Ashwagandha, also called Indian Winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng, is a shrub that is native to India and has been used as a medicinal herb for many centuries. It has only recently begun to be appreciated in western cultures, and it is the focus of much research and scrutiny, because of it’s ability to affect numerous body systems.
*Ashwagandha improves memory and concentration
*Ashwagandha is a powerful antioxidantIt boosts the immune system
*May help reduce unhealthy blood pressure (hypertension)
*May reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, irritability and edginess (see ashwagandha and stress)
*Ashwagandha improves libido for women and in men (ashwagandha and men)
*It has anti-inflammatory properties
*Dampens arthritis pain and joint inflammation with natural steroids called lactones
*Modulates cholesterol levels (helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels)
*Nourishes and protects the liver
*May reduce the physical effects of stress, such as too much cortisol (which leads to more belly fat)
*Tames tension headaches
*Increases the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells
*Increases energy and endurance
*Boosts the brain’s production of important neurotransmitters, promoting a feeling of well being
*It promotes relaxation and more restful sleep
*Promotes healthy thyroid function
Adaptogenic Herbs and the Ashwagandha Herb
Ashwagandha’s Benefits Have Been Known For Centuries
The reports of Ashwagandha benefits date back some 3,000 years. Ashwagandha has been used to treat inflammation, fevers, protect against infection or illness, boost the immune system, improve memory, and promote overall wellness.
It should be noted that Ashwagandha is not an herb you can take for a month or so and expect all of the above benefits. It should be taken long term for the full benefits. This can mean weeks or months before you may begin to notice Ashwagandha benefits.
It is usually recommended to start slowly, gradually increasing your intake to preferred levels. This will ensure that you tolerate it well and get the best results. Keep in mind, however that different brands have different amounts of Aswagandha in powder, capsule, tablet or tea formulations. A naturopathic doctor or herbalist is most qualified to guide your use and dosages.
The herb also comes in a tincture form. For the best results with a particular health concern, it is highly recommended that you get the help of a naturopathic physician or herbal expert.
While there are few side effects for Ashwagandha, check with your doctor before starting this or any new supplement. (Pregnant women and nursing mothers should NOT use ashwagandha.)
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Note: This article is provided for informational purposes only and should NOT be used as medical advice. Always seek the advice of a competent medical professional about your health problems, questions or concerns before using Ashwagandha or any other nutritional supplement.