Among the many ancient herbs, the Ashwagandha shows remarkable benefits in lowering stress levels and improving the quality of your sleep. Here is an article that discusses this plant’s extraordinary qualities and uses. Read on to help you decide whether this herb is suitable for you.
What is Ashwagandha?
The Ashwagandha is an ancient Ayurvedic herb that grows in India, some parts of Africa, and the Middle East. It is an evergreen shrub, with the roots and berry providing the plant’s medicinal properties. This plant is short and filled with velvety leaves. Its bell flowers contain the small tomato-like berries.
Commonly called the winter cherry, this herb is considered as an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body manage and fight off excessive stress.
In Sanskrit, “Ashwa” is the term for horse, while “Gandha” refers to smell. The name signifies the herb’s strong horse-like smell once ground. It also alludes to Ashwagandha’s traditional use in supporting a healthy libido, marking this plant’s power as an Ayurvedic herb. It is called “asgandh” in Hindi, a testament of its pungent aroma like that of a horse’s sweat.
Its scientific name, somnifera, is Latin for “sleep-inducing”, which indicates its use as a supportive solution for sleepiness. As an adaptogen, the Ashwagandha is a non-toxic substance that helps the body adapt to and regulate stress, thereby benefiting your holistic wellbeing.
Traditional Health Benefits of the Ashwagandha
The winter cherry is a robust adaptogenic herb that has plenty of uses for humans. A lot of its benefits can be attributed to withanolides, an anti-inflammatory component of the herb that can also fight tumor growth. Its popularity has grown over the years thanks to its health benefits, including stress relief and blood sugar level reduction.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
The best-known use of Ashwagandha as an adaptogen is to manage stress effectively. Research suggests the herb blocks specific stress pathways that significantly reduces symptoms of anxiety and stress.
The winter cherry manages the level of cortisol in the body. This stress hormone flows naturally in the body, but chronic stressors like financial pressures, deadlines, and other life activities can activate cortisol response that could harm the body if managed poorly.
With Ashwagandha, the body adapts to stress better, which helps it maintain a healthy balance and functioning of the organ systems, including the brain, joints, and muscles of the body.
Muscle Mass Improvement
Studies also show that the winter cherry can increase your muscle mass, which consequently increases bodily strength as well. There is evidence to prove that this herb fosters healthy creatinine kinase levels, which supports muscle recovery especially for people who exercise regularly.
The root is shown to aid in muscle recovery while also reducing body fat percentage. It promotes ideal fat-to-muscle ratios and normal lean body weight. In a particular study, the participants were able to add more bench presses to their routine after taking the supplement for eight weeks.
Blood Sugar Reduction
The pulverized form of the ginseng root has been observed to reduce blood sugar levels in the same way that an oral medication for diabetes would in a small scientific study in 2000. It is known to improve insulin sensitivity of several muscle cells and improve insulin secretion.
Another study showed that people suffering from diabetes type 2 experienced lowered fasting blood sugar (FBS) levels after taking the herb as a supplement for a month. Although the evidence is limited, its effectiveness in lowering blood sugar levels is supported by promising results of such studies.
Stamina and Endurance Increase
Being the rejuvenate remedy that it is, the Ashwagandha is known to increase endurance and stamina. Not only does it boost body composition and strength, but it is also used as a supplement to improve vitality and energy. Several studies that include people doing resistance training displayed a significant increase in energy after taking the herb.
Since the winter cherry supports muscle recovery, it also ensures that you have ample stamina to endure the stress from heavy exercise. It is one of the benefits alluded in the herb’s name itself, the horse’s power and strength.
Quality of Sleep
To be healthy, you must achieve a healthy and restful sleeping routine. The Ashwagandha has recuperative properties that promotes sleepiness. It nourishes the body’s adrenal glands, which is mainly responsible not only for stress response but also for developing healthy sleeping patterns.
The winter cherry is a main component in several supplements, which are known to improve the quality of sleep, especially for people who are constantly battling stress and anxiety.