Ashwagandha is a plant with medicinal properties. It has been used for hundreds of years in ayurvedic formulations and has several medicinal properties. It is most commonly found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and some parts of Africa. The word “Ashwagandha” comes from the Sanskrit words “ashwa” which means horse and “gandha” which means smell, which translates to horse’s smell. It can be attributed to the herb’s characteristic of smelling like a horse when it is ground.
Often confused with winter cherry, ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng. It is a short, stout shrub that bears orange berries that look like cherries. Due to its many therapeutic properties, it is characterized as an adaptogen. In this article, we will look at the benefits of Ashwagandha and the uses of this medicinal herb in greater detail.
Most Important Health Benefits (And Uses) of Ashwagandha (अश्वगंधा के स्वास्थ्य लाभ)
Due to its medicinal properties, ashwagandha has several benefits for the body and the brain. It consists of medicinal chemicals that help improve several bodily functions and create a balance. Let us look at some of the benefits.
1. Ashwagandha Reduces Stress and Anxiety (तनाव और चिंता कम करता है)
When a person is stressed, the body releases the stress hormone called Cortisol which affects their mental and physiological state of being. Since Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it helps reduce emotional, physical, and chemical stress on the body. In several studies, it has been shown to reduce the levels of the stress hormone Cortisol and improve the overall quality of life, including the quality of sleep. It has also shown positive results on people suffering from anxiety disorders.
2. Ashwagandha Improves Brain Function (ब्रेन फंक्शन में सुधार करता है)
Ashwagandha contains compounds that can enhance brain function and improve memory. One study found that taking ashwagandha supplements for eight weeks improved attention, information processing speed, and overall cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment.
3. Ashwagandha Strengthens the Immune system (प्रतिरक्षा प्रणाली को मजबूत करता है)
Ashwagandha has several anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. We also know that stress reduces the body’s ability to fight against viruses, thereby weakening the immune system. Since Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it reduces the stress hormones, which in turn, strengthens the body’s immune response. Ashwagandha also improves cells’ defense against infections by increasing their ability to fight against infections.
4. Ashwagandha Improves Cardiovascular health (हृदय स्वास्थ्य में सुधार करता है)
Ashwagandha has been shown to be effective in improving heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It has also been proven to be of help in treating heart ailments, coronary artery diseases, heart failure, hypercholesterolemia, anginal pain. It can also be considered a useful drug for coronary artery disease, hypertension, and ischemic cardiomyopathy.
5. Ashwagandha Eases Pain Due to Arthritis (गठिया के कारण होने वाले दर्द को कम करता है)
This medicinal herb has been used to treat different types of arthritis like Rheumatoid arthritis as it helps reduce pain by slowing down the signals that travel along the central nervous system. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Ashwagandha also help reduce swelling and reduces the inflammation caused to joints. Studies have shown Ashwagandha to significantly improve the condition of arthritis patients after being administered for seven weeks.
6. Ashwagandha Improves libido (कामेच्छा में सुधार करता है)
Since ancient times, Ashwagandha has been consumed by men to improve their sex drive and performance. Studies have shown that it acts as an aphrodisiac and improves libido in men. It has also been shown to increase testosterone levels in men, which directly influences the way men perform in bed.
7. Ashwagandha Increases Sperm Count (स्पर्म काउंट बढ़ाता है)
It improves the reproductive health and fertility in men while also increasing their libido and Testosterone levels. In several studies conducted amongst men, the sperm count was higher in those who were given a regular dose of Ashwagandha compared to those who were given placebos. It also solves problems related to sperm quality. As little as 5 grams of ashwagandha daily can significantly improve your sperm health.
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8. Ashwagandha Boosts Testosterone Levels (टेस्टोस्टेरोन के स्तर को बढ़ा देता है)
Testosterone is an important hormone that plays a role in male sexual function, muscle mass, bone density, and overall health. One study found that men who took Ashwagandha supplements for 16 weeks experienced a significant increase in testosterone levels compared to men who took a placebo. Another study found that Ashwagandha supplementation was associated with increased muscle mass and strength in men who participated in resistance training.
9. Ashwagandha Improves Stamina and Performance (सहनशक्ति और प्रदर्शन में सुधार करता है)
This medicinal herb has benefits that can help improve the overall wellbeing of a person. It not only helps calm you down but also improves performance and stamina. Studies have shown men to perform well and have better endurance when they were given moderated doses of ashwagandha over a period of eight weeks.
