What is Ashwagandha?
Ashawa – what??? First, let me tell you about his wonderful herb. Ashwagandha is a shrub that is used in traditional and natural medicine in India, Nepal and China. The word Ashwagandha literally means “smell of a horse” because you’ve guessed it, the shrub particularly the root is similar to the smell of a horse.
It has starting to get a lot of attention in Western medicine too. It was dubbed as the “Indian ginseng” for its awesome health benefits particularly for women.
I won’t keep you waiting, it is important to get down to the health benefits of this herb especially for women and why it should be taken now!
Ashwagandha Helps Prevent Breast Cancer
Sadly, each year 237,000 cases of cancer are reported each year for women and about 2,100 for men (yes, men get breast cancer too). And almost 1 in 5 die each year according to the statistics of Center for Disease Control or CDC.
In the last 10 years, the risk of getting this dreadful disease has not yet gone down and the risk only goes up as women age with the average of 61 years old upon diagnosis.
In a study by Tuskegee University in Alabama, it was found out that Ashwagandha helps reduce risk of breast cancer by killing human cancer cells especially mammary tumors. In case of a diagnosis, this herb also makes chemo and radiation the more effective.
Ashwagandha Promotes Graceful or Youthful) Aging
Stress it seems has been a part of our daily lives. Stress in both our personal and professional lives are a common everyday occurrence.
What we seem to forget from time to time is that stress causes numerous disease and conditions such as cancer, hypertension and heart disease. Moreover, stress is one of the main reasons that our biological age moves at a faster rate. And not to mention causing weaknesses and those awful wrinkles.
The good news is, Ashwagandha can help prevent stress by lowering cortisol levels in our body. Cortisol is the hormone of stress. Our adrenal glands release it when we are under stress. When our cortisol levels gets out of control, it can cause damage in both our body and mind.
Anxiety, depression, insomnia, heart disease, digestive and metabolic problems are some of cortisol’s disruption.
Luckily, scientists at the Department of Neuropsychiatry in India found out that test subjects given Ashwagandha root extract have a significant reduction in their cortisol levels than the placebo group.
May Help in Depression and Anxiety
Although only a few studies have been performed, but researchers at the National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences in India showed that Ashwagandha shows promise in treating or at least reducing symptoms and severity of depression and anxiety.
In one study, those who took 600 mg of Ashwagandha for 2 months, showed a 79% reduction in the severity of depression compared to the placebo group which actually increased.
This study and many others like it are very timely as we all need the help we can get when it comes to depression. According to CDC, 16.2 million Americans suffer from depression in one form or another. Women are twice as likely to have depression than their male counterparts.
I wish I could crack a joke or say something funny to get you entertained like always but this is a serious matter. Hopefully, more and more studies and people would realize how Ashwagandha could help us fight this debilitating condition.
It can Help in You in Dieting
Do you know why it’s so hard to lose weight by dieting? We humans are wired, especially in our DNA to store fat in our bodies to help us survive. This is back when we are roaming around the plains and evading predators to save our fit asses.
But now, we live in a sedentary lifestyle, like cows for Kobe or Wagyu beef. Just sitting around doing nothing but eating. We shouldn’t be surprised that we are gaining weight.
Where does Ashwagandha come in? This herb helps regular blood sugar. Ashwagandha may regulate blood sugar levels through its effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity according to a study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology.
The roller coaster spikes and drops in our sugar levels would devastate our diet as it makes us crave for foods that are really unhealthy such as sweets and greasy foods.
Ashwagandha Helps Diabetes
Besides dieting and helping lose weight, ashwagandha also helps improve conditions brought about by diabetes due to its sugar controlling properties.
Diabetes is a disease that does not discriminate. You can probably say that diabetes is a true feminist. Kidding aside, although the rate of this disease is equal for both sexes, it is however a saddening fact that the disease is worse in women.
