Ayurveda is the science of medicine from the ancient times which has its root in the Indian subcontinent. It clearly justifies the saying,’Old is gold’. It contains the proper cure and treatment of every known disease as well as a key to improve health without the side effects, which is one of the major cons of modern medicines.
Ashwagandha is very distinctly mentioned in the Ayurveda as one the most valuable herbs to be found. It can cure your common health problems like blood sugar to major concerns like cancer as well as help in boosting your sexual health. The herb usually dominates the natural treatments of blood sugar, cortisol and also has anti-cancerous properties.
The scientific name is ‘Withania somnifera’. The plant’s long, brown, tuberous roots are used in medicine. The herb has medicinal properties due to alkaloids and steroidal lactones present in it. Tropine, a hydrocarbon can also be obtained from the plant. It is a building block of atropine, an anticholinergic drug which helps in the development of the nervous system.
Now let’s discuss the benefits of Ashwagandha in brief:
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar level is one of the biggest growing problems in modern-day life due to the unhealthy lifestyle we lead. The herb is very useful in countering high blood sugar levels as it helps in hiking the insulin sensitivity, thus helping the body to counter the high blood sugar naturally. It also helps in protecting the pancreatic beta cells which are very useful for fighting against diabetes. The herb can also be used by diabetic patients along with their daily dose to escalate the treatment, though the dosage has to be changed. It also balances the lipid levels and improves metabolism.
Ashwagandha And Anti-Cancer
Experiments show that the herb helps in inducing apoptosis or ‘programmed cell death’ of the cancer cells. One of the properties that help in this process is ROS(reactive oxygen species) which is good for every cell but hazardous to cancer cells. Animal and test-tube studies have shown that it can be effective against many types of cancer including breast, brain and ovarian cancer. It reduces the cell proliferation while increasing the survival time. The herb has been also used to maximize the effects of the radiation or chemotherapy while blunting its side effects. Ashwagandha is also said to bind and block the protein blocks that the cancer cells need for their growth, thus stopping the tumor from spreading in the body.
Reduce Cortisol Levels
Stress is one the main concern of today’s life due to the fast lifestyle that we live. Cortisol is a stress hormone as the adrenal glands release it as a response to stress and very low blood sugar levels. In some cases, cortisol levels are chronically elevated which leads to high sugar level and increased fat storage in the abdomen. Ashwagandha is a glucocorticoid steroid hormone that helps the body to metabolize nutrients which helps in the better development of the body and reduce stress. It helps in improving sleep patterns, moods, immunity, etc. It also helps in repairing the brain cells and reconstructing brain cells which helps in improving brain health, thereby reducing stress. It is also very useful for lowering the blood pressure.
Ashwagandha Reduces Stress
The herb can be very crucial in treating stress and depression. It blocks the stress pathway by chemically signaling the nervous system. It helps in improving your sleep patterns which is very important to reduce stress. Ashwagandha helps in improving mental health, concentration levels, reducing fatigue levels, social functioning, vitality, the overall quality of life. Improvement in quality of life is one of the best to counter depression and stress. The herb is also one of the ideal antidepressants which help in countering depression with minimum side effects.
Ashwagandha is also one of the most ideal and natural male fertility boosters. The herb helps in improving the fertility as well as boosting the sexual health of male human beings. As we know it helps in reducing stress which is one of the major reasons for the reduced sexual drive and poor sexual health. ‘Kama Sutra’ also mentions this herb as a powerful sex stimulant. It helps in the production of nitrous oxide, which helps in increasing sexual drive. The herb also helps in increasing the serum level of the luteinizing hormone that revitalizes the sexual balance in men.
Increase In Muscle Mass And Strength
The herb also helps in increasing the muscle mass and strength as it helps in improving testosterone levels which are responsible for it.
Decrease In Inflammation
Ashwagandha helps in increasing the activity of the natural killer cells, which are basically the immune cells which fight the infection and help you to stay healthy. Ashwagandha helps in decreasing in the markers of inflammation, .i.e. C-reactive proteins(CRP) which is also linked to an increased risk of heart diseases.
Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Ashwagandha is said to be rich in anti-oxidants which scavenge free radicals and prevents the formation of LDL inside the artery to from plague. It also lowers the total cholesterol and triglycerides levels.
Ashwagandha Improves Brain Function
The herb is found to be rich in antioxidants which help in protecting the nerve cells from the attack of free radicals. Ashwagandha has been also been used to boost memory in the Ayurvedic techniques,
Treatment For Thyroid
The herb is very useful for both people suffering from under-secretion and over-secretion of thyroid glands. Tests show that Ashwagandha can control thyroid secretion in 8 weeks or so.
There’s a right amount of the herb you can take to make sure you are safe from the side effects and also get the maximum and best results.
The lowest effective dose for acute usage of Ashwagandha and perhaps the most cost-effective dose is 300-500 mg. The optimal dosage is 6000mgs per day usually divided into three doses of 2000 mg. While 300-500 mg is effective for moderate conditions, a low dose of 50-100 mg is advised where the situation has occurred only in a few instances or conditions like stress. It is advised to take with milk while having a meal. If once a day, better take it with breakfast.
- If you have peptic ulcer disease or thyroid, medical advice should be taken before starting the doses of Ashwagandha. The herb can have worse effects on the gastrointestinal tract. It is also advised to avoid the herb when you’ pregnant.
- The herb has the tendency to reduce the immunosuppression effects if certain drugs.
- It acts as a monoamine oxidase agent inhibitor, a kind of drug that decreases the availability of neurotransmitter dopamine in your body.
- The herb is believed to have sedative properties.
- Ashwagandha can magnify both positive and negative effects of certain drugs.
Hence, though the medical science has advanced to a new level which no one has imagined, the side effects are also extensive. We have to use the most precious wealth given to us by our ancestors, their intellectual wealth. Ayurveda has a solution to each and every problem in the human body, both physical and mental, and Ashwagandha can surely be called the jewel of Ayurveda due to its wide variety of applications.