All You Need To Know About Ashwagandha - Withania Somnifera

Updated: May 17


The scientific name for Ashwagandha is Withania Somnifera. ‘Ashwa’ means ‘Horse’ and ‘Gandha’ means ‘Smell’; hence, this plant is said to resemble the Smell of Horses. It is mainly grown in the Middle East, India, and some parts of Africa. Regarding its usability, the upper part of this plant is usually neglected as it is toxic, but the roots of this plant are used primarily for swollen ankles. However, the roots of this plant have to be treated using specific techniques, and expert guidance is highly recommended for avoiding any harm to humans. It is mainly used for medicinal purposes, and extensive research has shown that there are no significant side effects with optimum dosage.



What are the benefits of Ashwagandha?


Some of the extraordinary benefits of Withania Somnifera are -


  • Helps reduce blood sugar level - Several studies have detected that this plant increases the secretion level of insulin, improving the insulin sensitivity in muscles. This is beneficial for diabetic patients struggling with regular injections and medicines with long-term side effects.

  • Helps reduce cortisol level - Ashwagandha creates lower cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone released by adrenal glands in retaliation to stress. Its effect is similar to drugs like Imipramine and Lorazepam, taken by patients with high blood pressure to reduce anxiety.

  • Helps lower cholesterol level - This plant effectively reduces the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), which is the bad cholesterol in the human body and is highly undesirable. This, in turn, increases the High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), which is the good cholesterol and is beneficial for removing other forms of cholesterol from the bloodstream, thus, reducing the risk of heart diseases. It lowers triglyceride levels and ensures a healthy heart.

  • Influences the male reproductive system - Ashwagandha has a more significant impact on testosterone level as it improves the quality of sperm level, thereby improving sexual function and fertility. It boosts the level of sperm production and is beneficial for treatment in infertile males. It increases their antioxidant levels in the blood, which gets reduced with age. Also, testosterone level is related to cortisol as an increase in cortisol reduces the secretion of testosterone level. Thus, a balance is maintained by Ashwagandha in all ways.




What are the side effects of Ashwagandha and how much dosage is recommended?


Studies have reported that after taking Ashwagandha, one can feel a little bit of drowsiness. Pregnant women must avoid intake of this plant as it may cause harm to the fetus and may induce premature labor.


There is no standard dosage level, but a dosage of 300 mg to 500 mg a day is recommended for good results. Not only that, up to 1 g or even up to 1.5 g dosage has shown best results in some treatments. This can be found in capsules, tablets, powder, or liquid extract in the market. However, expert supervision is recommended in case the dosage exceeds the optimum limit.


Summary


Ashwagandha is a herbal medicine used for the treatment of various diseases that are emerging around the world. It has long-term benefits, and it can help in curing chronic diseases. However, in terms of treating short-term conditions, it is recommended to opt for pharmaceutical procedures and clinical trials.



References


  • Medical News Today, “What are the benefits of ashwagandha?”- https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318407

  • The Marion Gluck Clinic, “Ashwagandha health benefits for men – libido, energy & more”- https://www.mariongluckclinic.com/blog/ashwaganda-health-benefits-for-men-libido-energy-more.html

  • EcoWatch, “13 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha”- https://www.ecowatch.com/health-benefits-of-ashwagandha-2641294107.html#toggle-gdpr

  • Healthline, “12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha”- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#_noHeaderPrefixedContent