5 Amazing Benefits of Ashwagandha

Published on May 06, 2022

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

If we had to list our favorite herbs, Ashwagandha would be at the top. Also known as Indian Ginseng and Winter Cherry, Ashwagandha can be traced back over 4,000 years. Ayurvedic medicine reveres it as a multipurpose herb promoting longevity, vitality, and happiness.*

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb with traditional use in Ayurveda for stress management, sleep, cortisol balance, nervous system health, and more.REF#1462 Ashwagandha may help to nourish and maintain optimal health by supporting a stabilized mood, energy levels, and overall immune function to help you stay centered and thrive.REF#1462

Ashwagandha grows in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, parts of Africa, and other temperate climates.

5 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha for Stress

The use of Ashwagandha promotes balance in many different body systems and can help the body adapt to stress and provide calming support.REF#1462

When the body is in fight or flight mode, it releases the stress hormone cortisol. Between constant deadlines, financial pressures, digital overload, and a steady stream of negative news, the chronic stress of modern human culture regularly activates the cortisol stress response, which can impact nervous system function.

According to clinical studies, Ashwagandha can support healthy immune processes in response to stress. Irritation and discomfort are the body's natural response to injury or infection, but they can contribute to various health problems when they become chronic. By supporting healthy immune processes, Ashwagandha may help support overall health.*REF#1463

Ashwagandha supplements may also support feelings of relaxation and healthy levels of the stress hormone cortisol.REF#1462 This herb is often used in alternative medicine to address feelings of stress.

Because stress is at the heart of many health conditions, helping the body adapt better benefits every bodily system. Taken orally, Stress Response® supports the body in reacting to stress in a healthy way.* Created with Ashwagandha and other beneficial herbs, this unique formula helps calm and nourish an overworked nervous system.*

Ashwagandha for the Nervous System

Maintaining a healthy nervous system is vital for overall health and positive well-being. The nervous system impacts every breath, feeling, decision, and experience.

Ashwagandha supports healthy nervous system function, providing antioxidant support and naturally stimulating the pathways in the brain for Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).REF#1462 This neurotransmitter is responsible for promoting calmness and regulating muscle tone.*

Study findings suggest that Ashwagandha may have the potential to treat neurological concerns related to GABA-signaling dysfunction. Additionally, they demonstrate how Ashwagandha may achieve its reported adaptogenic properties.REF#1464

Ashwagandha has neuroprotective effects, which means it can support the brain’s natural defenses against damage caused by oxidative stress. Ashwagandha may support cognitive function, memory, and concentration and support the performance of cognitive tasks in healthy individuals.REF#1465

This Ayurvedic herb may also support memory and cognitive function in healthy individuals and those with cognitive impairment. The herb contains compounds that can help support the brain’s overall health, reduce irritation, and support the growth of new brain cells.REF#1465

Ashwagandha may also support attention, reaction time, and overall cognitive performance, which supports the addressing neurodegenerative concerns.REF#1462

Ashwagandha also supports a calm and stable mood, as it helps regulate natural cortisol rhythm, which is why it has traditional use as a supplement for people coping with adrenal fatigue.*

One of our all-time best-selling supplements is Adrenal Health® Daily Support, which contains a unique combination of pure extracts, including Ashwagandha, to help nourish the adrenals.*

Ashwagandha for the Immune System

The immune system plays a critical role in keeping the body healthy by fighting infections and diseases. When the immune system is over or underactive, it can lead to various health problems. This is where Ashwagandha can come in handy.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study has shown that Ashwagandha can support immune cell activity and antibody production.*REF#1466 This activity can help the body fight off infections and diseases. 

Furthermore, the study suggests that Ashwagandha may be helpful in situations where the immune system needs to be balanced. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making the body more vulnerable to infections and diseases. 

Ashwagandha can help support feelings of relaxation, which may support the immune system by soothing feelings of stress and supporting immune cell activity.REF#1463 REF#1466

Ashwagandha for Physical Performance and Libido

In traditional medicine, Ashwagandha has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions, including physical performance, sexual function, and the reproductive system.REF#1462

Withania somnifera can support speed and lower limb muscle strength, while Terminalia arjuna can support cardiovascular endurance and healthy systolic blood pressure levels.REF#1467

Another study assessed the effects of Ashwagandha root extract on cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy athletic adults. The study found that Ashwagandha root extract significantly supported VO2 max. These findings suggest that Ashwagandha may be a natural way to support physical performance.REF#1468

Ashwagandha may have a positive impact on fertility, particularly in men. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can support fertility markers such as sperm count, motility, and testosterone levels in men with low fertility and infertility issues.REF#1469 REF#1470

The effect of Withania somnifera on male fertility may be due to its ability to soothe feelings of stress and physical tension, which can affect reproductive health. Ashwagandha may also support sexual function and libido in women.REF#1471

Ashwagandha for Cholesterol Support

High cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems, making maintaining healthy cholesterol and LDL crucial. Ashwagandha may support healthy levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol, which is promising for cardiovascular health.REF#1472

A recent study investigated the effects of Ashwagandha on cholesterol levels in rats. The study found that an extract from the Withania somnifera plant can support cholesterol levels and act as an antioxidant. The rats were given doses of Ashwagandha root powder, which was shown to support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.REF#1472

Overall, these results are promising and indicate that Ashwagandha may support healthy cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health.REF#1472

Further studies are needed to investigate the effects of Ashwagandha in humans with high cholesterol levels and other cardiovascular risk factors to confirm these findings.

Ashwagandha for Sleep

A good night's sleep is a vital part of living a happy and healthy life. Many would argue that sleep is as essential as eating well and exercising. Experts estimate that people now get about 1½ to 2 hours less sleep per night than their grandparents, and overall sleep quality has decreased. Doctors believe this sleeplessness –– combined with more stressful lifestyles –– affects overall health.

A meta-analysis of five clinical trials showed that Ashwagandha extract could support sleep quality, subjectively and objectively, with a dosage of 600 mg/day or more and a treatment duration of eight weeks or longer.REF#1473

Ashwagandha can aid sleep in several ways. It can help support healthy cortisol levels, which can interfere with sleep if left unbalanced, and also contains compounds that can have a calming effect on the brain, which can help individuals relax and fall asleep.REF#1463 REF#1464 REF#1473

Known for its grounding and recuperative properties, Ashwagandha helps support a natural sleep cycle.* As you sleep, your body repairs and restores itself. With Ashwagandha as a key ingredient, Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore helps maintain the body's systems and provides gentle, calming support while you rest.* 

Adrenal Health® Nightly Restore also nourishes the adrenal glands, influencing the body's sleep patterns, stress response, and more.*

How to Incorporate Ashwagandha in Your Routine

You can easily incorporate Ashwagandha into your daily diet in various ways. Add Ashwagandha powder to smoothies, teas, water, and warm or plant-based milk for a calming bedtime drink. Additionally, you can consume Ashwagandha gummies or supplements..

The optimal dosage of Ashwagandha varies depending on the form of the supplement and the individual's needs. As a general guideline, a typical Ashwagandha root extract dosage ranges from 250 to 500 mg per day, while the powder form doses are one to two grams daily. 

However, following the recommended dosage instructions on the supplement label is essential, as is consulting with a healthcare professional before taking any new supplements.

Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is generally safe, but it is important to seek medical advice, particularly if you have an allergy, an existing medical condition, or are taking medications. Possible side effects of Ashwagandha include gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, and nausea.

Additionally, Ashwagandha can interact with thyroid function, which means that people with thyroid disorders should use Ashwagandha with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It is also important to note that Ashwagandha can interact with blood sugar levels, which can be problematic for individuals with diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking Ashwagandha supplements. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking Ashwagandha supplements.

Discover More About Ashwagandha

In addition to the amazing benefits that we highlighted in this blog, there are many more that you can read about in our Essential Guide to Ashwagandha. You can also keep exploring our site for a complete list of supplements that contain Ashwagandha.

Gaia Herbs Ashwagandha supplements offer a convenient and effective way to incorporate this herb into your daily routine. From supporting feelings of relaxation to restful sleep, cognitive


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