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Saturday, November 17, 2018



Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha,Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Several other species in the genus Withania are morphologically similar.  Although commonly used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic medicine.


1.It Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

In several studies, ashwagandha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
One test-tube study found that it increased insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells (2).
Also, several human studies have confirmed its ability to reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes (3456).
Additionally, in one four-week study in people with schizophrenia, those treated with ashwagandha had an average reduction in fasting blood sugar levels of 13.5 mg/dL, compared to 4.5 mg/dL in those who received a placebo (5).
What's more, in a small study in six people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing with ashwagandha for 30 days lowered fasting blood sugar levels as effectively as an oral diabetes medication (6).
SUMMARYAshwagandha may reduce blood sugar levels through its effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity.

2. It Has Anti-Cancer Properties

Animal and test-tube studies have found that ashwagandha helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells (7).
It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in several ways (7).
First, ashwagandha is believed to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are toxic to cancer cells but not normal cells. Second, it may cause cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis (8).
Animal studies suggest that it may help treat several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain and ovarian cancer (910111213).
In one study, mice with ovarian tumors treated with ashwagandha alone or in combination with an anti-cancer drug had a 70–80% reduction in tumor growth. The treatment also prevented the spread of cancer to other organs (13).
Although there are no studies to confirm these results in humans yet, the research to date is encouraging.
SUMMARYAnimal and test-tube studies have shown that ashwagandha promotes the death of tumor cells and may be effective against several types of cancer.

3. It Can Reduce Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is known as a "stress hormone" because your adrenal glands release it in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low.
Unfortunately, in some cases, cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha may help reduce cortisol levels (31415).
In one study in chronically stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol, compared to the control group. Those taking the highest dose had a 30% reduction, on average (3).
SUMMARYAshwagandha supplements may help lower cortisol levels in chronically stressed individuals.

4. It May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress.
Researchers reported that it blocked the stress pathway in the brains of rats by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system (16).
Several controlled human studies have shown that it can effectively reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders as well (141718).
In a 60-day study in 64 people with chronic stress, those in the supplemental group reported a 69% average reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared to 11% in the placebo group (14).
In another six-week study, 88% of people who took ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety, compared to 50% of those who took a placebo (18).
SUMMARYAshwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both animal and human studies.

5. It May Reduce Symptoms of Depression

Although it hasn't been thoroughly studied, a few studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate depression (1418).
In one controlled 60-day study in 64 stressed adults, those who took 600 mg of ashwagandha per day reported a 79% reduction in severe depression, while the placebo group reported a 10% increase (14).
However, only one of the participants in this study had a history of depression. For this reason, the relevance of the results is unclear.
SUMMARYThe limited research available suggests that ashwagandha may help reduce depression.

6. It Can Boost Testosterone and Increase Fertility in Men

Ashwagandha supplements may have powerful effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health (15192021).
In one study in 75 infertile men, the group treated with ashwagandha showed increased sperm count and motility.
What's more, the treatment led to a significant increase in testosterone levels (21).
The researchers also reported that the group who took the herb had increased antioxidant levels in their blood.
In another study, men who received ashwagandha for stress experienced higher antioxidant levels and better sperm quality. After three months of treatment, 14% of the men's partners had become pregnant (15)
SUMMARYAshwagandha helps increase testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men.

7. It May Increase Muscle Mass and Strength

Research has shown that ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength (42022).
In a study to determine a safe and effective dosage for ashwagandha, healthy men who took 750–1,250 mg per day gained muscle strength after 30 days (4).
In another study, those who took ashwagandha had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size. It also more than doubled the reduction in body fat percentage, compared to the placebo group (20).
SUMMARYAshwagandha has been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce body fat and increase strength in men.

8. It May Reduce Inflammation

Several animal studies have shown that ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation (232425).
Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy (2627).
It has also been shown to decrease markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). This marker is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
In one controlled study, the group who took 250 mg of ashwagandha daily had a 36% decrease in CRP, on average, compared to a 6% decrease in the placebo group .
SUMMARYAshwagandha has been shown to increase natural killer cell activity and decrease markers of inflammation.

 9. It May Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides

In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Animal studies have found that it significantly decreases these blood fats.
One study in rats found that it lowered total cholesterol by as much as 53% and triglycerides by nearly 45% (28).
While controlled human studies have reported less dramatic results, they have observed some impressive improvements in these markers (3456).
In a 60-day study in chronically stressed adults, the group taking the highest dosage of ashwagandha experienced a 17% decrease in “bad” LDL cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides, on average (3).
SUMMARYAshwagandha may help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

10. It May Improve Brain Function, Including Memory

Test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may reduce memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease (29303132).
Research has shown that it promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals.
In one study, epileptic rats treated with ashwagandha had nearly a complete reversal of spatial memory impairment. This was likely caused by a reduction in oxidative stress (32).
Although ashwagandha has traditionally been used to boost memory in Ayurvedic practice, there is only a small amount of human research in this area.
In one controlled study, healthy men who took 500 mg of the herb daily reported significant improvements in their reaction time and task performance, compared to men who received a placebo (33).
Another eight-week study in 50 adults showed that taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily significantly improved general memory, task performance and attention (34).
SUMMARYAshwagandha supplements may improve brain function, memory, reaction times and the ability to perform tasks.

