Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, many people were experiencing emotional and physical exhaustion aroused by excessive and prolonged stress. This is why, stress relief has become a pretty hot trend over the last two years, and Ashwagandha is certainly no exception.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, also known as the “Indian ginseng” or Withania somnifera, is an herb that is native to Asia and Africa. It has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an alternative medicine for natural healing for over thousands of years.
Ashwagandha has been classified as an adaptogen, a natural substance that helps our body to adapt to stress by reducing adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and in turn helping to manage stress and adrenal fatigue issues.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha:
1. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Stress can be in different forms, including emotional, psychological, or physical. All of these forms involve cortisol, a stress hormone released by adrenal glands in response to stress.
Ashwagandha is best known for its ability to keep stress and anxiety at bay, as it has been shown to support adrenal glands by regulating levels of cortisol, which reduces negative health effects associated with high or low cortisol levels.
2. Improves Memory, Concentration and Cognitive Function
Ashwagandha may help to improve memory, cognition and the ability to perform motor responses after instruction. Some small studies have found that ashwagandha can significantly improve the cognitive and psychomotor performance of participants during tests as compared to a placebo , as well as improve the attention spans and information processing speed .
3. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Besides relieving stress and improving cognition, Ashwagandha can be a good remedy for controlling blood sugar levels among those with diabetes too.
Glucose in the blood is our main source of energy, while insulin plays the part to absorb glucose and convert it into energy. Those with diabetes are not able to produce or do so in small quantities, which eventually leads to elevated blood sugar levels. In this case, Ashwagandha can stimulate and regulate the secretion of insulin, thus contributing to controlling blood sugar levels.
4. Supports Heart Health
Ashwagandha can also work wonders for our heart health. It helps to lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels which are crucial in preventing stroke and heart diseases. It can also increase the VO2 max levels, which is the maximum amount of oxygen we can take in while doing any form of physical activities. These levels are often used to measure cardiorespiratory endurance. Thus, the higher VO2 max levels often indicates a healthier heart.
5. Increases Muscle and Strength
Another health benefit to be highlighted of Ashwagandha is to improve muscle mass and strength. There’s a study that observes Ashwagandha can increase velocity and power, therefore it can be useful for improving speed and lower limb muscular strength, and neuro-muscular coordination .
6. Reduces Inflammation
Ashwagandha is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it can also treat severe inflammation in the body. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha is able to trigger the production of immune cells that protects the body against inflammation that causes infections, and helps the body to stay healthy.
You may like to consider:
LABO Nutrition AdaptWell
AdaptWell is an all-natural, potent adrenal support, formulated to help you cope with emotional distress and physical and mental fatigue. It comprises two powerful adaptogens – Ashwagandha extract and Rhodiola rosea extract, which are thoughtfully curated for their powerful healing properties.
Well known to be powerful adaptogens, the Ashwagandha and Rhodiola rosea in AdaptWell synergistically help strengthen the body’s natural resistance and adaptation to stress and anxiety, allowing one to cope better during stressful times. In addition, AdaptWell helps reduce stress-induced high blood pressure, increase energy levels, fight fatigue and improve physical and mental performance during mentally stressful and physically strenuous situations.
1. Pingali U, Pilli R, Fatima N. Effect of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera on tests of cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy human participants. Pharmacognosy Res. 2014;6(1):12-18.
2. Choudhary D, Bhattacharyya S, Bose S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions. J Diet Suppl. 2017;14(6):599-612.
3. Sandhu JS, Shah B, Shenoy S, Chauhan S, Lavekar GS, Padhi MM. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010;1(3):144-149.