Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: Ashwagandha is one of the most remarkable healing plants of Ayurveda. Its traditionally used as a sedative for stress-related sleep disorders or to strengthen the thyroid gland. We present the effects and possible applications of the sleeping berry.
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The positive effects of Ashwagandha in short
The many positive effects that Indians attribute to this broad-spectrum remedy suggest that Ashwagandha is either greatly overrated or a very potent medication. It influences numerous processes in the human organism.
Among other things, Ashwagandha is getting considered as:
- Energy Source
- Stress reducer
- Immune Enhancer
- Cholesterol reducer
- Thyroid hormone enhancer
- Depression fighter
- Cancer prevention and cure
- Brain Cell Protector
- Blood sugar stabilizer
- Mood elevator
- Virostatic agent
- Salmonella killer
- Anxiety Reliever
- Sleep aid
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Because of the scientific evaluations and Ashwagandha experience reports, it quickly becomes clear that the plant could bring many different health benefits. We have compiled the most important effects for you.
Ashwagandha supports hypothyroidism.
Adaptogenic herbal ingredients, which are also getting found in Ashwagandha, have been shown to help with thyroid problems. For example, it has been getting found that the herb supports people who have a dull thyroid gland due to Hashimoto’s disease or hypofunction. Millions of people could benefit from the plant by helping their thyroid gland to function correctly.
Ashwagandha studies on thyroid problems
That Ashwagandha affects the thyroid gland has also been getting proven in scientific studies.
In 2017 a pilot study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. It evaluated the benefits of Ashwagandha about mild hypothyroidism.
All 50 participants in the study were getting diagnosed as having mild hypothyroidism, with no apparent symptoms. The treatment group now received 600 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily for eight weeks. A control group was getting used to determine whether Ashwagandha was useful. However, the study participants in the control group only received starch in the form of a so-called placebo.
The scientists were able to observe astonishing results. It was getting found that Ashwagandha improved the serum thyroid-stimulating hormones (TSH) and thyroxine (T4).
It led the researchers to conclude that Ashwagandha may help normalize thyroid levels in patients with hypothyroidism. Other studies also suggest that sleeping berry can strengthen the thyroid gland.
Weight loss as a side effect
Benefits for weight loss can also be getting derived from the study results. Finally, patients with hypothyroidism often have to cope with overweight. Ashwagandha could help to support weight loss by balancing the thyroid gland.
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: Video explains what is Ashwagandha and what does it do?
Ashwagandha fights fear and stress.
In the USA alone, many of the population suffers from an anxiety state at least once in their lives. Ashwagandha could significantly improve the quality of life of people with anxiety.
As a herbal remedy, Ashwagandha seems to have the ability to balance and relieve anxiety. The most significant advantage of Ashwagandha is that it works naturally and therefore has minimal side effects compared to conventional medicines.
On the other hand, Anti-anxiety medications that are frequently prescribed and taken can lead to drowsiness, insomnia, increased appetite, and loss of sexual desire. These unwanted side effects put further strain on the psyche of those affected.
Ashwagandha studies in anxiety
Studies have also shown that Ashwagandha could be helpful in the treatment of anxiety.
In 2009, a study was getting published in which the medicinal herb was getting compared with conventional medicines. There were two different groups of participants in the study. One group received naturopathic care, and the other group received traditional psychotherapeutic treatment. The group that relied on the power of nature was able to show a significant reduction in anxiety after 12 weeks with 300 mg of Ashwagandha daily.
The mental health, concentration, vitality, and general quality of life were also getting described as improved in the Ashwagandha group. Serious side effects did not occur.
Ashwagandha reduces stress
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: When was the last time you had stress? The hectic pace of everyday life, professional and private commitments often throw us off track.
It can severely disturb our inner balance, which can lead to health problems. In addition to sleep problems and reduced performance, stress can also promote the development of diseases.
Stress can trigger overweight, which in turn increases the risk of inflammation. Diabetes, arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure can result. Break the negative chain that threatens your health by avoiding stress at all costs.
