Ashwagandha is an amazing natural health solution, with a name that means “smell of the horse,” in Sanskrit. The meaning of the name is two-fold, drawing attention to the scent which accompanies the herb, as well as its incredible ability to give strength, the strength of the horse.
It is an ancient medicinal herb that provides a number of essential benefits for the body, mind, and soul. This is a wonderful addition to a natural lifestyle, which seeks to bring wellness to the whole person.
While there are many things that one can do in order to promote their wholeness and overall health, Ashwagandha is one solution that touches on a number of places of wellness. Instead of simply treating one area, Ashwagandha is a whole herb. It treats the whole-self, offering solutions for the many aspects that make up a person.
One of the most essential herbs used in the Indian healing art of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that has been used as a stress-reliever for over 3,000 years. Growing in India and North Africa, Ashwagandha is a small shrub that has yellow flowers.
When using Ashwagandha as a natural solution, oils and powders are extracted and ground from the leaves and roots of the plant.
Take a look at the incredible benefits of Ashwagandha to see how it can help you on your wellness journey.
- Reduce stress and anxiety
As an adaptogen, one of the most well-known and accepted benefits of Ashwagandha is its amazing ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Adaptogens are classified based on their stabilization of the body’s physiological processes, as well as their support of homeostasis. These herbal medicines appear to regulate signals in the nervous system, helping to reduce stress and anxiety in users.
Ashwagandha can also reduce cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. When cortisol levels are elevated, stress is increased and fat can be stored in the abdomen, resulting in weight gain.
- Potential anti-cancer properties
Incredibly, there have been studies done which show that a compound within Ashwagandha helps apoptosis to begin. Apoptosis is programmed death of cancer cells.
The same compound can also help to prevent new cancer cells from growing by allowing reactive oxygen species to form inside of the cells, which prevents them from expanding and multiplying.
While these studies and results have only been done in animals, it does suggest the hopeful possibility that there may be similar effects in humans.
- Blood sugar level reduction
Ashwagandha has the potential to reduce levels of blood sugar and increase insulin production in people with and without diabetes. This is a very promising treatment option for diabetics because it doesn’t have the many side effects that accompany mainstream diabetic treatments.
- Potential to reduce depression
It has been suggested that Ashwagandha could help to reduce depression. While it has not been studied in depth, many regular Ashwagandha users have reported a decrease in their symptoms of depression. This is very hopeful in a path towards a natural depression treatment.
- Strength and muscle increase
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase strength and muscle mass in men who regularly take the medicinal herb. This gives men a natural and healthy way to gain strength and lose weight.
- Increase in male fertility and testosterone
Studies of the reproductive system and testosterone suggest that consistent use of Ashwagandha leads to increased sperm counts and testosterone levels. In fact, after just three months of Ashwagandha treatment, 14% of men confirmed their partners had become pregnant.
This incredible herb could potentially be a game changer in the world of fertility.
- Lower cholesterol
Ashwagandha shows promise when it comes to heart health. Studies have shown a reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels for those who participated in a two-month study.
It is imperative that a natural lifestyle considers the health of the heart. Ashwagandha appears to have a number of benefits that positively impact the blood and heart.
It appears that Ashwagandha works as an anti-inflammatory treatment, decreasing the C-reactive protein, as well as other inflammation markers.
Studies have also shown that Ashwagandha increases immune cells that fight infections and promote the overall health of the body.
- Positive impact on memory and overall brain functions
Interestingly, Ashwagandha is proving to truly be a natural treatment for the whole self, as it also appears to have a positive impact on brain functions and memory. The herb assists the activity of antioxidants which protect the nerve cells from the free radicals.
One of the traditional uses of Ashwagandha in the practice of Ayurveda is as a memory booster. Traditionally, users have found that this special herb clears their mind and increases their memory.
Small studies have shown that taking the herb two times a day greatly impacts participants’ memory, attention, and even their efficiency in their work.
The Final Word
Ancient practitioners of Ayurveda knew something that we are just beginning to learn; the earth provides the best solutions to humanity’s whole-self wellness. Ashwagandha is just one of those solutions, but one that has the potential to change people’s overall health and life.