What are the benefits of ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that thrives in India, the Middle East, and portions of Africa. It has a rich history of use in traditional medication.
For hundreds of years, people have used the roots and orange-red fruit of ashwagandha for therapeutic purposes. The herb is also recognized as Indian ginseng or winter cherry.
The name “ashwagandha” explains the smell of its root, meaning “like a horse.” By meaning, ashwa means horse. Practitioners use this herb as a general tonic to increase energy and decrease stress and anxiety. Some also claim that the herb may be beneficial for several cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and anxiety.
More research is needed; to date, promising studies into the health benefits of ashwagandha have largely been in animals. We are going to look at the traditional uses of ashwagandha, how to take it, and the evidence behind its possible health benefits and risks.
What do people use ashwagandha for?
Ashwagandha is an essential herb in Ayurvedic medication. This is an example of the world’s oldest medical practices and one of India’s healthcare methods.
In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is recognized as a Rasayana. This suggests that it helps sustain youth, both mentally and physically.
There is some testimony to imply that the herb can have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory results. Inflammation underpins many health states, and decreasing inflammation can protect the body against a variety of conditions.
For instance, people use ashwagandha to help tackle the following:
- skin conditions
Different methods perform the use of different components of the plant, including the leaves, seeds, and fruit.
This herb is growing in popularity in the West. Today, people can buy ashwagandha as a supplement in the United States.
What are the health benefits of Ashwagandha?
Scientific investigations have proposed that ashwagandha might be useful for several conditions.
That said, researchers do not know a lot about how the herb acts inside the human body. Most studies so far have practiced animal or cell models, suggesting that scientists do not know if the same effects will occur in humans.
There is some proof to support the effectiveness of ashwagandha for the following:
Stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha may have a calming effect on stress symptoms when correlated with the drug lorazepam, a sedative and anxiety medication.
A study suggested that the herb had a similar anxiety-reducing effect with lorazepam, implying that ashwagandha might be as effective for overcoming anxiety. However, the researchers attended this study in rats, not humans.
In a study in humans, researchers found that taking a regular dose of 240 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha significantly decreased people’s stress levels when confronted with a placebo. This involved reduced levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
In another study in humans, taking 250 mg or 600 mg of ashwagandha per day resulted in lower self-reported stress levels, as well as lower cortisol levels.
Although this research is encouraging, scientists need to get much more data before approving the herb to treat anxiety.
Ashwagandha may act as a pain reliever, blocking pain signals from going along with the central nervous system. It may also have some anti-inflammatory characteristics.
For this reason, some study has shown it to be useful in treating forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis.
A small study, 125 people with bone pain found the herb to have potential as a therapy option for rheumatoid arthritis.
Some people use ashwagandha to support their heart health, including:
- reducing high blood pressure
- decreasing high cholesterol
- relieving chest pain
- blocking heart disease
However, there is little research to confirm these benefits.
One study in humans recommended that ashwagandha root extract could improve a person’s cardiorespiratory endurance, which could improve heart health. However, more research is needed.
According to a review, several studies have examined ashwagandha’s ability to slow or prevent loss of brain function in people with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
As these diseases progress, pieces of the brain and its connective paths become damaged, which points to the loss of memory and function. This review proposes that when mice and rats get ashwagandha during the early disease stages, it may be able to extend protection.
The same 2011 review trusted Source also represents a few likely studies that found that ashwagandha might be capable to stop cell growth in certain cancers. This includes decreasing lung tumors in animal studies.
How to take ashwagandha?
The dosage of ashwagandha and the way people use it depends on the ailment they are expecting to treat. There is no approved dosage based on current clinical trials.
Different studies have practiced different dosages. Some research Trusted Source advises that taking 250–600 mg per day can decrease anxiety. Other studies have used much higher dosages.
Capsule dosages often hold between 250 and 1,500 mg of ashwagandha. The herb grows in the form of a capsule, powder, and liquid extract.
In some cases, taking high doses can cause obnoxious side effects. It is enough to speak with a healthcare expert about safety and dosage before taking any new herbal supplements, including ashwagandha.
Are there any side effects?
People can usually stand ashwagandha in small-to-medium doses. Nevertheless, there have not been enough long-term considerations to fully examine the possible side effects.
Taking large amounts of ashwagandha can lead to digestive upset, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This may be due to irritation of the intestinal mucosa.
Is it safe?
Pregnant women should withdraw from using ashwagandha because it may cause trouble for the fetus and premature labor.
Another potential attention for Ayurvedic herbs is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not control the manufacturers. This indicates that they are not held to the same rules as pharmaceutical companies and food producers.
Herbs can contain contaminants such as heavy metals, or they may not include the original herb at all. People should be sure to do some research on the manufacturer before buying any product. Ashwagandha for men is really beneficial for them.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative HealthTrusted Source, some Ayurvedic products may include lead, mercury, and arsenic in levels above what experts estimate to be adequate for human daily intake.
Ashwagandha is a herbal treatment in Ayurvedic medicine. Some studies suggest that ashwagandha could have a variety of health benefits, including diminishing stress and anxiety and improving arthritis. Ashwagandha benefits for women they can use it in pregnancy as well Many of the studies so far have been small, carried on animals or had flaws in their design. For this reason, researchers cannot say with confidence that it is an active treatment. More work is needed.
If a person wants to use this herb as part of a treatment plan, they should be sure to discuss it with their doctor first.
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