Ashwagandha is a popular ingredient used in various medical formulations in Ayurveda. It grows in undeveloped areas and has to be cultivated on a large scale to meet the enormous demand. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and is also called Indian Ginseng and winter cherry. It is a shrub sized plant with yellow colored flowers. Its leaf and root extract is used in medical treatments.
Let’s look at some of the benefits it provides:
Ayurveda practitioners usually recommend Ashwagandha when someone complains of fatigue and lack of energy in general. It is an excellent energy booster and does not make the body overly active. It helps tackle lousiness. What’s more, this amazing Ayurveda medicine is not addictive at all.
Ashwagandha is an amazing stress reliever. It lifts up the mood and banishes anxiety without causing immediate drowsiness. Due to its stress busting action, it also promotes healthy sleep patterns which are beneficial in the long term for preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Ashwagandha is often prescribed for treating depression by Ayurveda practitioners. It is believed to help in lifting up the mood of a person without going overboard with it. It is highly used in bipolar disorder where the patient only reacts in extremes. It creates a balance in such situations and prevents extremism.
Ashwagandha is associated with increasing concentration and memory. Clinical studies show its definite positive effect on preschool children’s concentration levels in any given learning task. It is also used in treatment of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) in school children. It helps elderly too by reducing brain cell degeneration thus preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Its effect on lowering blood sugar levels is proven in clinical trials and studies on type 2 diabetics. It increases insulin secretion and improves insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. Infact one study showed that supplementing Ashwagandha for a month worked equally well in reducing fasting blood glucose levels as an orally administered diabetes medication.
Animal and test tube studies have found that Ashwagandha helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed killing of cancer cells. It also hinders the growth of new cancer cells and tumors. It may help in various types of cancers including breast, lung, colon, brain and ovarian cancer.
People suffering from thyroid conditions: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, may benefit from Ashwagandha. Much contrary to synthetic drugs which have a specific action on the thyroid gland, Ashwagandha does more of a balancing and modulating action to avoid extremes.
In Ayurveda, medicinal preparations use Ashwagandha for enhancing the feeling of desire, treating impotancy, and improving sexual performance. It is also found beneficial for treating erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men. It steadily treats all these conditions instead of fixing it immediately as in the case of synthetic drugs like Viagra.
Ashwagandha strenthens both the male and female reproductive system. Reducing stress, restoring hormonal balance, improving sperm concentration in semen, and increasing the motility of the sperms are some proven effects of Ashwagandha.
Rhematism and arthritis cause pain and stiffness in the joints. It results in inflammation and swelling which can be tackled by Ashwagandha. Studies show that administering Ashwagandha supplements have anti inflammatory effects on the body, thereby decresing the swelling and pain. It may also benefit Osteoarthritis patients.
It is common among sportsmen and trainers to take Ashwagandha extract to improve their athletic performance. Bodybuilders and athletes consume it to build strength as Ashwagandha increases the muscle mass in the body. It also shows positive effects in improving their neuro-mascular coordination.