Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 as a natural treatment for a number of ailments. Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen, a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes
What is Ashwagandha Used for?
Ashwagandha is typically used to help alleviate stress and anxiety1, but it has also shown to boost your immune system2.
It can also help treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, skin infections, cerebellar ataxia, diabetes, high cholesterol, and Parkinson's disease.
What are The Benefits of Ashwagandha?
Although research on ashwagandha is limited, several studies suggest that it can help address the following health problems:
1. Anxiety: In 2014, researchers analyzed five previously published trials on the use of ashwagandha for anxiety3. All of the studies found that treatment with ashwagandha resulted in significant reductions in anxiety and stress.
2. Thyroid Problems: In 2018, researchers gave 50 patients with subclinical hypothyroidism either 600 mg ashwagandha root extract a day or a placebo. They found the treated group had significant improvements in serum thyroid stimulating hormone, serum triiodothyronine, and thyroxine levels.
3. Weight Loss: New research suggests that ashwagandha may help people with chronic stress lose weight. A recent study gave adults living with chronic stress either ashwagandha root extract or a placebo twice daily for eight weeks4. Ashwagandha resulted in a reduction in scores on a perceived stress scale at four and eight weeks, compared to a placebo. The study also showed significant improvements in food cravings, body weight, body mass index, reactive eating, cortisol levels, well-being, and happiness.
4. Muscle Strength and Recovery: According to a study in 2015, ashwagandha may boost muscle strength5. During the study, men with limited experience in resistance training took either ashwagandha or a placebo for eight weeks. Results proved that the men who took ashwagandha had greater muscle size in the arms and chest.
5. Memory: A 2017 study reported that ashwagandha may be effective in enhancing the memory in people with mild cognitive impairment6. During the study, 50 subjects were given either 300 mg of ashwagandha-root extract twice a day or a placebo for eight weeks. Not only did their overall memory improve, but it also improved executive function, attention, and information processing speed.
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References: 1. Ashwagandha for Anxiety: Ancient herbal remedy for modern life stress, Jan 08, 2014 2. A comparison of the immunostimulatory effects of the medicinal herbs Echinacea, Ashwagandha and Brahmi, 2011 Sep 1;137(1):231-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.05.017. Epub 2011 May 17 3. An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of Human Trial Results Reported for the Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), 16 Dec 2014 4. Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract, 2016 Apr 6 5. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial, 25 November 2015 6. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions, 21 Feb 2017