If you’re looking for an all-natural way to improve your health, you may have heard of ashwagandha. This powerful herb has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and is prized for its many benefits. But what is ashwagandha good for? How much should you take? And are there any side effects to be aware of? In this blog post, we will answer all your questions about ashwagandha!
- 1 What Is Ashwagandha?
- 2 Nutrition Information
- 3 Benefits
- 4 Side Effects
- 5 Dosage
- 6 Medications Ashwagandha Can Interact With
- 7 How Can You Take Ashwagandha?
- 8 Conclusion
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb that grows in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. It has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, stress, and low energy levels. This herb is also known as “Indian ginseng” because of its similarities to the Chinese herb ginseng.
Both herbs are adaptogens, which means they help the body to cope with stress by reducing the production of stress hormones. It is an herb that has been used in India for centuries. The name Ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words ashva, meaning “horse,” and gandha, meaning “smell.” This herb was so named because of its strong horse-like smell.
It has been used in the Indian traditional medicine system of Ayurveda for over 3,000 years. It is considered a “rasayana,” which are herbs or compounds that are thought to promote health and rejuvenation. This herb has been traditionally used for a variety of purposes, including as a sedative, anti-inflammatory, antacid, and diuretic. It has also been used to boost immunity, increase energy levels, and improve memory.
This herb brings a lot to the table when it comes to healthy nutrients, a 100-gram serving is comprised of:
- Energy: 245 Kcal
- Carbohydrate: 49.9 gm
- Dietary Fiber: 32.3 gm
- Protein: 3.9 gm
- Iron: 3.3 mg
- Calcium: 23 mg
- Vitamin C: 3.7 mg
There are plenty of benefits of ashwagandha, some of which are listed below:
Helps to reduce stress and anxiety
This herb is a natural adaptogen, meaning it helps the body to better cope with physical and psychological stress. In one study, 64% of participants who took ashwagandha for 60 days reported feeling less anxious. Moreover, the herb was just as effective as the anti-anxiety medication lorazepam (Ativan) in reducing stress.
Helps to improve brain function
Ashwagandha has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function in adults. One study showed that participants who took ashwagandha had significantly better working memory and reaction times than those who didn’t. In addition to this, ashwagandha may help to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
A small study showed that participants who took ashwagandha had significantly lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, than those who didn’t. Ashwagandha may also help to improve sleep quality. One study showed that participants who took ashwagandha had significantly better sleep quality than those who didn’t.
May lower blood sugar levels
This herb may help to lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. In one study, participants who took ashwagandha had lower blood sugar levels after eating a high-carbohydrate meal. High blood glucose levels after eating can be a sign of insulin resistance.
May reduce inflammation
Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). In one study, participants who took ashwagandha had lower levels of CRP than those who didn’t. While more research is needed, ashwagandha may be a promising natural treatment for inflammation.
May boost testosterone levels
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase levels of testosterone and sperm quality in men. In one study, men who took ashwagandha had significantly higher levels of testosterone and improved sperm quality. Furthermore, in another study, men who took ashwagandha for three months had significantly higher levels of testosterone and improved sperm quality.
Ashwagandha can cause some potential side effects. Here are some of them:
- May cause stomach upset: Ashwagandha may cause stomach upset in some people. If this occurs, take it with food or milk. This could be because of the tannins in ashwagandha.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid ashwagandha: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid this herb because it may stimulate the uterus and lead to abortion. This could be because of its effects on the immune system. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking ashwagandha.
- May cause diarrhea: When you take ashwagandha, you may experience diarrhea. This is because the herb can act as a laxative. If you have diarrhea, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- May cause nausea and vomiting: This herb may also cause nausea and vomiting. If you experience these symptoms, stop taking the herb and talk to your doctor.
- May cause headaches: Headaches are another possible side effect of ashwagandha as it can act as a diuretic. If you have headaches, drink plenty of fluids and talk to your doctor.
The usual dose of ashwagandha is 1-2 grams of powder or capsules once or twice per day.
- For anxiety: A typical dose is 500 mg once or twice daily.
- For sleep disorders: A typical dose is 500-600 mg before bedtime.
- For stress: A typical dose is 125-500 mg twice daily.
- For memory and thinking ability: A typical dose is 300-500 mg twice daily.
- For dementia: A typical dose is 300-500 mg twice daily.
- For osteoarthritis: A typical dose is 250-1000 mg per day.
- For high cholesterol: A typical dose is 3 grams daily.
In addition, the doses for adults and children are different. Adults should take 1-2 grams of powder or capsules once or twice per day while children should only take 1 gram once or twice per day. The dosage also depends on the condition being treated.
Medications Ashwagandha Can Interact With
There are some medications that can interact with this herb. If you are taking any of the following medications, you should not take ashwagandha without first talking to your healthcare provider:
-Medications that are broken down by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 substrates)
Some examples of these medications include:
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Felodipine (Plendil)
- Losartan (Cozaar)
How Can You Take Ashwagandha?
This herb comes in many forms, including:
You can either take this with food or on an empty stomach. It is best to start with a lower dose and increase it gradually over time.
Ashwagandha is a popular herb that has many health benefits. It can be taken in many forms, including capsules, powder, tablets, and tea. The dosage of this herb depends on many factors, including the condition being treated, the age of the person, and if the person is taking any other medications. It can interact with some medications, so it is important to talk to your healthcare provider.
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