Last Updated on 9 months by Isreal Olabanji DST RN
There is no doubt that humans have made significant progress in various areas of life and living. Especially obvious is the massive improvement in health care, covering both medication and tech. However, this improvement has come to some side effects that have forced us to look back at some methods used by our forebears in years gone by.
This has led to an increased interest in natural health remedies; mainly because of the fact that they are known to offer little to no side effects when compared to chemically synthesized medication. In this article, we will be looking at one such herbal remedy known as Ashwagandha.
What is it?
At first glance, Ashwagandha looks like some gibberish that a toddler will type while playing on a computer. However, this is a really interesting herb that has been used for centuries for its various health benefits. It is regarded by experts as an adaptogen, that is, a compound that improves the balanced operations of the various body systems. You can learn more about this here.
Every part of this plant is used for one medical application or another. These include the leaves, root and seeds. It is an all-round efficacious plant which explains why it is one of the herbs most employed in the ancient Ayurvedic healing practice, a practice that pursues bodily wellbeing through a holistic approach.
What are its Benefits?
So, we now know that this plant offers a lot of health benefits. However, to put it all in proper perspective, we will now go-ahead to look at some specific health benefits that they can offer.
This is probably one of the benefits for which this plant is most popular. The stress level in humans is influenced by cortisol levels. When cortisol, which is regarded as a stress hormone, is in very high quantity in the body, stress levels are also increased. Keeping stress levels low, therefore, requires that cortisol levels be first kept low.
This plant does exactly that. It regulates the amount of cortisol released into the body and by so doing, also regulates stress levels in the body.
Increase in Insulin Secretion and Sensitivity
Diabetes, which is something that is common in our society today, is caused when the body is no longer able to regulate the amount of sugar in it. This is primarily the task of insulin. When insulin secretion or sensitivity is low, it will fail in its regulatory role.
Ashwagandha has been shown to help increase the production of insulin as well as its sensitivity. This directly translates to better sugar regulation in the body.
This is another interesting benefit that is currently being investigated in greater detail. Scientists found that taking this natural medication promoted the death of cancerous cells, a process known as apoptosis. This is mainly thanks to the actions of withaferin which is one of the constituent compounds of this plant.
Boost in Testosterone Levels
Some studies have shown that using the plant helps improve testosterone levels in men. In addition to this, it also boosts fertility through an increase in sperm motility and counts.
Management of Inflammation
A study showed that ashwagandha reduces the occurrence of CRP (C-reactive protein) in the body. This is one of the inflammation markers in the body that is also thought to have something to do with an increase in the likelihood of heart disease occurrences. They were also found to help in the building of the immune system through the increase of the body’s fighting cells.
Aid Building of Strength and Muscle Mass
Bodybuilders who have had to deal with the use of steroids will find this interesting. A study showed that folks that used this plant gained strength and muscle mass while reducing body fat.
You can read about other benefits of this plant in greater detail here: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#1.
Other Important Information
Not many people can find this plant in its raw state. What you will likely find around is the already processed variation. These will usually be presented in various forms. These include powder, capsule or liquid forms as part of a supplement or health food.
Since this is a natural product, it offers very minimal side effects, especially when taken in reasonable doses. Though there is no definite dosage guide, wisdom dictates that anyone who wants to take this starts with a small dosage and gradually increase to a medium dose. A dosage of between 450 milligrams to no more than 2 grams is advised.
Staying within this dosage will ensure that you record little to no side effects. You must however not use it if you are pregnant as it may lead to delivering your baby earlier than you should.
Yes, ashwagandha offers immense health benefits; however, caution should be your watchword while using it.
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