Ashwagandha is a kind of evergreen plant that is native to India, the Middle East, and Africa, as per NCCIH (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health) findings. It is most commonly employed in Ayurveda medicine, although it also goes by the names winter cherry and Indian ginseng. And based on data from UCLA Health, the herb has also gained popularity for another ancient usage: as an adaptogen. As a matter of fact, an adaptogen is a chemical that assists the body in adapting and building resilience against stress, and it also assists in restoring equilibrium.
We have compiled a brief guide on what Ashwagandha can really do for your body, including the many forms it may take and the qualities it possesses. Have a look at it down below!
How Does Ashwagandha Actually Work?
The beneficial properties of ashwagandha root are actually thanks to the presence of chemical compounds known as withanolides and alkaloids in the root. Studies have shown that the plant chemicals in question have anti-inflammatory properties and may help promote immune system function. The HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis is affected when you consume Ashwagandha since it is an herb that has adaptogenic qualities. The HPA axis may be thought of as the body’s primary stress response mechanism. It functions as a conduit between the ways in which you experience stress and the ways in which your organism responds to that stress.
Different varieties of Ashwagandha
You may obtain Ashwagandha in a number of forms, either by itself or in a mixture with additional components, including the following:
- Food (like granola, beverage mixes, and nonalcoholic beverages)
- Soft gels
Potential Positive Effects of Ashwagandha on Health
May facilitate restful sleep
During a randomized, placebo-controlled research carried out in India on healthy people and people who suffered from insomnia, it was discovered that taking Ashwagandha for a period of eight weeks upgraded multiple indicators of sleep. These included regular measurements of motion, actigraphy, and defined self-reported measures. These improvements included a reduction in the amount of time it took to fall asleep, as well as improvements in sleep quality and daytime alertness.
The advantages were also more obvious in the group that suffered from sleeplessness. According to the findings of several studies, the herb may have an effect on particular neurotransmitters that are involved in the sleep process.
Can Lower Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha adapts to the nervous system of the person taking it. Its superpower ability is to sense in the body if your nervous system needs to go up or down, explains Katie Silcox, an Ayurvedic teacher and the author of Glow Worthy.
The addition of ashwagandha supplements was shown to lower anxiety and stress more effectively than a placebo in a meta-analysis of 12 publications that involved more than 1,000 persons. However, “the certainty of evidence was low.”
May Contribute to Maintaining a Strong Immune System
In a research that was randomized, controlled by placebo (also double-blind), healthy adults took either 60 mg of an ashwagandha extract or a placebo every day for a period of up to 30 days. The results are genuinely incredible! Those who took Ashwagandha experienced a rise in the activity of specific immune cells and chemicals known as immunoglobulins and cytokines. This suggests that the supplement could assist your immune system to better ward off invaders that could trigger you to become unwell, including viruses and bacteria.
Who Could Benefit From Taking Ashwagandha?
You and your doctor are the only ones who can determine whether or not Ashwagandha is healthy for you, and this is especially true if you are coping with a growing degree of anxiety or are overstressed and overloaded.