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Ashwagandha: Supplement for Stress Relieving
Ashwagandha is not just a plant often used in various recipes in a kitchen, but it is also a natural health supplement. This herbal supplement has many health benefits. But it’s majorly used in promoting stress reduction while bringing your body to its calm and balanced state.
Anyone suffering from stress in the long term must consider including Ashwagandha in their diet. With regular consumption of this natural ingredient or in the form of a supplement, one is likely to reduce stress.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (or Withania Somnifera) is a native herb to Asia and Africa. It is also known as “Indian ginseng,” as it’s been used for centuries as a crucial ayurvedic medicine to ease pain and inflammation. It is also good for boosting nutrition, treating insomnia and curing other health conditions.
However, one major reason it’s used is its stress-relieving properties. Since this natural ingredient is also known as an adaptogen, it helps your body better manage stress. Hence, it’s used in many natural supplements and products to eliminate stress hormones.
Uses & Effectiveness
Here are some common uses of ashwagandha:
- Stress: Taking the ashwagandha supplement orally is great for reducing stress hormones in many people. It may even help reduce weight due to increased stress.
- Insomnia: Having ashwagandha orally is also good for improving overall sleep quality in many people.
- Nervous System: Ashwagandha is also beneficial in supporting a healthy nervous system by offering better antioxidant support to the body.
- Inflammation & Pain: It is also a natural ingredient for reducing inflammation and pain due to usual wear and tear.
How does it Work?
Ashwagandha contains certain natural chemicals that help calm the brain while alleviating inflammation, altering the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Since ashwagandha works as an adaptogen, it helps cure stress-related conditions. Adaptogens also help the body to resist both physical and mental stress.
Even the quality and purity of the ashwagandha supplement are likely to make positive results on health. When consumed along with a healthy, active lifestyle, ashwagandha positively impacts the system within just two weeks. However, the results may vary depending on an individual’s health. So, it may take a few months to notice the desired results in certain people.
How to Take Ashwagandha?
You can take ashwagandha on an empty stomach in the morning or just before bedtime. You can have it with warm water or milk as per your preference. If you take ashwagandha supplements early in the morning, you will surely have a great energy-filled day. You may even have ashwagandha tea or have it in the form of a powder.
But taking Ashwagandha tablets is the most hassle-free way to see positive results within a few days or weeks. Ashwagandha tablets are often formulated to ensure hassle-free usage in everyday life.
Who Shouldn’t Take Ashwagandha?
Since the US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate ashwagandha supplements, make sure to buy them only from professional, certified and trustworthy companies. Having a higher dose of ashwagandha is likely to have side effects like vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhoea and nausea. Even liver issues are observed in some cases due to contaminants found in the unregulated supplements.
Make sure to take expert advice from a licensed doctor before taking an ashwagandha supplement for blood sugar, high blood pressure or thyroid hormone functioning. Ashwagandha supplements can even affect the immune system. Therefore, patients with autoimmune diseases also need to avoid them. Furthermore, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid consuming ashwagandha tablets.
Does Ashwagandha Make You Gain Weight?
No, ashwagandha is not likely to make you gain weight because it’s often used to lose extra weight with regular exercise and a balanced diet. However, it is unclear how this natural ingredient works to reduce weight. Maybe it’s because of its interaction with metabolism.
While metabolism consists of various chemical processes for sustaining life, it depends on how many calories you burn within a day. The metabolism is determined by the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the number of calories the body burns on some basic functions, such as pumping the heart and breathing. But for weight loss, one needs to have ingredients that support the BMR or use more energy as one consumes a supplement.
Q1: Is Ashwagandha good for anxiety?
Since ashwagandha is known to calm down the mind, it’s observed to reduce anxiety and stress. It can treat a condition known as agoraphobia, the anxiety of being in crowded places. It can even reduce the common symptoms related to anxiety. Some symptoms include sweating, feelings of potential danger, increasing heartbeat, trembling, etc.
As per a study on people facing stress and anxiety, it’s observed that the ashwagandha supplement is beneficial in reducing stress. In the study, active participants from the placebo group experienced a drop of around 5.5% in their stress scores. And those who had ashwagandha twice a day experienced a decrease of around 44% in the stress score.
Q2: Is Ashwagandha good for high blood pressure?
According to research, ashwagandha can lower blood pressure. However, this effect can harm people with low or high blood pressure. People taking medication for high blood pressure can experience a reaction between ashwagandha and prescribed medicines. So, they may face extraneous high or low blood pressure, which is not good for them. And, for people with low blood pressure, having ashwagandha can reduce their blood pressure to a dangerously low level. Therefore, it is best not to consume it for high blood pressure. If you want to have any supplement for controlling high blood pressure, consult your doctor first.
Q3: Is Ashwagandha good for kidneys?
A kidney patient is likely to suffer from stress and anxiety after hearing about their kidney disease. Don’t worry, as ashwagandha helps them manage all the adverse conditions. The following are some amazing Ashwagandha benefits to help patients combat kidney issues and their stress.
Ashwagandha acts as a natural substance with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So, it helps prevent and repair damaged cells that are often caused due to inflammation. Consuming ashwagandha has many health benefits, including improving kidney functioning and heart health.
Ashwagandha is also a great supernatural medicine which helps heal damaged tissues due to its hypolipidemic properties. Therefore, it can significantly decrease cholesterol levels in the blood.
Besides, it helps in managing fluctuating blood glucose levels due to diabetes. This condition is the main cause of kidney diseases that further reduces kidney functioning while increasing the risk of kidney failure. Therefore, ashwagandha is beneficial for decreasing blood glucose levels in the blood. It is a great option for people suffering from kidney and diabetes altogether. However, we recommend you consume it only after consulting a physician for better results to avoid unwanted circumstances.
Q4: Does Ashwagandha affect the heart?
Ashwagandha is found to decrease cholesterol levels, as well as triglycerides, in the blood. Both human and animal studies have confirmed its cholesterol-reducing properties. It is observed to reduce cholesterol levels in humans by 17% and triglyceride levels by an average of 11% in chronically stressed individuals.
Q5: Does Ashwagandha increase testosterone in females?
Since ashwagandha helps elevate testosterone levels in men, even women feel hesitant to consume it, fearing it will cause the same effect in them. But there is nothing to worry about.
Because ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it works distinctly for various people as per the body’s needs. The herb also acts on the endocrine system to balance the hormones that may imbalance the body.
So, while it works well in men for elevating depleted testosterone levels, it regulates estrogen in women. Therefore, women need not worry when it comes to hormone balance optimisation.