Ashwagandha key benefits promote outstanding stress relief, heightened energy and an overall better mood.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha root, comes from a plant with its name in Sanskrit meaning “smell of a horse” which refers to its smell and the traditional belief that it can give you the strength and power of a stallion. It was traditionally prescribed to restore the immune system after an illness.
Ashwagandha is also referred to as Indian Ginseng, due to the belief that it can enhance stamina and provide outstanding effects for stress relief.
It has also been used in Indian alternative medicine, called Ayurveda, for centuries where it is thought to help with a wide range of both physical and mental ailments.
These include stress relief, heightened concentration, increased energy levels, reducing cholesterol levels and certain other ailments.
The plant itself is called Withania somnifera which is part of the tomato family. It was originally only grown in India and North Africa but the popularity of this supplement has led to its cultivation in the United States and some parts of Europe.
Today, it is a very popular Nootropic supplement with substantial reported benefits that not only include stress relief but may also reduce the symptoms of aging brain.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Although its exact mechanism still needs more research and is not fully understood, there are many reported benefits for the use of taking Ashwagandha supplements.
Ashwagandha is thought to be an adaptogen, which is part of a class of unique plants that have healing properties that help balance and protect our bodies.
Adaptogen herbs are specifically thought to help the body adapt to both external and internal stress. Externally, this includes changes in the environment and/or toxins.
Internally this suggests that it may help to block our responses to anxiety and insomnia. Ashwagandha supplements, may provide calmness, relaxation, manage stress, help you sleep and ease anxiety in the body and the mind.
This may be potentially due to studies that suggest that Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol concentrations in the body. These are the stress hormones that are released by the adrenal glands in response to high levels of stress and low blood sugar.
Ashwagandha is thought to essentially balance cortisol levels and aid in adrenal recovery. This may also help stabilize our moods and reduce symptoms of drug withdrawal.
High levels of cortisol can affect your thyroid, make you anxious, gain weight, lower your energy levels among many other side effects. Also, it is thought to age you more rapidly.
Lowering cortisol levels are thought to not only provide an anti-stress effect but also may reduce cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, balance hormones and reduce inflammation.
Ashwagandha, is also thought to be a powerful antioxidant that protects the immune system by eliminating free radicals. This helps fight off infections, reduce inflammation and improve general health.
There has been some additional research that suggest that Ashwagandha can speed up our response time, increase learning capacities and possibly reduce brain cell degeneration. This would improve age related cognitive decline.
Why Take Ashwagandha? It promotes;
- Stress relief
- Reduces response to anxiety
- Improves learning capacity
- Reduces fatigue
- Immune protection
- Improves reaction time
- Reduces depression
- Brain cell health
Is Ashwagandha Safe to Take?
This supplement is considered generally safe to use and non-toxic for healthy adults. There has not been any serious side effects reported.
However, this supplement is not recommended for pregnant or breast feeding women, people with autoimmune diseases or those taking thyroid medications. Please consult your doctor first before taking it.
The typical dosage range is between 500mg-1250mg per day in total. This can be divided up twice daily. Ashwagandha can also be taken in smaller doses of 300mg-500mg and still be effective.
Powered formulas are considered the most effective in 450mg-500mg capsules. This can be taken once or twice daily.
If you have any questions or concerns, please consult your doctor first.