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Overview

Benefits of Ashwagandha And Its Side Effects

Ashwagandha helps to reduce blood sugar, fights depression, reduces cholesterol and cortisol levels. It also helps to combat cancer, anxiety, stress, inflammation, improves fertility levels in men and increases muscle strength. Ashwagandha is also ideal for boosting the testosterone level of men which results in a high sex drive.

Benefits of Ashwagandha And Its Side Effects

Table of Content

Ashwagandha
Nutritional Value of Ashwagandha
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is helpful in reducing blood sugar levels
Helps to combat cancer
Reduces Cortisol levels
Helps to reduce anxiety and stress
Increases fertility and boosts testosterone
Increases strength and muscle mass
Ashwagandha reduces inflammation
Lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels
Fights symptoms of depression
Uses of Ashwagandha
Side-Effects & Allergies of Ashwagandha
Cultivation of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a very powerful herb. In Sanskrit, it means ‘the smell of a horse’, which indicates the herb makes one have the strength and vigour of a stallion. It is also called the Indian ginseng. Ashwagandha belongs from the family of tomato, it is a plump shrub with yellow flowers and oval leaves. It bears a red fruit which is as small as a raisin. It is usually grown in mild climates such as Middle East, Northern Africa and the dry regions of India. This Ayurvedic herb is also known as Winthania somnifera.

Nutritional Value of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is generally orange-red when it becomes ripe and the flowers appear to be bell shaped. It includes steroidal lactones and alkaloids which gives it beneficial and healing properties. Components like cuscohygrine and tropine are also present in Ashwagandha. The long, tuberous, brown roots have been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine since early ages. The dried leaves of Ashwagandha are often ground and a paste is made from the powder which is used to treat cuts and burns.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Ashwagandha
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is helpful in reducing blood sugar levels

According to sources, Ashwagandha has been said to help with diabetes. It improves the sensitivity of insulin in muscle cells and increases insulin secretions. Blood sugar levels for people not suffering from diabetes can also be reduced. Some people who have schizophrenia keep getting attacks even with the least amount trigger. Ashwagandha can relieve these attacks due to the rapid reduction in fasting blood sugar levels. Many people also use this herb as a substitute for diabetes medicine.

Helps to combat cancer

It has been proved that Ashwagandha helps to induced ‘programmed death of cells’ or apoptosis, in case of cancer cells. It can also slow down the growth of new cancer cells to some extent. It can also be helpful to treat different types of cancers like ovarian, brain, colon, lung and breast cancer. Intake of Ashwagandha can also prevent metastasis (spread of the cancer cells to different organs of the body).

Reduces Cortisol levels

Cortisol is a stress hormone which is released during stress and when blood sugar levels start reducing rapidly. For some people cortisol levels in their bodies are chronically high which in turn leads to extremely high blood sugar level and increases the level of fat storage in the abdomen. In such cases, Ashwagandha can help to reduce the cortisol level and bring it down to normal.

Helps to reduce anxiety and stress

Stress is usually inevitable and can occur at any time, but it can be controlled and reduced if certain methods are applied. Consuming Ashwagandha regularly at least once a day, can help make a huge difference in our lives. It can reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety easily and help our brains to become more relaxed. People who have anxiety disorders or mental health conditions can also consume Ashwagandha to relieve the symptoms. Depression can also be kept at bay by consuming it daily.

Increases fertility and boosts testosterone

Consuming Ashwagandha in the powdered form or taking supplements of the same can improve the reproductive health of men. It has also been proven to increase the sex drive, sperm count and motility. Couples trying to conceive should definitely try Ashwagandha for a better chance at conception. This usually works because Ashwagandha increases the antioxidant levels in blood. Sperm quality is also greatly affected due to consumption of Ashwagandha on a regular basis.

Increases strength and muscle mass

Research shows that Ashwagandha increases strength by improving the body composition of a person. People who want to lose fat also consume Ashwagandha quite often. This in turns promotes muscle gain in both men and women.

Ashwagandha reduces inflammation

Ashwagandha increases the immunity of the cells which make you stay healthy by fighting infection. It also decreases components which trigger inflammation like C-reactive protein (CRP). Thus, the possibility of developing a heart disease is generally reduced.

Lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels

Ashwagandha also improves the health of our heart by greatly reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels. This happens because Ashwagandha has natural properties which make it ideal for decreasing blood fats. Consuming Ashwagandha on a regular basis can keep your heart healthy and prevent the chances of a heart attack.

Fights symptoms of depression

Depression is a part of life, but for most people, it becomes chronic and can wreck havoc to their lives. Ashwangandha helps to alleviate and reduce symptoms of depression. According to studies, people consuming this herb had a better mental strength to overcome depression.

