Ashwagandha is used for
A short tenderized perennial shrub. It includes alkaloids, steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins) and saponins, Sitoindosides, and acylsterylglucosides. Ashwagandha's benefits and application in relieving stress, anxiety, and indifferent gynecological conditions related to the menstrual cycle make it a capable herb.
Which part of the Ashwagandha plant has the maximum medicinal value?
Every part of Ashwagandha has medicinal value like roots, leaves, stems, leaves, fruits, and bark. The Roots are most valuable therapeutically.
Ashwagandha grows in the dry parts of countries like India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and Sind. Most widely cultivated in India, particularly in the areas like Bikaner and Pilani (Rajasthan), Rajputana, Punjab, Manasa (M.P), and Mumbai (Maharashtra).
History of Ashwagandha and ways to process the roots for medicinal uses
Ashwagandha is called a Rasayana in Ayurveda. Our ancient traditional Indian medical science Ayurveda indicates that this herb promotes vitality, longevity, and happiness. It is traditionally used as a tonic for memory and supports sleep quality and hormonal function, often in women suffering from various problems related to hormonal imbalance.
The Ashwagandha roots are harvested in the autumn season when the beneficial phytochemicals are at their peak. These roots are collected, washed, dried, and ground into powder. It can be taken as a dried powder or as a capsule.
Ashwagandha benefits in Therapeutic
Some of its benefits are as follows -
* Works well in improving sexual dysfunction,
* Improves thyroid function,
* Can protect against breast cancer,
* Supports memory and cognitive ability,
* Relieves anxiety and stress,
* Improves women's fertility,
* Can treat osteoporosis,
* Reduce NCAH-induced hair loss (non–classical adrenal hyperplasia).
"It is highly effective in curing hormonal imbalance problems related to menstrual and pre-post menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, anxiety, osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, reduced libido, insomnia, and fatigue. It strengthens the uterus and prevents uterine spasms also reduces lower back pain during menstrual periods."
Citing a few clinical trials which give evidence of its medicinal uses
1. Ashwagandha exhibiting anti-stress property
Indian journal of psychological medicine published a study establishing the safety and efficacy of an excessive concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha roots in decreasing stress and Anxiety in Adults. A tablet twice a day containing 300mg of Ashwagandha for 60 days was given orally, to 64 adults struggling with chronic strain. The Ashwagandha treated people were assessed based on serum cortisol and their rankings on the standard stress questionnaire at different periods i.e. 15th day, 30th, 45th day, and 60th day. The final safety and efficacy assessment was performed on the 60th Day. The result confirmed a substantial reduction in ratings on all the stress evaluation scales in comparison to Placebo. Serum cortisol degree was appreciably reduced in the treated group. This finding indicates the beneficial effect of Ashwagandha root extract on stress.
2. Ashwagandha benefits on sleep disorders
Deepak Langade, et. al. investigated the efficacy of Ashwagandha on human beings having sleep disorders and additionally its impact on healthful volunteers .80 individuals were taken for the study, out of which 40 were healthy volunteers and 40 were insomnia patients. The study was carried out for 8 weeks. The assessment was done based on diverse sleep parameters such as sleep onset latency, overall sleep time, sleep efficiency so on. The result obtained showed that Ashwagandha root extract can improve sleep quality and can help in managing insomnia. Ashwagandha did not show any adverse effects. The result acquired confirmed that Ashwagandha root extract can improve sleep exceptional and might assist in managing insomnia. Ashwagandha did not show any unfavorable results.
3. Effect of Ashwagandha on depression and anxiety symptoms
A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out for 12 weeks, on 66 Schizophrenia patients, to analyze the effect of Ashwagandha on depression and anxiety symptoms in patients suffering from Schizophrenia. The test group was assessed by examining the single item depression and anxiety depression cluster sub scores extracted from the positive and negative syndrome scale. The finding favored Ashwagandha over placebo for depression single item and anxiety depression cluster scores. This result advocates that Ashwagandha may also hold promise in the treatment of depression and anxiety in schizophrenia.
4. The anti-cancerous potential of Ashwagandha
A review article published in the Journal of ethnopharmacology mentions the effectiveness of Ashwagandha on various types of cancers like colon, prostate, lung, blood cancer, etc., and found it more effective against breast cancer. The review article has concluded this, based on various clinical studies. The researchers have also identified the anticancer components in Ashwagandha i.e. withaferins-A (WA) and Withanolide, which are responsible for apoptosis induction and exhibit anti-cancerous potential.
Interesting fact of Ashwagandha
* This herb is hot and causes heating in the body. That’s why consumed with cooling foods like cow ghee, raw sugar, milk, rice, or any cooling Herb. It is called winter cherry for this reason.
* Ashwagandha is famous as the Flagship herb of Ayurveda.
* Ashwagandha, the name is a Sanskrit word that means Smell of a horse.
* This herb can improve memory; reduce information process time and reaction time.
* "Amul memory milk, a medicated homogenized flavored toned milk, by Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation uses Ashwagandha as a memory enhancer.
* The Transparency market research (TMR) 2020-2030 on Ashwagandha report states, that India can retain the Asia Pacific's highest market share. It is evident of health consciousness and growing trust in Ashwagandha as an essential Ayurvedic medicinal herb.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
The excess use of this may cause Diarrhea, vomiting, or intestinal problems. Its spasmolytic effect on the uterus can cause miscarriage in pregnant women. Research suggests that patients suffering from Auto-immune disease should avoid its use.
Ashwagandha establishes itself as an essential herb because of its various therapeutic properties like anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-stress, anti-cancer, sedative, hepatoprotective, anticonvulsant, apoptogenic activity, immune modulator activity, Hemopoietic effect, Rejuvenating effect, free radicle scavenging activities, etc. Thus, these Ashwagandha Benefits can alone or in combination with other components be very useful for getting a healthier life span.
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