Ashwagandha is grouped under adaptogen and is one of the ancient medicinal herbs. It’s history and usage dates back to 6000 BC., where it was considered to improve the overall body system. Ayurveda system of medicines recognizes Ashwagandha as a Rasayana which can treat a range of illness conditions including tumours, arthritis and anxiety treatment.
Botanical Name: Withania somnifera,
Height: 35-75 cm
Also known as Indian Ginseng, Winter cherry
Much in discussions over precautionary Ayurvedic Medicine to help you boost your immunity and helping you fight viral infections like Covid19, Ashwagandha is available in various dosage forms like tablets, capsules and suspensions. Along with its rich smell, it also contains withanolides as primary phytoconstituents. The roots and stems are generally used to extract the phytoconstituents which is used in making various formulation. It has been proved to be beneficial in many disease conditions.
Now let’s check at the five health benefits of this Ashwagandha Herbal Plant:
Helps Reduce Stress Levels: This is one of the broadest use of Ashwagandha as it can block the signalling pathway of stress. It is an adaptogen, and several scientific studies have suggested that it is beneficial for people facing anxiety issues.
Boosts Fertility in Men: the supplements have shown to affect the testosterone gland by increasing the testosterone levels by an increase in sperm count and motility. Since it helps contain stress levels which indirectly are responsible for the increased testosterone levels.
Reduces Inflammation: In a step to avoid NSAIDs which are harmful to body organs, Ashwagandha is used for reducing inflammation. This Ayurvedic drug can increase the count of natural killer T cells which fights incoming infected particles and wards off the possibility of any viral infection.
Helpful in Reducing Cholesterol: Increased cholesterol levels are harmful to hearts and may lead to chronic heart disease. The natural herb can lower the triglyceride levels in the blood and is beneficial in improving the heart conditions.
Improves Cognitive Functioning: It suppresses the ageing of nerve cells by an increase in the antioxidants level. The antioxidants are used to protect the nerve cells from getting damaged and hence improve the synaptic signalling functions. It is also a stress buster which helps in the improvement of the spatial memory impairment. The ischemic neural changes are slowed down, and hence cognitive function does not degrade for a long time.
Due to this nature, it is used as a medication in Alzheimer’s treatment.
With so many benefits, are there some side-effects too?
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb which has been used from ancient times. It is generally given in small dosage to patients and is well-tolerated with the small dosage form. However long term effect is still unknown.
Moreover, the formulations are not entirely regulated by authorities. So it may be possible that the formulation may contain some chemicals and elements which may hamper body function.
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While the herb is considered to be a natural remedy to many illnesses, it should be noted that it should not replace the existing treatment plans solely based on third party information. You need to consult your medical practitioner before taking any step.