Uses of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has a variety of uses such as treating hemiplegia (one sided paralysis), backache and wounds. It also increases sexual desires in men and women, prevents aging and improves the thinking capacity of a person.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha can be very beneficial but if it is not taken in moderation, it can prove to be very fatal for health. Pregnant women are usually not allowed to consume Ashwagandha as it might induce miscarriage which can be a result of early labour pains. It can also increase the effects of anti- anxiety medicines and sedatives. Ashwagandha should not be consumed after having alcohol, as it may make matters worse and enhance the effects of alcohol. People with an upcoming surgery or bleeding issues should not consume Ashwagandha. Slowed pulse, drowsiness, abdominal pain and diarrhea are other possible side effects of Ashwagandha.

Cultivation of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is usually a drought tolerant plant and is only found in regions which receive very little to no rainfall. It grows in temperatures between 25 to 30 degrees C. It is found in Yemen, China, Nepal, dry regions of India, etc.

Popular Questions & Answers

What are the benefits of ashwagandha. How it takes water or milk. And any side effect of ashwagandha in human body.

Diploma in Clinical Nutrition, Certified Diabetes Educator, Diploma in Sport & Exercise Nutrition, Diploma in Human Nutrition, Lifestyle Medicine, BSC IN LIFE SCIENCES
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Ashwagandha is good for nerves, stress, tension and anxiety. Take with water for better absorption. Do not overdose - take 2-4gm of powder or 500 mg to 1000 mg capsule per day. It can cause sedation, better take before sleeping.
3 people found this helpful

I am 32 years old male and also I wanted to know that can ashwagandha boost testosterone level or I have to take some other herbs to boosts testosterone and for what period of time. Regards.

MD-Ayurveda, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Dehradun
Hello- Yes it does. Some of the benefits of ashwagandha do include reducing stress, anxiety, inflammation, and cortisol levels, improving sperm quality, boosting testosterone levels, improving the quality of sleep, strengthening the immune system, and even balancing blood lipids.
1 person found this helpful

What are the benefits of ashwagandha and musli and safe musli are they safe to consume.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Pune
Ashwagandha powder and safed musli are used for vajikaran in Ayurved if you have samta in body then it harms your body by increasing aam in body which is disease causing agent if you have no samta then these powder may help you for cheking samta niramata and Ayurved medication timings you need proper advice that can be given only by pure Ayurved consultant so consult Ayurved consultant before taking it for better results ayurvediy churna medication don't have side effects but it has good effects bad effects and sometimes no effects so think this also.
2 people found this helpful

Popular Health Tips

Know The Risk Factors and Benefits of Ashwagandha

MBBS, PGDA
Trichologist, Delhi
Know The Risk Factors and Benefits of Ashwagandha

The amazingly complex herb, ashwagandha, happens to derive its name from the two sanskrit words, "ashwa" and "gandha".It is an exquisite herb, which can significantly cater to your body in more than one way due to its numerous health benefits.

Here are some of the most common advantages and risks of consuming this herb.

The Benefits

  1. Enhances your brain: Ashwagandha is an antioxidant and helps keeping free radicals at sea, and prevents them from damaging your brain cells.
  2. Fights emotional imbalances: Sudden emotional imbalances and even more sudden mood swings are probably the biggest and the most imminent problems of the youth today. Ashwagandha cuts out the stress stimuli and has a soothing effect on you, thereby making sure your emotional imbalances do not come in the way of your well being. Ashwagadandha can naturally lower cortisol levels.
  3. Cures wounds: Ashwagandha is also believed to cure your physical wounds, and a controlled amount of this herb, is believed to save you from one-sided paralysis of your body.
  4. Is anti- cancerous: Ashwagandha, according to a few studies, acts as an anticancer agent because it helps in slowing down the growth of cancer cells and cancerous tumors.
  5. Treats insomnia: Ashwagandha has its rejuvenating properties as well, which help in calming your nerves down, relieves you of your stress. It is considered to be an effective tool in treating patients with insomnia.
  6. Helps in weight loss: Cortisol not only acts as a stress hormone in the body, it can also make you fat. Ashwagandha is known to naturally lower cortisol - the stress hormone.
  7. Lowers Blood sugar levels: Ashwagandha also potentially decreases fasting blood sugar levels, which means that it may also help to improve glucose metabolism.

But, like every other herb, ashwagandha also has some risk factors associated with it.

