What Is Ashwagandha And Why Do I Need To Add It To My Daily Diet?
What is Ashwagandha? It’s a very unusual, exotic, and attention-grabbing name, isn’t it? Ash-wa-gan-da! Even saying the name feels POWERFUL!
Ashwagandha is a plant. The scientific name is Withania somnifera, or Indian ginseng. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic, Unani, and Chinese traditional medicine systems. Held sacred as one of their most precious remedies for a broad spectrum of ailments, including adrenal fatigue syndrome.
The adrenals would release cortisol and adrenaline, which would give you a big boost of energy when you needed it. Afterward, they would stop releasing these powerful hormones, and your body would begin to relax into its resting state. This was a biological function that gave us the best possible odds for survival as a species, and it worked!
Today, our response to this function has changed! When you become stressed, your adrenal glands release that same “fight or flight” response, and your energy gets a big boost. The problem is that nowadays you require that boost of energy to last all day, rather than for a short interval of time. Your adrenals keep releasing to meet the demand, but your body doesn’t get the chance to return to a state of rest. You come home from work, eat fast food or processed meals, take care of your family or the work you brought home to finish, and then try.
This daily repetitive stressful lifestyle begins to deplete your thyroid and adrenal hormone levels, and you now have what is known as one of our most prevalent health issues: adrenal fatigue syndrome. And adrenal fatigue syndrome can cause a snowball effect of chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, headache, low libido, insomnia, depression, and brain fog.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen! Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress, balancing hormones, and adrenal glands for optimal wellness. This superfood botanical also contains withanolides, which are natural plant steroids with anti-inflammatory properties that studies have shown are as effective taking hydrocortisone, without the residual side effects.
1. Antioxidant Effects.
Ashwagandha contains high levels of iron, which increases hemoglobin levels and helps protect cells from free radicals, reducing the effects of aging on all body systems, including the endocrine and immune systems.
2. May Improve Brain Function and Memory
This powerful plant has been shown to boost brain function and even helps prevent or reduce neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
3. Reduce Cortisol Level
Ashwagandha helps lower serum cortisol levels, which assists with thyroid function, which helps prevent or reverse the effects of adrenal fatigue syndrome.
"In one study in chronically stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol, compared with the control group" - PubMed
4. May Increase Muscle Mass and Strength
How does ashwagandha help with bodybuilding? Studies have shown the effectiveness of ashwagandha for balancing weight, increasing stamina, endurance, muscle strength, and recovery, essential for people who practice strength and endurance-requiring activities.
"In a study, healthy men who took 750-1,250 mg of powdered ashwagandha root per day gained muscle strength after 30 days" - Journal of Ayurveda Integrative Medicine
5. Boost Testosterone And Increase Fertility In Men
Ashwagandha improves libido, boosts testosterone, may help increase fertility, and supports overall sexual health.
"Ashwagandha supplements can have powerful effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health." - Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternaternative Medicine
"In the same article, men who received Ashwagandha for stress experienced higher levels of antioxidants and better sperm quality. After 3 months of treatment, 14% of the men's partners had become pregnant."
6. May Reduce The Inflammation and Help With Arthritis
The root’s use as an anti-inflammatory goes back a long time. Ayurvedic medicine would mash the root into a paste that was applied to ulcers and caruncles as a pain reliever as well as to joints to ease inflammation, and a preliminary study backs up the practice.
"Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy" - Jyoti Bhat
7. Improve Your Heart Health
One area in which there is strong human research is in the area of heart health. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
“In a 60-day study, the group who took the highest dosage of standardized ashwagandha extract experienced a 17% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides, on average” - Biswajt Auddy
Ashwagandha improves libido, boosts testosterone, may help increase fertility, and supports overall sexual health. Studies have shown that daily doses of 500 mg of this plant can reduce anxiety, depression, and the body’s response to stress. Positively affecting blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides within six weeks. They also show slight increases in building muscle mass and strength in men and women in as little as eight weeks.
Choosing the best brand of ashwagandha is especially important for experiencing faster, more effective benefits! All brands of ashwagandha powder do not contain the same ingredients and may be marked as Ashwagandha or KSM!
The root of the Ashwagandha plant contains the most concentration of adaptogenic properties, withanolides, and phytochemicals that help balance the body. KSM is made of 100% Ashwagandha root, with no fillers. Other producers add non-root parts of the plant, such as stems, leaves, and flowers, to create their ashwagandha powder. These parts of the plant contain the same compounds, but to a lesser degree, creating a diluted, adulterated product. For the best Ashwagandha powder, be sure to look for brands like Mother Nature Organics, who have the highest standards. Check the labels to make sure that:
Superfood botanicals are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that support overall health and wellness. Also, it can help the body repair itself from daily stress in today’s modern world. Adding Ashwagandha to your daily shake or smoothie, or by taking in capsule form, can provide you with the energy, stamina, and immune system support that you have been looking for in your in a dietary supplement!
Mother Nature Organics stands behind the quality and potency of our Ashwagandha products. Along with our complete selection of superfood supplements, and is committed to helping you achieve the levels of health and wellness that you want to create in your life!