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7 Incredible Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

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7 Incredible Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
- and Why its one of the Powerful Adaptogens in our Vitality Supplements

 

What Is Ashwagandha?

 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has long been revered for its healing and therapeutic properties. A very powerful ancient herb,  ashwagandha is considered a staple in many cultures for its amazing healing powers. 

Dating back thousands of years, ashwagandha (pronounced: ash-wa-gan-da) has been a prominent part of the Ayurvedic and Siddha systems of Indian medicine (1).  

This magical herb is often considered to be nature’s gift to humanity and has been used to treat everything from stress and anxiety to serious diseases including smallpox, typhoid and even high blood pressure.(1)(2)

An important herb in both ancient and modern Indian medicine, ashwagandha is sometimes referred to as "Indian winter cherry " or "Indian ginseng.”  That’s because  it offers many of the same near-miraculous benefits ginseng does. 

But is Ashwagandha right for you? 

Let’s break down what you need to know about this wonder herb so you can decide for yourself.

 

Ashwagandha: The Secret Healer of Tibetan Monks and Traditional Chinese Medicine?

 

A small evergreen shrub native to Tibet, China, Nepal and other Asian countries (1)(2), ashwagandha originally came to the West from India.

The rather average-looking plant has velvety leaves, small white flowers, and orange-red berries that look similar to tomatoes. 

But don't let this little plant’s appearance fool you... 

Ashwagandha is one of the most potent herbs in both modern
and traditional holistic medicine!

It’s not the leaves nor the berries, but actually the plant’s root that is the source of ashwagandha’s healing power because it contains numerous phytochemicals that balance many systems in the body. 

For thousands of years, natural healers have claimed this ancient herb can fight off nearly everything that harms your health! (1) (2)  This may be largely because of its unique ability to calm the body and mind revealing one of its most important  powers

 

Healing the body through deep sleep

 

In fact, it’s species name “somnifera” translates to "sleep inducing" in Latin, reflecting its traditional use in Ayurvedic medicine as a natural sleep aid. (5)

If all ashwagandha did was help you enter deep sleep, it would deserve a place in your wellness plan. But it does far more.

 

Ashwagandha: A Treasured Natural Healer in Ayurvedic Medicine

 

Ashwagandha has long been a cherished herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, where it is classified as the highest level healer, a “rasayana”, to support overall wellbeing (1)(6).

But ashwagandha is even more amazing.

Ashwagandha is also said to promote youth and longevity, in addition to alleviating many types of physical and mental suffering.

In Ayurveda, ashwagandha was administered to children and the elderly to imbue them with energy as well as to relieve pain, inflammation, and nervous debility. 

Other traditional uses include treatment for:

  • asthma
  • colds
  • cough 
  • diarrhea 
  • hypertension 
  • inflammation
  • nausea 
  • psoriasis 
  • ringworm
  • smallpox 
  • typhoid
  • alcoholism

Ashwagandha extracts were also used to treat cognitive problems such as: 

  • brain fog 
  • loss of memory 
  • senility
  • emotional imbalances 
  • anxiety
  • depression

Ayurvedic medicine aims to preserve health and wellbeing by keeping the mind, body, and spirit in balance. It’s quite easy to see why the herb became so prominent in traditional holistic medicine -- especially considering that ashwagandha is calming, grounding, and restorative in nature.

 

Is Ashwagandha Still Used Today?

 

You bet it is. 

Modern science classifies ashwagandha as an adaptogen herb.  Numerous studies indicate that ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-system balancing, new blood cell creation, and rejuvenating properties (7).  

As a result, ashwagandha has therapeutic effects and exerts a positive influence on several systems of the body, including the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems.

Here are some of the modern recognized benefits of ashwagandha which are supported by scientific studies: 

1. Stress and Anxiety Relief

As mentioned, Ashwagandha is an adaptogen which means it has a very unique relationship with cortisol – the body's stress hormone (8). 

Ashwagandha's most noticeable impact in the body is its ability to significantly lower cortisol levels. And this is good news for chronically stressed individuals.

Ashwagandha promotes a healthy resilience to stress by regulating multiple physiological processes to help bring your body into a state of balance. By eliminating the negative impacts of stress, ashwagandha can also elevate mood, increase cognitive function, improve energy levels and lower blood pressure and sugar levels (8)(9).

2.  Blood Sugar Control

Ashwagandha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion and improving insulin sensitivity in muscle cells (10). 

As a result, ashwagandha is a powerful supplement that can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels in healthy people and those with diabetes or are pre-diabetic.

3. Anti-Cancer Properties

Ashwagandha contains withaferin, a compound that has been found to induce apoptosis, the programmed death of cancer cells (11). In addition to killing cancer cells, withaferin has also been shown to prevent the growth of new cancer cells. The compound does this by promoting the formation of reactive oxygen species within the cancer cells, which disrupts their function.

4. Protection from Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Loss

Numerous studies suggest that ashwagandha can assuage memory and cognitive function problems caused by injury and disease. As a result, it can protect the brain from degeneration and stave off Alzheimer’s disease (13).

Other brain health benefits include improved memory, focus, information processing, and executive function. Ashwagandha promotes antioxidant activity in the body protecting nerve cells from oxidative stress and harmful free radicals (13). This is why it can improve brain function, reaction time, and the ability to perform tasks.

