Ashwagandha: Health Benefits of the Incredible Plant

Ashwagandha: Health Benefits of the Incredible Plant

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian Ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry, comes from a plant that grows in parts of India, China and Yemen. For thousands of years ashwagandha has been used in India’s traditional medicine, ayurvedic, which is a holistic approach to healing the body. It is one of the oldest medical systems in India, and only in recent years has the benefits of ashwagandha been discovered in the United States.  

What are the Benefits of Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is believed to be an effective adaptogen: a product that helps the body manage stress. Recent research has shown some positive effects in lowering anxiety and encouraging better sleep (1). It is thought that the root of the ashwagandha plant may have calming properties that help lower the cortisol levels in our bodies.

In fact, ashwagandha has been studied for its effectiveness on reducing stress and anxiety in human-participant clinical research (2). It may also improve energy, help regulate blood sugar, and improve memory and brain function.

Oh, and one more perk--it may also help boost your sex drive (3). This might be a daily add-on to your diet so that you can relax, stay clear-headed throughout the day, and end it on a good note. 

Ashwagandha: A Timely Alternative

More recently (and timely), ashwagandha has also been studied as a potential drug molecule that might inhibit the activity of SARS-CoV-2Mpro (4). Further, ashwagandha root extract withanolides has been used for thousands of years for its therapeutic properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, antiproliferative and anti-tumor. 

If you decide to give ashwagandha a try, be sure to select a supplement that contains root extract withanolides, which are the active ingredients in ashwagandha. As always, it is important to first consult your doctor before taking any supplement. This is especially true if you have a health condition, if you are taking prescription medications, or if you are pregnant or nursing.

Healthful Seasons Winter Cherry Smoothie Enhancer

Available as a smoothie enhancer, Healthful Seasons Winter Cherry: Ashwagandha Powder Root Extract withanolides and Tart Cherry is a delicious way to add ashwagandha to your diet. Healthful Seasons supplements are handmade in the USA in a Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) facility. Winter Cherry smoothie enhancement powder is an extract from the root of the Ashwagandha plant.

Research

1. Pratte MA, Nanavati KB, Young V, Morley CP. An alternative treatment for anxiety: a systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Dec;20(12):901-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0177. PMID: 25405876; PMCID: PMC4270108.

2. Kelgane SB, Salve J, Sampara P, Debnath K. Efficacy and Tolerability of Ashwagandha Root Extract in the Elderly for Improvement of General Well-being and Sleep: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus. 2020 Feb 23;12(2):e7083. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7083. PMID: 32226684; PMCID: PMC7096075.

3. Dongre S, Langade D, Bhattacharyya S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:284154. doi: 10.1155/2015/284154. Epub 2015 Oct 4. PMID: 26504795; PMCID: PMC4609357.

4. Shree P, Mishra P, Selvaraj C, Singh SK, Chaube R, Garg N, Tripathi YB. Targeting COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) main protease through active phytochemicals of ayurvedic medicinal plants - Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), Tinospora cordifolia (Giloy) and Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) - a molecular docking study. J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2020 Aug 27:1-14. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2020.1810778. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32851919; PMCID: PMC7484581.

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