A Definitive Guide to Ashwagandha: Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side Effects
The usage of Ashwagandha can be traced back to 6000 B.C. where it was taken as Ayurvedic medicine. It was taken as 'Rasayana' to benefit both physical and mental well-being.
Even today, it has seen increasing demand as a natural supplement to boost overall health and immunity.
An Overview on Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha comes from an evergreen shrub that has orange berries which have some resemblance to tomatoes. This plant finds its origins in parts of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It also thrives in countries like Africa and Carolina that have a more temperate climate. Various parts of the plant can be extracted for their therapeutic properties, including the leaves, fruit and mainly root. They are laden with phytochemicals that denote benefits for brain functions, hormonal wellness and fertility. One of the common uses of this herb in Ayurveda is to relieve stress and anxiety. It is believed that incorporating this herb into your diet can balance the 'Vata' Dosha and bring stability to your system.
Uses Of Ashwagandha
This ancient remedy has anti-inflammatory properties which safely target ailments. Inflammation is the root cause of conditions like fatigue, chronic pain, arthritis, diabetes and epilepsy. Ashwagandha can be taken in different forms to rejuvenate and strengthen the body against these. It is an adaptogen, which means it protects our system from damage due to external stress factors. It is effective so the need for chemical over-the-counter drugs can be reduced – and our dependency on it!
Benefits Of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha Boosts Immunity
Ingesting these plant extracts can naturally support the immune system. Ashwagandha consists of withanolides, a compound that provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. This protects our cells from damage and keeps fevers at bay. The anti-microbial properties of glycoproteins in this herb can prevent the infection and spread of harmful pathogens (1). Hence, Ashwagandha can be ingested as a potent immunomodulatory tool.
Ashwagandha Helps to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
When stress is at an all-time high, it can be hard to diligently carry out all our normal tasks. Herbal solutions like this one can be utilized to combat stress and anxiety disorders. When we feel stressed, our serum cortisol levels are increased which in turn influences our heart rate and blood pressure. This can have negative effects on our overall immunity. By supplementing our diet with Ashwagandha, we can manage our symptoms and keep these struggles to a minimum.
Ashwagandha Aids Male Fertility
Products with Ashwagandha can be used by men to improve fertility. As we get older, reproductive hormones like testosterone start to deplete in the body which may lead to male pattern baldness and low-quality sperms. Using these herbal supplements can stimulate the adrenal glands to produce more testosterone. This influences sperm count, mobility and thus drastically improves fertility.
Ashwagandha Boosts Libido
Taking this plant can be beneficial for lowered libidos in both men and women. For stress-related causalities in women, Ashwagandha provides relief and eases the mind. For men, studies have shown that it boosts stamina and longevity. For men, it produces nitric oxide in the body. This triggers blood flow to the genitals and increases sexual drive. In this way, libido can be improved.
Ashwagandha May Enhance Strength and Endurance
If eaten in conjecture with physical activity, Ashwagandha can have advantages for strength and endurance. For athletes, weight-lifters and bodybuilders, this plant can help build muscle mass. Due to the brain and testosterone enhancing the activity of Ashwagandha, muscle recovery also becomes more attainable with these supplements. Instead of using steroids that may prove counterproductive in the long run, these supplements can make the perfect gym companion!
Ashwagandha can Boost Underactive Thyroid
Hypothyroidism is a prevalent condition that often occurs in women. It causes weight gain, cholesterol, cognitive impairment, menstrual issues and muscle weakness (to name a few...). Ashwagandha can alleviate these symptoms as it upregulates TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone) and T4 levels in the body. Studies found that after 8 weeks of regular consumption, a more balanced thyroid activity can be established (2).
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is considered to be safe for use as it is non-toxic and does not produce negative side effects in most people.
When introducing a novel substance into your diet, it is advisable to check with a nutritionist or physician first. If you notice symptoms of nausea or an upset stomach, we would recommend stopping the use of this herb.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take these supplements to stay on the safer side. Other individuals who may refrain from it are those with autoimmune disorders and those who are on active diabetes and cholesterol medication. If you are about to go under anesthesia, it is advised that you do not take this herb for at least two weeks prior.
Recommended Dosage for Ashwagandha
Moderation is key to avoid any negative side effects of Ashwagandha. You can consume 300-500 mg a day to reap the benefits of this nutrient-rich plant. For more impact, you may up the dosage to 1000-1500 mg under the careful supervision of a health professional. There are various forms in which you can get your daily dose of Ashwagandha:
For tablets, twice a day, taking 1 tablet is sufficient.
For capsules, 1 capsule can be taken twice a day as well.
For Ashwagandha churna/powders, a quarter or half teaspoon can go a long way.
Do your research and ensure that the products you purchase are high quality so your safety is always a priority.
The Right One for You
We all have our baggage when it comes to our health. For your specific health needs, Cora has a dynamic range of Ashwagandha products for immunity, hormonal health, fertility and more. These are available in powdered form, as capsules and tablets too. Find all the best supplements to manage your symptoms holistically. These mindful brands like Upakarma Ayurveda, Kapiva, Neuherbs and more, provide the best solutions for your well-being!