A young man suffering from gut disorders complained not just of digestive issues but also of fatigue and listlessness. When visits to doctors of modern medicine failed to provide relief, it was Ashwagandha that made a world of difference to his ailment as it reduced anxiety and stress and helped him cope with the issues by addressing the gut and mind connection.
An essential part of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha, the herb, has been used as Rasayana in Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is a stimulant, astringent, narcotic, diuretic, tonic, thermogenic, anthelmintic, and aphrodisiac and is native to the Indian subcontinent though some African countries have also found it growing in their soil.
The word itself is derived from “ashwa” for horse and “gandha” for smell and is well known in the traditional medicinal system practiced in India for eons. Known to have cured people of all the diseases known to humankind, the Charak Samhita mentions that this practice can be traced back to 6000 BC. An Adaptogen, Ashwagandha balances many different systems of our body and offers many benefits:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha promotes healthy levels of cortisol and stimulates it to respond to the stress created in our daily lives. Cortisol the stress hormone is known to mobilize fight or flight response in the human body whenever we face a stressful situation. Cortisol is naturally produced in the body every morning to help us face our daily requirements and subsequently lowers in the evening as the body prepares to rest.
Keeps you Fit
Since Ashwagandha encourages an anabolic action, it supports healthy weight gain during the growing period for children and keeps the plasma proteins and hemoglobin levels at their optimum. Thus, it helps in keeping us healthy if we develop the habit at a young age to consume natural products beneficial for our health.
Improves Reproductive Health
A stress response is directly connected to the production of sperms in men and hormonal balance and fertility in women. The body naturally produces cortisol from the same precursors that produce reproductive hormones and when the body gets into stress it will prefer to produce cortisol instead of testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen responsible for reproduction. Ashwagandha has a vital role to play as it helps in maintaining healthy levels of cortisol and thus the resources responsible for producing reproductive hormones can be utilized for their natural functioning.
Enhances Weight Training
Ashwagandha root has proven to support healthy muscle strength and recovery, hence men who weight train can consume it on regular basis to avoid injury and muscle loss.
Allows for optimum performance of the Nervous System
Ashwagandha’s antioxidant properties provides support in the normal function of our nervous system and creates pathways for neurotransmitters responsible for maintaining the calmness of mind and body. A magical herbal remedy, Ashwagandha is indeed nature’s gifts that can easily integrate into our lifestyle and be the panacea for all our troubles.