Feeling stressed or maybe finding it harder to concentrate lately? Ashwagandha just might be what you need to help keep your cool and keep the focus.
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb native to India, the Middle East and North Africa. It’s been cultivated and used for thousands of years and considered to be one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda- a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing.
Classified as an adaptogen, Ashwagandha is good for helping your body to reduce and regulate stress, but it also provides other health benefits for your brain and body.
Benefits Of Ashwagandha
1. May Improve Cognitive Function
Cognitive functions, also known as cognitive abilities or capacities, are brain-based skills that include learning, problem solving, reasoning, perception, memory and decision making. Environmental and lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, trouble sleeping and little social activity can contribute to a decline in cognitive skills and the ability to perform everyday tasks.
In 2017, an 8-week study was done to see the impact of ashwagandha on 50 adults who were experiencing the inability to focus, feeling overwhelmed by decision-making and memory loss. The study produced positive results, showing that after 8 weeks of taking 300mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily, participants showed a significant amount of improvement in task performance, attention, general memory and increased feelings of calm.
2. Can Help To Manage Stress & Anxiety
In the past 3 decades, workplace stress has risen nearly 20% and it’s pretty safe to say that it’s risen even more so in the last few months. Stress, whether it be physical or mental, can result in feelings of anxiety and can affect our immune system, our brain and the overall ability to deal with our day-to-day.
Studies show that adaptogenic supplements are effective in reducing moderate to severe anxiety. When you’re feeling stressed, you trigger the release of cortisol, but the ashwagandha root is potentially able to block the brain’s stress processing pathway by increasing inhibitory signaling, therefore reducing cortisol levels and enhancing your resistance towards stress.
3. Immune Support
The active ingredient in ashwagandha is a group of plant chemicals called withanolides which are found in almost all fruits and vegetables- they have antimicrobial, antitumor and immuno-modulating properties. Withanolides, along with antioxidants also found in ashwagandha, work to boost the functioning of your immune system.
Research also shows that ashwagandha can help to increase the production of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that play an essential role in the immune system by fighting bacteria and viruses- they digest the toxins and eliminate them from your body in the form of urine, sweat, mucus, etc. Those with an autoimmune disease or on any medications should also first consult with their healthcare provider before incorporating it into their daily routine.
4. Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Several studies have shown that ashwagandha has been a successful alternative to lowering blood sugar levels. Ashwagandha can be extremely beneficial for diabetics by helping to stimulate the secretion of insulin in the bloodstream and improving insulin sensitivity in muscles. In a small study of 6 individuals with Type 2 diabetes, ashwagandha was found to effectively reduce blood sugar levels in the body.
5. Can Help Increase Fertility
For those who may be experiencing infertility, it might be due to stress. Stress can decrease fertility but since ashwagandha is an adaptogen, it is the ideal herb to help find relief from the constant worry that comes with trying to conceive. Ashwagandha helps to support the endocrine system which is an important component of healthy production-it boosts endocrine function by relieving adrenal stress.
And men, don’t think this is just for women-ashwagandha can help to nourish your reproductive hormones and reproductive functions. In a study done with 75 infertile men, the group treated with ashwagandha showed increased sperm count and motility.
It’s important to note that although ashwagandha is safe and effective for most individuals, women who are pregnant and breastfeeding should not consume it.
How Long Does It Take For Ashwagandha To Start Working?
Like with all holistic alternatives, the amount of time for supplements to begin working will depend on other factors in your life.
It has been said that when combined with a healthy lifestyle (eating a balanced diet & exercising) ashwagandha can begin to impact the body within two weeks. The quality of your supplement will also be a factor when it comes to receiving all of its benefits- a high-concentration, full-spectrum extract will make the most significant impact in your body. Continued use of ashwagandha will produce the best results and it’s recommended you consume at least 450-500mg per day.
If you’ve been looking for holistic alternatives to help improve your health and quality of life, consider all of the benefits ashwagandha has to offer! An easy place to start is our Chill CBD Capsules; they contain a proprietary blend of roots including ashwagandha to help reduce stress, so you can chill out the natural way.