Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is also known by the name of Indian Winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng. It is one of the most notable Ayurvedic herbs, used as a Rasayana due to its vast-ranging health benefits. Rasayana term is often used for a herb that promotes both physical and mental well-being.
Ashwagandha is also an adaptogen or an anti-stress agent. It has been known to support, strengthen, revitalize and replenish our bodily functions. For ages, ashwagandha has been used as a traditional medicine to manage various health conditions and is regarded as the ‘King of Herbs’.
Ashwagandha: Benefits & Uses
Several studies have been administered to analyze the effects of ashwagandha on the human body. Let us review some of its science-based health advantages.
- Relieve stress and anxiety: As discussed earlier, ashwagandha is a potent stress buster. Clinical trials have shown its ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels by suppressing cortisol stress hormone levels.
- Boost energy levels: If you are constantly low on stamina and even performing daily tasks is a challenge, consider including an ashwagandha supplement. It acts as an energy promoter and improves overall vitality.
- Increase muscle size and strength: Studies suggest that ashwagandha is beneficial for active people involved in intense workout sessions. A study observed that the herb effectively reduced body fat, post-workout muscle damage, and improved muscle strength and overall body composition.
- Diabetic-friendly: People with high blood sugar levels can also use ashwagandha powder as it has been shown to prevent blood fluctuations, increase insulin secretion and improve insulin sensitivity in the body.
- Anti-inflammatory: Ashwagandha is a powerful pain reliever. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce joint pain and suppress the levels of inflammatory markers, making it a boon for people with joint pain or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Heart-friendly: Ashwagandha was found to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure among chronically stressed individuals in a study. Thus it is believed to improve heart health and lower the risk of heart diseases.
- Improve testosterone levels: Testosterone hormone production among males tend to decline with age. Lower levels of testosterone affect energy levels, fertility and overall reproductive health. Ashwagandha helps balance sexual hormones, improve sperm quality and fertility health.
- Support brain health: Want to improve your memory, focus and attention span? Try including ashwagandha powder in your routine. In addition, the antioxidants present in ashwagandha also protect our nerve cells from the harmful effect of free radicals.
Ashwagandha is mostly tolerable, safe and there are no known significant side effects. However, the following are advised to consult an expert before using the ashwagandha supplement.
- Pregnant and lactating women.
- People on medications like thyroid, diabetic medicines, etc.
- People with pre-existing medical conditions related to liver or kidney.
- A person soon undergoing surgery or with weak immunity.
- People with specific grass allergies.
How to take ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha root extract is popularly available in capsules, powder, gummies, liquid drops or tablets, and you can go for any form as per your preference. The dosage may vary from person to person and usually ranges between 500-1000 mg per day. Large amounts might result in abdominal discomfort, nausea and diarrhoea. If you plan to take ashwagandha for any medical condition, consult a doctor for a suitable dosage.
One can simply swallow ashwagandha tablets or capsules with water, and the powder or liquid form can also be mixed in milk or smoothie. You can take ashwagandha at any time of the day, including early morning empty stomach, with meals or bedtime.
Which is the best ashwagandha brand in India?
Ashwagandha supplements are widely available in the market. Here are a few best ashwagandha powder and capsules that one can consider.
Nutrabay Wellness Ashwagandha Extract: It is one of the best sellers at Nutrabay and provides 1000 mg pure ashwagandha extract per serve. These ashwagandha capsules come in vegan-friendly capsules; they are free from any fillers or additives and is safe for everyone.
Foresta Organics Men X Health: This product is made with natural ingredients to promote overall health and wellness. In addition to ashwagandha, it also contains natural extracts of herbs like shilajit, kaunch, safed musli and akarkara. The product is suitable for men to enhance male fertility, suppress stress, boost physical performance and improve testosterone levels.
BigMuscles Nutrition Organic Ashwagandha: If you are looking for an organic ashwagandha, go for this. The presence of black pepper extract makes these ashwagandha tablets unique and aid in enhanced absorption. It is a perfect supplement to cope with stress and reduce the risk of stress-related diseases.
Fast&Up Ashwagandha: It is a natural vitality booster that contains 600mg of ashwagandha and 5% withanolides. Each bottle contains 60 capsules that are USDA Organic certified made from highly bioavailable root extract. The product is formulated with faster nutrient absorption without sugar, gluten, soy and is 100% vegetarian.
To conclude, ashwagandha is a potent regenerative herb that exerts various health-promoting actions on the body, such as anti-stress, anti-tumour, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic. It is safe to consume by anyone and readily available in the dietary supplement form. Make sure to opt only for certified and natural ashwagandha supplements free from heavy metals and harmful additives to improve your health and quality of life.