, S. J., Malvi, H., & Kodgule, R. (2019). An investigation into the stress-relieving and pharmacological actions of an ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Medicine98(37), e17186. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000017186 from the NCBI database.

Spritzler, Franziska. (2018). 12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha. Healthline. Retrieved October 14, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits

16 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Ashwagandha – New!”

  1. What a great write up Paula. Isn’t it amazing how science is verifying such and anciently used group of natural medicines. There certainly are a lot of subtle benefits of Ashwagandha. 

    I think the future of medicine is on the same cycle as the energy industry when I discover information like this. I am most interested in the results for Ashwandha for depression as it is rife throughout. I have used a few different doctor prescribed options and every one of them have under performed in helping me to be happy, and horrible side effects.

    Thanks for the write up, and recommendation. 

    Cheers Ropata

    Reply
    • Absolutely. Thanks for reading. I hope you get some relief for the depression. Going natural is the way to go. There are some other natural treatments for depression here like the article on Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Choline. These are simple and being low on them can wreak havoc. I appreciate your comments. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Hi Paula,

    I really enjoyed reading your article on the health benefits of ashwagandha. I started taking it last year as it was recommended to me for workplace stress, however after around 60 days, I have to admit I wasn’t feeling any benefit. Do you think 60 days is long enough or was I being too impatient? If so would you recommend a particular barand and is 450-500mg up to twice per day a large enough dose? Thanks in advance, Andrew

    Reply
    • Hi Andrew. From what I read, it can take longer for some people. I recommend the Tribe Organics KSM-66 Ashwagandha. 600mg. I have the link above but here it is also: KSM-66 Ashwagandha. It’s got perfect ratings from Amazon customers. Thank you. I hope this helps you. Look around this website too. There are additional supplements you could add to supplement the supplement. Try this link: https://mywellbrain.com/?s=stress

      Reply
  3. Its a very good thing that science can really back the production of ancient medicine like the Ashwagandha. Its the first time I am hearing about this one but it really is so cool how it works. It can be used for so many things but one that I am very
    surprised with is the cancer cells that it can kill. Thats some real gold. Thank you for sharing a link to get its extraxts.

    Reply
  4. I think the future of the medicine in the world is only booming more and more due to scientific discoveries and verification of plants such as this ashwagandha. I like the fact that it is almost an all rounder medicine that can be used to cover for virtually all human health challenges just as you have highlighted here. This is really interesting to know about. Thanks

    Reply
    • I appreciate your comments. It really is amazing it hasn’t been more mainstream. It has been used for thousands of years though in Ayurvedic medicine.  Thank you.

      Reply
  5. It’s always rare to find plants with so much benefits as this and that’s why I’ll like to appreciate you for taking out time to put together this informative and educative article, I’ve really gained a lot. This is the first time I’m hearing about Ashwagandha and I must say it’s really nice I did because now I’m able to know the benefits of it and what diseases it can be used to cure. With so many importance attached to it, Ashwagandha Will be in demand as soon as people understand about it and thanks for stating the people that it can possibly be of danger to. It’s nice reading through.

    Reply
  6. Wow! If Ashwagandha can be used to counter all these then why has it not gain a lot of recognition rather than being at the phase of being known till now. To be honest, this is really great as it would help enhance our body system with its health benefits. I like every bit of what I have read and I will be sure to share this out to everybody I know of.

    Reply
  7. Wow, this much benefits gotten from just one  herb, I’m really perplexed right now and I feel it’s really amazing that this was discovered because it’ll be of immense benefits to humanity at large. Its good to know that there are some set of people that can’t use it, because it’ll serve as caution before use to check if its okay for you or not and also the dosage. This article should reach out to more people, it’s really beneficial to human health.

    Reply
  8. I have just noticed that their is medication for stress but i have come to know Ashwagandha as one type of medicine for stress. I also thought that this medicine heals all kinds of diseases but i have but i have noticed that you have to first check with your doctor if you have diseases such as type 2 diabetes, thyriod levels to mention but a few thanks for sharing this information 

    Reply

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