Ashwagandha: Benefits, Uses, Side Effects and Dosage

3501 views
There are several ashwagandha benefits for both men and women wherein Ashwagandha uses may vary in different degrees depending on its practice and purpose. But before we jump to the benefits and uses, it is important to know a bit about Ashwagandha.

What is Ashwagandha?
Indian ginseng or Ashwagandha is an Indian Ayurvedic herb that has been used for medicinal purposes over centuries. The Sanskrit word ashwa means horse and gandha means aroma so it technically represents a fragrant root that is mainly used in various Ayurvedic products. Some important benefits of ashwagandha include treatment of anxiety, stress-related issues, and skin diseases such as leukoderma, memory functions, gastric ailments, arthritis, and insomnia. There are several ashwagandha benefits for men and women with regulated dosage that can be even used for weight loss. The ashwagandha plant (withania sommifera) is a minor shrub that also bears fruits. As much as researches have been conducted to use the ashwagandha root for medicinal purposes, it is also used in dietary and natural Ayurvedic practices. It is commonly manufactured as ashwagandha powder or capsules and is available in general stores that sell Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha in English is also known as the winter cherry as you may have popularly heard it.

 

Ashwagandha Benefits and Uses

Image Source: Healthyoptions.com

Importance Of Ashwagandha?
While ashwagandha uses have been documented several years on, how the ashwagandha root works in the human body is still unknown. The use of ashwagandha as proprietary medicine in the Ayurveda section to treat stress, anxiety and other such ailments provides a natural alternative to regular medicines. The effects of ashwagandha are calming, pain-relieving and also anti-inflammatory which takes care of the nervous system. In case of arthritis or muscle stresses it is studied that ashwagandha benefits have relaxing properties. The Ashwagandha capsules, tablets and powder are the various forms which can be bought from stores both offline and online. The best way to use ashwagandha tablets or powder is after advice from a health expert so that you are clear on the dosage and whether it suits you. You may have symptoms that require different medical attention other than ashwagandha healing so it is always a good idea to visit your doctor first. 

Ashwagandha dosage may differ from person to person so you should not take as much as you can in one period to see faster results. There is, however, no answer in modern science for what is ashwagandha exactly doing in the human body. So if you feel you need herbal treatment be sure to gather as much information you can. Ayurdvedic consultation too can be one of the options. It is not healthy to immediately change medications if you are already taking prescribed ones. Ashwagandha benefits for weight loss are commonly known among its other uses. 

Ashwagandha benefits

Image Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com


Ashwagandha Benefits and Effects
The uses of ashwagandha generally have cooling effects on the nervous system and are therefore used to treat anxiety, insomnia and even ADHD. It helps in sleep and relaxing the mind and prevents nerves to get exhausted from stress or depression. Ashwagandha benefits also include treatment of migraines and memory related functions. 

Top Ashwagandha Benefits:


Image Source: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

 

  1.  Enunciates strength and vitality of muscles
  2. Incudes sleep and relaxation of the mind and brain
  3. Treats ulcers and chronic ailments 
  4. Reinforces energy by reducing muscle stress and fatigue
  5. Reduces drowsiness and worn-out feeling of muscles
  6. Strengthens the immune system 
  7. Helps to treat terminal illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  8. Helps to maintain cholesterol levels and remedy for chest pains
  9. Helps in digestion and prevents constipation
  10. Effective use for diabetes
  11. Protects from high blood pressure
  12. Effective for liver diseases 
  13. Treats cold, cough and fever
  14. Effective as an antioxidant for mind and body
  15. Soothing effects for insomnia
  16. Supplemented for arthritis 
  17. Helps in weight loss


Ashwagandha Benefits for Men
The traditional uses of ashwagandha have been laid down by practitioners of Ayurveda to be researched in scientific ways. As a result one of the benefits can be seen for fertility in men. Ashwagandha escalates the serum that produces the testosterone hormone in men often procuring fertility. Ashwagandha benefits for men thus include

  • An increase in fertility and balance of mass and body weight.
  • It is supposed to enhance cognitive functions of the brain thus maintaining the hormonal functions of the male body.
  • As it is also muscle relaxant and increases strength of mass it supports development for sports.
  • Ashwagandha uses are applicable to both men and women as sleep and relaxation of the mind and body is essential to function for both. 


