Lack of sleep, stress, and anxiety are common problems nowadays. Irregular lifestyle, hectic schedules, etc. can completely mess up both physical and mental health. But it is vital to ensure that stress, tension, and anxiety are kept at bay, so you stay healthy, while getting a good night’s sleep as well. Ashwagandha is one such herb that helps to lower stress and improve quality of sleep.
What is ashwagandha?
It is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, and traditionally used in alternative medicine. This medicinal plant is classified as an “adaptogen”, which means it helps the body to adapt to physical, mental, and emotional stressors. It comes from the nightshade family of plants and is typically used for stress, anxiety, low testosterone, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and other medical conditions.
Why should you take ashwagandha?
Relieves anxiety and stress
Several studies have shown that anxiety and stress levels of participants have gone down significantly after consuming ashwagandha.
Improves sleep quality
Regulated doses of this herb can benefit sleep quality – it helps to get a good night’s rest by inducing a calming effect.
Reduces blood sugar and fat
This herb can lower blood glucose levels and triglycerides (the most common type of fat in the blood).
Boosts muscle power and strength
Research into this the effect of ashwagandha in improving strength and muscle size, is ongoing, but so far the results are promising. One study has shown improvement in speed and strength, while another study claimed this herb can increase muscle power, along with reduced body fat percentage and cholesterol levels.
Sharpens cognitive functions
Studies have shown that ashwagandha helps to improve cognition, memory and the ability to perform motor responses after instruction. A particular study even found that this herb enhances attention spans, along with immediate and general memory.
Supports heart health
A couple of studies have clearly exhibited that ashwagandha can increase VO2 max levels, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you take in while physically exerting yourself. These levels are used in measuring cardiorespiratory endurance – it means how well the heart and lungs deliver oxygen to muscles during physical activity. Thus, higher VO2 max levels can indicate a healthy heart that performs well under those circumstances.
What are the benefits of ashwagandha?
To sum up, ashwagandha has these benefits – take a look:
- Decreases blood sugar levels.
- Increases testosterone levels.
- Lowers cortisol levels.
- Combats anxiety and depression.
- Soothes inflammation.
- Regulates cholesterol.
- Increases muscle mass and muscle strength.
- Improves quality of sleep.
Is ashwagandha safe?
Ashwagandha is generally safe, but research on herbal medications is limited, so more data is needed. Ashwagandha formulations also vary depending on where you buy from. You should consult a doctor before taking herbal supplements. Make sure you don’t consume ashwagandha if you fall under any of the following category:
- Pregnant women.
- Breastfeeding mothers.
- Those with high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune conditions.
- Those about to undergo surgery.
What is the correct dosage?
There is no standard dose for ashwagandha supplements. Lower amounts tend to be used in supplements with multiple ingredients, whereas higher doses are mostly found in ashwagandha-specific supplements. It is advisable to start with a low dose to help you understand your tolerance.
Since research is limited, the safety of ashwagandha is still debatable. Don’t start taking supplements before consulting a healthcare practitioner. Meanwhile, you can take good care of your skin by giving it a healthy dose of collagen in your daily diet, in the form of Marine Collagen Crushes. Matcha in your cup of tea, or the Coffee flavored one in a hot steaming brew?