15 Powerful Health Benefits of Ashwagandha You Need To Be Aware Of
If you feel rundown and tired all the time, it's time for you to discover the health benefits of Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb that fills you with the vitality.
I get fatigued from time to time and Ashwagandha is my go-to Ayurvedic herb when I want to breathe new life into myself.
This immensely beneficial adaptogenic herb has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenative tonic since ages. It supports the endocrine, immune and reproductive systems.
** Learn more about Adaptogenic herbs here
And has been used to help treat fatigue, insomnia, low libido, infertility, premature aging, multiple sclerosis, enlarged prostate and skin diseases for centuries.
Curious about the origin of this plant?
The Latin name of of this plant is Withania Somnifera and it is also called winter cherry and Indian ginseng (note that Ashwagandha and ginseng are not related).
Ashwagandha is a shrub that is native to the dry regions of India, China, Nepal, Middle East and North Africa. Now it’s also being grown in the US.
Ayurveda uses the brown colored roots, red berries and oval leaves of the Ashwagandha plant. The long tuberous roots are dried and made into a powder. The berries and leaves are applied on the skin to aid the treatment of tumors and ulcers.
And here’s a bit of herbal history - in Sanskrit, Ashwagandha literally means the smell of a horse and it symbolises strength and vitality of a stallion.
In the good old days, this herb was given to people improve their immunity after recovering from a disease.
There have been over 200 studies to look at the health benefits of Ashwagandha and here’s what scientists have found.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ASHWAGANDHA
1. IMPROVES THYROID HEALTH
A big chunk of the world’s population suffers from thyroid issues and sometimes they don't even know it.
Studies have proven that Ashwagandha has a balancing effect on the thyroid hormone. It has adaptogenic qualities which means it can balance your hormonal levels whether they’re high or low.
The surprising part is that Ashwagandha is can be used for both kinds of thyroid - hypo (slow and sluggish) and hyper (overactive).
2. HEALS ADRENAL FATIGUE
Don’t quite know what adrenal glands are?
They are endocrine glands that release 2 hormones - cortisol and adrenaline, whenever your body feels stress.
Your adrenals work way too much and get exhausted when you experience stress almost daily for years. Such stress can be related to your workplace, body or any emotional issues you may have. And it cam ultimately lead to adrenal fatigue.
Fatigued adrenals can negatively affect other hormones like progesterone. This leads to infertility and premature aging.
Adrenal rejuvenation is one of the most promising health benefits of Ashwagandha as it supports adrenal function by reducing chronic stress.
You can easily make this Adrenal Support Tea with Ashwagandha.
3. HELPS RELEASE STRESS
If you tend to overwork and feel stressed afterwards, make sure you have some Ashwagandha in your Ayurvedic medicine cabinet because it helps you release all that stress you’ve been holding on to.
Apart from being a stress buster, Ashwagandha also helps you to reduce fatigue and improve your concentration.
Do you reach out for sweet foods when you're stressed? The try making this Ashwagandha Panna Cotta which will revitalize you and satisfy your sugar cravings at the same time.
4. REDUCES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Apart from being a great stress reliever, Ashwagandha also reduces brain-cell degeneration and helps fights symptoms of depression, anxiety and Alzheimer’s disease - without causing side effects like drowsiness.
Medical research shows that Ashwagandha can treat anxiety and depression.
One of the major health benefits of Ashwagandha is that it has no side effects as compared to antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
Whether you're feeling anxious in the morning or you're having trouble sleeping because of too much thinking, try this Golden Milk Cocoa with Ashwagandha powder to soothe your nerves & bliss out.
5. SUPPORTS HEART HEALTH
Ashwagandha is good for your heart and reduces the risk of heart disease. It improves blood circulation, prevents blood clotting, stabilizes blood sugar, maintains blood pressure and reduces high cholesterol.
I recommend drinking this Spiced Tea with Ashwagandha root every week for taking care of your heart & overall health.
6. HELPS TO FIGHT CANCER
One of the most powerful health benefits of Ashwagandha is cancer prevention.
Some studies suggest that immune boosting and antioxidant properties of Ashwagandha extract can stop the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting their proliferation.
