Ashwagandha has been in use in the Ayurveda, the Indian medicine system, for centuries. But a spike has been seen in the interest in the western world as well. A lot of people have been asking about the benefits of Himalaya Ashwagandha.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, scientifically known as the Withania Somnifera, is an evergreen shrub that is common in India, Middle East and South Africa. It is also known as the Indian Ginseng or Indian Winter Cherry. It is made up of two words, ‘Ashwa’ meaning horse and ‘Gandha’ meaning odour. The great Indian scholar Charaka in 100 BC remarked that you can obtain longevity, freedom of many diseases, a stress-free life, lustrous hair and skin and strength like a horse with Ashwagandha.
The Indian traditional medicine system classifies Himalaya Ashwagandha as a Rasayana, which means that it can help in providing a long life to the user. It is also classified as Bhalya which provides strength and as Vajikara which promotes sexual drive and health.
Modern medicine has classified Ashwagandha as one of the adaptogens that helps your body adapt itself to deal with the stress of life and is known for its rejuvenating properties providing overall wellness.
What are the benefits of Himalaya Ashwagandha?
The benefits of this medicinal herb are endless. Let’s find out how its beneficial properties.
- Helps To Cope With Anxiety & Depression
As mentioned, Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It helps prepare your body to fight anxiety and depression. It also enhances your brain functions. A controlled study of 60 people dealing with chronic stress and depression took Ashwagandha for 60 days. The study revealed that the herb helped them reduce their stress by 69%. If you are dealing with stress, anxiety and depression, you can include Himalaya Ashwagandha in your daily life.
- Reduces Inflammation
When there’s inflammation in your body, which is your body’s common response to tackling bacteria, viruses and infections. But when there is an imbalance in the body, for example, if you are dealing with chronic pain, your body might not be able to regulate the inflammation response properly. Ashwagandha can help in reducing the inflammation in your body. You can prepare a herbal tea using the leaves of this shrub and drink it daily.
- Reduces Blood Sugar and Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted by your adrenal glands in response to chronic stress or when your blood sugar levels are low. But in some people, the level of cortisol and blood sugar might remain chronically elevated. Ashwagandha is known to increase the production and usage of insulin in the body which helps in reducing elevated blood sugar levels. Since it is an adaptogen, it helps you cope with chronic stress as well, thus helping in reducing the secretion of cortisol in your body.
Also Read: Manage Blood Sugar Naturally with Amla
- Boosts Fertility in Men
Himalaya Ashwagandha is known to increase the level of testosterone as well as reproductive health in men.
A study of 75 infertile men showed that after a 90-day treatment period, they showed an increase in their sperm count and motility and by the end of the study; the partners of 14% of the participants had become pregnant.
The stress that you go through everyday can also affect the libido that is your sexual drive and affects the production of testosterone. Taking Ashwagandha every day helped them cope with their daily stress and enjoy their newfound sexual drive.
- Increases Strength
A controlled study also revealed that after taking this herb for 30 days, the participants saw a 30% increase in muscle mass and strength as well. The intake of Himalaya Ashwagandha also boosted the fat reduction in their bodies by double!
If you are into fitness and have been looking at reducing weight or gaining muscle strength, this herb might do wonders for you.
- Improves Heart Health
Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, this herb can also reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in your body which are responsible for deteriorating the epithelial linings of your blood vessels and increasing your chances of heart-related diseases.
A 60-day study showed that the participants showed a 17% decrease in their LDL levels, also known as bad cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides in the body on average.
- Boosts Brain Functions and Memory
Since ancient times, Ashwagandha is being used to enhance memory. Some studies have revealed that the regular inclusion of this wonder herb can mitigate the negative effects of brain injuries or diseases. An animal study showed that there was a complete spatial reversal of epilepsy symptoms.
It also promoted the production of antioxidants which protects the brain nerve cells from any harmful free radicals as well.
A human study showed that taking around 500gm of Himalaya Ashwagandha daily boosted their focus, attention and task performance compared to men who received just a placebo.
- Reduces Hair Loss
Ashwagandha is a great herb that consists of antioxidants that reduce the loss of melanin, or the substance that provides colour to your hair, thus controlling the greying of hair. It is also rich in flavonoids possessing glucose, nitrate, potassium, tannins and fatty acids. It boosts the production of melanin and reduces hair fall. It can help in controlling the postpartum hair fall. It is used in a lot of shampoos to increase blood circulation in the scalp area and keeping it healthy as well.
- Provides Healthy Skin
This magical herb is also known to provide glowing skin. The presence of antioxidants helps in moisturizing and hydrating the skin while fighting acne and pimple-causing bacteria. A compound called withanolides present in Ashwagandha removes dirt from the pores and cleanses it completely.
It can also fight the symptoms of ageing. It boosts the production of DHEA, which is a known precursor for both estrogen and testosterone. The DHEA stimulates the production of collagen that fights ageing signs like wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes.
Himalaya Ashwagandha is a magically potent herb that can help in alleviating many health problems. For healthy hair and skin, you can apply it topically as a paste or oil. To fight stress, boosting your fertility and reducing anxiety and depression, you can consume the herb in its readily available form as a powder and pills. Make sure you consult your physician before starting a daily dose.