According to the CDC, “Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease (the most common diabetes complication) by about four times in women but only about two times in men, and women have worse outcomes after a heart attack. Women are also at higher risk of other diabetes-related complications such as blindness, kidney disease, and depression.”
In a study conducted by the Pai Chai University in South Korea, it was concluded that the root and leaf extracts of Ashwagandha contains antidiabetic and antihyperlipidaemic (lipid/fat lowering) properties.
An Aphrodisiac for Women
Believe or not this herb is so effective that it is featured in Kama Sutra. For those of you that are not familiar with this highly acclaimed book of sex. Kama Sutra is an ancient Hindu text that is considered to be a standard for ancient India. It has thousands of positions, some are a mix between sex and a skiing accident, while others are for you to find out!
Ashwagandha is a treatment for decrease in sex drive as it dilates the blood vessels in the genital area for a more pleasurable night and an increase in desire.
It is also found out in a study by the Ayurvedic Medical College in India, that Ashwagandha shows positive effects for erectile dysfunction and loss of libido in men.
Need I say more about the gift of this herb in the bedroom?
Boosts Fertility (for both men and women)
Many couples often experience fertility issues. It can be brought about by numerous factors such as stress and even imbalance in hormones. Ashwagandha can be very beneficial in boosting women’s fertility and help couples get pregnant fast!
In a study conducted to a group of women, one using Ashwagandha and another placebo, it was found out that the herb actually provided multiple (awesome) benefits for women.
Number one, it improves the function of the reproductive system by regulating the hormones and improved the responses to both physical and psychological stress.
Next is as mentioned, helps get women in the mood for it. It promotes arousal and boosts sexual function compared to the placebo groups.
Increase Semen Production in Men
Again, for those couples who’d like a their own bundle of join, Ashwagandha can definitely help you!
Ashwagandha is not called the “Indian ginseng” for nothing. Besides it’s aphrodisiac properties, this wonder herb is also known to increase fertility particularly in men by increasing he sperm count. Don’t just take my word for it, this is according to the journal published in the Evidence-based Complementary Alternative Medicine.
Helps Ease Negative Menopausal Symptoms
During menopausal stage, your body is hot wired to be in a roller coaster ride. Hormonal imbalances frequently occur. This causes a variety of conditions including but not limited to anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders, unusual weight gain or loss and of course those irritating hot flashes.
As it turns out Ashwaganda is very helpful during menopause. It does this by helping the endocrine system balance the hormones to its normal levels.
In a paper published in the Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda in India, it was concluded that Ashwagandha helped women in menopause to reduce their symptoms and make it more bearable. It was also noted that there were no side effects and it can be a safe alternative to modern drugs.
Ashwagandha Sources and How to take them
Ashwagandha can be taken and prepared in a variety of ways to enjoy it wonderful health benefits. Below are just some ways to prepare and consume this superfood.
Preparing Ashwagandha tea is the most popular ways to enjoy its benefits. Simply immersing the root in 3 cups of water and allowing it to boil for 15 minutes and enjoy the brew!
Fresh Ashwaganda root is available in most herb stores especially in Indian stores. To get the powder, blending the root using a food processor or good old blender would do the trick. The powder can be mixed honey or boiled as an infusion.
There are plenty of Ashwagandha supplements out there on the market. I find these two to be worth the try for their content, quality and their reviews as well.
This Ashwagandha Organic Root Powder is very interesting. It has over one thousand reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars. It’s cheap, organic and all natural. I don’t see any reason not to try this Ashgandha Supplement.
I also found this Ashwagandha tea. All natural with no artificial additives. Very convenient to use simple immerse the tea in hot water and ready to enjoy this wonderful herb’s health benefits.
Wrapping It Up
Ashwagandha is another superfood that we need to watch out for and try to consume. Traditional Indian medicine, the Ayurveda has been aware of it healing and health properties for thousands of years.
Women especially have more potential health benefits to enjoy with this incredible herb. From preventing cancer, increasing fertility and improving mood, this root just continues to reveal why it has been used for thousands of years.