September 27 2021
Found in the Middle East, India, and some parts of the African continent, ashwagandha has been used for ages in the traditional medicine systems. The specific parts used to prepare medicines are the root and berry. The scientific name for this evergreen shrub is Withania somnifera. Other common names include Indian ginseng, winter cherry, poison gooseberry. It is a commonly used supplement, as; it acts as an adaptogen for many health conditions. It is believed to contain certain chemicals that may lower inflammation, blood pressure, and enhance the immune functions of the body.
Health benefits of ashwagandha
- Muscle Building and Strength: Ashwagandha has shown some positive effects on enhancing body composition and strengthening muscles. In a research study, a group of healthy men was given ashwagandha (750- 1250 grams per day) for about 30 days, and they experienced some muscle gains and enhanced strength. There was another similar study, in which it was found out that ashwagandha can increase the size and strength of the muscles and reduce unhealthy fats, quite significantly.
- Anti-inflammatory Properties: Ashwagandha can decrease inflammation by enhancing and stimulating the activity of immune cells that form the defense system of the human body by fighting infections. CRP or C-reactive protein is one of the most common markers of inflammation. Ashwagandha supplements can decrease the CRP levels by 30-40 percent, research studies suggest.
- Brain Health: Ashwagandha promotes the activity of antioxidants, which protects the nerve cells from free radicals. It also may mitigate problems in brain functions due to injury/ disease, some animal studies suggest. In a research study, which was carried out with rats who had epilepsy, it was found out that ashwagandha may treat spatial memory impairment, which is mainly caused due to oxidative stress. One research study was carried out with 50 adults, for 8 long weeks, at the end of which there were visible improvements in memory, attentiveness, and task performance.
- Medicinal Properties: Ashwagandha has been used in the ayurvedic medicine system as a form of alternative medicine. It is used to increase energy levels, enhance attentiveness, and reduce stress levels in human beings. The health benefits of this significant herb are attributed to the high concentration of withanolides, which are the components that can fight tumors and inflammation.
- Stress Management: Sometimes, the levels of cortisol may become too high that often leads to high levels of blood sugar levels as well as fats. Cortisol is known as a stress hormone, released by the adrenal glands as a response to stressful conditions. A study that was carried out in stressed adults, showed some positive effects on the reduction of cortisol after they were given ashwagandha daily.
- Acts as a Testosterone Booster: Ashwagandha supplements may enhance the reproductive health of men. A research study was carried out with 75 infertile males, and it was seen that consuming ashwagandha can actually increase sperm count and motility and also boost up the production of testosterone. This effect of ashwagandha is linked to the increased levels of antioxidants in the blood.
Alvizia’s Testosterone Booster is a dietary supplement containing ashwagandha, Safed Musli, and Tribulus Terrestris. It comes in a pack of premium 90 soft gelatin capsules, with the goodness of 100 mg ashwagandha in each serving or one capsule. It can aid weight loss, increase energy and stamina, and treat infertility.
- Anti-depressant: Ashwagandha may also help alleviate depression, a few research studies suggest. There was a research study in which 64 adults who were dealing with stress were given an Ashwagandha supplement, and, at the end of the study, there was a 79 percent reduction in cases of severe depression. However, more research is needed.
- Treats hyperlipidemia: many animal studies have found out that Ashwagandha supplement can significantly decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, which can have a positive effect on heart health. A study, which was carried out with rats, showed a significant decrease in these blood fats after they were given ashwagandha supplement. Improvements in the markers of hyperlipidemia have been seen in humans too.
Safety and side effects of ashwagandha
Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding, should not take the supplementation of ashwagandha, as there is no reliable information on its safety in these cases. So, it is advised to avoid its usage.
This supplement has positive effects when it comes to lowering blood sugar levels in diabetes. So, this could cause an interaction with anti-diabetic medications that are used to lower blood sugar levels. So, diabetic people may take ashwagandha only on the advice of a doctor and must closely monitor the sugar levels. The same can happen in people who have hypotension (low blood pressure), as ashwagandha may lower blood pressure in some conditions. This could lower blood pressure and also may interact with the medications taken for controlling high blood pressure. So, people who have diabetes or hypotension must take this supplement carefully.