Top 5 Science-Backed Health Benefits
Ayurveda is one of the best-known traditional medicines in the world. Using only plants and herbs to treat the human body to support its self-healing ability, this practice has survived over the millennia. One of the most important herbs of Ayurveda is Ashwagandha. Known for its “odor like a horse’ and bitter taste, this herb has become an inevitable part of many people’s lives.
What makes Ashwagandha Wirkung (“impact” in English) so great is its content. According to what’s known, this herb contains withanolides, withaferins, saponins, and alkaloids among the others. All of them provide it with incredible adaptogenic properties that support the body and ensure optimal health. So, let’s have a look at the top 5 science-backed health benefits of Ashwagandha...
Copyright: Unsplash / author: rochangraphics / I License: CC0 Public Domain
1. Can Provide Stress Relief
One of the things Ashwagandha is known for is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. There have been many studies, both, on humans and animals, to prove this. They have confirmed that Ashwagandha can reduce stress by reducing its symptoms. According to one study, people with chronic stress who consumed Ashwagandha have reported a 69% reduction in their symptoms, including anxiety and insomnia.
It is believed that Ashwagandha can also reduce stress by reducing cortisol levels. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol is produced when there’s a stressful situation. The bigger the stress is, the higher the cortisol levels are. And, since Ashwagandha can reduce these levels, it can help reduce the body response to the stressful event. In that way, it prevents the development of the symptoms.
2. Can Improve Heart Health
The heart is one of the vital organs we cannot live without. Therefore, working towards ensuring its health should be one of our priorities. Besides eating healthy food that’s low in unhealthy fats and exercising, we can also improve our heart’s health by taking Ashwagandha. It’s because this herb can lower:
- Blood sugar levels – It has been found that Ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. It can also lower these levels by lowering the cortisol levels. This is because blood sugar levels are related to cortisol levels. As it’s known, our body produces more cortisol when the blood sugar levels go too low. Therefore, by lowering cortisol levels, Ashwagandha can also lower blood sugar levels.
- Cholesterol and triglyceride levels – According to the findings, Ashwagandha may be able to reduce the levels of unhealthy fats. As one study has shown, it can lower the cholesterol and triglyceride levels by approximately 50%. In that way, it helps prevent heart-related conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, as well as heart disease.
Copyright: Unsplash / author: hilarylhahn / I License: CC0 Public Domain
3. May Improve Brain Health
Apart from improving heart health, Ashwagandha may also be able to improve brain health. According to what has been found, it can improve the brain function problems caused by a disease, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, or injury. It does that by promoting antioxidant activity which protects the nerve cells from the free radicals.
It is also suggested that Ashwagandha can help improve memory as well as other cognitive functions. Namely, it has been found that it can reverse the spatial memory impairment in rats with epilepsy. Also, it improved memory, attention, and task performance in healthy adults.
4. Can Increase Fertility in Men
Unfortunately, many people have fertility issues today for different reasons. Ashwagandha might have the solution for those whose infertility is related to testosterone levels and sperm movement. As it’s known, this ancient herbal remedy has been long used to treat infertility in men and it was an effective one.
But, if you don’t believe the elders say, you can trust studies. As it has been found, this herb can increase testosterone levels. Moreover, studies showed that it can increase the sperm amount and improve its motility, which is one of the main factors for fertility.
5. May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is usually a result of the presence of bacteria or viruses in the body or a certain health condition. Although doctors usually prescribe pain killers and antibiotics when fighting inflammation and infections caused by it, there’s a natural remedy for that. According to studies, Ashwagandha can reduce inflammation by increasing the activity of the immune cells and by reducing the C-reactive protein levels. In that way, it boosts the function of the immune system to fight the cause of infection and also reduces the pain caused by a disease-related inflammation, such as arthritis.
As you can see, Ashwagandha is indeed a powerful natural remedy. It can help with numerous health conditions and improve your overall health by affecting the work of various systems in your body. So, if you are looking for a natural way to deal with stress, insomnia, inflammation, or similar, you should consider taking Ashwagandha as a supplement.