Ashwagandha: Someone has undoubtedly given you a little sermon on the benefits of ashwagandha if you’re the anxious or stressed out sort.
You’ve undoubtedly been told that it can do almost everything, like prepare meals for you and put the kids to bed. But if you have reservations about herbal remedies, you definitely haven’t thought of researching ashwagandha. It’s alright. We’ll carry out the research for you.
We’ll go through the fundamentals and some of the ashwagandha’s medically supported advantages with the assistance of integrative medicine expert Yufang Lin, MD.
What is ashwagandha?
An evergreen plant called ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), commonly referred to as “Indian Winter cherry” or “Indian Ginseng,” is found in India, Africa, and some regions of the Middle East.
What is the benefit of ashwagandha?
According to Dr. Lin, ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to boost vitality, enhance general health, and lessen pain, anxiety, and inflammation.
She continues by stating that the traditional medical system in India is called Ayurveda. It is a therapeutic tradition that encourages harmony between the body, mind, spirit, and environment via diet, exercise, mindfulness techniques, and herbal remedies.
For individuals who like herbal medications, ashwagandha appears to be a good option for a number of factors.
Stress-inducing situations abound in modern life. Additionally, stress plays a role in both physical and mental disorders. Your body’s cortisol levels rise under stressful situations, which makes your heart beat quicker and with greater force. Your body produces more glucose while you breathe quickly, giving you an immediate boost of energy. Your body enters the fight-or-flight state, and your mind becomes intensely focused on any dangers. Cortisol levels return to normal when the stressful event is over, and any related symptoms go away.
“Unfortunately, when a threat is chronic—whether it’s stress from finances or work—the stressful response also becomes chronic,” explains Dr. Lin. The chance of acquiring chronic illnesses like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia is increased by long-term stress over time.
What is ashwagandha used for then? According to research, it can be beneficial in a number of ways.
- Normalizes cortisol levels, which reduces the stress response.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Reduces cancer risks.
- Improves memory.
- Improves immune function and anti-aging properties.
- Eases stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha may be used by those who are nervous or stressed out, as well as those who have chronic diseases, according to Dr. Lin.
How much should you take?
Ashwagandha is available in many different forms. Gummies, capsules, liquid drops, and powders that you may blend into beverages are among forms it comes in.
So how much ashwagandha should you take daily? No of the type, according to Dr. Lin, the recommended dosage is 500 mg twice day.
Is ashwagandha safe, though? According to Dr. Lin, the quality of the supplements has a major role. She advises consumers to seek out dietary supplements that have undergone independent testing and verification by a third party organisation, such as ConsumerLab, the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), or the National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF International).
Ashwagandha side effects
Although ashwagandha’s negative effects are generally mild, some persons may encounter:
- Gastrointestinal upset.
- Vomiting and nausea.
The majority of individuals can use this supplement, but it’s always advisable to talk to your doctor first, according to Dr. Lin.
Dr. Lin urges you to speak with your doctor before taking ashwagandha if you are experiencing any thyroid problems.
According to Dr. Lin, ashwagandha can improve thyroid function by boosting the conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 from its inactive form, T4, to its active form, T3. “Therefore, it may encourage a healthy thyroid function for some individuals. On the other hand, ashwagandha may cause overt hyperthyroidism if a person already has a borderline overactive thyroid.
Ashwagandha should be used with caution if you have an autoimmune illness, are pregnant, nursing, or any other medical circumstances. Dr. Lin suggests speaking with your doctor before taking any medication in these circumstances. She emphasises this to expectant mothers since ashwagandha may create problems.
Ashwagandha can be a component of your health regimen overall, but keep in mind that it is not a panacea.
Dr. Lin states that while taking ashwagandha won’t make the tension disappear, it could help lessen the symptoms so one feels more at peace. “However, if you take the time to create coping mechanisms to aid in stress management in the future, that will go a lot further in the long run,” she said.