Ashwagandha is an adaptogen
The benefits of Ashwagandha are incredible. It has been used in for more than 2,500 years in Ayurvedic medicine, and is actually the most commonly used and extensively researched adaptogen herb. Classified as an “adaptogen,” which means that it can help your body manage stress. It’s actually the most commonly used and extensively researched adaptogen herb. Ashwagandha benefits all sorts of other parts of your body and your brain! From lowering blood sugar levels, reducing cortisol and boosting brain function to helping fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The benefits of ashwagandha are supported by science.
In India, it is known as “Indian Ginseng” and is known for its ability to strengthen the immune system after illness. However, it is best known for its ability to reduce stress. Researchers reported that it blocked the stress pathway in the brains of rats by regulating the chemical signals in the nervous system. Similar to the Cannabis plant and other adaptogenic herbs, it helps the body maintain homeostasis, even in moments of emotional or physical stress. Several controlled human studies have shown that it can effectively reduce symptoms in people anxiety and stress disorders it also appears to help in the prevention of degenerative diseases.
There have been over 200 studies on the benefits of ashwagandha:
- Boost immunity
- Reduce brain cell degeneration
- Improve thyroid function
- Treat adrenal fatigue
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Reduce stress
- Increase stamina and endurance
- Prevent and treat cancer
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Lower cholesterol
According to research published in the International Journal of Home Science, 1,000 milligrams of dehydrated ashwagandha root powder contains:
- 2.5 calories
- 0.04 gram protein
- 0.032 gram fiber
- 0.05 gram carbohydrates
- 0.03 milligram iron
- 0.02 milligram calcium
- 0.08 microgram carotene
- 0.06 milligram vitamin C
When purchasing ashwagandha supplements, make sure they are high in withanolide and the supplement is intended for human consumption.
When supplementing with an organic ashwagandha product, we recommend starting with 300mg per day, with withanolides in a range of 5%. Slowly increase your ashwagandha dosage, watching for potential side effects. It’s advisable to do this under the supervision of your naturopathic practitioner or health care provider.
Caution is needed when considering taking any herbal supplement and ashwagandha should never be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
People using diabetes medications, blood pressure medications, any medications that suppress the immune system, sedatives or medications for thyroid problems should not use ashwagandha unless they’ve consulted with their doctor first. Those with hyperthyroidism may notice an additional increase of thyroid function when taking the herb and should only do so under the controlled supervision of a doctor, if at all.