Many ancient herbal medicines have been heralded as the answer to the modern health crisis.
While quite a few of these make the cut with at least some provable benefits, a lot of them are often the result of an old wives’ tale perpetuated down generations and centuries.
I mean, rhino horn boosting testosterone is simply ridiculous, but the false belief in its efficacy is the backbone of a multimillion-dollar criminal industry with an entire species now on the brink of extinction.
But let’s focus on the ones that do work, while also being harmless to the planet’s biodiversity.
One such ancient medicinal compound is ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha is a small shrub bearing yellow flowers. It is indigenous to the north African region and India.
It is a cornerstone of ayurvedic medicine, a form of eastern medical practice that dates back to ancient times.
The leaves and roots of the plant are dried and ground up to form a powder which can be used in a variety of ways
The chemical compounds believed to be active in the plant are called withanolides.
In this article, we’re going to round up the major benefits attributed to ashwagandha and its constituent withanolides
Ashwagandha’s research presents strong evidence to suggest that it is a powerful adaptogen, meaning it provides natural psychotherapy in the form of stress relief.
It is often prescribed for conditions such as chronic stress, depression, and anxiety.
That’s because it reduces stress hormone cortisol levels in the blood.
This effect also has cognitive benefits, helping increase mental sharpness and focus
Reduces Blood Sugar
Ashwagandha is strongly linked to the regulation of blood glucose levels.
This is because it’s the effect on the beta cells of the pancreas, helping boost insulin secretion for fast and efficient uptake and storage of glucose.
This helps lower the risk of obesity and type two diabetes as well as acting as useful treatments therein.
Ashwagandha is a useful antioxidant
An antioxidant compound helps reduce oxidative stress which leads to the accelerated damage and destruction of cells and thus tissue.
This ultimately increases the rate of aging as tissues and cells degrade faster than they repair and regrow.
In this sense, ashwagandha can be rightfully considered an anti-aging treatment
One big benefit of ashwagandha is its ability to naturally boost testosterone in men by stimulating production in the male testes.
This has a myriad of benefits on general wellbeing.
It eliminates the risk of erectile dysfunction while boosting libido and fertility, this is one of the most immediately notable effects ashwagandha has on testosterone.
This effect also boosts physical performance, lean muscle mass as well as bone density.
The increased production of testosterone also has known mood-stabilizing effects, adding to the already powerful anti-stress properties.
Ashwagandha is a potent anti-inflammatory compound.
While inflammation itself is natural and important on the threat recognition system of the body, the onset of chronic inflammation is a problem.
Ashwagandha in this regard helps treat conditions such as arthritis, chronic inflammation of the joints.
Cholesterol and triglyceride levels have been shown to reduce with ashwagandha use
When it comes to cholesterol, ashwagandha’s effects are not necessarily in reducing overall cholesterol, but in decreasing levels of LDL and increasing HDL levels.
LDL is referred to as “bad cholesterol” that’s because of its propensity in causing arterial plaque build-up, leading to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.
HDL or “good cholesterol” is known to have the opposite effect, helping reduce blood pressure.
Ashwagandha is an example of an ancient remedy founded in truth and efficacy.
It’s prevalence in modern medicine from mental health treatments all the way to performance enhancement for physical activity makes this herbal treatment to watch out for.
Always remember to consult your doctor before undergoing any major treatment or trying new forms of medicine, even if they’re are derived from natural herbs.