In 2022, 74% of people reported to have gone through long and severe stress episodes. To fight stress and anxiety, many people is now using adaptogens.
In this post we talk about Ashwagandha, one of the most effective adaptogens in the market!
Ashwagandha, also called Withania Somniferia or winter cherry, is an evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East and Africa.
This plant is one of the staples of Ayurveda Medicine. Its name comes from ‘ashva’, meaning horse, and ‘ghanda’, meaning smell. This reflects the horse-like odor that Ashwagandha has.
Ashwagandha is considered a modern equivalent adaptogen, a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress.
- Less anxiety
- Better mood
- Lower stress hormones
Why is Ashwagandha an adaptogen?
Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen thanks to the high quantity and wide variety of phytochemicals. These compounds act in your organism fighting stress and anxiety.
The main phytochemicals in Ashwagandha are:
- Whitanolide D
- Whitaferin A
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is placed as one of the safest and most effective adaptogens known to date.
Are many the potential health benefits associated with Ashwagandha. In the next 5 min, we’ll go through the most evidenced health benefits of all!
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
The most well known and evidenced health benefit of Ashwagandha: it helps you reduce stress and anxiety.
In this study, eight weeks of 500 mg/day Ashwagandha significantly reduced the stress levels in individuals (study
There are dozens of studies reporting the positive effects of Ashwagandha on stress and anxiety.
Ashwagandha controls mediator of stress such as heat shock proteins, cortisol, or other molecules in charge of the stress response (study). It also reduces the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which regulates the stress response (study).
2. Boosts performance and muscle size
One of the latest uses of Ashwagandha has been with the aim of increasing muscle size and boost the training performance.
Ashwagandha and Men’s Health
- Less neuro-inflammation
- Increases anti-oxidant status
- Increases muscle size
- Boosts testosterone levels
3. Improve Mental Health
Ashwagandha, besides being an adaptogen, is also considered a nootropic.
There are dozens of studies that show that Ashwagandha slows, stops, reverses or removes neurotic atrophy and synaptic loss (study)
Ashwagandha can be used to treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other neurodegenerative diseases at any stage of the disease.
Not only that, but Ashwagandha may also reduce symptoms of depression.
Participants who took 1000mg of ashwagandha extract for 12 weeks had greater reductions in depression and anxiety than those who did not take the supplement (study)
There’s however limited research in this field. Ashwagandha may be used as a supply, but without substituting the recommended medication.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Ashwagandha contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation in your body (study).
These compounds target markers of neuroinflammation. It disrupts the NP-kB pathways, decreasing inflammation (study)
Moreover, Ashwagandha fights free radicals in your body. This helps you increase the levels of natural defenses, and decrease inflammation.
5. May Help You Fight Cancer
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part grown and reproduce uncontrollably (source)
Ashwagandha improves the body's defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity.
It also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals (study)
The potential effects are, however, very mild for the magnitude of a cancer.
How to take Ashwagandha
There’s no common consensus on what the right dose and timing of Ashwagandha.
From the studies done so far, it seems like doses ranging from 250-1250 mg/day are effective for different conditions.
As Ashwagandha is a dose-dependent supplement, start from the low range and as time moves on slightly increase the dose.
Although ashwagandha is safe for most people, it’s not safe for everyone. It’s important to check with a healthcare professional before taking ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is one of the most potent and safe adaptogens in the market.
In this post, we have seen the main and most evidenced health benefits of Ashwagandha. It may help reduce anxiety and stress, support your cancer therapy, improve mental health, boost your training performance, and reduce inflammation.