Ashwagandha is an evergreen hurb that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine.For hundreds of years; people have used the roots and orange-red fruit of ashwagandha for medicinal purposes. The herb is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry.The name “ashwagandha” describes the smell of its root, meaning “like a horse.” By definition, ashwa means horse.
Practitioners use this herb as a general tonic to boost energy and reduce stress and anxiety. Some also claim that the herb may be beneficial for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and anxiety.
More research is necessary; to date, promising studies into the health benefits of ashwagandha have mainly been in animals. This article looks at the traditional uses of ashwagandha, how to take it, and the evidence behind its possible health benefits and risks.
What do people use ashwagandha for??
Ashwagandha is an important herb in Ayurvedic medicine. This is one of the world’s oldest medical systems and one of India’s healthcare systems.
In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is considered a Rasayana. This means that it helps maintain youth, both mentally and physically.
There is some evidence to suggest that the herb can have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation underpins many health conditions, and reducing inflammation can protect the body against a variety of conditions.
For example, people use Ashwagandha to help treat the following:
Different treatments make use of different parts of the plant, including the leaves, seeds, and fruit.
This herb is gaining popularity in the West. Today, people can buy ashwagandha as a supplement in the United States.
What are its health benefits?
Scientific studies have suggested that ashwagandha might be beneficial for a number of conditions.
Stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha may have a calming effect on anxiety symptoms when compared with the drug lorazepam, a sedative and anxiety medication. In another 2019 study Trusted Source in humans, taking 250 mg or 600 mg of ashwagandha per day resulted in lower self-reported stress levels, as well as lower cortisol levels.
A 2000 study suggested that the herb had a comparable anxiety-reducing effect with lorazepam, suggesting that ashwagandha might be as effective for reducing anxiety.
Ashwagandha may act as a pain reliever, preventing pain signals from traveling along the central nervous system. It may also have some anti-inflammatory properties.
For this reason, some research has shown it to be effective in treating forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. A small 2015 studyTrusted Source in 125 people with joint pain found the herb to have potential as a treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis.
Some people use ashwagandha to boost their heart health, including:
Lowering high blood pressure
Lowering high cholesterol
Easing chest pain
Preventing heart disease
Ashwagandha’s ability to slow or prevent loss of brain function in people with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.As these conditions progress, parts of the brain and its connective paths become damaged, which leads to loss of memory and function.
The same 2011 review Trusted Source also describes a few promising studies that found that ashwagandha might be able to stop cell growth in certain cancers. This includes reducing lung tumors in animal studies.
How to take Ashwagandha
The dosage of ashwagandha and the way people use it depends on the condition they are hoping to treat. There is no standard dosage based on modern clinical trials.
Different studies have used different dosages. Some research Trusted Source suggests that taking 250–600 mg per day can reduce stress. Capsule dosages often contain between 250 and 1,500 mg of ashwagandha.
In some cases, taking high doses can cause unpleasant side effects. It is best to speak with a healthcare professional about safety and dosage before taking any new herbal supplements, including ashwagandha.
Store in a cool, dry & Dark Place. Protected from light heat & Moisture. Keep out of the reach of children.
How to take?
Dosage – 1-2 Capsules twice a day or as directed by Physician.