Ashwagandha is a popular Ayurvedic adaptogen revered for its ability to combat stress and anxiety, boost brain function, balance hormones, help with adrenal recovery, and uplift mood and overall well-being. In this article, we will talk about the top 7 benefits of ashwagandha and how to use this wonderful healing herb.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a heavily researched herb with a broad range of healing abilities and benefits. From supporting brain and nervous system function to strengthening adrenals, boosting libido, and balancing hormones, it may seem like ashwagandha can do it all. (maybe it can 😉
Ashwagandha root contains a class of steroidal alkaloids and steroidal lactones called withanolides. These are important hormone precursors that are essential for regulating vital physiological processes. Here are what ashwagandha is often recommended for:
- Adrenal exhaustion
- Low libido
- Weak eyes
- Low energy
- Skin afflictions
1.Combats Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha has an affinity for the nervous system. It works to calm the nerves, reduce stress, combat anxiety, and even help with depression. In clinical trials, 300mg twice a day improved acute and chronic stress, well-being and boost happiness. Other studies showed that potent extracts of ashwagandha reduced depressive tendencies, anxiety, mood swings, and hormonal imbalances (1, 2).
2. Promotes Heart Health
Ashwagandha is a beautiful cardioprotective herb. Human studies have shown that it can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, helping to prevent the hardening of the arteries. Human clinical studies from the Journal on Molecular Cell Biochemistry found ashwagandha extract significantly reduced myocardial injury (damage due to lack of oxygen), proving the benefits of ashwagandha as a cardioprotective agent (3).
3. Helps with OCD and ADHD
In two studies, 120mg per day of ashwagandha extract was helpful in reducing symptoms in patients with OCD (4). Blends of ashwagandha and herbs like lemon balm, Gotu kola, and Brahmi have also been shown to improve focus, consistency,y, and speed in children with ADHD (5).
Ashwagandha is a potent anti-inflammatory that protects from oxidative stress (aka the stuff that causes free radicals and accelerates aging!). Studies have also shown that it boosts longevity and extends the lifespan of several kinds of animals. An ashwagandha leaf extract has also been shown to have anti-aging properties on cells! We can thank its high antioxidant content for this. Ashwagandha is known to increase superoxide dismutase, a key antioxidant that protects cells from stress and inflammation (6, 7, 8).
5. Increases Muscle Growth & Prevents Fat Gain
Research shows that supplementing with ashwagandha in conjunction with a resistance training program increases testosterone, muscle strength, and muscle size, reducing body fat percentage and muscle damage (9). Studies also show that ashwagandha supplementations also help those with anxious-type food cravings, allowing for people to lose weight naturally and healthily (10).
6. Anti-Diabetic Effects
In human studies, ashwagandha decreased blood sugar levels similar to that of diabetic medication. It also helped reduce blood sugar levels in several animal studies. Ashwagandha’s blood sugar balancing properties make it an incredible herb for those struggling with adrenal fatigue. Many people who suffer from adrenal fatigue need to eat consistent, balanced meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels and hormone levels balanced. This herb offers incredible adrenal hormone support because it can also tamp down stress as we learned earlier (11, 12, 13).
7. Pain Reducer
Ashwagandha has powerful analgesic properties. It has been shown to effectively reduce pain. In a study of 86 people with rheumatoid arthritis, 10g of ashwagandha reduced pain, joint tenderness, and welling. It also reduced symptoms and potential side-effects of other common medications (14, 15).
How to Use Ashwagandha
If taking ashwagandha in powder form, you can take 3-6 grams daily or up to 5 to 10 grams as an occasional tonic. If you want an easy healing ritual, try an alcoholic extract and take 2 Tbsp, 2-4x daily. But please, always talk to your healthcare professional before including high doses of ashwagandha in your daily ritual.
Ashwagandha is a bitter herb, so sometimes the taste does not sit well with people. When formulating our Beauty Collagen Complex, we knew we had to incorporate ashwagandha because of its anti-aging and anti-stress properties. Our formula is a delicious vanilla honey flavor making it perfect for morning elixirs, coffee, tea, smoothies, pancakes, oatmeal, and more.
I always recommend this collagen powder to women who are in need of rejuvenation, who are struggling with adrenal fatigue or want to gain their skin glow and confidence back.
I hope this article has given you some incredible insights into the power of this potent herb. Let me know what you are most excited about in the comments below!