Ashwagandha, the famed adaptogen superfood plant is having a moment – or should we say, has been having a moment – for centuries now. And the more you learn about the benefits of Ashwagandha, you’ll see why.
Using plants as medicine is certainly nothing new. In fact it’s centuries old, but the hype around adaptogenic herbs continues to grow.
Ashwagandha in particular is a long-time staple in Indian and Ayurvedic traditions, and there’s a reason Ashwagandha has been used and revered in Ayurvedic medicine since 6000 B.C.E.!
Read on to learn more about this amazing superfood adaptogen!
First – What Are Adaptogens?
Before we get into the specific Ashwagandha benefits, what exactly is it and why should we care about – and use – adaptogens?
In a basic sense, adaptogens are your body’s BFF and one of the best lines of defense against stress and the harm it can cause on your body and mind.
As the name suggests, adaptogens naturally help you adapt to whatever life throws your way – stressful job situations, relationship drama, or the continuous hustle and bustle of daily life.
The restorative powers of adaptogens can help regulate your body’s response to stress and keep your body in it’s preferred state of homeostatic and health.
Want to learn more about the amazing world of adaptogens? Here is Everything You Need to Know About Adaptogens and Why You Should Use Them
Now that we’ve established what adaptogens are, let’s take a look at the main Ashwagandha benefits.
Here Are 7 Main Ashwagandha Benefits:
1. Overall Heart Health
Ashwagandha is a superfood for the heart. Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death. Ashwagandha can help keep the heart healthy in multiple ways: by reducing stress and anxiety, supporting artery health and function, and also keeping cholesterol levels under control.
2. Ashwagandha for Anti-Inflammation
Studies show that Ashwagandha decreases markers of inflammation and also boosts natural killer cells, which are responsible for immunity and fighting infection.
This in turn can prevent and lower risks of other forms of sickness since inflammation is the root cause of many health issues.
3. Serious Stress Reduction
Cortisol is commonly referred to as the “stress hormone.” If you’re constantly on edge about work, life, deadlines – whatever stresses you out – your body is likely flooded with a constant supply of cortisol. Ashwagandha has been shown to lower cortisol levels by as much as 30%.
If you’re dealing with anxiety, Ashwagandha has also been shown to reduce anxiety in 88% of participants.
4. Supports Muscle Gain and Body Fat Reduction
While it sounds like a big claim, studies have shown that participants who took Ashwagandha saw an increase in muscle gain and an overall reduction in body fat over a 30-day period combined with exercise.
5. Increase Endurance
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy adults and also increase the overall quality of life in adult athletes.
6. Lower Blood Sugar
Studies show that Ashwagandha can lower blood sugar.
Interestingly enough, Ashwagandha has also been shown to be just as effective as a prescription diabetes medication. However, for those who take diabetes medication there is a risk associated with blood glucose levels getting too low so be sure to discuss adding any supplements with your healthcare provider.
7. Cancer Prevention
Though research is still ongoing, studies have found Ashwagandha to have anti-cancer properties and also revealed a link between Ashwagandha and reduction of cancer cells.
Studies have also shown that it can help prevent new cancer cell growth.
Final Thoughts On Ashwagandha Benefits and How to Incorporate It Into Your Life
If you want to look for an Ashwagandha supplement, remember that not all sources are created equal. Things you should look for: Indigenously and sustainably-grown sources, and organic.
There are a mind-boggling array of supplements and powders to choose from when picking an Ashwagandha, but the KSM-66 extract is the most widely tested and proven type and seems to show the most benefits in clinical trials, by providing a full-spectrum, high-concentration dose of the goodness.
There are many benefits of this superfood adaptogen. Mother Nature is an incredible doctor, and the more you learn about ancient remedies, the more you’ll be inspired and in awe of the power of natural healing.
Do you use and love Ashwagandha, or will you be giving it a try? Please share in the comments below – we love hearing from you!
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.