Ashwagandha - Why it's used as a natural stress reliever

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Ashwagandha is an amazingly healthy medicinal herb. It is classified in medicine as an “adaptogen,” which means that it can aid your body to cope with stress (9 Surprising Benefits of Ashwagandha For Men, 2016). Ashwagandha is one of the most significant herbs in Ayurveda, a tradition of alternative medicine which is based on Indian principles of natural healing. It has been used for over 3,000 years to counteract stress, augment energy levels and expand concentration. “Ashwagandha” is Sanskrit for “smell of the horse,” which connotes its unique smell as well as the ability to improve strength. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and it is also known by few other names, such as winter cherry and Indian ginseng.  The ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that grows in north Africa and India. Powder or extracts from ashwagandha are employed for a variety of conditions.

Ashwagandha also affords many other benefits to one’s mind and body. For example, it can reduce blood sugar levels, lower cortisol, augment brain function and aid fight problems and symptoms caused by depression and anxiety (9 Surprising Benefits of Ashwagandha For Men, 2016). Most of its medicinal properties are ascribed to the higher concentration of withanolides, which counteract tumor growth and inflammation. In many studies, it has been found out that ashwagandha lowers blood sugar levels. A test-tube study explored that it augmented insulin secretion and improved the sensitivity for insulin in muscles (Spritzler, 2017). In one study, people suffering from schizophrenia were treated with ashwagandha for 4 weeks and their blood sugar levels reduced faster than those who were given placebo (Spritzler, 2017).  

 Apart from that, it has anti-cancer properties as test-tube studies have found out that it helps in inducing a programmed cell death of cancerous tissues. Besides, it impedes the growth of nascent cells of cancer. Cortisol, which is a stress hormone, is helped reduce by ashwagandha (9 Surprising Benefits of Ashwagandha For Men, 2016). In addition, it helps in counteracting anxiety and depression in the same manner. It is also famous that ashwagandha boosts the fertility of men and augments the levels of their testosterone (9 Surprising Benefits of Ashwagandha For Men, 2016). Ashwagandha may also Increase muscle mass and strength and help body builders improve their muscle mass significantly.

References

Spritzler, F. (2017). 12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha. https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits/. Accessed on 18 March 2017.

9 Surprising Benefits of Ashwagandha For Men. (2016.). Nootropics journal. Retrieved from  http://www.nootropicsjournal.com/ashwagandha-benefits-for-men/. Accessed on 18 March 2017.