Are you looking for an Ayurvedic solution to your health problems? Ashwagandha, the Ayurvedic herb, can help in reducing stress and promotes a healthy balance in the body. This article discusses everything about this useful herb- from its origin to history and ashwagandha benefits for men and women.
What is Ashwagandha?
One of the staples of Indian medicine, ashwagandha, is a small evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. When broken down in Sanskrit, the term comes from ‘ashva’ meaning ‘horse’ and ‘gandha’ meaning ‘small’ and is known to provide the strength and power of a horse.
Also known as ‘Withania somnifera,’ winter cherry, and Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has been used as a medicinal herb and is known to provide numerous benefits to your brain and body. While practitioners use different parts of the herb, the most common form is the root extracts. Modern medicine describes Ashwagandha as an adaptogen, meaning it helps your body adapt to and manage stress. It is available in capsules and powder forms for human intake.
Three Proven Ashwagandha Benefits
Ashwagandha holds numerous benefits and is known to increase your immunity and boost your health. Let us discuss the primary ashwagandha benefits and how it takes care of your health.
Controls Blood pressure
Heart health and blood pressure are the most-asked-about wellness concerns this year, and people are increasingly looking for natural ways to support their health. A 2015 study reported that ashwagandha could enhance a person’s cardiorespiratory endurance and improve heart health. Ashwagandha provides antioxidant support to the heart, thereby keeping it free from radicals in the blood and eventually offering benefits like adequate blood pressure, reducing cholesterol. It also provides anti-inflammatory benefits that aid in a healthy heart functioning. Thus, including ashwagandha in your diet can help maintain a healthy heart and lower your blood pressure.
For people who are constantly worried about gaining weight, ashwagandha can help in an easy weight loss process. It is rich in antioxidants and can improve your body's metabolism that helps in burning your body fat. It also improves your body’s digestive system, which further helps in burning fat. Further, ashwagandha also helps in reducing your body’s stress-related cortisol levels that are linked to weight loss. Thus, one of the prime benefits of ashwagandha, weight loss can be achieved by adding a little bit of ashwagandha to your regular diet. You can consume ashwagandha in capsule or powdered form and help in improving your metabolism and digestion, thereby aiding in weight loss.
Promotes Quality Sleep
A sound sleep is essential for a healthy living. If you often face insomnia or sleeping disorders, ashwagandha can be your cure for this. Ashwagandha is known for its rejuvenating properties and supports a healthy sleep. It nourishes the adrenal glands and influences the body’s sleep patterns. One of the recent clinical studies confirmed that ashwagandha root extracts could also improve the quality of sleep and help in managing insomnia. You can also add a pinch of ashwagandha powder to warm milk and drink it before sleeping. Taking ashwagandha can help you unwind and sleep better, and improve your mental acuity.
There are many benefits of ashwagandha and they are not restricted to the above-mentioned list. Let us now also discuss the ashwagandha benefits for men and ashwagandha benefits for women.
Three Ashwagandha Benefits for Men
Ashwagandha is known for its proven benefits for men. Let us discuss some of its benefits:
1) Helps reduce stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety in men. It has a calming effect on your mind and body and also promotes healthy levels of cortisol hormones. In one of the studies of 2000 conducted on mice, researchers found that ashwagandha has an anxiety-reducing effect and can also fight depression to a great extent.
2) Increase muscle strength
Taking limited doses of ashwagandha in your diet can improve your muscle and mass strength. It can increase the power output in men and increase their stamina. For untrained men performing resistance training, consuming ashwagandha root powder can support muscle strength. Research shows that healthy men who took 750-1250 mg of ashwagandha powder gained muscle strength within 30 days only. It also produces creatinine kinase, which reduces the natural damage of muscle strength from workouts and exercises.
3) Maintain healthy fertility levels
In Ayurvedic history, ashwagandha is known as an aphrodisiac and can treat sexual dysfunction and infertility in men. It has the ability to stimulate and regulate testosterone production in the body. This forms one of the most critical ashwagandha benefits for men and provides a healthy sexual life. In one of the recent studies, it was found that ashwagandha can help in improving the sperm count in men by 167% and also improve their sperm quality.
Three Ashwagandha Benefits for Women
1) Acts as a sexual stimulant
Apart from keeping the fertility levels of men healthy, ashwagandha also acts as a sexual stimulant for women and enhances their sexual potency. It relieves your mental stress and enhances your mood. It also supports a healthy reproductive system in women, thereby removing all the complications of periods and pregnancy.
2) Reduces hair problems
Hair loss and stress go hand-in-hand, and that is the reason that too much stress can damage your hair. With a regular consumption of ashwagandha, you can reduce your stress levels and say goodbye to hair loss. In fact, a lot of oils and shampoos have started, including ashwagandha extracts, which prevent the premature greying of hair and supports a healthy hair growth.
3) Prevents menopause-related issues
During menopause, women experience hormonal imbalances, hot flashes, sleep issues, and others. Ashwagandha can help you deal with these issues and reduce your menopause suffering. It improves the health of your endocrine levels and helps reduce your symptoms of menopause.
Check out the other ways to get rid of period brain fog here.
Best time to Take Ashwagandha
There is no particular time recommended to take ashwagandha. You can take it anytime during the day or night, depending on your goals and needs. If you are taking ashwagandha as a part of your regular routine to boost your health and immunity, and overcome laziness, then mornings are the best time. You can take the supplements after breakfast or include a spoonful of its powder in your smoothie or drink. However, if you are taking ashwagandha to promote sleep, you should take it at night before hitting the sack. Taking ashwagandha at night can help you relax and unwind after a hectic day. Hence, it is important first to understand your goals for taking ashwagandha and then choose the time that suits you.
We can safely conclude that ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that has numerous benefits- right from building brain health to immunity. Adding a dose of ashwagandha to your regular diet can improve your health and quality of life, making you more energetic and productive. You can start with mid doses and increase the dosage when it starts suiting your health.