King of Ayurvedic herbs, commonly known as Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful natural herbs that has huge importance in the field of Ayurvedic and Herbal medicines. The botanical name of the plant is Withania somnifera. It is very beneficial in increasing strength. It increases testosterone levels and also improves glucose metabolism. Various parts of the plant are used in the formulation of various kinds of medications, but the most common in nutritional supplements is an extract of Ashwagandha roots.
The Ashwagandha has been used for more than 5000 years in Indian cultures, for the treatment of different kinds of body’s ailments such as Constipation, Hormone balance, Weakness in old age, Insomnia, Nervous conditions, Joint inflammation and many more. Traditionally, it is used in the form of powder, which is mixed with honey and hot milk for regulating a person sleep as well as wake cycles.
Benefits of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Powder
An Ancient Herb:
Ashwagandha is one the most Ancient as well as Important Medicinal herb, which has been used for more than 3000 years to treat the disorder of stress and to improve the concentration. In Sanskrit language Ashwagandha means the smell of the horse referring to its both unique smell and also its ability to enhance strength. Powder prepared from the root and the leaves of Ashwagandha plants are used to treat a variety of diseases.
It is often believed that many of its health benefits are mainly due to the high concentration of Withanolides, which have been very beneficial to fight inflammation and tumor growth. Because of these things, Ashwagandha is considered as one of the most prominent herbs in Indian Ayurvedic medicines and also become a popular supplement because of its health benefits
The name of the disorders is as follows
Lower Blood sugar level:
Ashwagandha has Hypoglycemic activity, it is used traditionally to treat many medical problems including diabetes. The demonstrated therapeutic activity in different kinds of animal models as well as in diabetic patients shows that it is a wonderful agent to reduce high blood sugar levels. In recent years scientists have conducted test-tube studies, After completion of that study, they found the conclusion that it has the potential to enhance insulin secretion and improve insulin sensitivity in the muscle cells. Apart from this, in case of schizophrenia if a patient is taking Ashwagandha tablets, then reduction of high blood sugar levels (fasting) is more as compared to those, patients that are on Placebo.
Ashwagandha tends to have anti-cancer properties. It stops the uncontrolled growth in different ways. In many Animas and Test-tube studies, it is concluded that Ashwagandha induces apoptosis, which means that it has the ability to kill cancer cells also. Ashwagandha works as an anti-cancer agent by performing its action in two ways: 1. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in malignant cells and disrupt their function, 2. It made malignant cells less resistant to the phenomena of apoptosis. It is also used to treat various kinds of cancers like Lung, Breast, Brain, Colon and ovarian cancer. A few years ago, a study on an animal was concluded that when Ashwagandha is given to mice with ovarian tumors along with a combination of an anti-cancer drug then, reduction in growth was 70–80%.
Reduce Cortisol Levels:
Another useful property of Ashwagandha is that it reduces the cortisol levels in the body. Basically, Cortisol is called ‘Stress hormone’ and they are released by the adrenal glands as a response to stress also in those conditions even when the level of blood sugar is very low. In some chronic cases when the level of cortisol reached a very high level, then the blood sugar level also gets elevated, which leads to the storage of fat in the abdomen of the patient. All the studies conducted to check its reducing cortisol activity indicate that adults who take Ashwagandha with other supplements have a greater reduction in cortisol level than the control group.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety:
Stress in medical terms is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension, which leads to underperformance as well as adverse clinical conditions. Researchers have found that Ashwagandha has the ability to reduce stress because it blocks the stress pathway in the brains by regulating chemical signals in the nervous system of humans. Several controlled studies also indicate that it has the ability to treat anxiety as well. When Ashwagandha is given to a patient along with other supplements, the reduction in insomnia and anxiety is much more.
Only limited research data is available which suggests, that Ashwagandha may help in reduction of depression. A controlled study which is carried out for 60 days, suggests that a high concentration of Ashwagandha helps greatly in the alleviation of depression in serious cases. However, it works in a similar way as it works in case of stress and anxiety.
Increases Fertility in Men:
Ashwagandha increases the amount of testosterone in the body. Due to the increase in the level of testosterone in the body, it improves reproductive health. In a study when 50 infertile men were treated with Ashwagandha that it leads to an increase in sperm count and motility. The men who take this powerful herb has increased the level of antioxidant in their blood. Apart from this, in stress conditions, if a man is on Ashwagandha medication better quality of sperm.
Increases Mass and Strength of muscles:
Ashwagandha improves overall composition of the body. It enhances the mass as well as the strength of muscles. In a study conducted by researchers in order to find the proper dosage regimen of Ashwagandha, men who take Ashwagandha for 30 days have gained more muscle strength. In persons who have an almost two-fold reduction in body fat percentage and improved muscle gains and size.
The activity of natural killer cells is increased by Ashwagandha. The natural killer cells are those cells that fight against different kinds of infections. So, Ashwagandha helps a person to stay healthy. Apart from this, it also alleviates the number of markers that cause inflammation, like C-reactive protein (CRP). This marker is responsible for an increased risk of heart diseases.
Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides:
Along with anti-inflammatory activity, Ashwagandha also has the ability to reduce the high cholesterol levels cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This activity is very helpful in maintaining a healthy heart. When a study was conducted on animals, to determine the effect of Ashwagandha, results indicated that there is a reduction of fat levels in the blood. In another study, a person was on a high dosage of standardized Ashwagandha. It was exactly found then 11% decrease in triglyceride and 17% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol was observed, which indicates that Ashwagandha is good cholesterol and triglyceride reducing agent.
Memory and brain function problems due to injury and disease are also treatable with the help of Ashwagandha. The antioxidant property of Ashwagandha protects the nerve cells from various harmful free radicals. The pure extract of Ashwagandha has taken two times a day to improve general memory, task performance, as well as attention. In a study conducted in epileptic rat, Ashwagandha showed a complete reversal of spatial memory impairment. All these things indicate that Ashwagandha powder improves brain reaction, memory and its ability to perform various kind of tasks.
Safe and Widely Available Herb:
Ashwagandha is safe for almost all the people except pregnant and breastfeeding women. Individuals with disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes should avoid Ashwagandha unless it is prescribed by a patient’s physician. Thyroid hormone levels may increase in some individuals who are taking medicines for thyroid disorders. Sometimes it may reduce blood pressure level so, it is necessary to adjust its dose before taking it. It is recommended to buy it in high quality from retail shops such as health food stores or herbal medicines stores.