With Ayurveda being one of the earliest medicine systems in the world, it's to no surprise that herbs are still being used and prescribed in today's therapeutic practices.
The powerful properties of ashwagandha might help to fortify the overall equilibrium of your body if you experience stress, exhaustion, lack of energy or endurance (who doesn’t?!).
What is an adaptogen?
In medicine, adaptogens are compounds that normalize the system. An 'adaptogen' does what the title of it suggests, in that it helps the body 'adapt' to specific conditions.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
In short, adaptogens help balance and fortify the human body's response to stress or other environments that are altering. When taken long term, all these herbs, ashwagandha being one of them, promote gains that are amazing.
Ashwagandha is an excellent anti-stress tonic. This herb been used for centuries, but it has also been used recently in several clinical trials for anxiety and endurance.
Since physical and mental stress is inevitable nowadays because of money, work, relationships or time limitations, it's important to take adaptogens on a daily basis to help the body cope with these frustrations.
It's been proven that elevated levels of the hormone cortisol are linked to the numerous negative effects of anxiety including memory and studying disturbance, greater risk of depression and diminished immunity: all of which are detrimental. In one comprehensive study, standardized extracts of ashwagandha (300 mg, 2x a day) were given to sixty-four adult participants, all with a history of chronic stress, for 60 days. The results were outstanding, reporting a reduction of cortisol levels up to 28%!
Adaptogens do help with taking off the edge!
Ashwagandha for endurance
The adrenal glands fuel our flight or fight responses (also called our anxiety reactions ).
Every time the body registers stress, these glands release the hormones adrenaline and dopamine into the body. When the adrenals are overworking themselves because of those constant stressors, then this often leads to something called 'adrenal fatigue'.
When your adrenals are taxed and aren't able to fulfill the demands of stress problems in the body can happen like insomnia and fatigue.
This means that you might feel low energy throughout the day (when you need it most) and also high levels of energy at night (when you should be resting). These ups and downs take a toll on the body and on the mind which is why adaptogens play a significant part in balancing our mind and body.
Who doesn't need a power boost? And no, not the instant euphoria you get from drinking a cup of coffee, but instead that renewable and steady energy you receive from the power of adaptogens.
Ashwagandha properties help to increase your stamina! By stamina, we mean sexual endurance along with physical and muscular strength.
Back in India, ashwagandha is commonly prescribed by physicians for both women and men to enhance function and also to increase libido.
In addition to boosting libido, the acclaimed author, C. Kilham, states that:
"The Indian Materia Medica recommends utilization of ashwagandha for general debility, impotence, and general aphrodisiac functions, brain fatigue, reduced sperm count, and nervous exhaustion, and in many instances in which overall vigor has to be restored. For men and women, for the old and the young, ashwagandha builds strength from inside."
An interesting study on the effects of ashwagandha supplementation for raising endurance was conducted on elite Indian cyclists who received 500 mg twice per day for 8 weeks.
The results demonstrated considerable improvement in cardiorespiratory endurance of the athletes.
This adaptogen appears to be making its way even into the world of athletics!
Ashwagandha is safe and is deemed to have no known contraindications or side effects.
A typical recommended daily dose of the herb is roughly 500 to 1000 mg twice daily. As a powder, capsule or liquid supplementation, these forms could be added to your smoothie or a hot cup of milk or tea.
Discover the magic of ashwagandha and enjoy its many benefits!