Ashwagandha has been indicated to useful in helping to treat the world’s most common cancers like lung, breast, colon and stomach cancer.
Ashwagandha also produces antigens and increases white blood cells which protect the body from disease.
Research also shows that Ashwagandha extract can stop the immune system from the getting suppressed by chemotherapy.
7. IMPROVES LEARNING AND MEMORY
New research shows that this ancient herb offers cognitive benefits in the long-term by supporting intellect and memory.
Ashwagandha improves memory and specifically increases visual and spatial memory. It is useful for children with memory deficit and for elderly people experiencing memory loss.
8. PROTECTS FROM NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES
Ashwagandha is full of antioxidants which destroy free radicals and prevent brain cell degeneration. A study published by British Journal of Pharmacology showed that Withanolide A, an ingredient found in Ashwagandha successfully recovered the degeneration of brain cells and synaptic loss.
One of the most promising health benefits of Ashwagandha is its ability to prevent, slow and even reverse neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s.
Do you have swollen or painful joints? Ayurveda believes that inflammation is one of the root causes of disease.
With its anti-inflammatory nature, Ashwagandha can cool down inflammation in the body and relieve joint pain. It also contains sterols and is a natural way to treat arthritis without any side effects.
If you like to begin your day with smoothies, try out Jimmy's Morning Smoothie with Ashwagandha powder.
10. IMPROVES MALE AND FEMALE SEXUAL HEALTH
Need to pep up your sex life naturally? Then Ashwagandha might be what you’re looking for. Its powers as an aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant have been mentioned even in Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian text on lovemaking.
Ashwagandha is a key ingredient in many Ayurvedic aphrodisiac formulations.
Women can use Ashwagandha to improve their sex life as it increases their sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm and satisfaction. Similarly, men can use this herb to treat loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and performance anxiety.
Ashwagandha also known to promote female and male fertility by balancing hormones, reducing stress and keeping disease at bay.
Like watching videos instead of reading? Then here's a video on the health benefits of Ashwagandha:
Ashwagandha sounds promising for your health, right? But there are 5 beauty benefits of Ashwagandha make it even more useful. Let’s have a quick look at them.
BEAUTY BENEFITS OF ASHWAGANDHA
1. SLOWS DOWN AGING
Don’t want to age before it’s time? Ashwagandha can help you because of its fantastic anti-aging qualities. The regular consumption of antioxidant-rich Ashwagandha ensures that you don't get wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes on your skin prematurely.
Yet another reason why we include Ashwaganda in our all natural skin care products.
Consuming this herb creates a healthy aging process for the body.
2. TREATS KERATOSIS
Ashwagandha is an effective treatment for keratosis, a skin disorder characterised by dry and rough skin. You can take 1 tsp of Ashwagandha powder with water 2 times a day as an Ayurvedic keratosis remedy.
3. TREATS WOUNDS
Want to heal a wound naturally? Ashwagandha has been used traditional Ayurvedic medicine to make poultices for wounds.
To make a Ashwagandha poultice, you’ll need the leaves and dried roots of the plant. Grind them together and mix them in water to create a smooth paste. Apply this over the wounds and see how fast it heals!
4. STOPS SKIN DAMAGE
Worried about skin damage?
Then you’ll be happy to know that Ashwagandha is great for skin health because it reduces high cortisol levels that can be skin-damaging. It also promotes collagen production which is essential for healthy skin.
5. MAKES HAIR HEALTHY, STRONG & LUXURIOUS
The beauty benefits of Ashwagandha are not just limited to your skin. Ashwagandha supports good hair health.
Using Ashwagandha regularly reduces hair fall, prevents breakage, increases hair growth, and prevents premature graying. It can also be a powerful treatment for scalp related problems like eczema psoriasis and dandruff.
So, I know I’ve been going ga-ga over the health and beauty benefits of Ashwagandha but you’ll have to try it yourself to see the magic happen.
If you were inspired by this post and are excited to use Ashwagandha now, do remember to share this post and yes, pin it on Pinterest too!
Looking for a natural way to beat stress? Then don't miss my post on my healthy Ayurvedic remedies.