What is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is quite popular in India and the surrounding countries. Currently, it is becoming famous in Western countries too, due to its immense benefits. In the Ayurvedic zone, this herb has a royal position and is called Rasayan (rejuvenation drink), which makes the human body resist physiological and psychological stress after adopting the body’s requirements.
How Ashwagandha Works?
Ashwagandha, Helps in performing various physical functions, it supports, tones and revitalizes the whole physical structure. It is made famous by its basic property, it energizes you, simultaneously calms you. Stress steals the sleep, causing fatigue, you tend to become aggressive and agitated ashwagandha is the one that rectifies all these problems. It bestows a nutritious, yet energetic effect. It calms down the nervous system. In fact, it soothes the nervous system and the whole physical aspect of the whole body. It is a kind of tonic that all adults should have a pack in every home.
Ashwagandha, in Ayurveda is used to restore the balance between Vata and Kapha dosha that has been imbalanced. Ayurveda recognizes ashwagandha for its strengthening, nourishing and building nature. It helps to amass muscles on the body and makes it free from all ailments infections.
Proven Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses of Withania Somnifera
Ashwagandha is one of the most significant herbs in Ayurveda, a kind of alternative medicine, which is based on Indian principles of natural healing. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera and is also referred to as winter cherry and Indian ginseng.
An Ancient Herb:
The word ‘ashwagandha’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘smell of the horse’ and is unique and has the capacity to enhance strength. It is used for centuries to enhance energy level, remove stress and improve concentration.
It is a small shrub with yellow flowers that originated in India and North Africa. This plant’s root has immense benefits, the extracts are used to prevent and cure any malady. It provides all these benefits because of its high concentration of withanolides, which have proved to combat inflammation and tumor growth.
A research was conducted and it was found that it has the property of apoptosis, which just butchers the cancer cells. By doing its job, it never allows their build up in many ways.
Initially, ashwagandha generates reactive oxygen species (ROS), which proves to be toxic to the cancer cells alone. It also makes the cancer cells to be less resistant to apoptosis. Thus it is considered a remedy for any type of cancer like lung, breast, colon, brain and ovarian cancer, it is beneficial to the females also. It is a remedy that saves human beings from such a dreadful disease like cancer without any fear of surgery, in a natural manner.
Reduce blood sugar level:
In majority cases, ashwagandha has proved to lower the sugar level in the blood, where ever it was high and above normal. It enhances insulin secretion and improves insulin production in muscle cells. It reduces the sugar level in both the healthy people and those who have diabetes. A study was conducted and it was found to be true. A practical was done on 6 men with 2 diabetic persons were given ashwagandha powder for 30 days continuously and it did lower their blood sugar level, bringing it to the normal.
Stress and Anxiety:
Ashwagandha is the best herbal remedy to reduce stress & anxiety. It jams the path of stress in the brain by controlling the chemical signaling in the nervous system. Many studies have found it to reduce the number of people having anxiety Patients who had chronic stress, those who were in the supplemental group reported a reduction in anxiety and insomnia. Thus making it a good remedy that heals so many diseases, without the fear of any side effects.
Reduce Cortisol levels:
A stress hormone, Cortisol is released by our body’s adrenal glands in response to stress and also when our body’s blood sugar level drops too low. In rare cases, this level is elevated chronically, sugar level and immense fat gets stored in the abdomen. Ashwagandha brings the cortisol level to the right level.
Boosts Testosterone and Enhance Fertility of Men:
Ashwagandha supplements are also famous for having strong effects on male libido. It improves the testosterone level and reproductive health of their body. It is a kind of tonic for the males who have a low sperm count, are infertile. It enhances the quality & quantity of male sperms. It also encourages the anti-oxidant level in your body, thus relieving them from worries and stress. It can also be called a male tonic.
Enhances Muscle Mass and Strength:
A study was conducted and it was found to be true that ashwagandha improves body composition and expand strength. An experiment was conducted to know the exact dosage of ashwagandha, which came to about 750 mg to 1250mg per day. Both hit the same gym. After 30 days , it was found that people with powdered ashwagandha had more muscle strength than the normal people. People who had this tonic had more stretchy and expanded muscles than normal people.
Enhances Brain Power and Memory:
Some fake studies suggest that ashwagandha reduces memory and doesn’t help the brain retain its powers after an accident or injury, whereas these are not the facts. Research shows it encourages the anti-oxidant activity that saves the nerve cells from free radicals who are there to harm them. It was found that the reversal of spatial memory impairment also happens. Traditionally ashwagandha was just medicated to boost the memory in Ayurveda zone, research on its various benefits is limited, and more is required
In another study men who were fed 500mg of ashwagandha of standardized extract for each day showed significant improvement by enhancing their spontaneity to react and in task performance.
Another study revealed that men who were fed 300mg of ashwagandha twice a day enhanced their memory, task performance and were paid more attention.
Thus proving that ashwagandha is a natural tonic for many men related ailments.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.