Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha

The word Ashwagandha is derived from the Sanskrit words Ashwa (horse) and Gandha (smell). This is because its roots smell like the sweat of a horse. Ashwagandha, a plant-based product, helps manage stress, anxiety, and diabetes due to its Rasayana (rejuvenating) and Vata balancing properties.

What are the synonyms of Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is also known as Withania somnifera, Indian Ginseng, Ajagandha, Vajigandha, Winter Cherry, Varahkarni, Asgandha.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

Eases Stress

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Stress increases the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which increases the cortisol levels (stress hormone) in the body. Ashwagandha reduces the level of cortisol and helps to reduce stress and stress-related problems.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Stress can usually be attributed to an imbalance of Vata dosha, and often presents with irritability, insomnia, and fear. Ashwagandha helps in balancing Vata and thus reduces the symptoms of stress.

Lowers Anxiety

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Ashwagandha helps improve the individual’s ability to deal with stress and stress-related problems. Ashwagandha reduces the cortisol level and helps reduce stress and its associated problems like anxiety.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

According to Ayurveda, anxiety is associated with aggravated Vata dosha, so one must concentrate on pacifying excess Vata in the body. Ashwagandha has the property of balancing Vata dosha and is useful for managing anxiety.

Regulates Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Ashwagandha may improve the individual’s ability to deal with stress and stress-related problems like high blood pressure. Ashwagandha reduces the level of cortisol and helps to reduce stress and its associated problems like high blood pressure.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Hypertension is known as Rakta Gata Vata in Ayurveda, which means elevated blood pressure in the arteries. Stress or anxiety is also a root cause of hypertension, and taking Ashwagandha helps to reduce stress or tension and thus control high blood pressure.

Enhances Male Fertility

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Ashwagandha is a potent aphrodisiac (a drug that arouses physical instincts). It helps reduce the risk of stress-induced male infertility. It enhances male physical health by improving the level of testosterone. This prevents damage and death of sperm cells leading to better sperm count and quality.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Ashwagandha helps to reduce stress-induced male infertility by lowering stress. This is due to its Vata balancing property. It also helps to reduce the chance of male infertility by improving sperm quality and quantity. This is because of its Vrishya (aphrodisiac) property.

Relieves Arthritis (symptoms)

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Ashwagandha contains withaferin A which inhibits the production of pain mediators. This reduces the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

According to Ayurveda, arthritis occurs due to an aggravation of Vata dosha and is known as Sandhivata. It causes pain, swelling, and joint mobility. Ashwagandha has Vata balancing property and relieves the symptoms of arthritis-like pain and swelling in the joints.

Delays Parkinson's Disease (symptoms)

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Parkinson’s disease is due to damage to the nerve cells, affecting movement, muscle control, and body balance. Ashwagandha prevents damage to nerve cells due to its antioxidant property. This reduces the risk of Parkinson’s and its associated problems.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

A disease condition ‘Vepathu’ described in Ayurveda may be correlated with Parkinson’s disease. It is caused by vitiated Vata. Taking Ashwagandha balances Vata and also helps to reduce the degeneration of cells, which controls the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

FAQs

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Yes, Ashwagandha is good for sleep and sleep-related disorders like insomnia. Ashwagandha does not act as a sedative; instead, it helps to calm the nerves, which allows the body to sleep.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

According to Ayurveda, aggravated Vata dosha makes the nervous system sensitive, which leads to Anidra (insomnia). Ashwagandha is a relaxing herb that works on balancing Vata dosha and leads to good sleep.

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Ashwagandha is a potent aphrodisiac that enhances male infertility by improving sperm count, sperm movement, semen quality, and hormonal imbalance. Due to its antioxidant property, Ashwagandha helps to fight against free radicals. This prevents the damage and death of sperm cells.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is said to have multiple benefits for men like Vajikarna (increases physical desire), as a Rasayana herb (rejuvenates the body), increases Balya (strength), improves the quality and quantity of Shukra dhatu (similarity with semen), and reduces Tanav (stress).

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Yes, Ashwagandha might improve the level of testosterone hormone. It helps increase testosterone levels in stressed individuals by decreasing the level of the stress hormone, cortisol.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

According to Ayurveda, the Rasayana herb increases all types of Dhatus in the body. Since Ashwagandha is a Rasayana herb, it raises all dhatus, including Shukra dhatu (similarity with semen) in the body.

In females, chronic stress may lead to physical dysfunctions, which can be in the form of a lack of physical arousal, orgasmic disorders, or hypoactive physical desire disorder. Ashwagandha acts on the nervous system and reduces the level of stress hormone – cortisol. This helps mitigate stress-related physical problems.

Stress is considered one of the leading causes of depression. Stress is known to increase the secretion of cortisol levels in the body. Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogen that improves an individual’s ability to deal with this stress. Ashwagandha reduces the level of cortisol and helps to reduce stress and stress-related problems like depression.

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Ashwagandha is generally considered well-tolerated in small to medium doses. Still, high amounts of Ashwagandha can cause nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. This is one of the side effects of Ashwagandha.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

There might be a slight feeling of nausea when Ashwagandha is taken for the first time. This is because Ashwagandha can be slightly hard to digest, especially for a weak Pachak Agni.

Yes, it should be avoided as Ashwagandha is known to boost the immune system. But this can be a problem for people with auto-immune disorders like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. This is because Ashwagandha might stimulate the immune system, increasing the symptoms of auto-immune diseases.

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Testosterone in the body helps build muscles, i.e., increase muscle size and function. Ashwagandha works by reducing the level of the stress hormone – cortisol and improves the level of testosterone. It also acts on the nervous system as an anti-anxiety agent and helps in promoting focus and concentration. This leads to better coordination and recruitment of muscles.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Yes, Ashwagandha can help in bodybuilding. This is because the Ashwagandha root has Rasayana (rejuvenating) and Balya (strength provider) properties that help gain weight and bodybuilding.

Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system. Anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery might increase this effect. It is advisable to stop taking it at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

There is an increase in hunger and craving for sweets, fried food, and soft drinks due to elevated cortisol levels. Such cravings lead to increased calorie consumption leading to weight gain. Ashwagandha reduces the cortisol level and decreases stress-induced cravings, helping in better weight management.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

An increase in weight is due to unhealthy food habits and lifestyle, which leads to a weak digestive fire. This increases the accumulation of Ama, causing an imbalance in Meda dhatu, thus resulting in obesity. Ashwagandha leaves are useful to control obesity as it helps improve metabolism and reduce Ama. This is due to its Kapha balancing property. It also balances Meda dhatu and thus reduces obesity.

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

Yes, Ashwagandha helps to manage stress-induced hair loss by reducing the level of the stress hormone cortisol.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

According to Ayurveda, the reason behind hair fall is aggravated Vata dosha in the body, and Ashwagandha acts on hair fall by balancing Vata dosha. Moreover, Ashwagandha also gives oiliness to the scalp due to its Snigdha (oily) property. This helps prevent breakage of hair.

SCIENTIFIC VIEW

There is no scientific evidence to state that Ashwagandha increases height. It does help maintain good bone health and prevent bone damage. It helps in improving body composition and increases muscle mass and strength.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Ashwagandha herb is a Rasayana herb. This means that it increases the essence of each Dhatu (tissues) starting from Rasa, Rakta (blood), Mansa (muscles), Medha (fat), Asthi (bones) Majja, and Shukra. Ashwagandha can improve the size of bones (Asthi). Still, the result depends on various other factors like Prakriti (body type), age of the person, the strength of Pachak Agni (digestive fire).

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References

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Disclaimer

This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on Foresta Organics. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your healthcare plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.