Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb.
It’s classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it can help your body manage stress.
Ashwagandha also provides numerous other benefits for your body and brain.
For example, it can boost brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that’s native to India and North Africa. Extracts or powder from the plant’s root or leaves are used to treat a variety of conditions.
Many of its health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth.
Here are some more benefits of ashwagandha:
1. Is an ancient medicinal herb
Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing.
It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration.
2. Can reduce blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
Also, several human studies have suggested that it can reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes.
3. Might have anticancer properties
Studies have found that withaferin — a compound in ashwagandha — helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells.
4. Can reduce cortisol levels
Cortisol is known as a stress hormone given that your adrenal glands release it in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low.
5. May help reduce stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress.
Studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders.
6. May reduce symptoms of depression
Studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate depression.
7. Can boost testosterone and increase fertility in men
Ashwagandha supplements may have powerful effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health.
8. May increase muscle mass and strength
Research has shown that ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength.
9. May reduce inflammation
Studies have shown that ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation, as it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy.
10. May lower cholesterol and triglycerides
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
11. May improve brain function, including memory
Studies suggest that ashwagandha may mitigate memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease. Research has shown that it promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals.