Let's find out 5 health benefits of Ayurvedic superfood ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is known to be one of the many wonderful gifts of Ayurveda. This herb, which is also a traditional form of alternative medicine, is largely based on Indian principles of healing. In fact, people have used ashwagandha for centuries to treat stress, improve concentration, and increase energy levels. Here are five health benefits of ashwagandha that makes it a wholesome superfood.
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is the Sanskrit translation for "smell of a horse", referring to both the herb's scent as well as its potential ability to increase strength. Botanically, it's called Withania somnifera. It is also popularly called Indian ginseng and winter cherry.
Helps reduce stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body cope with stress. It is known to control stress mediators like cortisol, heat shock proteins, and stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase. In a study conducted with 58 people, those who consumed about 250 or 600 mg of ashwagandha extract for 8 weeks experienced a significant fall in cortisol.
Increase fertility in men
According to a study, 43 overweight men in the age group of 40 to 70 who had mild fatigue issues, consumed ashwagandha supplements for about 8 weeks. Their DHEA-S, a sex hormone increased by 18%, while their testosterone levels showed a raise of 14.7% greater production. Ashwagandha is also known to increase sperm concentration, semen volume, and sperm mortality in men.
Reduces blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha is believed to have certain compounds like withaferin A (WA) that have powerful anti-diabetic features. This herb also helps stimulate your cells to absorb glucose from your blood. A review based on 24 studies including five clinical ones on people with diabetes, revealed that ashwagandha significantly reduced their blood sugar, blood lipids, insulin, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and oxidative stress markers.
Improves brain function
Ashwagandha also garners attention for its cognitive properties. A review that combined five clinical studies exhibited that ashwagandha can easily improve cognitive functions, especially in aged people with schizophrenia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This Ayurvedic herb improved people's reaction time, attention, executive functioning, and performance on cognitive tasks. Separately, a study on 50 adults consuming 600 gm ashwagandha extract showcased similar results.
Helps improve sleep
There are multiple pieces of evidence proving that ashwagandha helps cure sleep issues. A study on 50 adults in the age group 65 to 80 who consumed 600 mg of ashwagandha root daily for 12 weeks experienced a significant improvement in their sleep quality and mental alertness. Additionally, researchers noted that it was more effective on people dealing with insomnia.