The Risks

  1. Pregnancy issues: According to a few studies, this herb can have an adverse effect on you if you are a pregnant woman, putting you at the risks of stillbirth. Though there hasn't been much research to back up this fact, it still remains one of the largest concerns during pregnancy.
  2. Hyperthyroidism: Certain studies claim, that ashwagandha can majorly contribute to hyperthyroidism, although even this, hasn't been proven. So, if you happen to be patient of hyperthyroidism, you should consult a physician before consuming the herb. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
5415 people found this helpful

Health Benefits of Aswgandha Meditional Plant

B.A.M.S.
Ayurveda, Dehradun
Health Benefits of Aswgandha Meditional Plant

Health Benefits of Aswgandha Meditional Plant: 
 

Anti-Carcinogenic Properties: A research study has termed Ashwagandha as an emerging and novel alternative in the field of oncology because of its cancer killing properties, in association with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is also of interest because it is known to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy without interfering with the tumor cell-killing activity.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Ashwagandha has been found to be effective in dealing with a variety of rheumatologic problems. The herb is known to act as a cyclooxygenase inhibitor that decreases inflammation and pain. The research conducted at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractors suggests that Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties that come from the alkaloids, saponins, and steroidal lactones found within it.

Antibacterial Properties: According to Ayurvedic medical texts, Ashwagandha is effective in controlling bacterial infections in humans. A study conducted at the Centre for Biotechnology at the University of Allahabad in India showed that Ashwagandha possesses antibacterial properties in accordance with that traditional belief. It also concluded that Ashwagandha was effective in urinogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tract infections when consumed orally.

Cardio-Protective Properties: Ashwagandha, with its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and antistressor properties, is good for cardiovascular health problems. It strengthens the heart muscles and can also control cholesterol. A study at the University of Arizona indicated that it possesses hypolipidemic properties bringing down blood cholesterol levels.

Anti-Depressant Properties: In India, Ashwagandha has been traditionally used in Ayurveda to improve both physical and mental health. The effects of Ashwagandha on mental health, particularly in depression, were studied at the Institute of Medical Sciences at Banaras Hindu University in India. The study supported the benefits of Ashwagandha in relation to anxiety and depression.

Fights Diabetes: Ashwagandha has long been used as a remedy for diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine. Research on the use of Ashwagandha in the treatment of diabetes indicated positive results. Experiments showed that blood sugar levels during fasting and post-lunch decreased significantly when Ashwagandha was comsumed for a period of four weeks.

Stimulates the Thyroid Gland: In cases of hypothyroidism, Ashwagandha can be used to stimulate the thyroid gland. A study on Ashwagandha’s effects on the thyroid gland revealed that the root extract, if given on a daily basis, would increase the secretion of thyroid hormones.

Relieves Stress: Ashwagandha is also believed to possess anti-stress properties. Traditionally, it had been administered to induce a soothing and calming effect on a person. The active ingredient that is responsible for this activity is still unknown, but various anti-stress properties have been observed in research experiments. The results of the study showed that Ashwagandha led to significant reduction in levels of stress in animals put under extreme temperature variations.

Antioxidant Properties: Ashwagandha is a very good source of antioxidants. These antioxidants are very effective in scavenging and neutralizing free radicals produced during the process of metabolism.

Immunomodulatory Properties: Research studies have showed that the consumption of Ashwagandha led to significant modulation of immune system reactivity and prevented myelosuppresson in mice induced by immunosuppressive drugs. It was also observed that Ashwagandha increased the red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelets count.

Increased Blood Production: Haematopoiesis is the process of producing new blood. According to research, Ashwagandha possesses hemo-poetic properties. The study showed that red blood cell and white blood cell counts increased significantly in rats which were administered with Ashwagandha. This could mean a positive effect on human red blood cells as well, thereby helping to prevent conditions like anemia.

Aphrodisiac Properties: It has been widely believed for many centuries that Ashwagandha had aphrodisiac properties and people used it as a medication to improve vitality and fertility. A recent scientific study indicated that Ashwagandha plays an important role as an aphrodisiac medicine as well as a way to improve semen quality. It also reduces oxidative stress throughout the body.

18 people found this helpful

Arthritis & Spondylytis - Home Remedies At Your Rescue!

Fellowship Course in Panchkarma, BAMS
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
Arthritis & Spondylytis - Home Remedies At Your Rescue!

Ayurveda is based on the philosophy that health is a result of the balance between three basic elements in the body, also known as tridoshas. These are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The imbalance between these leads to various diseases. Arthritis and spondylitis, both being bone issues, is due to the formation of a substance known as ‘ama’ which are a kind of toxins. The theory behind treating joint issues is to rid the body of ama. This is done by a combination of diet, massage, and home remedies which can help control severity and progression of symptoms.

