We Indians have gifted the world the magic of ashwagandha. And today it is a part of several smoothies, protein powder, coffee blend and even skincare regime. For years it was only known to increase vitality and concentration, but thanks to the keen interest of the west, we have also woken up to various other miracles and benefits of this herb. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means the 'smell of a horse', referring to the smell of the herb. It is also called the Indian ginseng and winter cherry. Its usage dates back to more than 3000 years. In many recent studies, Ashwagandha has been shown to have various benefits, especially for women. It can help you feel good and make you more relaxed. Let's look at some research-backed reasons, why women should add this super herb to their diet.
Here're 8 Health Benefits Of Ashwagandha:
1. It Can Make You Feel Good
Ashwagandha falls in the category of adaptogens - herbs that help us deal with physical and emotional stress. Its properties calm the part of the brain that releases cortisol - the stress hormone. Hence, it helps you have a better reaction during stressful situations. These could be a physically straining event like an intense workout session or an emotionally taxing day. A small dose of this can help one respond calmly in such situations.
2. It Helps With Low Libido
As an aphrodisiac, it can boost the sex drive, increase arousal and can help achieve orgasms. In a medical study, women took a dose of ashwagandha every day for over a month and saw significant improvements in achieving orgasm and sexual arousal. It can increase the production of testosterone in women, the main cause related to androgen deficiency syndrome.
3. It Reduces Inflammation
Ashwagandha has withanolide, which helps reduce pain and swelling. It can treat arthritis, joint pains, headaches and hypertension.
4. It Boosts Memory
A recent study on humans showed people who were treated with the herb, demonstrated significant improvements compared with the placebo group in both immediate and general memory. It can also improve your attention span and sharpen your focus.
5. It Helps With Weight Loss
Being full of anti-oxidants, ashwagandha speeds up our metabolism, which helps in burning fat. It has also been effective in reducing blood glucose levels and triglycerides, all of which are linked to weight gain and excess body fat.
6. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Some evidence suggests that this herb can benefit people with diabetes or high blood sugar levels. It has anti-diabetic compounds, which help increasing insulin secretion and can help immensely in insulin sensitivity.
7. It Is Great For Heart Health
Ashwagandha has been shown to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol in the body.
8. It Can Treat Cancer
Some recent studies suggest that ashwagandha may possess a potential for treating breast cancer, especially in ER/PR positive breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer patients. It has been proven to selectively kill tumour cells and can act as natural anti-cancer medicine.
Ashwagandha can easily be introduced into your diet, by adding it to your smoothies, coffee, juice or with water. It is available in the market as raw powder, capsules and teas. It should not be cooked on high heat.
With its multiple benefits, ashwagandha can help you sleep better, feel good and up your sex life. But while it is considered relatively safe for everyone to consume, it might not be for you. Pregnant women and people with pre-existing health conditions should avoid it. You should speak to your doctor or health expert to ensure it is safe for you.
It is recommended to take a smaller dose of this herb as large dosages can trigger side effects like nausea, diarrhoea and indigestion.
Author's Bio: Anushka Bhoj is a holistic nutritionist and founder of Nutrition by Anushka
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