You may have never heard of ashwaganda before but I recently added it to my routine and wanted to share with you why. I've been reading articles and reports about how the body can self-heal if given the right amount of attention and support. While food is a very important aspect of keeping the body healthy, there are times when supplements and herbs are needed. I take supplements daily to support my health. In fact, I've even had physical proof that supplements work.
I started taking Magnesium because I've always had trouble maintaining my blood pressure. I refuse to take medicine. I eat a healthy diet, exercise but still had trouble maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. I read an article that most people are magnesium deficient and it is an important mineral for the regulation of blood pressure! What did I have to lose? I started taking magnesium daily and at my next Doctor's visit, my blood pressure was in a healthy range. I went again 6 months later and it was still healthy! It has been healthy ever since.
I've been reading about and seeing ashwaganda a lot lately. I heard about the herb several years ago because I was in the vitamin industry at the time and it was being discussed in the industry as the next big ingredient. But usually, the industry is ahead of it's time when predicting what ingredients will take off. Well, almost 3 years later I am finally starting to see people take it and have a good response.
So what is ashwaganda? According to The Chopra Center, ashwaganda is an herb that has been used since ancient times to heal a variety of health issues. Interestingly enough, ashwaganda is part of the night-shade family as the tomato. What is also pretty cool about this herb is there are more than 200 studies from medical researchers on ashwaganda.
Given the history and the research that has happened on ashwaganda, I had to give it a try. I decided not to take a supplement since I already take about 7 different supplements in the morning after breakfast. Instead, I bought TerraSoul SuperFoods ashwagandha powder to add to chai tea in the morning. The dose states 1/3 tsp but I've been putting in 1/2 tsp. I can say it has a distinct flavor and texture. It takes a couple of sips of chai tea before I don't notice the ashwaganda in it. But I think I will get used to it. If you think you might not be willing to taste the herb in a beverage, supplements are plentiful in the market.
Here are 5 health benefits of taking ashwagandha.
1) Reduce Stress. Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, in our bodies. (Source: Examine.com) We all know how bad it is for our bodies to be under stress. The negative effects include high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. (Source: Mayo Clinic) When you reduce stress, you are supporting and promoting your body's ability to be healthy.
2) Anti-cancer properties. While ashwagandha has only been studied in animals and test tubes, not humans, there is promising research that shows the herb can help treat cancer, including breast, lung, brain, colon and ovarian. (Source: Healthline.com) How does it do this? By reducing tumor growth and prevention of the spread of cancer to other organs.
3) May reduce inflammation. For inflammation in humans, ashwagandha has been studied and shown to decrease markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). Also, ashwagandha demonstrated in studies the ability to increase the activity of killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help keep you healthy. (Source: Healthline.com)
4) May lower cholesterol and triglycerides. A study in rats showed that cholesterol lowered by 53% and triglycerides lowered by 45%. (Source: Healthline.com) This means ashwagandha may help you prevent heart disease if this is a health issue you are concerned about.
5) May improve thyroid function. From what I see on social media, there is an influx of thyroid diagnoses. Maybe we've gotten better at detecting it. Maybe we are more in tune with some of the common symptoms that were traditionally written off as getting old (weight loss or gain; fatigue; hair loss). Ashwagandha has been shown to increase thyroid hormones when you have an under-active thyroid. There are also studies that show it may help with adrenal imbalances when taken over time. (Source: Dr. Mercola)
Well, there it is, the 5 reasons ashwagandha may be beneficial in supporting good health. If you start taking ashwagandha, let me know if you notice a difference. I have only been taking it one week when I wrote this post, so I will write a follow-up post in 6 months to report what differences (if any) I've noticed. If you would like to get free health information and recipes, follow my blog on Bloglovin.