This ancient herb hails from India where it has been in popular use for a long time. The plant is also found in parts of North America and is also a popular component of Chinese traditional medicine. Also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, the plant’s roots contain many potent ingredients that assist in adapting the body to stress.
Primarily regarded as an adaptogen, ashwagandha benefits centre on simultaneously strengthening resistance to stress as well as improving energy levels. Comparable to many contemporary anti-depressants and tranquilizers the herb is a natural alternative to these harsh medications.
Shown to relieve restlessness, its regular use seems to have an anti anxiety effect which is helpful in improving the mood. The herb’s calming symptoms also appear to ease depression. Likewise, it can act as a sedative and assist in sleeping better. In fact, ashwagandha is considered as a natural remedy for insomnia by many herbalists.
Other Ashwagandha benefits include the herb’s ability to assist the immune system’s performance in recovering from an illness. It has demonstrated its ability to ward off cold and cough symptoms and is recognized for providing nourishment to bones. As such, some evidence goes to show that the root may be helpful in providing protection against inflammation and cartilage damage associated with arthritis and is a common ingredient in joint pain remedies.
More Ashwagandha benefits of this potent herb include its possible role it inhibiting the growth of certain kinds of cancers. Research has determined its potential to abate cancer cell growth without affecting normal healthy cells.
For diabetics, it has also been observed to normalize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Ashwagandha is considered an herb that promotes rejuvenation and supports performance. This is why it can be found in natural formulas created to enhance libido and sex drive.
Although no significant Ashwagandha side effects have been observed, some people who have taken this herb at night have reported feelings of nervousness and difficulty to sleep — quite the opposite to what it’s supposed to do.
In any event, as with any herbal supplement, it is recommended to take it with breaks in between periods of use, and pay close attention to your very own way to respond to it.
Long term use of the supplement may cause toxicity but further studies are needed to establish this theory. Other conditions associated with a large dose may include gastrointestinal disturbances like an upset stomach, diarrhea or vomiting.
One point to watch out for while considering Ashwagandha supplements is medication contraindication. The herbal supplement, if taken with other medications may interfere with the effects of other medicines. Therefore it is important to inform your health care practitioner before using any herbal medicine. Moreover, since the herb tends to calm the nervous system, it is best to stop its use prior to a surgical appointment. Continued use could enhance its effect of any anesthesia that is administered.
While its sedative properties can have a calming effect in the nerves, Ashwagandha side effects can also cause drowsiness. With first time users this is a common complaint and although symptoms get better with consistent use, it is recommended to take the supplement on a full stomach.
As a word of caution, even though Ashwagandha benefits outweigh its side effects, the herbal supplement is strictly not recommended for expectant or nursing mothers.
People exhibiting the symptoms of thyroid problems should refrain too from taking this herb until they have been properly diagnosed. Ashwagandha has been used to treat hypothyroidism with great success but it is best to be taken under professional care.
Wishing you wellness and peace,
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