Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions and is most well-known for its restorative benefits.
Ashwagandha refers to “the strength of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.
Ashwagandha is frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties, even though botanically, ginseng and Ashwagandha are unrelated.
Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of sugars. While the leaves and fruit have valuable therapeutic properties, the root of the Ashwagandha plant is the part most commonly used in Western herbal remedies.
Medical researchers have been studying Ashwagandha for years with great interest and have completed more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb and is actually the most commonly used and extensively researched adaptogen herb. It’s valued for its thyroid modulating, neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are just some of the many ashwagandha benefits.
Ashwagandha’s ability to work as a stress-protective agent that has made it such a popular herb. Like all adaptogenic herbs, Ashwagandha helps the body to maintain homeostasis, even in moments of emotional or physical stress. But the many ashwagandha benefits don’t stop there. This powerful herb has shown incredible results for lowering cortisol levels and balancing thyroid hormones. Plus, it’s been used for mood disorders and in the prevention of degenerative diseases.
Some key examples of the healing effects of Ashwagandha are:
Protects the immune system
Healthy weight loss
Helps combat the effects of stress
Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
Stabilizes blood sugar
Helps lower cholesterol
Offers anti-inflammatory benefits
Contains anti-malarial properties
Enhances sexual potency for both men and women
Ashwagandha is Helpful For Weight-Loss
The antioxidants found in ashwagandha help the body burn fat better and improve overall vitality by revving up your metabolism. For some people, excess body weight is a result of a malfunctioning thyroid. Your thyroid regulates your metabolic rate as well as fat, carbohydrate, vitamin, and protein metabolism. Ashwagandha stimulates the production of T4 thyroid hormone from your thyroid, enabling your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to remain high.
If you have hypothyroidism, the sluggish performance of the thyroid causes the scales to creep up as you pack on extra pounds. Ashwagandha can mitigate some of this by triggering the production of T4, allowing metabolism to improve and the weight to drop. Animal studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of ashwagandha root extract on stimulating the thyroid. (Source)
Ashwagandha Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Animal and test-tube studies have found that ashwagandha helps induce the apoptosis or "programmed cell death" of cancer cells (1).
It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in several ways (2).
One of these ways is believed to be the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are toxic to cancer cells but not normal cells. Another mechanism causes cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis (3).
Animal studies suggest that it may be beneficial for treating several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain and ovarian cancer (4,5,6,7,8).
In one study, mice with ovarian tumors treated with ashwagandha alone or in combination with an anti-cancer drug had a 70–80% reduction in tumor growth. The treatment also prevented metastasis, the spread of cancer to other organs (9).
Although there are no studies to confirm these results in humans yet, the research to date is encouraging.
It May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress. Researchers who looked at its effects on rat brains reported that it blocked the stress pathway by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system (10).
Several controlled human studies have shown that it can effectively reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders (11,12,13).
In a 60-day study of 64 people with chronic stress, those in the ashwagandha group reported a 69% average reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared to 11% in the placebo group (14).
In another study lasting 6 weeks, 88% of people who took ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety, compared to 50% who took a placebo (15).
It May Improve Brain Function, Including Memory
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may reduce memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease (16,17,18,19).
Researchers have shown that it promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals. In one study, epileptic rats treated with ashwagandha had nearly a complete reversal of spatial memory impairment. This was likely caused by a reduction in oxidative stress (20).
Although ashwagandha has traditionally been used to boost memory in Ayurvedic practice, at this point there is only a small amount of human research in this area.
In a controlled study, researchers who gave healthy men 500 mg of the herb daily reported significant improvements in their reaction time and task performance, compared to men who received a placebo (21).
Using Ashwagandha powder as a base, Siddha Ayurvedic Medicine created one of the most powerful overall herbal health jams for people of all ages known traditionally as Chyawanprash.
Using an ancient formula handed down through generations, Sensitive Planet is pleased to provide the highest-quality, authentic (and best tasting) Chyawanprash.