No doubt 2020 year will be remembered for the catastrophe caused by pandemics, but it also made a common person think about terms like sanitization and Immunity. Now having good immunity is required to respond back to any infection or injury in the body. Ashwagandha is one such herb that has gained popularity in recent times due to its magical benefits in treating or preventing chronic diseases including COVID.
What is Ashwagandha?
The word Ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit language and is derived from two words Ashwa + Gandha, where Ashwa means a horse and gandha means smell. That means, refers to its unique smell and ability to build strength. Ashwagandha has been used in India and the middle east for over 3000 years, as natural medicine, to treat a variety of conditions.
In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is classified as Rasayana, which means rejuvenator, meaning that it can help your body manage stress and make you feel youthful both physically and mentally.
What is Ashwagandha good for?
Ashwagandha extract and its bioactive components are used in the prevention and cure of many diseases, such as arthritis, anxiety, impotence, amnesia, cancer, COPD and cardiovascular diseases, and others. Ashwagandha provides numerous health benefits for your body and brain and treat:
- Stress Reliever
- Improve immunity
- Breathing difficulty
- Build muscle strength
- Lower back pain
- Skin diseases
- Weight management
Now, as we already know that how much beneficial it is, next is to know,
How to use ashwagandha?
Different parts of the Ashwagandha plant have different properties and are used to treat conditions accordingly. Ashwagandha plant roots, leaves, seeds, and flowers all have their own benefits and are available as supplements in powder form and in capsules.
Let’s know about it in detail.
What is ashwagandha root?
Ashwagandha, sometimes also known as Indian ginseng is an evergreen, small-sized plant with velvety leaves and bell-like flowers. The root of the plant is pencil-shaped and longer in length. From the outside, the root is light brownish in color and from the inside it is white.
What is ashwagandha root used for?
Insomnia: Ashwagandha possesses calming properties and can help you to unwind and sleep better. Taking 1 gm of ashwagandha root powder with a glass of warm milk or water can helps in healthy sleep.
Reduces stress: Stress is one of the common diseases in modern society. Almost two-thirds of the visits to primary care are related to stress. If left untreated, in the future, it can be the reason for depression, anxiety, gastrointestinal disorders, impaired immunity, and even heart-related diseases. Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen that helps to reduce cortisol levels, hence reduces stress and anxiety.
Improve Immunity: Studies have found that use of the herb increases the activities of natural killers means immune cells in body. These cells fight against the infection in body, hence promotes healthy body.
Lower Back pain: Use of ashwagandha showed good results for lower back pain caused by abnormalities in the spine, joints, muscles, or nerves of the lower back.
Arthritis: One study found, ashwagandha helps to ease the joint pain and swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Taking ashwagandha root powder with cow’s milk has shown impressive results.
COPD (Chronic obstructive Pulmonary Disease): This is a disease related to lungs that block airflow and results difficulty in breathing. In one latest research, ashwagandha has been given to patients suffering from COPD that reported reduce tiredness, cough attacks and breathing troubles.
Build muscle strength: Results has shown that taking ashwagandha supplement along with ongoing resistance training can improve body composition and increase muscle strength.
Skin Diseases: Ashwagandha has microbial and antiaging properties, which protect the skin from many types of infections. Using its root or leaves powder in the face pack helps to heal acne, blackheads, improve skin tone and reduce scars.
Weight management: Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, which means it can help your body to manage stress. Studies have found that it can reduce food cravings in patients with chronic stress and can boost energy levels, which results in a healthy weight. There are studies, which conclude that consuming 3-4 ashwagandha leaves daily helps to reduce weight effectively. It can be consumed directly or in form of tea made from leaves.
Healthy heart: Studies have shown results of reduction in fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and increase in HDL cholesterol levels, which altogether supports healthy metabolism and cardiovascular function.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for men
Treats Erectile Disfunction: In Ayurvedic medicine, this magical herb is used to treat erectile dysfunction and infertility in men. The herb has the ability to stimulate and maintain healthy levels of testosterone hormones and hence increases sperm concentration and motility rate in men.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for women
Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal imbalance is a major cause of many health issues in women like PCOD, PCOS, fertility-related problems, irregular periods, and sexual dysfunction. Ashwagandha is a highly effective remedy for most of these health issues. Various studies have shown, taking 300 mg Ashwagandha root extract, for at least 2 months, twice a day can help to restore sex life. In conclusion, it improves all the parameters of healthy female sex life.
Increase breast milk production: Taking an adequate dose of ashwagandha with milk helps to increase the formation of breast milk and is healthy for both the new mom and baby.
Ashwagandha Powder Vs Extract
What is Ashwagandha powder?
Ashwagandha powder is generally the dried root powder and can be consumed half to one teaspoon of the powder with water, milk, or smoothie or as per your physician’s suggestion. The Ashwagandha powder is known to have revitalizing, calming, and nourishing properties. It is easily soluble in liquids and is very easy to use.
But as there are numerous ashwagandha products available it’s better to look for its constituents whether the powdered supplement contains roots, leaves, or seeds.
What is Ashwagandha Extract?
In extract-based supplements, a key compound is extracted from the plant and is used either as a powder or liquid. Ashwagandha root extract is commonly available on the market in capsules or tinctures. Extract quality will also depend upon the way it is extracted. In some cases, the extract is made by using water and some use chemical-based techniques. The better one will be the one extracted using the water-based technique. Also, it is important to see if it is root only extract or have other plant components as well. It is always suggested to check with your physician before starting using the extract as your dietary supplements.
When to take ashwagandha?
Best time to take ashwagandha is just before you go to sleep. To get most of its benefit take it with warm milk.
Is Ashwagandha good for hair?
The herb has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is a highly effective remedy for strengthening hair and control hair loss. As we know the benefits of ashwagandha for stress and anxiety, which is also the known cause of many hair problems, it helps to preserve the volume of the hairs. The antioxidants in ashwagandha are known to treat the corrosion of tissue and stimulate melanin, therefore helping to delay premature graying.
Consult Your Doctor: Like all other medications or supplements Ashwagandha may interfere with other medications one may be taking, so it’s always important to consult with your doctor before starting consuming Ashwagandha.