Ashwagandha Studies and Stress
The stress hormone cortisol plays a vital role in our body. It is dependent on a daily rhythm. You release more of it in the morning hours so that you can start the day actively. By the way, in the past, our lives depended on the cortisol release. It ensured that the body could prepare itself for escape and fighting situations in ancient times.
Nowadays, we do not move enough to reduce the stress hormone released—the result: tiredness and exhaustion. It can also threaten cardiovascular diseases and depression.
Studies have investigated whether Ashwagandha could help to balance the stress levels. The assumption is evident, as the plant is said to be getting able to counteract an excessive release of stress hormones. Ashwagandha is also said to prevent stress-related diseases to a certain extent.
Research shows that the plant can lower elevated cortisol levels.
Ashwagandha improves depression
In the USA, many people suffer from depression. The effects of the disease can be devastating and severely limit the quality of life. Those affected suffer from the following symptoms, among others:
- Constant fatigue
- Energy shortage
- Lack of appetite
- Decreased sexual interest
As mentioned before, Ashwagandha improves resistance to stress and has a balancing effect. It could alleviate the classic symptoms of depression, such as sleep disorders and irritability with the sleeping berry.
By the way, the medicinal herb has anti-inflammatory properties. It is interesting about depression because the disease is often associated with encephalitis.
Ashwagandha studies in depression
Science has also dealt with the subject of Ashwagandha and depression. Ashwagandha was tested on 2000 rats and compared with the effect of the antidepressant imipramine.
Result: Ashwagandha has similar antidepressive properties as the drug. Thus the scientists conclude that Ashwagandha can be getting used as a mood stabilizer in depression.
Ashwagandha helps with sleep disorders.
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: Do you find it difficult to sleep in and sleep through the night? Then you probably suffer from sleep disorders like many others in this country. During the day, you feel as if you are exhausted, which can also affect your ability to concentrate and your motivation.
Ashwagandha could be interesting because it is not without reason that the medicinal herb is also getting called sleeping berry. Traditionally it is used for sleep problems so that those affected can get the much-needed portion of sleep. It is essential because this is the only way to reduce your stress level in the long term and avoid secondary diseases.
Ashwagandha studies and sleep problems
Investigations have shown that Ashwagandha works to a similar extent as GABA.
GABA (y-aminobutyric acid) occurs naturally in the body. The abstract sounding term refers to an amino acid that is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It has a calming effect but also promotes sleep, as it directly affects the brain.
Ashwagandha works similarly to this amino acid.
Ashwagandha relieves adrenal gland fatigue.
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: In your body, the adrenal glands perform an essential role as endocrine glands. They are responsible for the release of hormones. During sustained stress, the body releases cortisol and adrenaline.
Your adrenal glands may also be affected if you suffer from severe emotional, psychological, or physical stress. Then the so-called phenomenon of fatigue of the adrenal glands appears.
The exhaustion of the organs can interfere with the release of essential hormones in the body, including progesterone. It can lead to infertility and reduced DHEA levels.
DHEA is considered the primary precursor of the sex hormones. Its called the fountain of youth among hormones and has a variety of positive effects on the male-female body.
In scientific studies, it has been getting found that Ashwagandha can support the adrenal gland function. The medicinal herb could also be useful in cases of adrenal exhaustion.
Ashwagandha reduces the side effects of cancer therapies.
People with cancer often undergo debilitating therapies that lead to severe nausea and exhaustion.
Ashwagandha could affect both the symptoms caused by the treatment and on cancer itself. Ashwagandha could thus be able to extend and accompany conventional therapy.
Ashwagandha studies in cancer
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: The first research results indicate that the herb may have an anti-tumor effect. It is getting believed to inhibit the growth of tumor cells and prevent the growth of cancer cells.
Mainly breast, lung, intestinal, and stomach cancer cells have been observed. Scientists assume that the antioxidative and immune-strengthening abilities help to slow down the growth of cancer cells.
In further studies, researchers showed that the side effects of cancer drugs could be getting alleviated with the help of Ashwagandha. In animal studies, it was also getting found that Ashwagandha was associated with an increase in white blood cells.