Home remedies:
Regular detoxifying the body using ginger and/or black pepper with the meal goes a long way in detoxifying the body, which also eliminates ama from the body.

  1. A tablespoon of turmeric can be boiled in milk and consumed daily
  2. Avoid foods which can induce constipation. This can be by increasing the number of fibres and reducing processed and refined foods like maida.
  3. Include herbs which have great healing powers and have been used over centuries
  4. Store water overnight in a copper vessel and drink it in the morning. The trace minerals which get absorbed do wonders for your joints.
  5. Castor oil, either a spoonful or mixed with warm milk helps in curing arthritis and spondylitis pains.
  6. Nutritional changes like the use of aloe vera and amla juices are very beneficial for the joints. These are rich in vitamin C and help build immunity too.
  7. Supplements like bone support capsules and calcium complex have traces of essential micronutrients which improves overall bone health and immunity. They are useful in controlling pain from arthritis and spondylitis.
  8. Herbs like guggul, ashwagandha, ginger, and nirgundi oil are also used since ages to help reduce bone pain.

Whole body massage using herbal oils and/or powders is greatly beneficial for reducing pain and stiffness and improving mobility. These massage movements and the powders and/or oils also help improve blood circulation and lymphatic draining, so toxins are removed and circulation is enhanced.

Panchakarma is another detox method, which includes a combination of diet and lifestyle changes. This may take about 60 to 90 days for one session but is highly rewarding.

Most yoga asanas are aimed at improving metabolism and agility. There is no asana which can add to the pain if done carefully. Under supervision, learn simple yoga asanas which can be done without damaging the already affected joint. Not only would pain and stiffness reduce, the range of motion also would gradually increase.

Arthritis is inevitable, but the above can definitely help arrest progression and reduce the severity of symptoms.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4688 people found this helpful

Keep Your Heart Healthy With Ayurveda!

MD, Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), PGDEMS, DNHE, DYA
Ayurveda, Mumbai
Keep Your Heart Healthy With Ayurveda!

The incidences of various heart ailments are on a mercurial rise. The problem is no longer related to old age. There are many young adults in their early 30's suffering from heart problems (mild to severe). Some people swear by conventional medications and therapies. There is no denying the effectiveness or credibility of conventional treatments, but one cannot neglect the side effects that come tagged along. Some of the advanced heart treatments are also very expensive. Does that mean one will never be able to enjoy a healthy and disease free heart? The solution to the problem lies in Ayurveda.

However, both current drug and Ayurveda agree that there are things you can do each day to keep your heart healthy and we have a few recommendations to help you. Pick maybe a couple and begin with those in the event that you like, then include a couple all the more at regular intervals until you are normally carrying on with a heart-healthy way of life. Reward your heart, as well as your whole physiology will be much obliged.

  1. Mitigate away stressAs indicated by ayurveda, a comprehensive way to deal with heart health obliges you to feed the passionate heart and also the physical heart. The heart is not only a pump — it's the origin of all feelings, whether it's bliss and elation or trouble and dissatisfaction.
  2. Develop the positive: While averting abundance stress is fundamental to keep the enthusiastic heart from squandering without end, effectively looking for mental and passionate prosperity can help the enthusiastic heart thrive. Ayurveda discusses ojas, the substance that looks afterlife.
  3. Eat right: Ostensibly the most basic stride you can take towards heart health is to eat a heart-accommodating eating routine. Pick new sustenances over prepared nourishments or remains; light sustenances over rich, rotisserie ones; and warm, cooked nourishments over chilly, overwhelming nourishments. An adjusted cell reinforcement Rasayana, for example, Brahma Rasayana is phenomenal healthful backing, and distributed examination affirms that Amrit decreases LDL cholesterol, which has been involved in plaque develop.
  4. Eat carefully: How you eat is as essential for heart health (and general health) as what you eat. Eat modestly, the perfect ayurvedic 'part' is the thing that fits in your two measured palms. Try not to skip suppers, since eating three dinners at general times every day "prepares" your processing to suspect and process your sustenance.

Practiced since ancient times, Ayurveda has gained immense recognition and popularity. Ayurveda believes that for a disease free health, the three energies or doshas- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha dosha should be in equilibrium. With Ayurvedic treatment, it is possible to enjoy a healthy heart provided one follows the Ayurvedic treatment and the healthy lifestyle modifications diligently.

