Ashwagandha, What is it and what are the Benefits?
Ashwagandha has been used for over 3,000 years and provides all sorts of benefits for your body and brain. Scientific research indicates it can lower blood sugar levels, reduce cortisol, boost brain function, help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression, induce sleep and reduce stress.
Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress. Researchers reported that it blocked the stress pathway in the brains by regulating chemical signalling in the nervous system. Several controlled human studies have shown that it can effectively reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders as well. In a 60-day study in 64 people with chronic stress, those in the supplemental group reported a 69% average reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared to 11% in the placebo group.
Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, Ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In a 60-day study in chronically stressed adults, the group taking ashwagandha experienced a 17% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides, on average.
Anti Cancer Agencies
Animal and test-tube studies have found that Ashwagandha helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells. It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in several ways. First, ashwagandha is believed to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are toxic to cancer cells but not normal cells. Second, it may cause cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis.
Boost Testosterone & Increase Fertility In Men
Ashwagandha supplements may have powerful effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health. In a study of 75 infertile men, the group treated with ashwagandha showed increased sperm count and motility. The treatment led to a significant rise in testosterone level.
Increased Muscle Mass And Strength
Research has shown that Ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength. In a study to determine a safe and effective dosage for ashwagandha, healthy men who took ashwagandha per day for 30 days had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size. It also more than doubled the reduction in body fat percentage, compared to the placebo group.
Reduce Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is known as a "stress hormone" because your adrenal glands release it in response to stress. Unfortunately, when cortisol levels become elevated it can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage. Studies have shown that ashwagandha help reduce cortisol levels. In one study of chronically stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha had high reductions in cortisol. Those taking the highest dose on average had a 30% reduction.
Improve Brain Function & Memory
Studies suggest that Ashwagandha may improve brain function & memory. In one controlled study, healthy men who took 500 mg of the herb daily reported significant improvements in their reaction time and task performance, compared to men who received a placebo. Another eight-week study in 50 adults showed that taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily significantly improved general memory, task performance and attention.
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
In several studies, Ashwagandha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. One study found that it increased insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells.
Studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation. Studies in humans have also found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy. It’s also been shown to decrease markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). This marker is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
How Ashwagandha Is Made?
There are 2 different methods that manufacturers use to extract Ashwagandha, the “Root and Leaves” method & the “Root Only” method. These methods lead to some dramatic differences. When extracting Ashwagandha from the leaves, what results is an extract that is compositionally altered. This means content of active compounds can be distorted by additional elements in the leaves. It is also less safe to consume due to the leaves containing higher levels of Withaferin A (a known cytotoxic with anolide and can be dangerous at high levels).
When Is The Best Time To Take Ashwagandha?
When taken in the morning, Ashwagandha increases your energy levels, and when taken at night helps you sleep better. Depending on your dosage requirements we prefer to take 250mg – 300mg upon awakening and again a 2 -3 hours prior to sleeping