White blood cells are a fundamental component in the immune system and help fight disease and harmful invaders. However, especially in people with cancer, the number of white blood cells is often reduced after chemotherapy. It makes cancer patients much more susceptible to infections. Ashwagandha could be getting administered as a supplement to conventional cancer treatments.
Ashwagandha balances the blood sugar level.
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: Ashwagandha contains so-called phenolic compounds, including flavonoids. These are considered beneficial to health and have a potential antidiabetic effect. As a result, Ashwagandha could support the health of people with diabetes.
Studies suggest that the herb may help the body respond better to the hormone insulin. The research also indicates that it may improve inflammation markers in patients with diabetes.
Ashwagandha studies in diabetes
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: It has long been getting known that the so-called flavonoids have hypoglycemic activities. It means that they can influence the blood sugar level.
A study in rodents has shown that both ashwagandha root and leaf extracts help to normalize the blood sugar levels of diabetic rats.
Besides, evidence has been getting collected that Ashwagandha has a positive effect on inflammation, the increase in glucose, and insulin resistance in fructose-fed rats.
Ashwagandha improves memory
The brain and nervous system can be sensitive to emotional, physical, and chemical stress. Recent research suggests that Ashwagandha may also protect the brain in addition to its stress-relieving effect. So-called cell degeneration can lead to neurogenic diseases, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Ashwagandha contains potent antioxidants that destroy free radicals in the body. These free radicals are also responsible for the aging process. It is getting believed that Ashwagandha has a significant effect on the age of cells. Withaferin A and withanolide D are said to improve brain performance. Both agents are getting found in Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha enhances immune function.
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: The immune system ensures that you can actively shape your life. It protects you from pathogenic germs from your environment.
Stress plays a vital role in immune function. If you suffer a lot from anxiety, your immune system can also be getting weakened.
Ashwagandha is a natural adaptogen and can help to lower the stress hormones in your body. The herb can also strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body.
Ashwagandha increases endurance
Are you physically active? Then Ashwagandha could support you in your sporting goals. After all, it sharpens the brain functions and helps to reduce pain.
It is not least due to the calming effect Ashwagandha has on the brain. It can lower the level of stress hormones. Stress hormones also play an important role in sports. According to research, Ashwagandha helps to optimize concentration, endurance, and motivation.
Ashwagandha supports sexual function and fertility.
Ayurvedic medicine has long used Ashwagandha as a natural aphrodisiac. There it is used to help people with sexual dysfunction.
After all, individual demands on one’s sexuality and the failure to fulfill them can lead to severe suffering. Restrictions in sexual life can also become noticeable with increasing age. However, many users would like to avoid taking regular medication.
Ashwagandha could also help here. The medicinal herb is also getting used to increase testosterone levels. Last but not least, taking it should also help to optimize male fertility.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: Ashwagandha, in the opinion of many healers, linked to a variety of healing effects. There are some things to be considered when taking it. Mainly it is about the correct dosage and possible side effects or interactions of the Indian medicinal plant with other medicines that are getting taken.
Furthermore, the use of Ashwagandha should be excluded from certain people or should be medically supervised. There is reason to believe that Ashwagandha is not equally suitable for every person or is not ideal as a remedy at all times.
It is problematic that this Ayurvedic preparation has not yet been researched sufficiently often on humans in our latitudes. Long-term studies, according to our medical standard, are mostly missing. Mostly only animal studies on laboratory animals are available. The results, however exciting and convincing they may be, are not always transferable to humans.
It is getting described on some websites as harmless and mostly free of side effects. More copious amounts of ashwagandha powder are said to be responsible for stomach ache, nausea, or diarrhea.
However, even purely herbal products such as Ashwagandha can be dangerous for allergy sufferers, for example, in a cross-allergy context. Usually, however, only side effects in the gastrointestinal tract are expected – only if the dosage is excessive. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur, but they subside quickly after weaning.
Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects: Ashwagandha has been getting used in natural medicine for more than 3000 years.
Although there is some evidence for the potential effect of Ashwagandha, clinical studies are still missing.
Until now, studies have shown a positive impact on performance and endurance.
Long-term harmful side effects of taking Ashwagandha could not be determined so far. However, an overdose can cause gastrointestinal complaints.
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