The Benefits of Ashwagandha

History, Background, and Uses
Ashwagandha is an Auervaydic herb that has been used within Chinese and Auervaydic medicine for nearly 4,000 years. 

It is named ashwagandha, meaning “smell of a horse,” referring to its pungent smell and natural vitality-providing properties. Ashwagandha’s botanical name is “Withania Somnifera,” but it has also been referred to as “Indian Ginseng” or “Winter Cherry”. 

The plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers predominantly found in India and Southeast Asia but has been seen in parts of Africa and the Middle East. This power-packed plant comes from the Nightshade family of shrubs and thrives in subtropical climates with either full sun or relatively dry conditions promoting its growth. 

Not only is ashwagandha a versatile and adaptable little plant, but it has been used for thousands of years to treat many conditions, including anxiety, stress, fertility, and issues with performance during those intimate moments. 

Here are 10 Potential Benefits of Ashwagandha based on research and other reports on the hearty little shrub: 

  • Reduce Anxiety
  • The most prevalent understanding of ashwagandha is its stress and anxiety-relieving properties. As an adaptogen, ashwagandha works within the body’s natural processes to help fight back the daily stress the body takes. Studies on the topic found that this potent little plant might help lower overall cortisol levels, helping fight stress and anxiety at the source. In today’s day and age, anything that can help you reduce stress and get you feeling your best is excellent in our book. 

  • Improve Testosterone and Fertility in Men
  • The benefits of ashwagandha extend to performance-based research and studies explicitly related to male wellness and fertility. In one study, researchers found that a daily dosage of ashwagandha over eight weeks considerably increased the testosterone levels of the men participating. Not only this, but research from 4 separate studies found that while testosterone saw a jump, so did sperm concentration, semen volume, and sperm motility in males with previously low sperm count. This means that ashwagandha can give you an extra boost to push through the heavy loads that life puts on you, and now you can dish them out just as much. 

  • Boost Athletic Performance
  • Ashwagandha is most widely recognized as the anti-anxiety adaptogen, but did you know it also has been linked to better athletic performance? In some studies, researchers found that taking ashwagandha was linked to significantly higher oxygen levels in the blood of athletes participating in the study. This means these men could perform harder, longer, and with less stress on their bodies…I think you can see why that's beneficial. 

    In some studies, researchers found that taking ashwagandha was linked to significantly higher oxygen levels in the blood of athletes participating in the study

  • Improve Mental Health
  • Not only does ashwagandha help to relieve stress and have proven anti-anxiety properties, but it also works in conjunction with systems that improve your overall mental health. It's not that crazy of a leap to understand how those two might work hand in hand. Less stress and anxiety? Less mental health issues. 

  • Reduces Inflammation
  • In a study completed in 2021, ashwagandha and other herbs were given to participants for seven days, and by the end, there was a considerable reduction in levels of inflammatory markers within their bodies. This is excellent news for people who struggle with inflammatory disorders, gut or stomach issues, and even those who are looking just to improve their overall sense of internal wellness. 

  • Increases Immunity
  • Due to its antioxidant properties and compounds that naturally occur within the plant, ashwagandha has also been found to boost the body's immune response. Similar to the specific properties of ginseng, the antioxidants found in ashwagandha increase the body’s ability to fight free radicals and clear toxins from its system. Regular use won’t just give you a boost to get through the day, but it’ll leave you feeling better for longer and staying ready for even the busiest of evenings. 

  • Aids Sleep and Counteracts Insomnia
  • One of the best benefits of ashwagandha is its ability to aid in sleep and counteract the effects of insomnia. A study performed with adults who suffered from insomnia after taking ashwagandha for eight weeks found that they had improved sleep quality and were more rested and alert after waking up than those in the control group. 

    One of the best benefits of ashwagandha is its ability to aid in sleep and counteract the effects of insomnia.

  • Increase Physical Strength and Vitality
  • In a 2015 study, researchers found that ashwagandha could be linked to improved gains when building muscle. While also finding that ashwagandha improved overall physical performance during exercise and recovery, they also saw that physical gains were positively impacted. Not only did members of the group given ashwagandha find that their muscle strength improved, but the size and density of the muscles were also far better than those who were part of the placebo group. Did somebody say swoon??

  • Improve Cognition, Memory, and Brain Function
  • One review of five studies found that ashwagandha was positive for cognitive performance. In specific populations, researchers recognized that executive function, attention, focus, reaction time, and performance during cognitive tasks were significantly improved. These studies also found that information processing and memory were positively enhanced, suggesting that ashwagandha could positively affect overall brain function and long-term cognition. 

  • Boosts Heart Health and Lowers Blood Pressure
  • A group of studies on the effect of ashwagandha on blood pressure and heart function found that it contributed to reducing blood sugar levels in the body. This study also showed that the herb has potent anti-diabetic properties and even helps the cells take necessary sugars from the bloodstream. 

    Dosage and Side Effects

    With all these great benefits, it's no surprise that ashwagandha is one of the most popular and sought-after adaptogenic compounds on the market today. All the girls and gays can’t wait to get their paws on this super herb. Typical dosages vary from person to person, but generally, 250-1,250mg per day is adequate for different conditions and uses. 

    That being said, nothing is without its drawbacks, and for some, this unique little plant can cause: 

    • Gastrointestinal discomfort
    • Drowsiness
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting 

    With any herb or new supplement, it’s always important to consult your doctor and make sure that the addition of it is safe for you. Stay safe, stay smart, and stay ready!

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