12. Ashwagandha Is Safe for Most People and Widely Available

Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people.
However, certain individuals should not take it, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.
People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid ashwagandha unless authorized by a doctor. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and type 1 diabetes.
Additionally, those on medication for thyroid disease should be careful when taking ashwagandha, as it may potentially increase thyroid hormone levels in some people.
It may also decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels, so medication dosages may need to be adjusted if you take it.
Ashwagandha dosages in studies typically ranged from 125–1,250 mg daily. In studies where different dosages were taken, the higher dosage usually produced the most dramatic improvements.
If you want to supplement with ashwagandha, look for root extract or powder in 450–500 mg capsules and take it once or twice per day.
SUMMARYAlthough ashwagandha is safe for most people, certain individuals shouldn't use it unless authorized by their doctor. The recommended dosage is 450–500 mg once or twice per day.

Ashwagandha – The Unsung Adaptogen
Ashwagandha is a lesser known adaptogenic herb.  Adaptogens help you manage stressors.  It is called by many names including “Winter Cherry” and “Indian Ginseng”, and has been used for thousands of years in Indian Ayruvedic Medicine.
It’s only been in the last 50 years that this member of the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) has emerged in the West as a potent healing herb, with growing popularity.
Besides easing fatigue in cancer patients and improving Alzheimer’s, Ashwagandha has been shown to be very helpful for anxiety and other emotional disorders along with improving fertility.
Originating in India and Northern Africa, ashwagandha is a small shrub with small yellow flowers and teardrop-shaped leaves. It’s the leaves that hold the key to the health benefits. The key compounds that produce the benefits are called withanolides.
Ashwagandha Fights Cancer
Studies have shown that Ashwagandha has several healing properties for many diseases and presented encouraging prospects in others. Some of its key benefits are the ability to combat inflammation and tumor growth.
Cancer cell apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is one of the ways ashwagandha is thought to exert cancer-resistant effects. It also has the ability to generate free radicals to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.     Researchers have concluded that ashwagandha may be valuable for combating lung, breast, colon, and an aggressive brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM.
A study with mice with ovarian tumors that were treated with ashwagandha in combination with an anticancer drug resulted in a 70 percent to 80 percent decrease in tumor growth and metastasis.
Effects on Insulin, Blood Sugar, and Inflammation
In studies with people with schizophrenia, scientists found subjects using ashwagandha to have reduced fasting blood sugar after four weeks.  Similar results were seen in another study, which showed effectiveness comparable to an oral diabetes drug.
Ashwagandha has been shown to dramatically reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in multiple studies and may be helpful for people with arthritis symptoms.
Ashwagandha Improves Depression, Stress, Anxiety and Insomnia
Ashwagandha induces calmness and clarity by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine and the stress hormone cortisol.   When cortisol levels get too high, it can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, your immune system, and may even increase fat storage.
Research has shown that ashwagandha not only reduces cortisol levels but also reduces chronic stress and anxiety with no sedation.  Study results provide evidence that ashwagandha has an important role in reducing general anxiety disorders, sleep disturbances, muscle spasms, and seizures.
Research also shows that ashwagandha may be useful for helping patients with Opioid Drug Withdrawal as well as reducing or eliminating dependence on drugs such as Xanax and Valium.
Fertility and Muscle Strength Increased by Ashwagandha
Stress is related to infertility. In a study ashwagandha supplements was shown to decrease stress, improve levels of antioxidants, and improve overall semen in test subjects.
Researchers have also found that groups taking ashwagandha dramatically increased muscle strength and muscle mass, as well muscle recovery after injury in several different bench press exercises after being treated with ashwagandha supplements for eight weeks.
In the same study, participants taking ashwagandha lost more than double the percentage of body fat loss in comparison to those taking placebos. Interestingly, ashwagandha is also used in Ayurvedic Medicine to stimulate libido in women, soothe painful periods and strengthen the uteruses of those who’ve had miscarriages.
Learning, Memory, and Neurodegenerative Disease
A traditional use for ashwagandha is to improve memory and sharpen brain function. Modern research has validated this practice by showing that ashwagandha boosts glutathione in the brain which is key for clearing toxins and protecting brain cells from oxidative stress.
Numerous studies indicate that ashwagandha may offer benefit for patients suffering from devastating disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease. It may also be useful for a neurological disorder called restless leg syndrome, and for people with an under-active thyroid.
Best Ashwagandha Supplement

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