Ashwagandha is a Sanskrit word, and the binomial name given to ashwagandha is “Withania sominifera (WS)” which means “odor of the horse”. It is believed that whoever consumes this herb will gain horse-like strength and vitality. It is an incredible healthy medicinal herb. Ayurveda has been using ashwagandha for around 3,000 years and being an adaptogen, ashwagandha helps us to better handle stress, and it can also lower down your blood sugar levels, balances cholesterol level and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression. As a broad spectrum remedy in India for centuries, Ashwagandha is mentioned as the “Queen of Ayurveda”.
Health benefits of ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has lots of powerful benefits to offer. It is a powerful remedy to combat diabetes and cancer, relieve arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma, rheumatism and stress. Ashwagandha also possesses antioxidant, anticonvulsant, and antibacterial properties, etc. It has a rejuvenating and calming influence on the entire being. In addition to its dual energizing and calming effect, ashwagandha offers a number of benefits:
Stress Buster and supports energy levels
The modern society is suffering from chronic stress and ashwagandha is one such herbal blessing to those battling with stress. Ashwagandha is known to reduce the high level of cortisol, ‘the stress hormone’. It possesses anti-stress properties and it had been administered to induce a soothing and calming effect on a person. As an adaptogen, it supports the health of the adrenal glands, prevent fatigue and enhancing energy levels. Ashwagandha is associated with the increase in serum T4 (thyroxin), which helps to enhance thyroid function, promoting energy levels, and improving mood and immune function.
Controls Blood sugar level
Ayurveda uses ashwagandha as a powerful remedy for diabetes for a long period of time. Consuming ashwagandha during fasting and post-lunch period decreases the blood sugar levels significantly. A study says that diabetic people who practised consuming the roots and leaf extracts of ashwagandha could see a decrease in blood sugar levels. Ashwagandha is beneficial in combating diabetic conditions.
Keeps a check on cholesterol level
The Ashwagandha root is highly beneficial for cardiovascular problems because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It strengthens the heart muscles and keeps those bad cholesterol levels in check. Research indicates that it contains hypolipidemic properties that help in bringing down the bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
From past decades, science has begun to acknowledge that ayurvedic medicines have positive effects. Ashwagandha is one such herb with the surprising potential to treat cancer. It generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are toxic to cancer cells but not normal cells and may cause the cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis. Researchers have found out that it can be an alternative treatment for cancer due to its cancer-killing properties. It also interests as it reduces the side effects of chemotherapy without interfering the tumour cell-killing activity.
Used as an aphrodisiac
This traditional, magical herb is a powerful libido enhancer in men, but it is prescribed as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Use ashwagandha for ED medicinal purpose only after consulting the doctor. Ashwagandha successfully improves sperm production in people suffering from low sperm count.
Improves Brain function and enhances memory
Ashwagandha promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals. It reduces brain function problems and enhances memory caused by injury or disease. The active constituent of ashwagandha crosses the blood-barrier and acts as a therapeutic agent for a stress-induced neurological disorder. It improves brain function, memory, reaction times and has the ability to perform tasks.
Effective for Heart
The herb produces a strong antioxidant effect and stops the lipid peroxidation in humans to lead towards heart disease. It strengthens the heart muscles, and protects it from an attack and increases its power of tolerance and survival. The herb extract can stall necrosis - an accidental death of cells and living tissues caused during an attack. Researchers state that those who have suffered a heart attack or are prone because of hypertension and diabetes should consume ashwagandha as it lower downs the level of inflammation and has heart-protective properties.
Ashwagandha for skin
If you’ve dreamt of smooth, supple, and flawless, glowing skin ashwagandha is the best option for it. The herb is packed with the goodness of antioxidants and fights with the damaging free radicals produced through harmful UV rays from the sun. You can get rid of dark spots, wrinkles, ageing etc.
Ashwagandha for hairAyurveda suggests using ashwagandha to treat hair or scalp ailments. Its ability to improve blood circulation to the scalp which helps your hair follicles gets more nutrients, resulting in stronger and thicker hair. It also brings down the cortisol level by reducing the impact of stress on your body and thereby reducing hair fall and breakage. Ashwagandha boosts the production of hair melanin that gives your hair its natural colour.