Ashwagandha Dosage and General Instructions
Ashwagandha dosage can depend on your health condition, age, and severity of illness. The wise thing to do would be to seek consultation from a professional before you take the formal dosage. Ashwagandha dosage can vary in range based on your age and health. Since this is a natural product it is imperative that you read instructions on the container for dosage. You can see different labels of ashwagandha churna or ashwagandha powder depending on where you are located that are available in Ayurveda stores.


Taking Ashwagandha Supplements

To get effective results for ashwagandha benefits you can use Ashwagandha supplements (capsules) which have the most effective value from the ashwagandha plant. You should read the instructions carefully on how to use ashwagandha powder for example, in milk or in the decoction-infusion method.

  • You can boil a small pinch of dried ashwagandha root for 10-15 minutes and then let it infuse for 10 minutes for tea. A pinch of packaged ashwagandha root powder can be used for the same as well.
  • You can also take ashwagandha tablets for one month and see the results.
  • Ideally, you should give a small break in between and then continue again for a month if necessary. 
Ashwagandha dosage

Image Source: tradeindia.com

Ashwagandha Side Effects
There are a few side effects of ashwagandha whose prevention largely depends on careful intake and regulated dosage as mentioned earlier.

  • High dosage of ashwagandha medicines could increase intestinal problems.
  • It is strongly not recommended for pregnant women or for those suffering from hypothyroidism.
  • It is said to take ashwagandha doses in the evenings because it can act as a sedative and is often considered to have a hypnotic effect. While this is related to stress and muscle relaxation it is perfectly normal to take it in regulated quantities. It is safe within its limits and should be tried in little quantities at first and then increase dosage. 
  • Ashwagandha is unfavourable for multiple sclerosis or lupus as it activates the immune system that might affect the person suffering from such auto-immune diseases.
  • Diabetic patients should keep check of their blood sugar levels if they are taking ashwagandha regularly. Symptoms can include low blood pressure if taken in large doses or without existing diabetic medication. It is advisable not to discontinue existing medication for serious or chronic illnesses.  
  • You should seek professionals to give you accurate information if ashwagandha can be used along with your regular course of medicine. If you have to undergo surgery then it is best to cosult a doctor if to continue ashwagandha dosage prior to surgery or not. 

You may not see ashwagandha side effects in one or two month consumption as it is possibly safe if taken orally. 

Top Ashwagandha side effects and precautions:

  1. Do not take large doses
  2. Avoid ashwagandha when pregnant and lactating
  3. Do not take ashwagandha in hypothyroidism
  4. Not favourable for auto-immune diseases
  5. Can cause stomach upsets or vomiting
  6. Can cause low blood pressure for diabetics
  7. Can cause effects to nervous system if taken with other anesthetics 


Is Ashwagandha Beneficial for You?
By now you already know what is ashwagandha and how is it used for a healthy living. Ashwagandha is a traditional medicine also known as an ‘adaptogen’ which means it adapts with the properties of the organism. It adapts to the human body and works wonders if the prescribed dose suits you. The uses of ashwagandha in men and women have been significant especially for men who could use ashwagandha powder or tablets with the coming of age. 
If you feel the decoction-infusion method is cumbersome you can simply take ashwagandha powder in milk depending on your dosage. Ashwagandha is not only used in the Indian subcontinent but is also famous in Europe and the USA in the form of supplements. As commercial products, you can find ashwagandha supplements, powder, capsules and even seeds from online retailers or even your supermarket that has an Ayurveda section. 

  • With some alkaloid content in Ashwagandha, it is also rich in iron so patients advised not to take direct iron medicines should double check with their physicians before taking ashwagandha capsules. 
  • If you have existing sleep or anxiety related medication in your prescriptions it is best not to combine ashwagandha products with it. In case you want to try ashwagandha tablets you should see your pharmacist or doctor and learn about the combinations first.
  • Ashwagandha benefits are quite popular so you will find people who can give you their experiences of using ashwagandha in their daily lives. Ashwagandha benefits for weight loss, for example, is one of the popular concerns. 

Additionally, Ashwagandha is being studied to treat tumors and even asthma. The therapeutic value of this soothing herb and it’s amazing quality in reinforcing stamina, are what make it a popular alternative if taken at moderate & recommended levels. 

 

Your Next Read

Ask your question