As a certified wellness coach I am constantly researching and experimenting with foods and supplements that will keep me at my healthiest. I’m a firm believer in taking herbal supplements to provide your body with added nutrients that you may not be absorbing through your food. Given that every person has a different genetic makeup and varying differences in lifestyles, there is no one supplement that fits everyone. However, ashwaganda is one supplement that will benefit most everyone in a positive way.
What Is Ashwaganda?
Ashwaganda is in the same plant family as the tomato with oval leaves, yellow flowers and small red fruit about the size of a raisin. The root and berries are made into the extract (gel, pill or dried form for tonics) that are ingested daily. Ashwaganda is commonly called ‘Indian ginseng’ and is known for its restorative benefits particularly to the immune system. It has been used in eastern medicine for over 2,500 years. It is a powerful adaptogen herb which essentially means that it helps restore, balance and protect your body.
There are hundreds of studies on the many benefts of ashwaganda which include balancing hormones, reducing stress and anxiety, stabilizing blood sugar, reduce brain cell degeneration, improve immune response and prevent and treat cancer. (See Below for specific studies)
- - Research from the Asha Hospital in Hyderbad found, in a study of 64 people with chronic stress, that Ashwagandha supplementation
for two months decreased stress by 44% and decreased depression and/or anxiety by 72%.
- Tokyo University of Technology researchers found that Ashwagandha slows the process of melanocyte stem cell phosphorylation, giving it the potential of blocking skin cancers.
- Jamia Hamdard University researchers found that Ashwagandha reduces oxidative damage related to brain cell damage – making it useful for reducing dementia and Alzheimer’s risk.
- Eight weeks of Ashwagandha supplementation increased endurance, respiration capacity and metabolic efficiency among cycling athletes, according to research from Guru Nanak Dev University.
- Research from Texas’ Baylor University found that Ashwagandha reduced inflammation related to type I diabetes.
- Research from the College of Pharmacy at University of Hawaii performed assays that found that Ashwagandha inhibited cancer-related cytokines.
- Researchers from Jamia Hamdard University’s Pharmacy Faculty found that Ashwagandha reduces oxidative stress related to type 2 diabetes.
- Researchers from Malaysia’s University Sains found that Ashwagandha reduced fatigue and increased general well-being among patients who were undergoing chemotherapy.
- Researchers from Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azam University found that Ashwagandha inhibited cancer cells from growing.
Many people (women in particular) often have hormone imbalances leaving them feeling tired, stressed, irritable and fighting to lose stubborn pounds. Since ashwaganda is an adaptogen it helps to balance thyroid levels so it can either stimulate a sluggish thyroid or slow down T3/T4 production depending on the body’s specific need.
Ashwaganda also contains powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals that cause aging. This can be particularly helpful for the aging population to help prevent neurological diseases such as Alzheimers and dementia.
One of the more recent studies compared ashwaganda use to certain anti-depressant and anti-anxiety pharmaceutical drugs and found that it had comparable results. Plus, ashwaganda does not have the adverse side effects as those pharmaceutical drugs.
If you do suffer from chronic stress, mood swings, hormonal imbalances and low energy I strongly recommend you to try ashwaganda. Of course, consult your doctor if you are taking any pharmaceutical drugs specifically prescribed to treat any of the above issues as there could be some adverse side effects.
Here is the ashwaganda extract that I take daily: Ashwaganda root