Ashwagandha - Benefits, Uses, Dosage and Side effects
By Refadoc, Posted on : Friday, 19 June 2015 - 5:13 pm IST
Ashwagandha is known all over the world by different names. However, the plant, its roots and its berries are used all over in the production of medicines. The plant has a lot of uses and is also used as an adaptogen in order to help the body to cope up with the daily stress as well as a generic tonic. A lot of people use the plant in order to boost their thinking ability, for decreasing the pain or swelling in their body as well as to prevent the side effects of aging. Not only that, the plant is also used in order to cure the problems related to fertility in men and women. It is also known to increase the sexual desire.
Ashwagandha can be applied to the skin topically in order to treat the wounds, cure backaches as well as to treat one sided paralysis or Hemiplegia. The plant is also successfully used in order to treat arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, leukoderma, bronchitis, backaches, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups as well as chronic liver disease.
Ashwagandha is used popularly in India, Ayurvedic as well as Unani Medicine. It is also used in the traditional African Medicine for treating a variety of ailments.
Composition of Ashwagandha:
Ashwagandha is also known by the name of Withania Somnifera and is rich in Iron, Glycowinthanolides or antioxidants, Tannins, Glucose, Potassium Nitrate, Alkaloids, Fatty Acids as well as numerous other substances. Ashwagandha also contains Steroidal Alkaloids, Somnine, Somniferine, Anferine and Withanolides. The alkaloids present in Ashwagandha are known to play a major role in the properties of the plant. The plant is also rich in Flavanoids, Lactones, Acyl Steryl Glucosides. In the traditional Ayurvedic medicine, the leaves are the major part of the plant which is used.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha:
Here are some of the major health benefits of Ashwagandha herb:
- Cures anxiety: There has been some substantial evidence regarding the fact that Ashwagandha when combined with a deep breathing technique as well as a specific diet is known to reduce the signs and symptoms of anxiety.
- Treats ADHD: A lot of clinic research has also proved that a combination of herbal products which contain Ashwagandha is known to improve the attention as well as the impulse control in case of children suffering from ADHD.
- Treats Cerebellar Ataxia: Certain preliminary research has proved that Ashwagandha in combination with an alternative form of medicine can be used to improve the balance in case of people suffering from Cerebellar Ataxia.
- Helps with High Cholesterol Management: There is a new insight to the fact that Ashwagandha is known to reduce the cholesterol levels in case of patients suffering from high cholesterol.
- Helps with Diabetes: There has been evidence to the fact that Ashwagandha tends to reduce the blood sugar levels in case of people suffering from Diabetes.
- Treats Male Infertility: Preliminary clinical research has found out that Ashwagandha is known to improve the sperm quality in case of men suffering from infertility. It does not add to an increase in the sperm count, but improves the quality of the sperm cells.
- Helps with Arthritis: Preliminary research has also found out that Ashwagandha when taken along with a particular supplement known as Articulin F is known to improve the symptoms related to arthritis.
- Parkinson’s disease: Preliminary research has also found out that a combination of herbs along with Ashwagandha is known to improve the symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease.
- Improves the learning, memory and reaction time
- Helps in reducing the rate of brain cell degeneration.
- Stabilizes the blood sugar levels
- Provides many anti inflammatory benefits
- Contains anti malarial properties
- Protects and fortifies the immune system
- Prevents the signs of aging
- Treats Fibromyalgia
- Helps with Tuberculosis treatment
- Prevents Cancers and Tumors
- Promotes proper sleep and treats insomnia
- Promotes a healthy metabolic system and proper functioning of the organs
Side Effects of Ashwagandha:
Ashwagandha is quite safe when taken for a short term in a moderate amount. A large dose of the herb is known to cause stomach problems, diarrhea as well as vomiting. Here are some of the major side effects of consuming Ashwagandha:
- For pregnant and breast feeding women, it is not recommended to consume Ashwagandha. The herb has been market as unsafe for pregnant women. There have been some instances where Ashwagandha is known to cause miscarriages.
- For Diabetics, Ashwagandha is known to lower the blood sugar levels. The herb could interfere with the medications which are used for the treatment of Diabetes.
- High and Low Blood Pressure: Ashwagandha is also known to decrease the blood pressure and can interfere with the medications used to lower the high blood pressure. Ashwagandha should be used properly and with caution if you are suffering from high or low blood pressure.
- Stomach Ulcers: Ashwagandha is known to irritate the gastro intestinal tract of people suffering from stomach ulcers.
- Auto Immune Disorders: Ashwagandha is also known to slow down the working of the central nervous system. It is also known to cause the immune system of a person to become more active and can therefore, increase the symptoms of auto immune diseases as well. In case you are suffering from any of these problems, it is recommended not to use Ashwagandha.
- Thyroid Disorders: Ashwagandha is also known to increase the levels of the hormone Thyroxin in the blood stream. Ashwagandha should be used cautiously or should be avoided altogether in case you are suffering from a thyroid condition.
Adding Ashwagandha to your Daily Diet:
As per the Ayurvedic concept, our diet forms the basic thread of our existence. The nutrients which are ingested by our body are also metabolized into energy. Our bodies need an everyday diet of essential vitamins, minerals as well as nutrients in order to make up and maintain the balance of our body. Consuming Ashwagandha has proved to be one of the most effective ways to instill that balance in our body.
Ashwagandha can be ingested in the form of a capsule. The typical recommended dose of Ashwagandha per day is around 600-1000 mg, taken twice daily. For people who are suffering from insomnia and anxiety, it is recommended to drink a cup of hot milk which contains Ashwagandha Churna in it before bedtime.
However, the appropriate dose of Ashwagandha is dependent on several factors such as the age of the user, his health as well as several other conditions. It is recommended to check in with your doctor before taking any prescription of the herb.
I did not know that there were so many health benefits of using Ashwagandha. Though someone had suggested the herb to me earlier, i had just ignored and let this go. But this is too good. thanks for sharing.
Ashwagandha is known as the powerhouse of all the herbs in the Indian Ajyurveda. Consuming the churan made from ashwagandha is really really good for the health of the entire family. It is also good for people suffering from Diabetes. Very informative.
Ashwagandha is a miracle plant. I once made a project on this plant when I was in the 9th standard and since then I have been intrigued with the amazing properties of this plant. I think that we should all be growing this plant in our house and should be using it in our everyday lives.
Ashwagandha is a miracle plant. I once made a project on this plant when I was in the 9th standard and since then I am amazed by the magical properties and qualities of this plant. I think that we should all be growing this plant in our homes and should be using it in our daily lives.
Thanks for sharing the link to this article. It has been very informative and helpful for me. Great!
My wife has--for a decade--suffered from high blood pressure (170 over 130 was normal for her). Blood pressure pills did nothing. We read about Ashwaganha, and decided to try it. She stopped taking her blood pressure pills, and took two Ashwaganha at lunch, and one at dinner. She's been doing that for three months, and last time we went to the doctor, her blood pressure was 125 over 70.
This very helpful healing herb assists the body in adapting to whatever imbalances are occurring. Only one example of the many uses it has, it has helped me to normalize my low thyroid. I felt better soon after beginning to take it, and my numbers improved with each testing, but it took about 18 months to slowly get my TSH numbers to optimum. With no medication, and the addition of come kelp and immunity mushrooms, all's well now and I feel great! It also improved my sleep cycles, and I no longer wake to toss and turn in the middle of the night. If I had one herb to take for wellness, this would be it!