Ashwagandha is currently the most known adaptogen. In a short time, it gained many supporters and its effects are widely described on forums related to the gym or weight loss. Although it seems to be a novelty, its benefits have been used in traditional medicine for years. What is ashwagandha, how does it work, and is it worth supplementing?
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a plant of the Solanaceae family and is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is mainly cultivated in India, but it is also found in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and, in smaller quantities, in Egypt and south-eastern Europe. The proper name of ashwagandha is Withania Somnifera, but it is also known as Indian ginseng. Ashwagandha has greenish or yellow flowers and dark orange berries and it is the latter, along with the root, that are responsible for its healing properties.
Ashwagandha relieves your stress
One of the most popular reasons for consuming ashwagandha is its effect on lowering stress levels. For this reason, Withania Somnifera is used not only by people who exercise and lose weight but also by those who lead an intense, stressful lifestyle. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances, herbs, or plants supporting the response to both stress factors and alleviating anxiety or chronic fatigue. Importantly for drivers and working people, although it has sedative properties, it does not increase drowsiness.
Ashwagandha supports the nervous system
An equally beneficial effect of ashwagandha can be observed in regard to the nervous system. Ashwagandha has a calming effect, which results not only in a reduction of stress but also in a reduction of the nervous system load. The latter is very important for training people because strength training is a huge strain not only on the muscles but also on the nervous system. As a sign of this, ashwagandha can contribute greatly to post-workout regeneration. Furthermore, ashwagandha supports neurogenesis, i.e. the process of creating new neurons. This effect can be seen, for example, in the support of hippocampus development, which results in improved memory.
Ashwagandha supports the thyroid and endocrine system
The endocrine system is another target of Ashwagandha's actions. This herb has a particularly positive effect on the thyroid gland and can be very helpful in treating hypothyroidism. In addition, it has a positive effect on maintaining a normal menstrual cycle and increasing libido. Its effects should be especially appreciated by men, in whom ashwagandha can improve sexual performance and increase semen quality.
Ashwagandha improves immunity
During the autumn and winter seasons, the immunity-promoting benefits of ashwagandha supplementation will be absolutely worth it. This is because it boosts immunity by increasing the proliferation of B, T, and NK lymphocytes. It is also used as a support of therapies for certain autoimmune diseases, especially those in which the immune system destroys its own cells and tissues. Examples of these diseases include psoriasis, Graves-Basedow disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn's disease. The advantages of Ashwagandha are its natural origin, excellent absorption, and positive influence on the intestinal bacterial flora.
Ashwagandha increases testosterone levels
Gym enthusiasts will surely appreciate the effect of Ashwagandha on testosterone levels. It has been proven that even taking relatively small doses of Ashwagandha can induce a significant increase in testosterone levels in the blood. Taking 300 mg of ashwagandha twice a day resulted in an average increase of testosterone by 15% (in comparison with the placebo group). Additionally, it should be mentioned that ashwagandha strengthens muscles, contributes to increased strength capacity, and has an anabolic effect. If you are working on your figure, you can add Ashwagandha supplementation to your regular training and diet.
Anti-aging effect of Ashwagandha
By fighting free radicals and influencing the overall health of the body, Ashwagandha has an anti-aging effect. Ashwagandha has a holistic effect - it fights stress, soothes nerves, improves the function of numerous systems in our body, and in addition, it shows anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. All this translates into delaying the signs of aging.
Ashwagandha improves the quality of sleep
If you suffer from insomnia or poor quality of sleep, ashwagandha will also help in this case. Ashwagandha makes it easier to fall asleep, increases the quality of sleep, and prevents anxiety, which manifests itself among other things in suffering from unpleasant nightmares. A good night's sleep means good regeneration, which is why Ashwagandha can benefit people who exercise intensively, work hard physically or lead a busy lifestyle. Improving the quality of sleep is, apart from stress reduction, an extremely important factor influencing the maintenance of body homeostasis.
Where to buy ashwagandha and how to dose it?
Supplementation with ashwagandha is extremely simple. This herb is available in the form of easy-to-take tablets that should be consumed 1-2 times a day. You can buy the best ashwagandha supplements by clicking here. When choosing, be guided by the highest possible withanolides content, which should not be less than 2.5%. If you are not fond of pills, you can also buy the root of Withania Somnifera, from which you can prepare an infusion. Drinking an infusion of ashwagandha will have a similar effect as supplementation with Ashwagandha pills. Ashwagandha extract itself is also available, sold in small bottles. It is consumed by putting a few drops of the extract on the tongue. However, this is a much more expensive form of ashwagandha in comparison to the tablet form.
Although we have already listed the many benefits of ashwagandha, this is only the beginning of a long list. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is called a "panacea" which most clearly describes its health-promoting nature. It is important to note that it is an all-natural remedy, which is of great importance for people leading a healthy lifestyle. Ashwagandha has almost no contraindications for consumption (the exception being nursing and pregnant women) and has no side effects, so it is an excellent way to support your health.