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5 Major Benefits of the Indian

Adaptogen Ashwagandha
If you are looking to restore your energy, look younger, and
reverse disease then ashwagandha may be the herb youre
looking for.
The Indian herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is one of the most highly
regarded botanicals in the 5,000-year-old system of natural medicine known as
Ayurveda. Its known as the strength of the stallion, since it has traditionally been
used to strengthen the immune system after illness.
Considered a rasayana (life extender), ashwagandha root is used with excellent
results for overall vitality. In the Indian Materia Medica, which is a compendium of
beneficial botanicals, ashwagandha is described as beneficial for general debility,
impotence, brain fatigue, low sperm count, nervous exhaustion and in
cases in which general vigor needs to be restored.

Ashwagandha, which is an excellent source of


antioxidants, is classified as an adaptogen, meaning
that it improves the capacity of a person to adapt to
environmental, physical and mental changes by
modifying the metabolism and other processes in the
body.
Adaptogens improve cell replenishment, which in turn reduces fatigue symptoms
and exhaustion, while increasing the resilience of the body and imparting more
stamina for physical activities.

Major Benefit #1: Boost Natural Energy (The


Kind You Want!)
A lot of people are hooked on the temporary energy obtained from caffeine. Energy
from caffeine comes from the stimulation of the central nervous system. Theres
nothing wrong with this, but if you rely on caffeine alone for energy youll eventually
experience a crash.

You can also increase energy by enhancing the bodys own energy-producing
mechanisms within cells. Notably, the primary unit of cellular energy, which is called
ATP.

And thats what ashwagandha extract does. It causes the cells in


the body to produce more cellular ATP. The result is energy-without the jitters.
In a study published in Phytotherapy Research, 25 people were given 300
milligrams of the proprietary ashwagandha extract KSM-66 twice a day, while
another 25 participants were given a placebo.
Overall, subjects given ashwagandha extract experienced substantial reductions in
blood concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol. This resulted in reduced levels
of stress and anxiety and at the same time, improved energy levels.
Theres a large body of psychiatric science showing that lower stress levels are
linked to a decrease in moderate anxiety and depression.
Reducing stress liberates energy in the body and has a specific enlivening effect in
the brain, relieving mental fog and enhancing mental alertness.

Major Benefit #2: Improve Thyroid (The


Master Hormone Control) Health
I consider ashwagandha a superfood when it comes to improving the health of your
thyroid. Scientists dont completely understand how adaptogens work, but we know
they can be extremely effective, especially at balancing hormones.
One of the most incredible aspects about adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha is
that it can help people with both hypo and hyper thyroid issues. It has been shown
to support a sluggish thyroid for people diagnosed with Hashimotos, and has been
shown to improve the health of those with an overactive thyroid or Graves disease.

Adaptogenic herbs work with your body to bring you back


into balance whether your hormone levels are high or low.
Animal studies reveal ashwagandha has a thyroid hormone balancing effect.
In a 20-day study, mice were give ashwagandha and their T3 and T4 levels were
analyzed along with lipid peroxidation (anti-oxidant protection). Significant

increases in serum T4 were found which indicates this herb has a stimulatory effect
on a sluggish thyroid.
There are currently millions of people who struggle with thyroid problems (many
who dont even know it) and ashwagandha may just be the solution they are
searching for.
This hormonal improvement was also accompanied by a noticeable reduction in hair
loss.

Major Benefit #3: Skyrockets Brain Health


Emotional, physical, and chemical stress can all have damaging effects to the brain
and nervous system. Recent research has proven ashwagandha is more than a
stress reliever, it also protects the brain from degeneration and improves
symptoms of alzheimers, depression, and anxiety.
One of the main reasons ashwagandha is so effective at healing the brain has to do
with its powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals that cause aging. A study
published in Phytotherapy Research explain these benefits:
Several studies have revealed that natural antioxidants, such as vitamin E,
vitamin C and beta-carotene, may help in scavenging free radicals generated
during the initiation and progression of this [Alzheimers] disease. But we found
Ashwagandha afforded lipid peroxidation inhibitory effects more potent than
commercial antioxidants.
Researchers at the National Brain Research Centre found mice with alzheimers
were unable to retain what they learned, but after 20 days of supplementing with
ashwagandha, this improved significantly. The results of the study found a
reduction in amyloid plaques (these cause degradation of the brain).

Major Benefit #4: Mood Enhancement


There is also now evidence that ashwagandha is effective at
healing both anxiety and depression. In fact, in a recent study its
results were comparable to common pharmaceutical drugs
lorazepam and imipramine--without the side effects.
In the 12-week controlled study, 87 participants with anxiety were given 300mg of
ashwagandha two times a day or two placebo pills two times per day. The group

treated with ashwagandha resulted in much greater improvements in anxiety as


well as focus, reduced stress, and decreased fatigue than the placebo group.
The other major benefit of ashwagandha is that there are no adverse reactions by
taking it compared to anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications which can have
terrible side effects.

Major Benefit #5: Increases Stamina and


Endurance
Studies have shown that ashwagandha can boost endurance during physical activity
by sharpening brain function and reducing bodily pain.

Due to its positive calming, yet energizing, effects on the brain


and ability to lower stress hormones, ashwagandha showed
improvements in concentration, motivation, and stamina in
conducted studies.
One particular study found that when lab rats were given ashwagandha, they
actually were able to swim twice as long compared to the same type of rats that
were not given the supplements.
Researchers believe similar effects take place in humans due to the extracts ability
to balance adrenal hormones that are involved in physical activity. The extract was
also shown to reduce bodily pain in the muscles and joints while at the same time
keeping energy levels more steady. Another reason it could be a promising
supplement for athletes, or for those who find it difficult to be physically active due
to pain.
As you can see, ashwagandha is an adaptogenic superstar that can have some
tremendous health benefits.

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