Ashwagandha benefits and side effects

Ashwagandha is regarded as one of the most powerful powerful herbs used in Ayurvedic healing. It’s been around since ancient times, and is renowned for its restorative benefits.

The meaning of ashwagandha in Sanskrit is literally “the smell of a horse”, which indicates that this herb offers the strength and vigor of a stallion. The herb has been commonly prescribed for helping strengthen the immune system of a person suffering from an illness.

It is also known as the “Indian ginseng” primarily because of the rejuvenating properties it provides.

Ashwagandha hails from the tomato family, and is fleshy shrub with yellow flowers and oval leaves. The shrub also bears red colored fruit that are as big as a raisin.

It grows in the dry regions of the Middle East, northern Africa, and India. However, it is also available in milder climates today, such as the U.S.

Why should you use ashwagandha?

If you’re suffering from serious illness then turning to Ayurvedic healing maybe a good option if western medicine isn’t giving you the results that you want. Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs used in Ayurvedic healing, and helps alleviates the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Stress

It is also recommended as it provides a sense of wellbeing, rejuvenates the body, and also provides a lot of energy as well.

This Ayurvedic is incredibly popular nowadays due to the many health benefits it has to offer people today.

Benefits

Ashwagandha offers a whole lot of health benefits, helped by the fact that it has useful medicinal chemicals such as Withanolides (steroidal lactones), amino acids, fatty acids, choline, alkaloids, and lots of different sugars.

The best part is that the fruit and leaves also have therapeutic properties, while the root of the ashwagandha plant is used in a lot of Western herbal remedies as well.

There are over 200 different studies conducted surrounding the healing benefits of ashwagandha. Medical researchers have been fascinated by its effects, and how this botanical herb offers the following:

  • Improves sexual potential for men and women
  • Anti-malarial properties
  • Has anti-inflammatory advantages
  • Helps stabilize blood sugar
  • Reduces brain-cell degeneration
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Enhances memory, learning and reflexes
  • Combats stress
  • Protects the immune system
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Treats adrenal fatigue

To help you understand about what ashwagandha actually do, we have discussed some of them in detail below.

Numerous studies conducted on ashwagandha have revealed that the botanical herb has shown incredible properties when it comes to treating and preventing cancers.

Researchers found that the ashwagandha extract has an extremely strong anti-tumor effect that prevents cancer growth (1). The extract is very useful in stopping cancer cells, specifically for lung, stomach, breast, and colon, which are amongst the most common cancer types today.

The immune strengthening properties and the antioxidant features of ashwagandha are thought to be reason why it is able to prevent cancer. It improves the growth of white blood cells in the body, and helps the immune system stave off harmful diseases and bacteria (2). The herb can also be used alongside chemotherapy to help beat cancer, as it helps the immune system become stronger.

Chemotherapy reduces the white blood cell count in the body, which is why ashwagandha is so useful, since it promotes the growth of white blood cells. This means that the patient’s immune system isn’t weakened and they can easily stave off infections. A lot of cancer experts now recommend ashwagandha extract to be taken with cancer treatments, since it is extremely effective in reversing signs of cancer (3).

There are numerous studies that have shown the beneficial properties of ashwagandha in helping improve stamina and endurance. It sharpens brain function, and also reduces pain in the body. The energizing, and calming effects of the extract helps bring down stress levels in the body, and improves motivation, concentration and stamina as well.

A study conducted on lab rats found that, when given ashwagandha, the rats swam twice the distance in a faster time than rats that were given a placebo (4). 

Researchers therefore concluded that the extract would have the same effect on humans, since it balances adrenal hormones that are responsible for physical activity.

Side Effects

Ashwagandha doesn’t have a lot of serious side effects to report about, and there isn’t much scientific research available on its possible complications.

However, when taken in large doses the extract may cause vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach. It is also not recommended to apply the herb directly on your skin.

Doctors have advised people to be cautious when taking ashwagandha, especially those that are undergoing the following conditions:

  • Women that are breast-feeding
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Men or women who are suffering from diabetes
  • Men or women who are suffering from high or low blood pressure
  • Men or women who are suffering from auto immune diseases
  • Those that are suffering from stomach ulcers
  • Those that are suffering from thyroid disorders
  • People who have undergone surgery

Ashwagandha offers a lot of special benefits to people but there are certain precautions that people suffering from specific medical conditions should take.

You should also remember to always discuss taking Ayurvedic healing herbs with your doctor before you go ahead and take them. This is because certain people may experience complications or an increased risk of suffering from complications.

Summary: Ashwagandha is being hailed as one of the best healing herb extracts in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps people fight cancer, depression and is an all-around beneficial herb.

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