Ashwagandha, also known as Withania Somnifera, is an herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is native to India and is widely used as a natural remedy for a variety of health conditions. In this article, we will explore six potential health benefits of ashwagandha.
1. Reduces Stress & Anxiety
One of the most well-known benefits of ashwagandha is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. The herb is believed to have a calming effect on the body and mind, and it has been shown to be effective at reducing stress in a number of studies.
In one study, participants who took ashwagandha reported a significant reduction in anxiety and stress symptoms. Another study found that ashwagandha was effective at reducing anxiety in people with chronic stress.
2. Improves Sleep Quality
Ashwagandha is also believed to have a sedative effect and may be helpful for improving sleep quality. Some evidence suggests that taking ashwagandha results in significant improvements in sleep quality compared to those who took a placebo.
3. Increases Energy & Stamina
Despite its calming effects, ashwagandha is also believed to have energizing properties. Some people use the herb to increase energy and stamina, especially during times of stress or fatigue.
Research shows that ashwagandha is effective at increasing endurance and reducing fatigue in people who engaged in regular physical activity. It was also found that the herb was effective at increasing energy and reducing fatigue in people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
4. Improves Cognitive Function
Ashwagandha is also believed to have brain-boosting properties and may be helpful for improving cognitive function.
In one study, participants who took ashwagandha reported significant improvements in memory and cognitive function.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Ashwagandha is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and may be helpful for reducing inflammation in the body. Ashwagandha has been found to be effective at reducing inflammation in people with chronic inflammation illnesses such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s disease, and arthritis.
6. May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Ashwagandha is also believed to have blood-sugar-lowering effects and may be helpful for controlling blood sugar levels. Researchers found that participants with type 2 diabetes who took ashwagandha reported significant reductions in blood sugar levels.
Another study found that ashwagandha was effective at reducing fasting blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of ashwagandha on blood sugar levels and how it may be used as a treatment for diabetes.
How To take Ashwagandha
There are several ways to add ashwagandha to your diet:
- Ashwagandha Supplements – Ashwagandha is available in supplement form, including capsules, tablets, and tinctures. You can purchase ashwagandha supplements at many health food stores and online retailers.
- Ashwagandha Tea – You can purchase ashwagandha tea at many health food stores or online retailers, or you can make your own by adding a teaspoon of ashwagandha powder to a cup of hot water.
- Ashwagandha-Infused Drinks – Many health food stores and online retailers also offer Ashwagandha drinks, such as ashwagandha lattes, smoothies, and tonics. These can be a convenient way to add ashwagandha to your diet and are generally easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
- Ashwagandha-Infused Recipes – Ashwagandha can also be incorporated into recipes, such as energy balls, protein bars, or smoothie bowls. You can purchase ashwagandha powder and add it to your favorite recipes, or you can find ashwagandha-infused recipes online or in cookbooks.
It is important to be aware that ashwagandha has a strong taste, which may not be to everyone’s liking. If you are trying ashwagandha for the first time, you may want to start with a small dosage and gradually increase it as needed. This can help you get used to the taste and determine the right dosage for you.
Ashwagandha is an herb with a long history of use in traditional medicine. It has a number of potential health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep quality, increasing energy and stamina, improving cognitive function, reducing inflammation, and potentially helping to lower blood sugar levels.
While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these potential benefits, ashwagandha has a good safety profile and is generally well-tolerated. It can be taken in supplement form or as a tea, and it is often included in various herbal remedies and tonics.
If you are considering using ashwagandha for any of the potential health benefits mentioned above, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. They can help you determine the appropriate dosage and ensure that ashwagandha is safe and appropriate for you.