Experiencing The Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha

Posted on November 21, 2020

As an ancient herbal medicine, Ashwagandha has indeed been a staple within the natural therapists list of “go to therapies. The herb has a classification as an “adaptogen”, this means that primary use of the herb tends to be as an aid for stress management.

Its botanical name is Withania somnifera and quite often referred to as Withania most likely because of the difficulty in pronouncing Ashwagandha. Nevertheless, this little wonder plant has a number of interesting characteristics which support its use by herbalists, naturopaths and Ayurveda practitioners.

The plant is native to India and North Africa, its extracts are then used in a variety of formulations designed to treat a number of health conditions.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas natural practitioners apply Ashwagandha to alleviate common health issues.

  • Support the reduction of blood sugar levels
    • Studies have demonstrated that the herb has lowered blood sugar levels which may be attributed to the plant having compounds called withanolides
  • Animal studies and cancer
    • While not yet proven in human studies, a compound in the herb influences programmed death of cancer cells
  • Cortisol levels
    • Adrenal glands are responsible for production of cortisol and chronically elevated levels are not a good thing to have in the human body. Ashwagandha may help to lower cortisol levels
  • Can the herb help with stress and anxiety?
    • Best known for its use in this area, Ashwagandha is often used to aid in the treatment of people suffering symptoms of stress and anxiety disorders. There are studies in humans which have demonstrated positive managements of stress and anxiety with the herb
  • How about depression?
    • There are no conclusive studies to show how the herb can assist with mild forms of depression however; in one study, there were statistically significant results within a study group taking a high concentration of Ashwagandha

There are certainly other areas of study in human health conditions where Ashwagandha has shown promise as an effective treatment. Work is progressing on areas such as fertility, muscle mass and strength, inflammation, cholesterol and triglycerides & brain function.

Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people, although its long-term effects are unknown. However, certain individuals should not take it, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.

People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid ashwagandha unless authorized by a healthcare provider. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes.

Additionally, those on medication for thyroid disease should be careful when taking ashwagandha, as it may increase thyroid hormone levels in some people.

It may also decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels, so medication dosages may need to be adjusted if you take it.

The recommended dosage of ashwagandha depends on the type of supplement. Extracts are more effective than crude ashwagandha root or leaf powder.

A herb that has been used in Ayurvedic and Indigenous medicine for over 3,000 years; Ashwagandha is certainly an amazing plant and well respected by practitioners of natural therapy.

Ashwagandha can be found in a number of herbal medicine or remedies. If you are considering use of the herb for your particular health needs, always speak to your healthcare provider and notify them immediately if symptoms persist of worsen

Say safe and be healthy.