Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a popular herb in Ayurvedic medicine that has been used for centuries to improve physical and mental health. Ashwagandha supplements are becoming increasingly popular due to their potential health benefits. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of ashwagandha supplements and the science behind these claims.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a small shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. The plant has small, yellow flowers and produces red, berry-like fruit. The root and berry of the plant are used to make medicine in Ayurvedic medicine.
Ashwagandha has been used for centuries to treat a variety of health conditions, including anxiety, stress, and fatigue. It is considered an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body adapt to stress and promotes homeostasis.
Benefits of Ashwagandha Supplements
- Reducing stress and anxiety
Several studies have found that ashwagandha supplements can reduce stress and anxiety. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 64 people with chronic stress were given either a placebo or 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice a day. After 60 days, the group taking ashwagandha had a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels.
Another study found that ashwagandha supplements reduced anxiety and improved overall well-being in people with anxiety disorders.
- Improving brain function
Ashwagandha supplements may improve brain function and memory. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, healthy adults taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice a day for eight weeks showed significant improvements in cognitive function and reaction time.
Other studies have found that ashwagandha supplements may improve memory, attention, and information processing speed in people with mild cognitive impairment.
- Reducing inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response to infection or injury, but chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. Ashwagandha supplements may help reduce inflammation in the body.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, people with rheumatoid arthritis taking ashwagandha supplements for 12 weeks had a significant reduction in inflammation markers compared to the placebo group.
- Improving physical performance
Ashwagandha supplements may improve physical performance and reduce fatigue. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, healthy adults taking ashwagandha root extract had significant improvements in muscle strength, size, and recovery after exercise.
Another study found that ashwagandha supplements improved endurance and oxygen consumption in people with mild to moderate exercise-induced fatigue.
- Lowering blood sugar levels
High blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Ashwagandha supplements may help lower blood sugar levels.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, people with type 2 diabetes taking ashwagandha supplements had a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar levels and improved insulin sensitivity compared to the placebo group.
Ashwagandha supplements have been used for centuries to improve physical and mental health. Research suggests that ashwagandha supplements may reduce stress and anxiety, improve brain function, reduce inflammation, improve physical performance, and lower blood sugar levels.
If you are considering taking ashwagandha supplements, it is important to talk to your doctor first. Ashwagandha supplements may interact with certain medications or have side effects, especially at high doses