The Hidden Power of Ashwagandha

The Ashwagandha herb is a staple of Ayurveda. In other words, it is one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs; also going by the names Witharia Somnifera (in Latin) or Asgandh (in Sanskrit). This is an ancient medical ‘adaptogenic’ herb since it eases stress. Further, you can steer clear of all forms of illnesses through regular use. For instance, it calms the brain, lowers inflammation, and strengthens immune health, among other benefits.

This plant is a small evergreen shrub which grows in hot and tropical climates. Thus, it is native to Africa, the Middle East and certain parts of Africa. The roots and berries of this plant are of use to traditional medicines. Similarly, the leaves and seeds have certain uses as well. However, now you can conveniently obtain in through its powdered form.

This herb is a powerful calming agent. In fact, the term ‘ashwa’ means horse, since the herb smells like one. Thus, this serves as a general tonic to reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety. Further, it can heal certain cancers and the alzheimer’s disease. For these reasons, Ayurveda considers this as a ‘rasayana’ as it maintains both mental and physical youth. Here are some other specific remedies.

Stress and Anxiety Relief

Ayurveda isn’t the only source which propagates the soothing effects of this herb. Multiple scientific peer-reviewed studies confirm this as well. For instance, one study among mice finds Ashwagandha to be more effective than lorazepam, which is an anxiety reducing sedative. Similarly, a second study finds that a daily dose of 240 mg reduced cortisol levels (a stress hormone). Finally, a third study finds that taking 250-600 mg of cortisol per day reduces both self-reported stress levels as well as cortisol levels.

Overall, incorporating Ashwagandha to your diet can help deal with stress and its many symptoms. However, make sure to practice this alongside other stress-relieving practices too. Yoga practice, green tea consumption, and a healthy sleep schedule, for instance, are primary techniques to combat stress. Ashwagandha acts as a supplement to these.

Cognition Enhancement

Ashwagandha belongs to the Medhyarasayana subgroup. In fact, the term Rasayana literally means ‘path of essence’. It thus denotes therapeutic practices for longevity, immunity, and wellness. Among these, the ‘medhya’ group promotes cognitive and intellectual capacities. In this manner, the Ashwagandha herb is can ward off mental fatigue and strengthen neural connections.

This herb helps to treat memory deficits among both children and elders. Likewise, you may consume this when there are other biomedical reasons of mental decline. A prolonged illness of head injury, for instance, can compromise on your memory. However, be sure to consult your doctor for the right dosage and schedule of consumption.

Better Sleep Quality

Ever felt bouts of insomnia or general sleep disturbances? This isn’t an issue with Ashwagandha by your side. First, the herb gets rid of long term mental ailments such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Each of these have significant effects on your sleep quality. Further, it regulates your steroid and stress-related hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which further soothe your mind.

In short, the herb nourishes the nervous system and mind. Both these factors regulate your sleep cycles. Thus, you can use this as a general supplement to reset your sleep cycles. Most importantly, it helps those who face chronic fatigue and suffer stress-related exhaustion. Make sure to practice other alongside other healthy techniques for better sleep.

Check out some yoga poses for better sleep here. 

Better Immunity

Ashwagandha is a powerful Ayurvedic immunity booster. It increases white blood cell production which wards off diseases and ailments. Further, it is one of the few natural ingredients which contains anti-tumour properties. Thus, it serves as a useful complement to chemotherapy and radiation.

Various studies demonstrate this benefit. For instance, one such study finds that a concoction of Ashwagandha with cow’s milk has two major benefits. For example, it not just increases the number of white blood cells, but also its response to CD56+ killer cells in particular. Thus, it effectively combats the flu, mumps, and measles, among airborne or waterborne illnesses. Further, it increases the amount of CD4+ T helper cells which strengthen these benefits.

Check out some other natural Ayurvedic immunity boosters here.

Better Thyroid Health

The thyroid is vital to maintaining proper metabolic activity and bone growth. Often times, disturbances can cause an excess or deficit of hormone production. Further, you may also face symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, goitre, or constipation. Likewise, excessive hormonal production can cause breath shortness, fatigue, and hair loss. Thankfully, Ashwagandha can soothe these symptoms.

The herb hunts out free radicals which are responsible for cell tissue damage of the thyroid. Thus, it lowers oxidative degeneration levels of lipids. In addition, it provides a soothing effect on the hypothalamus. This improves your overall mood levels. Each of these factors, hence, stabilise hormone levels.

Click here to learn about the Ayurvedic approach to thyroid diseases. 

Reduces Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is a common to even healthy individuals. On one hand, there are various lifestyle factors that protect your from diabetes. However, these may not be enough! Go for certain medicinal plants – these contain hypoglycaemic properties which lower blood sugar levels. Further, these are less toxic and free of side effects.

This herb improves insulin sensitivity and secretion levels. Thus, it lowers urine sugar, blood glucose, and liver glycogen levels. Further, it reduces serum lipids in the kidney, liver and heart. While most scientific tests use rats as their subjects, multiple other studies extend these benefits to human beings as well. As a result, regular use in the right dosage can prevent and combat diabetes.

Takeaways

Ashwagandha is a powerful and popular Ayurvedic herb. It offers a variety of mental and physical benefits which nourishes and protects your body. First, it mentally induces calmness and improves cognitive abilities. Second, it physiologically improves immunity, sleep quality, thyroid health and blood sugar levels. Thus, the correct dosage can do wonders for your overall health.

Take a look at the three Ayurvedic remedies for better sleep here. 

Check out our Ashwagandha latte mix sold exclusively at Mekosha.

Article By:

Dr. Muneesh

Dr. Muneesh S

Ayurveda Doctor

Dr. Maneesh S is an authority in the field of traditional style of Ayurvedic treatment. With over 10 years of expertise and a proven track record of classical style of treatment his work has immensely benefited several people all over India and the world. He mastered the Ayurvedic method of treatment from the renowned Pankajakasthuri Ayurveda Medical College, Trivandrum. His experience includes working with Somatheeram Resorts, Club Mahindra Resorts and as a Dubai Healthcare City licensed Consultant Physician. He has also traveled extensively across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent collecting medicinal plants to replenish his extensive organic infusions. He has treated patients with chronic and complicated diseases as well as delivered lectures on Ayurveda, partaken in discussions and seminars pertaining to the propagation of various treatment modalities cited in the Ayurveda texts. With his extensive knowledge on various subjects like Sanskrit, Vedas, Mythology, ancient Indian Culture and Classical arts etc., he is considered to be one of the best in the industry.

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