Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian Winter cherry” or Indian Ginseng,” has been all the rage in health and wellness recently due to its magical ability to promote a calmer and happier sense of being. Originating in India and West Africa, ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to increase energy, improve overall health and reduce inflammation, pain and anxiety. We are also big fans of this superfood and made it one of our main ingredients in our Happy Brain Blend. Below we’re going to dive into five of the health benefits of ashwagandha.
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha supports your adrenal glands by lowering cortisol, a stress hormone. Adrenal glands produce hormones that help regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress and other essential functions.
In a study of 64 people with chronic stress, researchers found that those supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% decrease in anxiety and insomnia compared to an 11% decrease in the placebo group. In another study over 6 weeks, 88% of individuals who took the ashwagandha reported a decrease in anxiety, in contrast with 50% of those who took placebos.
2. Increases energy, stamina and endurance
Ashwagandha gives a boost of energy without stimulating the heart the way caffeine does. Additionally, it can boost stamina and endurance because it improves heart and lung capacity. This additional oxygen in the body supports muscle efficiency and performance, making Ashwagandha ideal for high level athletes.
3. Stabilises blood sugar
Ashwagandha also is helpful in regulating blood sugar by stimulating secretion of insulin into the bloodstream, improving the breakdown of sugars in the blood. This additionally ensures that your body is not storing more harmful sugars over time. This ingredient is especially helpful for diabetics in regulating their insulin and blood sugar.
4. Combats neurodegenerative diseases
The active compound in ashwagandha has shown promising data in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s, and Parkinsons. It works by restoring mitochondrial and endothelial function, mitigating apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress mechanisms.
5. Immune boosting and anti-inflammatory
Ashwagandha also has immune boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. By increasing the activity of natural killer cells, ashwagandha can fight off sickness and keep you healthy. It also decreases inflammation by minimizing the amount of C reactive proteins and other inflammatories.