15 Surprising Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, has a wide range of health benefits, which include its ability to fight against cancer and diabetes, reduce inflammation, and prevent arthritis, asthma, hypertension, stress, and rheumatism. Furthermore, it boosts the supply of antioxidants and regulates the immune system. It also has antibacterial and anticonvulsant properties. What more? Ashwagandha is also useful for men as a remedy for infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Ashwagandha has had a great significance in Oriental medical schools of thought, especially in the ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, for many centuries. It had also been used by the Native Americans and Africans in an effort to keep away several types of infections. You will be surprised to know that this herb has been so popular since ages that extensive scriptures describing the Ashwagandha plant and its medicinal properties have been mentioned in both traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Incredible, isn’t it?
So why has this herb been so popular and why is everyone talking about it? Let us look into its benefits.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Regular consumption of Ashwagandha can result in various health benefits; some of them are listed below:
Controls Cholesterol Levels
Ashwagandha, with its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, is good for cardiovascular health problems. It strengthens the heart muscles and can also control cholesterol. A study at the University of Arizona indicated that it possesses hypolipidemic properties that help in bringing down blood cholesterol levels.
Treats Erectile Dysfunction
Suffering from erectile dysfunction? Ashwagandha is there for your help. This herb is good for enhancing the libido in men and is also recommended as a medicine for erectile dysfunction (ED). However, it should be used for ED only under the recommendation of a professional medical practitioner.
Increases Fertility in Men
In addition to increasing the libido, Ashwagandha also helps you in increasing the semen quality. A recent scientific study indicated that Ashwagandha plays an important role as an aphrodisiac as well as a way to improve semen quality by increasing the sperm count and sperm mobility. This has been the reason why, for many centuries, people have been using it as a medication to please their partner in bed.
Ashwagandha helps in reducing anxiety. In India, Ashwagandha has been traditionally used in Ayurveda to improve both physical and mental health. The effects of this medicine, particularly on depression, were studied at the Institute of Medical Sciences at Banaras Hindu University, India. The study supported the benefits of Ashwagandha in relation to anxiety and depression.
Our modern lifestyle results in an increase in stress which most of us are unable to tackle. Ashwagandha is believed to possess anti-stress properties. Traditionally, it had been administered to induce a soothing and calming effect on a person. The active ingredient responsible for this activity is still unknown, but various anti-stress properties have been observed in research experiments.
Ashwagandha has long been used as a remedy for diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine. Research on the use of Ashwagandha in the treatment of diabetes indicated positive results. Experiments showed that blood sugar levels during fasting and post-lunch period decreased significantly when Ashwagandha was consumed for a period of four weeks.
A research study has termed Ashwagandha as an emerging and novel alternative in the field of oncology because of its cancer-killing properties, in association with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is also of interest because it is known to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy without interfering with the tumor cell-killing activity.
Stimulates the Thyroid Gland
In cases of hypothyroidism, Ashwagandha can be used to stimulate the thyroid gland. A study on Ashwagandha’s effects on the thyroid gland revealed that the root extract if given on a daily basis, would increase the secretion of thyroid hormones.
Research studies have shown that the consumption of Ashwagandha led to significant modulation of immune system reactivity and prevented myelosuppression in mice induced by immunosuppressive drugs. It was also observed that Ashwagandha increased the red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelets count.
Increases Blood Production
Hematopoiesis is the process of producing new blood. According to research, Ashwagandha possesses hemopoietic properties. The study showed that red blood cell and white blood cell counts increased significantly in rats which were administered with Ashwagandha. This could mean a positive effect on human red blood cells as well, thereby helping to prevent conditions like anemia.
Ashwagandha has been a widely used remedy for seizures and convulsions in Ayurvedic medicine. Another study on also showed the presence of anticonvulsant properties in this wonderful plant.
Aids in Muscle Growth
Ashwagandha has been found to be useful in improving the muscular strength of the lower limbs and weakness. It also has a positive impact on neuro-muscular coordination.
Reduces Ocular Diseases
Research conducted by Thiagarajan et al. has shown that the antioxidant and cytoprotective properties of Ashwagandha are ideal in fighting cataract diseases.
Ashwagandha has been found to be effective in dealing with a variety of rheumatologic problems. The herb is known to act as a cyclooxygenase inhibitor that decreases inflammation and pain. A research conducted at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractors suggests that Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties that come from the alkaloids, saponins, and steroidal lactones found within it.
According to Ayurvedic medical texts, Ashwagandha is effective in controlling bacterial infections in humans. A study conducted at the Centre for Biotechnology at the University of Allahabad in India showed that Ashwagandha possesses antibacterial properties. It also concluded that Ashwagandha was effective in urinogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tract infections when consumed orally.