All you need to know about Ashwagandha and its benefits

All you need to know about Ashwagandha and its benefits - Source Biology


Ashwagandha has long been used in the Ayurveda tradition to help combat stress. However, it is also gaining popularity among mainstream consumers for its purported ability to treat a wide range of health conditions, from easing arthritis pain and insomnia to even lowering cholesterol levels. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the herb with an emphasis on what science says about it.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, is a plant native to the Western Ghats of India. It grows as a tree in the forests of its namesake, but is also commonly cultivated. The root of the plant contains withanolides, steroidal alkaloids that belong to a group known as Withanones. There are over 30 other species of Ashwagandha that contain similar alkaloids and have been used in Ayurvedic medicine (Indian medical system) for centuries. In herbal medicine, ashwagandha is typically taken as an extract while in traditional Indian medicine it is often taken through the consumption of fresh leaves or extracts prepared from them.

What are the uses and health benefits of Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is commonly recommended for its ability to relieve stress and improve mood, but it is also used to help treat a wide range of other medical conditions. Here are just some of the conditions and symptoms that ashwagandha extract is effective for:

Anxiety & Depression: A large number of studies have investigated the effectiveness of ashwagandha for alleviating calming the mind, anxiety, and depression. What's more, effectively managing anxiety, stress and depression doesn't just relieve one's mental health issues — research shows it can also reduce their risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

Digestive Problems: Research suggests that ashwagandha may be effective in boosting digestion and treating various digestive issues. Although it is not yet proven, some evidence suggests it may help alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Other studies suggest that ashwagandha can reduce the duration of diarrhea.

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: Research shows ashwagandha to have significant anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects, both of which may reduce the risk of dementia by improving cognition in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, a study published in Molecular Neurobiology demonstrated that ashwagandha helped prevent brain cell death by inhibiting oxidative stress. Although more research needs to be done, a single dose of ashwagandha has been shown to increase activity in the prefrontal cortex and improve neuronal activity.

Cancer: Although there has not yet been sufficient scientific evidence that ashwagandha is effective for treating malignant tumors of the digestive tract, it has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory agent that protects liver cells from damage by cancer-causing chemicals and toxins.

Sexual Dysfunction: Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce sexual dysfunction in both men and women by increasing serum testosterone. It is also believed to improve the quality of erections in males.

Fatigue & Stamina: One study demonstrated that ashwagandha extract increased exercise endurance and reduced muscle fatigue in mice.


Ashwagandha could potentially be an effective treatment for several ailments. Many have reported the effectiveness of ashwagandha extract or powder for themselves or others, and there are thousands of years worth of human experience backing up its use. While not a guarantee to cure any particular disease, Ashwagandha has a high likelihood of reducing stress and enhancing you healthy lifestyle without the level of side-effect risk you may get from other over the counter drugs.

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