So far, we are getting a glimpse of all the fantastic attributes of ashwagandha. Here, we are going to take a closer look at all the benefits ashwagandha has to offer.
1. Ashwagandha and Stress
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is classified as an adaptogen. This means that this herb is famous for its incredible ability to safely and effectively help the human mind and body handle stress, with no withdrawal symptoms.
Count me in!
Cortisol, the stress hormone most of us are well-acquainted with, is released by our adrenal glands in stressful situations. Evidently, we live in a very stressed and caffeinated society where our cortisol levels are at an all-time high. Suppose these levels are elevated for too long. In that case, it can cause high blood sugar, chronic anxiety, sleep problems, cognitive issues, weight gain, and more.
Thankfully, ashwagandha has proven to help our body regulate cortisol levels in healthier ways, thus helping to decrease our anxiousness and high-stress levels.
Overall, the ashwagandha root is linked to improving an individual's resistance to anxiety with no adverse effects.
2. Ashwagandha: Memory and Concentration
Who doesn't want a good memory and strong concentration skills? We now have studies that validate Ayurvedic uses for ashwagandha as a memory enhancer!
The roots of this herb have been shown to protect nerve cells from oxidative stress by promoting antioxidant activity. The damaging effects that free radicals can potentially have on our brain (memory and concentration) can be dramatically reduced through the use of ashwagandha.
One study showed that in randomizing 20 healthy male participants, some received 250mg 2 times daily. They had significantly better reaction times, cognitive performance, and memory (through various tests).
It has been shown that ashwagandha "slows, stops, reverses, or removes neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss". This means that, besides having beneficial effects on brain health in general, ashwagandha can go as far as improving brain function in those with injuries or disease (e.g., Parkinson's or Alzheimer's).
3. Ashwagandha and Exercise
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb concerning mental stress. It is also important to note that it helps our bodies in physically stressful situations.
In taking KSM-66® Ashwagandha (a full-spectrum extract of the root of ashwagandha), male and female participants showed to have enhanced cardiorespiratory endurance.
In another study, males who underwent resistance training while taking 300mg of ashwagandha were shown to have significantly greater:
· Strength in arms and chest (bench-press exercise)
· Reduction in exercise-induced muscle injury
· Testosterone levels
· Decreased body fat percentage11
4. Ashwagandha and Heart Health
Ashwagandha is a compelling and easy way to support heart health. Here are just some of the ways this herb can help our hearts:
· Can help lower high cholesterol
· Can help lower high blood pressure
· May ease chest pain
· May prevent heart disease