Ashwagandha, as some of you might know, is a renowned herb that has been used in Ayurveda for many years as Rasayana. One of the many ashwagandha benefits is that it helps your body resist physiological and psychological stress by adapting to your body's needs. This herb supports many tissues and body systems that includes the immune system, a healthy thyroid, the reproductive system, and more. There is a lot more to ashwagandha benefits that you need to know of, and we're going to tell you all about it.
Origin of Ashwagandha in Ayurveda:
Since 6000 BC, ashwagandha has been used as a super herb in India and Pakistan. Even the Chinese medicine system was impressed with this herb for years. It is an adaptogen herb that increases the adaptability and resistance of your body to various stresses. Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for over 4000 years. It was Dr Brekman of Russia who created circumstances in which adaptogens are safe to live and promote adaptation and resistance to biological stress that is produced by chemical, physical, and biological stimuli and anomalies.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for Women:
Ashwagandha for women also proves to be beneficial in many ways, some of which are mentioned below.
1. It Helps Relieve Anxiety and Stress:
Ashwagandha prepares your body to cope with stress. It helps control the stress mediators like cortisol and heat shock proteins. There are many studies that highlight the benefits of ashwagandha for women where it is used to lessen stress and anxiety (2) levels by lowering the production of the hormone, cortisol. Thus, women who feel chronic stress symptoms like insomnia, extreme fatigue, etc., must take ashwagandha supplements to relieve tension, exhaustion, and body ache.
2. It Helps Regulate Menstrual Cycle:
Irregular periods, period cramps, facial hair growth, etc., are some changes that a woman's body goes through right from the time they start menstruating till menopause. Hormonal imbalance is one of the reasons behind female reproductive issues that can even cause pregnancy-related complications. Ashwagandha for women can be used to help improve hormonal imbalance and to strengthen the functions of the adrenal glands. Once your hormones are balanced, it can automatically improve fertility and regularize the period cycle.
3. It Acts as a Sexual Stimulant:
Ashwagandha for women can improve orgasm, lubrication, and sexual arousal. One of the greatest benefits of ashwagandha for women is that it can include a good mood, and enhance blood flow and sexual potency as well. Ashwagandha acts as stimulation that can effectively enhance arousal and provide the woman's body with maximum satisfaction.
4. It Helps Lose Weight:
Ashwagandha for women works wonderfully when it comes to slimming down. This ingredient is loaded with antioxidants that can help with managing weight by decreasing inflammation and enhancing metabolism. It also has the ability to improve the immune system and redirect your body's energy to burn fat.
5. It May Treat Breast Cancer:
One of the Ashwagandha benefits for females includes possessing a potential for the treatment of breast cancer, especially ER/PR positive breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer. As ashwagandha has anti-invasive, anti-inflammatory and anti-metastatic properties, it is capable of averting this chronic illness.
6. It Supports Heart Health:
Ashwagandha for women may help keep the heart healthy. It does this by decreasing cholesterol levels and inflammation. Women who consume ashwagandha for 12 weeks consistently will be able to mark lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
7. It Can Improve Skin Health:
This ayurvedic ingredient has the potential to give you the spotless-looking skin of your dreams. As ashwagandha is high in antioxidants, it can effectively battle acne, wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. All of which most women deal with at some point or the other due to numerous reasons. It contains alkaloids that help reduce stress and anxiety in women, and when that happens, it makes a direct impact on the overall health of your skin. In fact, ashwagandha benefits for females are also linked to slowing down ageing as it increases DHEA - Dehydroepiandrosterone - a hormone that is responsible for the formation of estrogen hormone in women. It aids in beginning the production of important proteins that ensures your skin's hydration. Both the hormones, estrogen, and DHEA happen to keep your skin looking youthful and enhance its ability to generate collagen.
8. It Treats Female Fertility:
Ashwagandha intensifies the endocrine system which in turn helps regulate the adrenal and thyroid glands. These glands are mainly responsible for maintaining a good balance of reproductive hormones. Thus, this ingredient is said to play a vital role in the treatment of female fertility. In fact, ashwagandha is quite a powerful aphrodisiac as well. Women who use ashwagandha for their benefit will be able to see improvement in orgasm quality, lubrication, and sexual activity.
9. It Fights Vaginal Infection:
Ashwagandha has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can help deal with vaginal infections. Hence, it is advised by experts to use this ingredient for yeast infections, a common infection that a lot of women deal with at some age or the other.
10. It Improves Sleep:
When women regularly consume ashwagandha, it can successfully promote restful sleep. While it might show a lesser impact on the sleep pattern, it sure works great for sleep quality. So women who suffer from insomnia must have a tablespoon of ashwagandha powder with a cup of warm water before going to bed.
11. It Prevents Menopause Issues:
Many women face issues with the onset of menopause or during menopause due to high hormonal imbalances. This can result in high levels of stress, hot flashes, depression and even troubled sleep. Ashwagandha can impact the endocrine system which aids in alleviating these symptoms during menopause.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men:
Ashwagandha for men can be beneficial in many ways and here are some that you need to know of.
