Ashwagandha - 'Ginseng' of Ayurvedic medicine

20130430-132309.jpg

Ashwagandha, the 'ginseng' of Indian Ayurvedic medicine, has remarkable stress-relieving properties comparable to those of powerful drugs used to treat depression and anxiety. In addition to its excellent protective effects on the nervous system, ashwagandha may be a promising alternative treatment for a variety of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Ashwagandha has powerful antioxidant properties that seek and destroy the free radicals that have been implicated in aging and numerous disease states. Even more remarkable, emerging evidence suggests that ashwagandha has anti-cancer benefits as well. One reason for ashwagandha's reputation as a general energy-promoting, disease-preventing tonic may be its effect on the immune system. A number of studies have shown significant increases in white blood cell counts and other measures of strengthened immunity in rodents given ashwagandha or certain chemicals extracted from the herb. Ashwagandha may also have a mild sedative effect on the central nervous system and in animal studies it has been shown to be a muscle relaxant. It is commonly used to increase vitality, particularly when recovering from chronic illnesses and pain management for arthritic conditions. Ashwagandha may also help regulate blood sugar which aids in suppressing sugar cravings. Research shows ashwagandha may be a promising alternative for cancer treatment and prevention. Ashwagandha seems to show positive effects on the endocrine, cardio, and central nervous systems. It is one herb that could help your body produce it's own thyroid hormones.

Ashwagandha is used to restore male libido, cure impotence and increase male fertility. It is widely used in southern Asia as a male sexuality tonic.

Preliminary studies indicate that the herb helps to reduce the negative effects of stress, slow tumour growth, treat anxiety and insomnia, and reduce cholesterol in addition to increasing sexual performance.

Ashwaghanda is generally safe at the doses recommended on the packaging. In high doses it may have steroidal activity similar to Creatine.

Research on ashwagandha has concluded that extracts of the plant has a direct spermatogenic influence on the seminiferous tubules of immature rats presumably by exerting a testosterone-like effect1. It is could also a potential source of hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic agents2.

Because ashwagandha has traditionally been used to treat various diseases associated with nerve tissue damage related to the destructive molecules known as free radicals, some researchers have speculated that the herb may have antioxidant properties. Free-radical damage plays a role in normal ageing and in such neurological conditions as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

I personally am taking Ashwaganda myself, after a recommendation from my friend. I buy mine at Himalaya store online.

[button color=rosy url=http://www.himalayausa.com/singleherbs/ashwagandha.htm target="_blank"]Himalaya Online Store[/button]

Photo: Courtesy of Hotbotany.com