Ashwagandha, which is also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is a short shrub which is cultivated in India, Nepal and other regions of South Asia. This is mainly because people in these regions use its roots to treat a number of ailments and health issues.
Ayurvedic medicine considers ashwagandha root as the herb of the ages. Traditional Hindu medicine associates this root to the improvement of physical energy, athleticism, immunity, male sex drive and fertility.
Here are some of the most common health benefits of ashwagandha root:
1. It helps to boost the immune system.
A number of studies show that extracts taken from ashwagandha roots are capable of increasing the white blood cell counts and other indications of strengthened immunity in rodents.
2. It helps to relieve stress and insomnia.
Ashwagandha root has mild sedative properties that help to relieve stress and promote restful sleep. It is also able to relax tense muscles and increase the vitality of people who are recovering from chronic illnesses.
3. It could help regulate blood sugar levels which is essential in suppressing sugar cravings.
4. According to research, ashwagandha can be an effective alternative for the treatment of cancer. Preliminary studies show that it has the ability to slow tumor growth.
5. It helps your body to produce its own thyroid hormones.
6. It helps to enhance the male sex drive, cure erectile dysfunction and improve male fertility. Ashwagandha root is a popular male sexuality tonic in South Asia.
7. It helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels which can cause hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
8. Many herbalists believe that ashwagandha root has antioxidant properties because it has been traditionally used to treat diseases that involve tissue damage.
Cellular damage is primarily caused by free radicals – a by-product of the body’s metabolic processes that antioxidants can help to eliminate.
9. It helps to alleviate inflammation.
Recent animal studies show that ashwagandha contains steroidal properties which could be more effective in treating inflammation than the synthetic steroid hydrocortisone. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat low back pain and sciatica.
9. It is generally safe to use, but high doses of ashwagandha root may cause steroidal effects similar to Creatine.
To take ashwagandha root, put one teaspoon of root powder to a cup of water and mix it with an equal part of clarified butter or warm milk and honey.