5. Increased Muscle Mass and Strength 

Testosterone is the primary hormonal driver of muscle growth. It promotes faster growth of muscles and improves recovery time. Cortisol holds an inverse relationship to testosterone. By reducing cortisol levels in the body, ashwagandha can help maintain healthy testosterone levels (14) in both men and women.

For the reason above, ashwagandha has been shown to improve body composition, reduce body fat, and increase muscle strength and size. Increased testosterone levels also significantly boost fertility in men (15)(16).

6. Improved Heart Health

Ashwagandha has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood (15).

 Another way ashwagandha enhances heart health is by reducing stress levels. Stress has an immediate impact on the cardiovascular system, and chronic stress is linked to hypertension and high cholesterol (9) (17).

7. Increased Stamina and Endurance

Ashwagandha has also been shown to enhance cardio-respiratory endurance in athletes which has the added benefit of better physical performance.  It does this by increasing blood oxygenation, which results in less fatigue (18).  In addition, ashwagandha’s ability to lower cortisol levels and oxidative stress can help your body cope better with any athletic activity or physical stress on your body.

 

An Easy Way to Benefit from Ashwagandha

 

As we have seen, ashwagandha can reduce stress and anxiety, help you sleep better, improve heart health,  boost brain function,  increase energy and stamina, and much more. 

The herb has a long history of medicinal use for good reason. It's effective against numerous ailments and is one of the most proven and powerful natural medicines in the world!

But because very high quality ashwagandha is expensive and difficult to find, the best and easiest way to get the amazing benefits from this powerful herb is by taking Peak Male (for men) or EmpowHER (for women). Both of these natural health supplements contain therapeutic doses of ashwagandha.  Further, these two formulas contain  complimentary adaptogen herbs which provide you with even greater health benefits than taking ashwagandha alone. 

You are invited to review these powerful health supplements here:

Peak Male for men

EmpowHER for women

References

  1. Singh, Narendra, et al. "An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda." African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 8.5 (2011).
  2. Mirjalili, Mohammad Hossein, et al. "Steroidal lactones from Withania somnifera, an ancient plant for novel medicine." Molecules 14.7 (2009): 2373-2393.
  3. "Withania somnifera." Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA.
  4. Ashwagandha". Drugs.com. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  5. Stearn, W. T. (1995). Botanical Latin: History, Grammar, Syntax, Terminology, and Vocabulary (4th ed.).
  6. Gupta, G. L., & Rana, A. C. (2007). Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): a review. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 1(1).
  7. Mishra, L. C., Singh, B. B., & Dagenais, S. (2000). Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): a review. Alternative medicine review, 5(4), 334-346.
  8. Bhattacharya, S. K., and A. V. Muruganandam. "Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: an experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress." Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 75.3 (2003): 547-555.
  9. Archana, R., and A. Namasivayam. "Antistressor effect of Withania somnifera." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 64.1 (1998): 91-93.
  10. Gorelick, Jonathan, et al. "Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicitated Withania somnifera." Phytochemistry 116 (2015): 283-289.
  11. Vyas, Avani R., and Shivendra V. Singh. "Molecular targets and mechanisms of cancer prevention and treatment by withaferin a, a naturally occurring steroidal lactone." The AAPS Journal 16.1 (2014): 1-10.
  12. Khazal, K. F., Hill, D. L., & Grubbs, C. J. (2014). Effect of Withania somnifera root extract on spontaneous estrogen receptor-negative mammary cancer in MMTV/Neu mice. AnticancerAnticancer research, 34(11), 6327-6332.
  13. Zahiruddin, Sultan, et al. "Ashwagandha in brain disorders: A review of recent developments." Journal of ethnopharmacology 257 (2020): 112876.
  14. Mahdi, Abbas Ali, et al. "Withania somnifera improves semen quality in stress-related male fertility." Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011 (2011).
  15. Raut, Ashwinikumar A., et al. "Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers." Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 3.3 (2012): 111.
  16. Gupta, Ashish, et al. "Efficacy of Withania somnifera on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males: A proton NMR study at 800 MHz." Journal of ethnopharmacology 149.1 (2013): 208-214.
  17. Bharti, V. K., Malik, J. K., & Gupta, R. C. (2016). Ashwagandha: multiple health benefits. In Nutraceuticals (pp. 717-733). Academic Press.
  18. Shenoy, Shweta, et al. "Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists." Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 3.4 (2012): 209.
Ashwagandha: The Natural Anti-Aging Herb
Some of the amazing benefits of this powerful Adaptogen herb:
  • May extend lifespan and reverse aging
  • Combats mental and physical fatigue
  • Increases stamina & endurance
  • Reduces damage caused by various stressors
  • Increases the body’s resistance to disease
  • Improves sleep
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Supports brain health and memory
  • Supports heart and circulation health

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Excerpt

Ashwagandha: The Natural Anti-Aging Herb
Some of the amazing benefits of this powerful Adaptogen herb:
  • May extend lifespan and reverse aging
  • Combats mental and physical fatigue
  • Increases stamina & endurance
  • Reduces damage caused by various stressors
  • Increases the body’s resistance to disease
  • Improves sleep
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Supports brain health and memory
  • Supports heart and circulation health

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