Panchakarma: With Panchakarma, one can treat and manage almost all the health disorders including heart problems. The Panchakarma Therapy is carried out to detoxify the body of all the harmful substances and toxins. The detoxification involves five steps (each step specific to certain health conditions). The steps involved in Panchakarma are

  1. Raktamokshana (purification of the impure blood).
  2. Vamana (a person is given herbal medicines to vomit the toxins out of the system)
  3. Basti (involves clearing the rectum of the toxin products).
  4. Virechana (use of herbal and natural laxatives to flush out the toxins through fecal matter).
  5. Nasya involves the use herbal nasal drops to carry out the detoxification.

A person is also given Oleation (massaging the body with herbal oil) and Fomentation (made to sweat profusely) before carrying out the treatment to ensure that the toxin becomes soft and loose.

  1. Stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on the heart and should be avoided. Practicing meditation, yoga, listening to soothing music can work wonders to relieve the stress, doing the heart a world of good.
  2. Your diet can have an impact on the heart. The saturated and trans fats can be detrimental for your heart. Foods such as cakes, pastries, doughnuts, hydrogenated vegetable oil, margarine, cookies, pies are best left avoided. Instead, opt for the good fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats) such as ghee, olive oil, mustard oil, flaxseed oil, to name a few.
  3. Eat the right amount of food (preferably small amounts at regular time intervals). Overeating is unhealthy for the heart.
  4. Limit your alcohol intake. Quit smoking altogether.
  5. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Laziness and healthy heart just don't go together. Exercise regularly (morning or evening walk, jogging, aerobics, cycling, swimming, etc).
  6. Arjuna, Guggul, and Ashwagandha are wonder herbs that safeguard the heart from various ailments. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
6223 people found this helpful

Ayurvedic Approach for Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Surat
Ayurvedic Approach for Treating Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of arthritis that affects the spine. This chronic disease is caused due to inflammation of the joints in the spine and usually affects young men. It causes the vertebrae to grow or fuse together, causing a rigid spine. Actually, it affects the discs in between the vertebral column. These discs get swollen, causing a limitation of spine motility. It is an autoimmune disorder and its symptoms are lower back pain and stiffness, which usually moves to the legs.

  • The deformity due to AS can be mild or severe. In extreme cases, the patient gets a stooped spine. 
  • Early diagnosis can prevent significant deformity as well as help in controlling the pain and stiffness.
  • Allopathy doesn’t really know the real reasons for this disease and here is where Ayurveda scores.
  • According to Ayurveda, AS is caused due to aggravated vata or wind, which causes an imbalance in vata dosha.

Ayurvedic treatment
Ayurvedic treatment starts with detoxification and elimination of toxins. It relies heavily on the right diet and lifestyle as well as Ayurvedic herbal preparations. The panchakarma techniques called kati vasti, sarvangadhara and patrapinda svedana are very beneficial too. The basic explanation for the disorder is that AS occurs due to an accumulation of ama or toxins in the body. Where ever ama deposits in the body, pain is caused. Ayurvedic treatments aim at digesting the ama by using herbs as medicine and balancing the aggravated vata.

  1. Herbs used in the treatment of AS are dry ginger (saunth), guggul, turmeric, fenugreek, ashwagandha and giloy. Gugul, curcumin, amlaki, haritaki, and ashwagandha are all very effective in treating AS.
  2. Avoid getting constipated and ensure proper evacuation of bowels.
  3. Include ghee in your diet for lubrication and for lowering the vata dosha.
  4. Apply heat on the affected areas to control the pain and stiffness.
  5. Eat light foods and strictly avoid oily foods and curd which increase ama.
  6. Avoid sleeping during the daytime.
  7. Yoga asanas like pawana muktasana, bhujangasana, dhanurasana, paschimottanasana and vakrasana should be practised regularly.
  8. The practice of pranayamas such as and shodhana, chandrabhedi sheethali and bhramari also helps.
  9. Chewing 2–3 raw garlic buds on an empty stomach in the morning with water helps in alleviating lumbar pain in AS.
  10. Use a powdered preparation of dried ginger root, celery seeds and cumin seeds in equal quantities with rock salt for taste, and have one teaspoon of this mixture with warm water at bedtime to reduce flatulence as well as lumbar stiffness. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
4782 people found this helpful

Table of Content

Ashwagandha
Nutritional Value of Ashwagandha
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is helpful in reducing blood sugar levels
Helps to combat cancer
Reduces Cortisol levels
Helps to reduce anxiety and stress
Increases fertility and boosts testosterone
Increases strength and muscle mass
Ashwagandha reduces inflammation
Lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels
Fights symptoms of depression
Uses of Ashwagandha
Side-Effects & Allergies of Ashwagandha
Cultivation of Ashwagandha