What Happens to Your Body When You Take Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is only recently that this herb has begun to gain popularity in the Western world. So, what is ashwagandha, and what are the benefits of taking it?

Ashwagandha is an herb in the nightshade family that is native to India and North Africa. The name “ashwagandha” comes from the Sanskrit words meaning “smell of horse,” which refers to the strong smell of the root of the plant. Ashwagandha has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

In recent years, ashwagandha has begun to gain popularity in the Western world as a natural treatment for anxiety and stress. Numerous studies have shown that ashwagandha can decrease levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. One study even found that ashwagandha was as effective as Xanax, a common anti-anxiety medication, in reducing symptoms of anxiety.

In addition to its effects on anxiety, ashwagandha has also been shown to improve sleep quality. One study found that taking ashwagandha before bedtime improved sleep quality by reducing the amount of time it took to fall asleep and increasing total sleep time.

Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when taken at recommended doses. Side effects are rare but may include stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to avoid ashwagandha as there is not enough research on its safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The benefits of ashwagandha are due to the presence of several active compounds, including withanolides, alkaloids, and choline. These compounds work together to modulate the effects of stress on the body. For example, one study found that withanolides activate certain genes that help to protect cells from damage caused by inflammation.

Reduced anxiety and stress levels

One of the most well-known benefits of ashwagandha is its ability to reduce anxiety and stress levels. This is thanks to the herb’s high concentration of withanolides, which are plant-derived compounds that have powerful stress-relieving properties. In fact, one study showed that ashwagandha was just as effective as the popular anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan) in reducing stress and anxiety levels.

Improved brain function

Ashwagandha has also been shown to improve brain function. One study found that the herb improved memory and reaction time in healthy adults. Another study showed that ashwagandha could improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Boosted energy levels

If you’re feeling tired and run down, ashwagandha may be just what you need. This herb has been shown to increase energy levels, stamina, and exercise performance. One study even found that it could help improve quality of life and reduce fatigue in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Conclusion

Ashwagandha is an herb with many potential health benefits. It has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is only now beginning to gain popularity in the Western world. Ashwagandha has been shown to be effective in reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and improving sleep quality. Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when taken at recommended doses but should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to a lack of research on its safety during these times.

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