10. Ashwagandha Reduces Symptoms of Depression (अवसाद के लक्षणों को कम करता है)
Ashwagandha has been found to reduce symptoms of depression in several studies. One study found that taking ashwagandha supplements for eight weeks improved symptoms of depression in people with major depressive disorder.
11. Ashwagandha Helps with Weight Loss (वजन घटाने में मदद करता है)
Ashwagandha can help with weight loss by reducing cortisol levels, which can lead to a decrease in belly fat. One study found that taking ashwagandha supplements for 30 days led to a significant reduction in body weight and body mass index.
12. Ashwagandha Improves Sleep Quality (नींद की गुणवत्ता में सुधार करता है)
Ashwagandha has sedative properties that can help improve sleep quality. Studies have shown that taking ashwagandha supplements can improve the quality and duration of sleep in people with insomnia.
13. Ashwagandha Helps with Diabetes Management (मधुमेह प्रबंधन में मदद करता है)
Ashwagandha has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. One study found that taking ashwagandha supplements for 30 days led to a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels.
14. Ashwagandha Improves Energy Levels (ऊर्जा के स्तर में सुधार करता है)
Ashwagandha has been studied for its potential to improve energy levels and reduce fatigue. Several studies have found that Ashwagandha supplementation may help improve energy levels and reduce fatigue. In one study, participants who took ashwagandha supplements for eight weeks reported significant improvements in energy levels, compared to those who took a placebo. Another study found that ashwagandha supplementation was associated with reduced fatigue and improved cognitive function in people undergoing chemotherapy.
15. Ashwagandha May Improve Bone Health (हड्डी के स्वास्थ्य में सुधार कर सकता है)
Some studies suggest that ashwagandha may help improve bone mineral density, potentially reducing the risk of osteoporosis. One study conducted on rats found that ashwagandha supplementation improved bone density and strength. Another study conducted on postmenopausal women found that ashwagandha supplementation led to improvements in bone mineral density in the spine and hip, which are common sites of osteoporotic fractures.
16. Ashwagandha May Benefit Athletic Performance (एथलेटिक प्रदर्शन में लाभ हो सकता है)
Ashwagandha may benefit athletic performance in several ways. It may improve endurance by increasing oxygen uptake and utilization during exercise, and it may help increase muscle strength and mass by improving muscle recovery and reducing muscle damage after exercise. Additionally, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which can negatively impact athletic performance and recovery. By reducing stress and cortisol levels, ashwagandha may help athletes recover faster and perform better.
How to Use Ashwagandha? (अश्वगंधा का उपयोग कैसे करें?)
Ashwagandha roots are the most beneficial parts of the plant and are used in powdered form, as capsules, and in the form of tonic. The capsules usually are of a higher dose than the powder. People often combine the powder with ghee or sweeteners to get rid of the bitter taste. Ideally, the best time to consume ashwagandha is early in the morning or before bed. Different dosages are required for different people depending on the condition you are trying to address. Whenever in doubt, consult your doctor about the recommended dose before you start consuming it.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha (अश्वगंधा के दुष्प्रभाव)
Ashwagandha is a naturally found medical herb, and there are no significant side effects of using it. While it does not cause fatal side effects, consumption in large quantities might cause diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, stomach irritation, drowsiness, and headache.
Who Should Never Take Ashwagandha? (अश्वगंधा किसे कभी नहीं लेना चाहिए?)
As mentioned earlier, while ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when taken as directed, there are some individuals who should avoid taking it.
- Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women: There is limited research on the safety of ashwagandha during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so it's best to avoid it.
- People with Autoimmune Diseases: Ashwagandha may stimulate the immune system, which can worsen symptoms of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
- People with Low Blood Pressure: Ashwagandha may lower blood pressure, so it should be used with caution in people with hypotension.
- People Taking Certain Medications: Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, including sedatives, blood thinners, and drugs for thyroid disorders. If you are taking any medications, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha.
- People with Allergies: Some people may be allergic to ashwagandha, so it's important to stop using it if you experience any allergic symptoms like itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.
As you can see, Ashwagandha can help you improve cognitive function, the nervous system, heart health, reproductive health, and overall wellbeing. Since it has so many positive effects on the human body, it is also called a super herb. Therefore, you will find that several wellness brands offer products containing ashwagandha that target different health conditions. However, it has to be consumed regularly for at least 100 days in the right doses. Check with your healthcare professional if you have any doubts.
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.