What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha benefits cover a wide range of uses, and the herb is also known as Indian winter cherry. The plant is actually a shrub which is cultivated commercially all over India and is an important part of Ayurvedic medicine.
The ashwagandha root is the part of the plant that is used medicinally and is available in a number of forms, including powder, capsules, tea, or ashwagandha extract. Ashwagandha powder can be taken several times a day as can ashwagandha tea.
- The herb is recommended for controlling pain, and studies have shown that it is beneficial for conditions such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, as it has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
- It is useful for treating wounds, as it can speed up the healing process.
- It can also be used to treat fevers and symptoms of colds.
- Ashwagandha has benefits for the nervous system, so it can be used to combat the symptoms of stress. The herb promotes a feeling of calm, counteracting feelings of negativity.
- It is believed to carry nutrients and promote blood flow to the brain, helping to keep brain function sharp and improve concentration. Indian medicine has used ashwagandha extract to treat memory loss in the elderly.
- Ashwagandha root can be used to treat depression and vertigo, as it has a positive effect on the nervous system. It can help to treat insomnia, as it is a natural relaxant.
- The herb is also often used to improve physical movement, increasing endurance and stamina. It is often given to those who have undergone surgery or those who are suffereing from long illnesses to improve general well being. Ashwagandha also combats the symptoms of fatigue.
- It has been used as an aphrodisiac and to improve fertility.
- It is also thought to be beneficial in the fight against aging and is known for its effects on thyroid function, increasing the effectiveness of hormone production.
- Ashwagandha benefits also include boosting the immune system, and it is useful for controlling blood pressure. It also has a positive effect on the heart, strengthening the muscles and regulating its function.
- It has diuretic properties which can help to prevent infections of the urinary system.
- The effects of the herb on a number of the body’s systems have led some to think that it may be useful in the treatment of cancerous conditions.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
High doses of the herb may have a similar effect to steroids on the system, and it is advisable to always adhere to the recommended doses.
Ashwagandha side effects are rare and usually mild, but reported symptoms have included nausea and vomiting with irritation in the digestive system. Diarrhea is also a reported side effect, and some people have developed kidney problems with prolonged use.
Those suffering from diabetes and some digestive disorders should not take ashwagandha. There may also be some risks if the herb is consumed during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If you have any doubts, consult a doctor before beginning a course of ashwagandha root supplements.
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