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9 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

by Joseph Perez
Ashwagandha Plant

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that has been promoted for several health benefits.

You might have heard about ashwagandha from someone who is into some network marketing business, or from other sources related to supplementary health products.

Active Components in Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Alkaloids: isopelletierine, anaferine, cuseohygrine.

Steroidal Lactones: withanolides, withaferins and saponins.

Anti-stress agents: Sitoindosides and acylseterylglucosides, withaferin-A.

A Summary of Ashwagandha Uses

The root, leaves, and seeds of ashwagandha have been used since 6000 BC in one of India’s standard systems of medicine called Ayurveda.

Withania somnifera was used for various treatments including for fever, as a pain reliever, for skin treatment, eye treatment, and as a narcotic too.

You may want to know how it is used nowadays…

Nowadays ashwagandha is used based on its medically proven health benefits.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

1) Ashwagandha as an Energy Booster

“The root of ashwagandha smells like horse (ashwa), and it gives the consumer the power of a horse!”

While the above claim for ashwagandha uses may be considered scientifically scandalous, Ashwagandha has many years of historical uses and there can only be proof to say the claimed benefits works or it doesn’t.

2) Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Mashed ashwagandha root mixed with water to form a paste, when applied to joints reduced inflammatory effect in case of a sprained joint.

3) Helps Fight Tumor Growth

Ashwagandha root was found to inhibit tumor cells growth in the Chinese Hamster Ovary.

The result of studies prompted researchers to see the potential of ashwagandha in helping to fight similar tumors in humans.

4) Boost Immunity and helps Remove Free Radicals in the Body

Ashwagandha helps to boost immunity and helps the body in the fight against diseases.

The herb extract is an active antioxidant that helps remove free radicals in the body. Effectively, this makes other biological functions happen perfectly and reduces stress too.

5) Enhances brain function and improves memory

For similar reasons as above and also because of the calming effect on the central nervous system.

6) Possible Anticancer property

From studies carried out on mice, researchers believe that the anticancer properties can be useful for some forms of cancer treatment along with other therapy. 

7) Stress Reliever and Help to reduce symptoms of Depression

Ashwagandha has similar health benefit of Chinese and Korean Ginseng. In fact, ashwagandha is also called Indian Ginseng.

In the study done on swimming animals, cortisol content of adrenals reduced significantly in animals treated with ashwagandha.

Further studies suggests that similar effect may help reduce the symptoms of depression in humans.

8) Good Anabolic effects

Research evidence suggests that over a 90-day period ashwagandha treatment can help lower blood sugar and fat and hence it is vital for improved body mass composition.

9) Boosts Testosterone and Improves Male Fertility

In a 3-month study conducted on men suffering infertility, ashwagandha was recorded to have increased sperm count daily as the study went on.

10) Eye Care

Elsewhere, science-backed evidence shows that ashwagandha can help to delay cataract formation. This is possible because of the neuro-regenerative and anti-oxidant properties of ashwagandha.

Final Thoughts

Ashwagandha is touted as a highly valuable plant for herbal remedies. The academic resource to back up the health benefits shared here has been looked up mainly via the National Institutes of Health Online website. Also, as a disclaimer, the information here should not be used as an excuse to not listen to your personal physician or used as a basis for replacing your doctor’s prescription

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