Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that’s been in use for over 2,500 years and ancient healers have often used this as a rejuvenative tonic due to its ability to regain strength in the emaciated body. Other amazing benefits of Ashwagandha include renewed strength, vigour and vitality, along with increased stamina.
As this is an adaptogen, Ashwagandha has been shown to increase non-specific resistance to disease and this is why it’s commonly recommended for treating a wide range of health conditions including asthma, arthritis, bronchitis, cancer, candida, diabetes, fever, nausea, rheumatoidism, leukoderma along with improving cognitive function and stress.
Amazingly, Ashwagandha can also be used as a slight sedative to induce sleep meaning it may be the ideal solution for anyone with insomnia or who finds it difficult to enjoy a quality night’s sleep.
Sexual Health and Fertility
When it comes to sex and reproductive health, Ashwagandha has been shown to improve sperm motility by 57% according to one study. Low sperm count is a major cause of infertility, while testosterone was shown to have improved by 17% in the Ashwagandha group and only 4% in the placebo group (Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013;2013:571420). Sperm count and motility was also shown to have improved according to a study of over 180 infertile men who were given 5g of Ashwagandha a day for 3 months. It was found that testosterone and luteinizing hormone increased while the follicle stimulating hormone and prolactin went down, increasing positive hormonal changes for fertility.
Strengthening the Body and Improving Weight Loss
Looking to stay healthy, lose weight and stay strong? Ashwagandha has been shown to promote muscle mass, improve muscle strength and exercise tolerance, while decreasing the body’s fat percentage and increasing lean body weight. One study analysed 57 men who were given a placebo or 300mg of Ashwagandha root extract twice daily for 8 weeks within a double-blind study. Following the 8 week resistance training program, it was shown that the upper body strength had improved significantly more in the Ashwagandha group. The same results were also found in the lower body strength group. The group were also found to have built bigger muscles and have better muscle recovery times compared with the placebo, along with significantly reduced muscle damage. The herb has even been proven to increase endurance and quality of life. Studies into people with Ashwagandha have also demonstrated a significantly greater increase in cardiorespiratory endurance than the placebo group.
Reducing Stress and Improving Moods
Anyone feeling stressed due to the demands of work or family life will benefit from taking Ashwagandha that has been shown in studies to ease anxiety. When 64 people who had low sense of wellbeing and high stress levels were given a placebo or 300mg of Ashwagandha root extract twice daily for 60 days, it was found that their perceived stress levels dropped by 44% within the Ashwagandha group, while it only dropped 5% in the placebo group. Cortisol levels, an adrenal stress hormone were also shown to have dropped by almost 28% within the herb group yet only 8% in the placebo group.
People suffering with stress have also found that taking taking this herb improved their wellbeing over a period of 30 and 60 days. As the placebo group had no significant improvement on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, a psychological questionnaire used to rate the severity of a patient’s anxiety. The stress hormone cortisol was also found to have decreased significantly in the Ashwagandha group, along with blood pressure and pulse rate. They were also discovered to have markers of inflammation, blood glucose levels and LDL, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Another study meanwhile showed that it can also significantly improve anxiety while reducing the effects of stress and anxiety on the body (According to the J Altern Complement Med 2014;20:901- 908).
Reducing stress is important as it’s been shown to contribute towards weight gain and more inflammation in the body can lead to increased risk of disease. For this reason, reducing stress is vital for good health and wellbeing. There are other amazing health benefits to taking Ashwagandha too such as improving blood sugar and cholesterol levels, therefore helping with diabetes prevention and lowering the risk of heart disease. Ashwagandha can also help to support and treat Osteoarthritis by decreasing pain and stiffness compared to the placebo group in studies.
For all of the above reasons, taking Ashwagandha is highly recommended to improve your general health, vitality and wellbeing.