Ashwagandha, popularly known for its rejuvenating property, is one of the most popular and widely used herb in Ayurveda.
Botanically Ashwagandha is known as Withania somnifera and popularly known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry.
- Helps To Reduce & Relieve Stress.
- Improves Potency & Sexual Wellness.
- Improves Thyroid Function.
- Has Antibacterial Properties.
- Helps Prevent Seizures.
- Fights Cancer.
- Reduces Blood Sugar Levels.
Ashwagandha is generally available in dried root or dried powder form. The powder form is used widely due to the ease of availability and usage.
General usage: Mix one teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder along with a glass of warm milk and honey, to be had just before bed time. You can also make an Ashwagandha Tea by boiling Ashwagandha powder in water for 10 mins (add honey instead of sugar).
Ashwagandha when consumed regularly helps to sooth and calm the body.
Doctors have proven this scientifically in a study conducted by them at “The Department of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry -Asha Hospital”. They found that patients with chronic stress showed significant reduction in stress when they consumed Ashwagandha over a period of 2 months.(1)
Ashwagandha has powerful effect on the Male and Female Potency. When consumed regularly it helps to improve potency and reproductive health.This is attributed to the fact that Ashwagandha reduces stress and improves antioxidant level in the blood
Studies has shown that when men consumed Ashwagandha over a period of time they had a increase in the sperm count and mortality and thus improving the chances of pregnancy in their partners.(2, 3)
Ashwagandha is an Adaptogen herb which means it helps your body to bring your hormones back into balance whether your levels are high or low.
Scientific studies have proven that Ashwagandha has a thyroid hormone balancing effect.This incredible aspect of Ashwagandha helps it to solve both hypo and hyper thyroid problems.(4, 5)
For thousands of years Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurveda to control bacterial infections effectively.
In fact a biotech scientists from the University of Allahabad (India) have proven that consumption of Ashwagandha effectively controls infections.
Specifically Ashwagandha when taken orally it helps controls infections in the urogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tract.(6)
Ayurvedic texts have widely recommended that the usage of Ashwagandha to help prevent and reduce, seizures & convulsions.
Scientists in their study on the effect of Ashwagandha in controlling seizure, have proven that it helps effectively to reduce propagation of seizure during convulsive episodes.(7)
Modern scientists and reasearchers have found Ashwagandha to be an emerging and an effective herb in the treatment of cancer.
Ashwagandha has been associated to helping kill cancerous cells and inhibit growth of new cancer cells.
In addition when used along side with radiation and chemotherapy, Ashwagandha is also said to reduce the side effects of Chemotherapy without actually interfering with the tumor killing activity. (8, 9, 10)
Ashwagandha can be effectively used to reduce blood sugar levels in the body. This is due to the fact that it directly effects insulin sensitivity in muscle cells and also helps in increased insulin secretion.
Researchers have found a direct link to regular consumption of Ashwagandha and its effect in reduction in blood sugar levels. Thus making it one of the most potent herbs in curbing diabetes.(11,12)
Are you aware of any more uses to Ashwagandha powder then the ones stated above?
Do share the same in the comments section below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An Engineer MBA, Vinod founded Naturally Yours with the vision to make healthy and organic food accessible to millions of Indians. He believes strongly that organic and health food industry is the answer to the major health problems in India.
1.Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022.
2.Fertil Steril. 2010 Aug;94(3):989-96. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2009.04.046. Epub 2009 Jun 6.Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males.Ahmad MK1, Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Islam N, Rajender S, Madhukar D, Shankhwar SN, Ahmad S -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19501822
3.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print] Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility.Mahdi AA1, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, Rajender S, Shankhwar SN, Singh V, Dalela D. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19789214
4.Panda S, Kar A. Withania somnifera and Bauhinia purpurea in the regulation of circulating thyroid hormone concentrations in female mice. Journal Ethnopharmacology 1999, 67(2):233-9.
5.Panda S, Kar A. Changes in thyroid hormone concentrations after administration of ashwaganda root extract to adult male mice. Journal of Pharmacology 1998, 50:1065-1068.
6.Asian Journal of Biotechnology Year: 2011 | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Page No.: 194-199, In vitro Evaluation of Antibacterial Activities of Crude Extracts of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) to Bacterial Pathogens, Shanthy Sundaram, Priyanka Dwivedi and Shalini Purwar – http://www.scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajbkr.2011.194.199
7.IJEB Vol.46(06) [June 2008], Pg 465-469, Effect of Withania somnifera Dunal root extract against pentylenetetrazol seizure threshold in mice: Possible involvement of GABAergic system, Kulkarni S K,Akula Kiran Kumar,Dhir Ashish http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/4502/1/IJEB%2046%286%29%20465-469.pdf
9. Selective Killing of Cancer Cells by Leaf Extract of Ashwagandha: Identification of a Tumor-Inhibitory Factor and the First Molecular Insights to Its Effect, Cancer Prevention,
10. AAPS J. 2014 Jan;16(1):1-10. doi: 10.1208/s12248-013-9531-1. Epub 2013 Sep 18, Molecular targets and mechanisms of cancer prevention and treatment by withaferin a, a naturally occurring steroidal lactone, Vyas AR1, Singh SV – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24046237
11.Phytochemistry. 2015 Aug;116:283-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2015.02.029. Epub 2015 Mar 18.Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicitated Withania somnifera. Gorelick J, Rosenberg R, Smotrich A, Hanuš L, Bernstein N.
12.Indian J Exp Biol. 2000 Jun;38(6):607-9. Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Andallu B, Radhika B. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11116534