Ashwagandha root is an Indian herb, which is used to treat a number of different ailments. These ailments are both mental and physical in nature. Due to its varied benefits, it is becoming increasingly popular (although it has been utilized in Indian culture for centuries).
While focusing on this herb’s active ingredients, the leaves and roots are typically where these ingredients are derived from. Although this herb is found in mass quantities throughout Indian, it is also found in other parts of the world; where there is a hot, dry climate.
When purchasing this supplement, there are various forms that are offered. It is typically sold in either pill, liquid, or powdered form. Since the taste is strong and bitter, users generally mix this supplement into a hot tea.
The Effects of Ashwagandha Root
Although the exact method of action is not fully understood, it is believed that this supplement works as a potent antioxidant. Since free radicals accumulate in one’s brain and organs, this supplement helps to target and eliminate them.
Along with its powerful antioxidant effects, Ashwagandha is known to have antimicrobial properties. It also creates a positive effect on immune cells, which help to destroy pathogens. When focusing on the benefits of this root, two key ingredients tend to create these effects. These two ingredients are known as withaferin A and withanolide D.
The Key Benefits Associated with Ashwagandha Root
The benefits experienced through this supplement are varied, encouraging more positive health overall. As mentioned, one of the key benefits is the way in which it works as an antioxidant. This helps to protect one’s immune system, fighting off infection and inflammation. The following are some of the other keys ways in which Ashwagandha can benefit you:
Due to this roots anxiolytic effects, it has the ability to combat stress and anxiety. When you consume Ashwagandha, you begin to block stress and anxiety-related responses. Not only are these responses blocked, but it also prevents stress hormones from increasing.
When taking Ashwagandha root, you begin to feel calmer. Ashwagandha has natural GABA-like effects. This can help individuals who suffer in social situations, allowing them to relax and enjoy themselves. Since a more balanced mental state is achieved, anxiety and panic attacks are typically reduced (especially in terms of symptom severity). Anti-depressant effects are also experienced by users.
Aids in Degenerative Conditions
While focusing on degenerative diseases, we know that these conditions hinder one’s cognitive abilities. Not only are these conditions typically worsened by anxiety attacks, but they damage one’s brain tissue and cells.
Ashwagandha, helps to create neuro-protective properties. In turn, this helps to protect one’s brain, slowing down the progression of decay. Due to this root’s antioxidant effects, it helps to eliminate damage from free radicals. It is believed that free radicals are the prime cause of degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Boosts Your Ability to Sleep
As mentioned above, Ashwagandha helps to block stress reactions, increasing relaxation. When individuals have trouble sleeping, it is often linked to feelings of anxiety. Since this root helps to target anxiety, users are generally able to sleep better.
GABA receptors are influenced, which results in a more restful mind. If you are someone that suffers from a hyperactive mind, you know how it can influence your sleeping patterns. When you are able to calm and relax your mind, enhanced ability to sleep is generally experienced.
Enhances Overall Health
Other than the fact that Ashwagandha has strong antioxidant properties, it benefits one’s health in a number of other ways. There has been supported evidence related to enhanced liver health, inflammation treatment, reduction in tumors, and the ability to decrease the aging process.
In one study, it was found that taking this root, three times daily, improved subjects overall emotional, physical, and social functioning. It also benefits one’s physical health through improved metabolism, weight-loss, and increased energy. This is due to Ashwagandha’s effects on one’s thyroid gland.
Potential Side-Effects of Ashwagandha
When focusing on serious side-effects, Ashwagandha does not create any. Although effects do vary, no serious negative effects have been experienced. With that being said, users have experienced some mild effects. For instance drowsiness is often experienced when taking this herb for the first time.
This root has been used for many years. However, based on its introduction into the Western market, it has been extensively tested. Like any supplement, speak with your health care professional if you have any concerns. If you are already taking any other medications (especially those that induce sleep), please mention this to your doctor.
How Ashwagandha Should Be Taken
The recommded dosage and the frequency in which that dosage is taken, depends on how you intend to use this supplement. If you are looking to start with lower doses, then 300-500 mg, twice daily is recommended. Based on research, it’s believed that a dosage of around 600 mg a day (divided into several administrations) is the most effective.
In order to aid in the digestion of this supplement, it is recommended that you consume Ashwagandha with food. This will also help to improve the absorption. If you are aiming to improve your ability to sleep or manage stress, take this supplement an hour before bedtime.