Ashwagandha (also known as Indian Ginseng) is a popular Ayurvedic herb, which has been used in formulations to treat stress, strain, fatigue, pain, skin diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and even epilepsy. In lab studies it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and relax the central nervous system.
What are some important effects of Ashwaganda?
- Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels – Several human studies have confirmed its ability to reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes
- Has Anti-Cancer Properties – Test tube and animal studies have been performed and Ashwagandha is believed to generate reactive oxygen species which are toxic to cancer cells.
- Can Reduce Cortisol Levels – Studies have shown Ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels.This makes it a key ingredient in supplements prescribed to patients with stress related adrenal dysfunction and cortisol imbalance.
- May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety – Ashwagandha is best known for its ability to reduce stress. In a 6 week study 88% people taking ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety
- Can Boost Testosterone and Increase Fertility in Men – Ashwagandha has positive effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health. In a study for men taking ashwagandha for stress experienced increased antioxidant levels and better sperm quality
- May Improve Brain Function – Test tube and animal studies have shown ashwagandha may reduce memory and brain function problems, although this has been used in ayurvedic practice, there is only a small of human research in this area.
- May Reduce Inflammation – Has been shown to decrease markers of inflammation such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP), which is associated with heart disease
- May Increase Muscle Mass – In a study associated with men taking a healthy dose of ashwagandha, gained muscle strength after 30 days
Ashwaganda has centuries worth of data behind it, but it is a ‘supplement’ which really assists when it is a part of a more comprehensive treatment plan.
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