Have you felt so stressed out lately?
While stress is inevitable, there are effective ways to deal with it.
Along with healthy eating and exercise, why not consider using some ancient medicinal plants for your relief?
It is classified as an adaptogen, which means that it is able to heal the body and deal with elevated stress levels.
For centuries, its roots and leaves have been extracted or crushed to be used as a natural remedy for many types of health problems.
Until today, the uses of Ashwagandha have remained popular and interesting.
If you want to know the uses and benefits of ashwagandha, read on.
Background and Uses of Ashwagandha
Native to India and the Middle East, Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng, and Indian winter cherry, has been used as an ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years and is one of the most popular and important herbs for natural healing according to Indian principles.
Growing your own Ashwagandha gives you direct access to herbs known to relieve stress, improve focus, and increase energy levels.
Yes, the ashwagandha plant, although small with a unique scent, offers many benefits for the brain and body.
It can be used to protect, prevent and fight the symptoms of many diseases. Here are some benefits of the uses of Ashwagandha supported by scientific evidence.
1. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
If you can’t do without candy and all the sweet things, you can at least have Ashwagandha on your back!
Known to reduce blood sugar levels, this herbal medicine is a perfect natural remedy for patients with diabetes mellitus.
In a test-tube study, Ashwagandha was found to stimulate insulin secretion in the body while improving insulin sensitivity in muscle cells.
Human studies have been conducted to prove it, and the result has been ecstatic!
It can indeed lower blood sugar in diabetic patients, patients at risk, and even healthy individuals.
It has also been tested in patients with schizophrenia.
After the 4-week study, those who were treated with Ashwagandha had an average reduction in fasting blood sugar of 13.5 mg / dL compared to those who received a placebo with only 4.5 mg / dL.
Further evidence was obtained when 6 participants with type 2 diabetes were treated with Ashwagandha supplements for 30 days and the result was a significant reduction in their fasting blood sugar.
2. May Contain Anticancer Properties
Another interesting thing about Ashwagandha is that it has been shown from both test-tube studies and animal studies to contain withaferin, a potent compound that helps induce apoptosis or cancer cell death.
In addition to that, this powerful compound also inhibits the growth of new cancer cells so that it does not progress to other parts of the body.
Some researchers also believe that withaferin is able to disrupt the functioning of cancer cells and make them less resistant to apoptosis.
As a result of this amazing research, animal studies have been conducted to show the effectiveness of Ashwagandha in treating several types of cancer, including cancer of the ovary, breast, brain, and colon.
A specific animal study was carried out in mice with ovarian tumors.
One group was treated with withaferin alone while the other was treated in combination with anticancer drugs.
The result was a 70-80% reduction in tumor growth.
The treatment carried out was found to inhibit the spread of cancer cells to other organs.
Although this research study has not been performed in humans, the evidence from this research is still interesting and hopeful.
3. Reduce Cortisol Levels
When it comes to stress, Ashwagandha has been proven to provide relief.
Whenever a person is stressed, their cortisol level in the adrenal glands rises.
While stress is inevitable, it shouldn’t get to the point where they are chronically high.
High levels of cortisol often lead to increased fat storage in the abdomen and increased blood sugar levels.
Since Ashwagandha has been proven by a research study to reduce cortisol levels, it is a good herbal medicine to consider.
This is also the reason why the use of Ashwagandha supplements is becoming popular nowadays.
In one study, these supplements were shown to lower cortisol levels in the body, helping people with stress find relief.
4. Help Reduce Stress And Anxiety
In addition to reducing stress hormones, Ashwagandha has also been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety.
When rats were tested with this herbal remedy, researchers reported that the evidence showed the plant’s ability to block the stress pathway in the brain, preventing a person from experiencing chronic stress.
Likewise, from controlled studies in humans, the evidence also proves that Ashwagandha can reduce symptoms in people with anxiety disorders.
5. May Reduce Symptoms of Depression
There have been clinical trials that have proven Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce symptoms of depression.
The study was conducted in 64 stressed adults who took 600 mg of highly concentrated ashwagandha extract per day.
After the 60-day study, the result showed a 79% reduction in severe depression while a 10% reduction compared to those in the placebo group.
In this control group, only one participant had a history of depression, so there is no concrete evidence yet for the positive effects of Ashwagandha on depression.
6. May Reduce Inflammation
Another scientifically proven fact is the ability of Ashwagandha to decrease inflammation.
The research study was conducted in humans, and the evidence showed a significant increase in the ability of immune system cells to fight infections, aiding in the prevention and treatment of various types of illnesses and diseases.
The test also proved that it can decrease a person’s risk of heart disease by decreasing C-reactive protein (CRP) and other markers of inflammation.
When testing a group of people who took an additional 350 mg of standardized ashwagandha per day, the result was a decrease in CRP levels by 36%, on average compared to only 6% decrease for those in the placebo group.
Although scientifically proven to prevent, treat, and combat a variety of health conditions, ashwagandha should always be taken with precautions to prevent allergic reactions or possible side effects.
It should not even replace the medical treatment prescribed by your doctor.
If you want to include Ashwagandha supplements as one of your dietary supplements, be sure to consult your healthcare provider first.