For most of you, Ashwagandha is not only a long, funny looking word, but it is absolutely new to you. For those of us that work with herbal medicines, it is a wonderful, magical plant that we love to use for a variety of reasons. This herb is found in many ancient healing books and practices, most notably it has been widely used in Ayurevedic medicine. This is not a new remedy. It is merely one that is just recently finding its place on the shelves and minds of Western society.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, also know as Withania somnifora, is a plant that I’ve primarily used for its “adaptogen” properties. An adaptogen is an herb that helps your body ADAPT to its environment better, giving you a more even-keeled response to your everyday life. When you use adaptogenic herbs, you will notice something like this: if you normally fly off the handle when things are happening, you will probably respond less drastically. If you are too tired/fatigued to respond to a problem, it will give you the boost you need to respond properly. When I say ‘respond’, I don’t mean that it will make you jumpy like caffeine or sleepy like sleep medications. What I mean is that it will help your body respond the way that you SHOULD respond to a situation, no matter what that looks like.
As with all other plant remedies, there is not just one thing that ashwagandha does to and for the body. The plant is full of beneficial effects that occurs when you use it regularly. Here are 7 of my most favorite uses:
- It Can Reduce Cortisol Levels: Cortisol is the hormone your body produces when in high stress situations. The chronic elevation of cortisol (produced by chronic stress) has been shown to cause damage to the body, not the least of which includes stress-induced obesity and fat accumulation around the midsection.
- May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety: As mentioned, this herb is an adaptogen so it helps to reduce chronic stress and anxiety. This has been shown in both human and animal studies. By reducing stress and anxiety, it may also help to improve sleep in those whose sleep is affected in this way.
- May Reduce Inflammation: This herb has been found to decrease inflammation markers in the body while boosting parts of the immune system that help to fight infection.
- Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels: in some studies, it is shown to improve sensitivity to receptors as well as helping to improve insulin secretion.
- Might Increase Testosterone and Improve Fertility in Men : There is a phenomenon called the “Cortisol Steal” in which stress causes hormones that SHOULD become Testosterone (or estrogen or progesterone) to become cortisol instead. The body steals these resources from one pathway to help you get out of chronic danger. Even though other areas of the body may suffer for it in the long term.
- Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides: there is some evidence that it may help to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride numbers.
- Might Help Brain Function and Memory by producing antioxidants that work to protect nerve cells from harmful free radical damage.
These are just a FEW ways that Ashwagandha is a magical, helpful herb. Others include its effect on depression, cancer, increased muscle mass, improved sleep, greater muscle strength, and so much more. This herb can usually be found in capsule, tincture, and tea form. You can find it alone or in blends that are designed to have a cumulative affect on the body.
I encourage you to look into the herb and see how it might benefit you. If you’d like me to help you incorporate this herb into your daily health regimen, just CLICK HERE for your free 15 minute consultation. Let’s Chat.