Ashwagandha Root Benefits

Ashwagandha Root Benefits: Nature’s Stress-Reliever

Tired, unmotivated, stressed out??? You’re not alone! Discover how the natural anti-anxiety herb, ashwagandha root, benefits both your mental and physical health.

Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha root or Indian ginseng, has received much attention recently and for good reason. Native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa, this evergreen shrub is known as an adaptogen – a non-toxic herb that helps the body to “adapt” to stressful situations. But this natural little stress-reliever can do so much more for your health! The Ashwagandha root benefits include improving sleep, boosting fertility, increasing muscle mass, mitigating memory issues, and more.

What are adaptogens?

In order for an herb to qualify as an adaptogen, it must have the following:

  • Assist the body in reducing stress (both physical and mental).
  • Be safe to consume.
  • Have a wide range of health benefits.

Ashwagandha Root Naturally Stabilizes Hormones

One of the most popular reasons for taking ashwagandha root is its ability to naturally lower stress hormone levels. Additionally, it stabilizes hormones that can cause mental turmoil and/or fatigue (pre-menopausal symptoms, hypothyroidism, or out-of-whack blood sugar levels).

  • Cortisol and insulin. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”. Your adrenal glands release the hormone in response to stress and when your blood sugar levels get too low. Ashwagandha root naturally reduces cortisol levels and modulates blood sugar levels, both of which can stabilize mood. In one study, patients who experienced moderate to severe anxiety reported that taking ashwagandha root at a dose of 300 mg twice per day significantly decreased their symptoms.
  • Estrogen and progesterone. The high concentrations of the active ingredients in the root (called steroidal lactones) helps balance the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, making it beneficial for pre-menopausal women.
  • Thyroid hormones. One study concluded that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily led to significant improvements in thyroid levels. Specifically, the ashwagandha root increased triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) levels by 41.5% and 19.6%, respectively. Furthermore, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels decreased by 17.5%.

Ashwagandha Root Benefits Mental Health and Improves Sleep

If you’re looking to sleep better, ease anxiety, decrease muscle tension, or boost your mood, the best way to do it is by increasing your GABA levels – and Ashwagandha root does just that!

Gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system. It is involved in regulating the communication between brain cells. Lower-than-normal levels of GABA in the brain have been linked to anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and sleep disorders.

One study found that Ashwagandha is a gentle GABA receptor activator. The authors concluded, “Our results provide evidence indicating that key constituents in Ashwagandha may have an important role in the development of pharmacological treatments for neurological disorders associated with GABAergic signaling dysfunction such as general anxiety disorders, sleep disturbances, muscle spasms, and seizures.”

Additional Ashwagandha Root Benefits

As if decreasing stress, anxiety, and fatigue weren’t enough, ashwagandha root benefits the body in several other impressive ways!

  • In men, ashwagandha can help boost testosterone levels and increase fertility.
  • Research demonstrates that ashwagandha root improves body composition by reducing body fat and boosting muscle mass.
  • Ashwagandha improves heart health by reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
  • It improves concentration, focus, and memory.

How to Take Ashwagandha Root

Ashwagandha root’s nickname is “smell of horse,” and the name is accurate – you will want to purchase ashwagandha in capsule form to avoid the smell and taste. The typical dose ranges from 500 mg to 1000 mg per day. Many manufacturers supply capsules in higher dosages. However, the research demonstrates the 500-1,000 mg range is ideal on a daily basis.

Be sure to take the herb for at least 6 to 8 weeks to achieve the health benefits. If you don’t see any improvement after taking ashwagandha root for a few days (or a few weeks), don’t give up!

Have you found ashwagandha root benefits your stress and anxiety?

If you’ve taken ashwagandha and have seen improvements in your mental or physical health, leave a comment below so others can be encouraged.


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