Ashwagandha

With advancement in medical technology, dependence on traditional medicine has reduced. However, a resurgence of interest in natural herbs has been noted in recent times – thanks to the internet and mass media such as television. Indian ginseng, known as Ashwagandha in Hindi, is a common herb used by Ayurveda practitioners for the treatment of various ailments. Know about the various health benefits of this herb for men and women.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Women

Ashwagandha is extremely beneficial for women who are at risk of becoming sterile due to various reasons. It is a wonder herb for treating infertility. It is also effective in addressing several other ailments and bodily issues in females:

Picture of Ashwagandha

Picture 1 – Ashwagandha

  • The herb is capable of eliminating Leucorrhea, which arises due to hormonal imbalance in women as well as a variety of other causes.
  • It also helps reduce anxiety and irritability, thereby calming the nervous system. It is a constant source of energy and rejuvenates women.
  • The production of the stress hormone Cortisol can be controlled by regular intake of this herb in many forms.
  • Extracts of this herb can relieve pain and secretion in women due to vaginal infection, which may result from various causes.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties which cures uterine infections and inflammations in a natural way.
  • It can help improve libido in women to a great extent, just like in men. This herb is a known aphrodisiac which improves sexual endurance.
  • The herb also addresses depression, irritability and abnormalities in mood caused by Menopause.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Men

Some of the benefits of this natural product for men are:

  • It is helpful in improving the quality of semen in cases of seminal debility, a condition characterized by deficiency of sperm count.
  • It improves libido in men and in curing Spermatorrhea, a condition in which sperm is accidentally discharged.
  • Regular consumption of this substance can also cure other sexual health problems, such as erectile dysfunction and lack of energy or sex drive.
  • This herb can be effectively combined with fried cow-hage seeds to obtain best results for treating impotence.
  • Indian ginseng improves testosterone levels, solving sexual problems as well as balancing the free radicals in their body.
  • The root of this herb is considered to be significant for natural wellbeing. It can be made into a concoction and its extracts can be used to make pills.

Ashwagandha for Brain

The herb has stress-relieving properties, which makes it effective for soothing the mind and make it function properly. Those fighting memory loss or lack of concentration can find this natural substance to be extremely effective. The herb is known to ease depression improve and overall mental health in patients suffering from mood disorders.

Ashwagandha for Weight Loss and Weight Gain

Cortisol is one of the major causative factors for increase in weight, especially in the belly region. Higher the stress, more is the production of cortisol. Indian gensing is extremely beneficial for reducing anxiety and associated increase in body fat. It can also help underweight individuals gain weight and achieve a healthy body mass. This has been proven through a study involving children with inadequate weight which showed an increase in RBC count and weight after a trial of 2 months. Withania somnifera (another name for Ashwagandha) does not reduce weight by making one feel satiated; rather it acts like adaptogen which reduces the tendency to eat more due to stress.

Ashwagandha for Skin and Hair

Withania somnifera stops hair fall by reducing stress, which is one of the major causes of hair loss. It improves digestion, which indirectly shows through improved health of hair. Winter cherry or Ashwagandha can preserve youth by keeping the body supple.

Roots of this plant can be grounded to form a paste with water which can be applied topically on wounds to provide relief. Winter cherry, boiled in water, can be applied as a dressing. It acts as a fast and effective remedy for carbuncles. The root of this plant has powerful analgesic properties and is applied on scorulous and curbuncles alongside other skin ailments.

Ashwagandha and Thyroid

This herb might also influence functions of the thyroid gland, as suggested by some studies. It imparts adaptogenic effect on the gland, thereby regulating its activities. The activities of the hyperactive thyroid gland can be curbed and that of the hypoactive gland augmented in this way. Ashwagandha is regarded as an active ingredient in the Ayurvedic treatment of thyroid gland. There are discrepancies in the results and views of researchers regarding the benefits of this herb in thyroid treatment.  However, the herb has been recognized to play a key role in keeping endocrine glands in good condition by suppressing ailments associated with it. It can stimulate the production of thyroid hormones in the body and also help check the growth of goiters (abnormally enlarged thyroid gland).

Other Benefits and uses

Other than the abovementioned health benefits, this plant is also effective for improving health in a number of ways.

  • It can keep the body fit by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Antioxidants and free radicals are great for keeping body healthy as they stop growth of tumors and other debilitating diseases.
  • Studies have been conducted to determine the potency of Withania somnifera in minimizing growth of deadly cancers of the colon, breasts or lungs. Some studies reveal that the herb has the tendency to capture the cancerous cells by keeping the normal cells unharmed.
  • This herb can be used in curing Type 2 diabetes owing to its ability in bringing down and regulating the sugar level.
  • Heart ailments are common these days, especially due to unhealthy lifestyle and work pressure. Withania somnifera can boost cardiac health and reduce risk of malfunctioning of the heart caused by such factors.
  • Certain medicinal properties of the leaves of this plant are a great remedy for intestinal worms.
  • It has anti-aging properties in the form of antioxidants which help preserve youth and restrict the emergence of signs of aging.
  • This herb is very useful for treating insomnia or lack of sleep. However, significant results have been noted in patients consuming it in combination with other natural substances.
  • You can benefit your vision by consuming it along with ayurvedic minerals and herbs.
  • Winter Cherry or Indian ginseng has the ability to replenish lost strength and energy. It is extremely useful for patients suffering from Rheumatic fever or Tuberculosis.
  • Persistent fatigue restricts you from doing even lightest activity. Taking Indian Gensing along with Shatavari, Indian gooseberry and licorice can help solve this problem.
  • It helps gain body mass in a safe and natural way. It is thus good for individuals who have a passion for body building.
  • Osteoarthritis is a painful medical condition which can literally cripple a sufferer. Indian gensing offers long lasting remedy to such pains in joints.
  • Ashwagandha oil, applied on areas affected by pain and rheumatic inflammation, can provide relief.
  • This oil works wonders for back pain or other inflammations in the body.
  • Withania somnifera is also effective in endowing immunity to the body, thus protecting it against infections.
  • This herb functions really well in eliminating infectious conditions. Due to this reason, it is often administered for treatment of infections in the urinary tracts.
  • Those suffering from asthma and infections in the upper respiratory tract can benefit from this natural cure.
  • The plant can also be beneficial for people having vertigo issues or a tendency to faint.

Ashwagandha Benefits during Pregnancy

Naturalists stress the importance of this herb in averting fatigue and back pain during pregnancy. Medically, however, it might not be a great choice. Pregnant women are advised to consult a physician about the negative effects of this herb is before consuming it during pregnancy. According to some unconfirmed reports, the herb might lead to an abortion.

Ashwagandha Side Effects

There are no such debilitating side effects of this herb. If consumed in greater quantities, however, it might give rise to some health problems like:

Image of Ashwagandha

Picture 2 – Ashwagandha Image

  • Diarrhea
  • Feverish feeling
  • Vomiting

Patients having auto immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis should better avoid this herb as it might give rise to adverse effects. To avoid ill effects on health, sufferers should consume the herb in smaller amounts for a short period of time.  However, reactions with any drug have not yet been confirmed.

Ashwagandha Dosage

General dosage of this plant might be around 5 to 6 grams every day. The root extract can be dried and also integrated into tinctures, powders, supplements, capsules and tea.

Ashwagandha impacts the overall health of a person. Its holistic healing powers have been applauded in the west after being popular in India since ages. It has embalming properties and natural powers to heal the body and spirit. This herb has proven to be extremely beneficial in improving mental and bodily health for both men and women. It is heartening to note that the modern generation is finally waking up to the diverse effectiveness of this product and drawing immense benefits from it.