Ashwagandha, which is also known as Indian Ginseng, is one of the most well-known Indian herbs. The name ashwagandha translates to ‘scent of a horse’. This is because of the peculiar smell of this herb and the usage of it in traditional remedies to improve strength.
Because of its ability to improve strength and virility in men, it was used for various traditional remedies to heal common issues. With more research, the understanding of the potential benefits of a supplement like an ashwagandha tablet became more evident.
Here are five primary benefits of this medicinal herb that will give you more reasons to include it as part of your daily regime.
1. Reduces anxiety and stress
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is an ingredient that helps cope with stress and anxiety. Experiments conducted on rats revealed that this herb is capable of blocking stress pathways by regulating the chemicals that are responsible for carrying out various signals in the nervous system.
Several controlled studies with humans have also shown that Ashwagandha reduces the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. This, in turn, helps manage symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and other stress related health issues. These studies have shown as much as 69% reduction in the symptoms of insomnia and anxiety as a result of ashwagandha supplementation.
2. Improves the production of testosterone
Ashwagandha is highly potent in improving the levels of testosterone in men. It also helps improve overall sexual health in men. In some studies conducted to check the effects of Ashwagandha on sexual health, continued use of these supplements over 3 months increased the chances of conceiving.
These studies also revealed that the testosterone levels had significantly improved, allowing better muscle strength and performance. The antioxidant levels in the blood of the participants had also improved, thereby improving the quality of sperm and the mobility as well.
3. Improves energy level and concentration
For more than 3000 years, Ashwagandha was used in traditional Indian medicine as a remedy to improve concentration and energy levels. There are many ways in which Ashwagandha benefits the state of mind and energy levels. To begin with, it contains compounds known as withanolides which are potent antioxidants.
They help neutralize the free radicals and reduce any damage related to oxidative stress. This improves overall energy levels and aids in better physical performance.
Additionally, ashwagandha helps manage stress effectively by regulating neural pathways and reducing the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. This helps you focus better and also improves various cognitive functions like memory.
4. Regulates blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha is often recommended to individuals who suffer from diabetes. This is because of the ability of this herb to reduce blood sugar levels. Studies showed that insulin secretion and sensitivity is affected positively when you consume ashwagandha supplements for a prolonged period of time.
A study showed that the fasting blood sugar was reduced by 13.5 mg/dL by consuming ashwagandha supplements for a period of 4 weeks continuously. This results in many other health benefits like reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
5. Increases muscle mass and strength
Most individuals who follow a strict fitness regime swear by the effects of ashwagandha on muscle health. First, with increased testosterone production, muscle strength improves automatically. Not just that, it also improves the production of newer muscle fibres, giving you better muscle volume.
Studies conducted on ashwagandha supplementation showed that this herb not only improved muscle strength and size. It also doubled the rate at which body fat was reduced in comparison to individuals who did not consume this supplement.
The higher energy levels and focus that one experiences with Ashwagandha supplementation can also be attributed to the significant improvement in muscle strength and quality. With a higher training capacity, you are able to see faster results.
Ashwagandha supplements are safe to use for most people. However, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to avoid any supplementation without the advice of your doctor or healthcare provider.
People with any autoimmune condition like Hashimoto thyroiditis, lupus, arthritis and type 1 diabetes should also avoid using this herb unless it is recommended by a doctor or healthcare provider. If you are on certain medication, consult an expert before using these supplements as they may interfere with the effects of the medication.
Overall, this herbal supplement can boost your activity level and training ability. However, be careful to use it according to the recommended dosage to avoid unwanted health issues.
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