While some claim that ashwagandha triggers the human growth hormone, no scientist agrees. The herb cannot make you grow taller but it can surely keep you from losing your natural height with age. It can strengthen your bones by helping form new bones, increase bone mineral density, and heal injured and osteoporotic bones, keeping your posture erect. By lowering your stress and inflammation, it also gives you a healthy appearance.
Ashwagandha, with its withaferin A, prevents the loss of bone mineral density, especially after menopause, increases the action of bone-producing genes, and reduces bone resorption. It also lowers stress and inflammation, a major cause of bone loss. It also promotes bone healing after injury and repairs osteoporotic bones.
Ashwagandha has been making waves for many reasons and we can now add one more to the list - protection for the heart. The versatility of this herb - as a hypolipidemic that lowers lipid levels; an adaptogen that reduces the effects of stress-related hypertension; and an anticoagulant that prevents blood clotting - all converge to reinforce its cardioprotective effect.
Ashwagandha has been known to bring alcohol craving down. It can also block some of the effects of morphine on the brain and increase GABA neurotransmitter levels to lower the anxiety that one experiences after a long history of alcohol abuse and after withdrawal. It is as effective as diazepam, a common medicine, in treating withdrawal symptoms.
Most palpitations are caused by heart-related problems or anxiety and stress. Ashwagandha protects the heart by reducing the bad cholesterol levels and can also lower the systolic blood pressure when combined with arjuna. An overactive T3 hormone, especially in hyperthyroidism patients, and high cortisol levels cause palpitations too. Ashwagandha can regulate T3 and lower cortisol levels by 28%, thus reducing palpitations.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is used for treating various kinds of diseases. Some of the medicinal properties attributed to this plant are sedative, hypotensive, anti-ageing, aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, bradycardiac, respiration stimulating, anti-tumour and radiosensitizing. In Ayurvedic system of medicine and health care, Ashwagandha is considered to be a rejuvenative herb, which in combination with other herbs and natural products is often used for prevention and cure of diverse spectrum of health problems.
As an adaptogen, ashwagandha treats nonclassical adrenal hyperplasia (NCAH) symptoms by stimulating the adrenal glands to produce hormones the body lacks in this condition. It raises insulin sensitivity, regulates cortisol levels, and monitors female reproductive hormone production by acting on the thyroid gland, thus treating the diabetes and infertility caused by NCAH. Reportedly, its antioxidants also check hair loss.
Ashwagandha is a direct cure for chronic stress as it can lower cortisol levels by 28% and promote restorative sleep. By lowering BP and glucose, it treats hypertension and diabetes, both causes and effects of stress. Besides curing depression and anxiety, it can improve Alzheimer's symptoms by repairing damaged brain cells and reconstructing nerve networks.
By increasing insulin sensitivity and lowering your blood glucose and BP, a daily dose of ashwagandha can negate your risk of kidney damage due to diabetes or high BP. Besides fighting drug-induced toxicity, it mends damaged microtubules and balances electrolyte levels. As it destroys free radicals generated by toxicity, it halts inflammation, keeps the kidney tissues intact, and helps kill kidney cancer cells.
Ashwagandha increases the number of pathogen-fighting agents like WBC and platelets, the levels of the key proteins IL2 and IFNγ, and the amount and variety of antibodies. By hiking bone marrow cellularity, it helps produce more pathogen-fighting agents and reverses the ill effects of anticancer drugs on the immune system. It also fights chronic stress, which debilitates the immune system.
If stress, hypothyroidism, or a breached immunity is bulking you up, try ashwagandha. This adaptogenic herb can lower cortisol levels by 28%, hike the BMR by raising T4 output, and bolster immunity. Rich in iron, it boosts RBC count and circulation, fights inflammation, and augments energy. This spurs weight loss. Add a few crushed leaves to water and drink daily.
Your exhausted adrenal glands can bust your stress response, causing chronic fatigue, anxiety, and low energy. Treat it with prescribed amounts (up to 4 gms) of ashwagandha daily. This adaptogenic herb normalizes cortisol levels, resists biological and chemical stressors, and hastens stress recovery. It also fights oxidative stress, a cause of chronic fatigue, by regulating GSH and lowering lipid peroxidation.
Perimenopause spikes a hormonal imbalance, with more estrogen than progesterone due to fewer cycles. Though menopause lowers estrogen levels, with progesterone lacking, this imbalance continues. Ashwagandha moderates the effects of high levels of estrogen over progesterone and mitigates symptoms like heavy bleeding, mood swings, or hot flashes. It can even serve as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
Ashwagandha regulates hormone levels, calms the mind and balances moods, thereby improving the body's response to both psychological and physical stress. It also counters the effect of toxic agents that can inhibit reproductive ability. Post-partum, ashwagandha can help women regain strength, and even stimulate milk production. Large doses carry risk of abortion, so be cautious.
The recommended dose of ashwagandha root or leaf powder for both short- and long-term use is 1–2 tsps twice daily, boiled in water or mixed with milk, buttermilk, ghee, or honey. You can also have ashwagandha root or leaf extract at a dose of 600–1200 mg. The more convenient modern way is to have 1–2 capsules twice a day. There are no major side effects, but it's best avoided by pregnant women.
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