Ashwagandha, Also known as Indian ginseng, Indian winter cherry is a powerful remedy for increasing immunity. This herb is a potent adaptogen i.e. it is a non-toxic herb that helps to normalize all bodily functions, by working the neuroendocrine system. Ashwagandha goes by the botanical name Withania somnifera. The word ‘somnifera’ means ‘sleep-inducive’ which means that this drug is a potent sedative and helps to treats conditions like insomnia and other sleep disorders also. Ashwagandha is widely mentioned in various traditional textbooks of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Chinese medicine owing to its wide range of health benefits. Ancient ayurvedic scriptures named this plant ashwagandha which means ‘odour of the horse’ as its roots smell like horse’s urine. It is also known as, Asgandh, Gandhapatri, and Palashaparni. The synonyms are related to a horse since the herb is a potent aphrodisiac and it is said to provide the stamina of a horse. Since time immemorial, this magical remedy has been mentioned in several ayurvedic textbooks as the “Queen of Herbs” due to its immense health benefits. Being a potent aphrodisiac, it improves libido, treats various infertility issues and improves the reproductive health in both men and women. It also ensures better functioning of the heart and improves overall stamina and body immunity. It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration.
• The analgesic and antioxidant properties of the leaves of ashwagandha are used for treating a viral infection, cough and cold symptoms, fever and chronic pain.
• Ashwagandha flowers have potent diuretic and aphrodisiac properties which is used for improving fertility.
• The roots are the most crucial part of the plant and are mostly used in various formulations. The root has potent aphrodisiac, diuretic, anti helminthic, antioxidant, anti-depressant, anti-diabetic properties and are hence used for treating neural problems, diabetes, constipation, infertility, skin disorders, etc.
Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha
1. Can Boost Testosterone And Increase Fertility In Men
In one study in men, the group treated with ashwagandha showed increased sperm count and motility. What’s more, the treatment led to a significant increase in testosterone levels. The researchers also reported that the group who took the herb had increased antioxidant levels in their blood.
2. Enhances Libido:
Being a natural aphrodisiac helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety and stimulates the hormones for increasing libido. It also increases virility and stamina in men.
3. Male Reproductive System:
The formulation is typically indicated for improving men’s health. The churna has powerful spermatogenic properties that are extremely beneficial for treating oligospermia (i.e. low sperm count), hypospermia (low volume of semen), asthenozoospermia (i.e. sperm motility), teratospermia (i.e. abnormal sperm shape) and enhances spermatogenesis (i.e. sperm production).
4. Female Reproductive System:
Apart from improving male fertility, it also helps in treating endometriosis (i.e. inflammation of the lining of the uterus) and is a powerful uterine tonic. It maintains hormone levels within the blood, strengthens the female reproductive organs and enhances maturation of the eggs into follicles.
5. Beauty Benefits:
Being a natural antioxidant, it is used for treating oxidative free radical damage due to the sun rays. It is also an effective anti-ageing remedy to obtain youthful skin and treats wrinkles, fine line, spots, dark circles, etc. Furthermore, it reduces acne and pimples and bestows smooth and glowing skin.
6. May Increase Muscle Mass And Strength
In a study, those who took ashwagandha had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size. It also more than doubled their reductions in body fat percentage.
7. May Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
8. May Improve Brain Function, Including Memory
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may mitigate memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease .
Although ashwagandha has traditionally been used to boost memory in Ayurvedic medicine.
9. Improves Immunity:
This powerful formulation holds high value in improving the general stamina and energy level of the body. The active ingredients in ashwagandha and other herbs used in this formulation reduces weakness and fatigue and improves the vitality of the body.
10. Boosts Bone Health:
The tonic is highly beneficial for improving bone health and reducing pain and inflammation at the joints. It promotes bone health, reduces the risk of fracture, maintains overall body balance and provides the body with a strong and perfect skeletal structure.
11. Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Several human studies have suggested that it can reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes .
12. Good For Heart:
Ashwagandha is extremely effective in treating various heart ailments due to its strong antioxidative nature. It strengthens the heart muscles, prevents lipid build up in the blood vessels, and hence reduces the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, etc. It also plays a key role in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood.
13. Might Have Anticancer Properties
It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in several ways.
First, withaferin is believed to promote the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cancer cells, disrupting their function. Second, it may cause cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis.
14. Can Reduce Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is known as a stress hormone given that your adrenal glands release it in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low. Unfortunately, in some cases, cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen. Studies have shown that ashwagandha may help reduce cortisol levels.
15. May Help Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress.
Also, several controlled human studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders.
16. May Reduce Symptoms Of Depression
Although it hasn’t been thoroughly studied, a few studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate depression.
In one study in adults, those who took 600 mg of high-concentration ashwagandha extract per day reported a 79% reduction in severe depression.
1. Ashwagandha Churna
Ashwagandha churna is a powdered formulation of the ashwagandha plant (mainly the roots) used for increasing the libido in males and treating various infertility issues.
1 part Ashwagandha
1 part Vidhara
The dosage should be as per health condition, age and as suggested by the ayurvedic doctor or practitioner. It is usually taken as 3 grams, 2 to 3 times a day for adults. It can be consumed with warm milk.