1. It Boosts Testosterone:
One of the benefits of ashwagandha for men is that it can increase testosterone levels in men. Testosterone is a hormone in men that is linked with sex drive, which also affects the way men store fat in the body, bones, and muscle mass along with sperm production. Ashwagandha for men can significantly improve vitality and lower fatigue. Men who take ashwagandha while on the weight-lifting program may have five times higher levels of testosterone than men who don't take these supplements.
2. It Improves Erectile Dysfunction:
Benefits of ashwagandha also include improving erectile dysfunction (ED) (1) in men. Few studies have investigated the use of this herb in treating ED, however, the existing research doesn't demonstrate much promise for the use of ashwagandha.
3. It Enhances Sex Drive:
Ashwagandha is also popularly said to possess aphrodisiac-like qualities that enhance sexual drive. Due to stress, some men find it difficult to have a healthy sex drive and end up having poor sexual performance. The benefits of ashwagandha for men include offering stress relief, which can in turn affect the sex drive and the ability to feel at ease to enhance sexual desire and pleasure.
Dosage of Ashwagandha
Now that you know a lot about ashwagandha benefits for females, here are some ashwagandha dosages for you to keep in mind.
Ashwagandha daily dosage can vary where women use 1-6 grams of the herb while others mix 3 grams of ashwagandha powder in warm milk. But it is highly advised to start with a lower dosage and gradually increase it as needed. It is best to consult a doctor about the dosage of ashwagandha if you're using it for a very specific health condition or illness.
How to Consume Ashwagandha?
There are several ways to consume ashwagandha. Here are some easy ways to follow -
1. Ashwagandha Tablets:
You can take one tablet of ashwagandha or take it as prescribed by the doctor with warm milk or water post meals twice a day.
2. Ashwagandha Powder:
Take 1/4th to 1/2 a teaspoon of ashwagandha powder with milk or honey or as prescribed by the doctor.
3. Kadha Mix:
The Saffola Immuniveda Kadha is loaded with 15 Ayurvedic herbs including ashwagandha. This kadha mix helps boost immunity, support respiratory health, and relieve cough, cold and sore throat.
Add a sachet of this kadha mix in a cup of warm water, stir well, and sip on it.
4. Ashwagandha Tea:
Add a teaspoon of ashwagandha powder to two cups of water, bring it to a boil, add some milk and honey to it, and drink it once a day.
5. Ashwagandha Milkshake:
Roast four tablespoons of ashwagandha powder in 1 cup of pure ghee. It, add one to two teaspoons of honey. Add one teaspoon of the roasted powder to one glass of cold milk, blend it well, and drink it immediately for a better taste.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha:
While there are many ashwagandha benefits for females, you must note that there are some side effects attached to this herb too. These are:
- Nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea: These symptoms are common side effects of ashwagandha if your doses are larger than 6000 mg of root powder or 1500 mg of root extract. These side effects will resolve if you stop consuming ashwagandha.
- Drowsiness: Ashwagandha may help you sleep better at night, but some women might feel drowsy in the daytime which can interrupt daily tasks. This side effect is more noticeable in women who take other sedative drugs like barbiturates and benzodiazepines.
- Miscarriage: Women who are pregnant need to avoid ashwagandha as it has an abortifacient effect, which is a situation-inducing abortion. The compounds of this ingredient may cause miscarriage or premature birth and can also result in uterine contractions.
Ashwagandha is quite a powerful herb that has been used since ancient times and has been popular for all its benefits for men and women. Consumption of this herb in moderation may not cause any side effects. However, it is always advised to consult a doctor who knows your medical history before incorporating ashwagandha supplements into your daily diet.
When should I take ashwagandha?
Most experts recommend taking ashwagandha in the morning. You can take it twice a day to help your body maintain equilibrium in your adrenal system. Ashwagandha can be had in any form, be it capsules or powder that can be mixed in coffee or tea.
Are ashwagandha berries edible?
Ashwagandha plant produces small orange berries like ground cherries. You can consume the ashwagandha berries, provided you wash them well and cook them before they can be eaten. You can simply saute it in a tablespoon of sesame oil with a pinch of salt, chilli powder, jeera, and dhania powder. Make sure the berries turn golden with a crisp outer layer. Once cooked, the ashwagandha berries can either be consumed on their own or mixed into hot, cooked rice.
How long does ashwagandha take to work?
Alongside a healthy lifestyle, ashwagandha can start to show positive results within two weeks. But, it all depends on each individual. So to be on the safer side, give it a few months to see some noticeable changes by consistently consuming ashwagandha in your daily diet.
Are ashwagandha and ginseng the same?
Ashwagandha is commonly called the 'Indian Winter Cherry' or 'Indian Ginseng'. It is quite a popular herb in Ayurveda and is known for its wide range of health benefits.
Does ashwagandha help to sleep?
Ashwagandha root extract acts as a natural compound that has sleep-inducing properties which can help you improve sleep quality and sleep onset latency in people dealing with insomnia. It is better to consult a doctor before you start including ashwagandha doses in your daily diet.
What are the benefits of taking ashwagandha with milk?
Ashwagandha powder with milk benefits the central nervous, endocrine, and cardiopulmonary systems. Popularly known as 'moon milk', ashwagandha powder with milk is ideally sipped daily before your nighttime sleep. It basically is a blend of adaptogens and spices that help improve your sleep quality. Along with that, ashwagandha has powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and antioxidant effects on the female body.