Ashwagandha – Everyone’s Taking it. Should You?
There’s a new supplement trending in the health and wellness world that’s a bit of a tongue-twister: Ashwagandha. But this “new trend” isn’t so new after all—in fact, Ashwagandha, also known as “winter cherry” or “Indian ginseng,” has been used as a form of alternative medicine for over 3,000 years. So, should we all have Ashwagandha in our medicine cabinets or add it to our morning smoothies? Here are 5 possible benefits of this ancient herb.
1. Reduces Anxiety
This herb is best known for its stress-lowering effects. A few preliminary studies suggest that Ashwagandha may help reduce stress and anxiety. One study concluded that Ashwagandha “safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance to stress.”
2. Increases Concentration
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, twenty people given Ashwagandha over 14 days saw significant improvements in tests for reaction time and card sorting tests, among many others.
3. Cancer-Fighting Possibilities
Some experiments suggest Ashwagandha may enhance immune cells and impair cancer cells, but more studies need to be conducted to be sure.
4. Enhances Strength Performance
“Ashwagandha” in Sanskrit means “smell of the horse,” which refers to both its unique scent and its claimed potential to impart the strength of a stallion. Limited research suggests this herb may modestly increase physical performance.
5. Improves Emotional Health and Sleep
According to Banyan Botanicals, a study was conducted as a survey to 218 participants taking Ashwagandha supplements for one month where participants reported a 66.9% improvement in sleep quality. This may be due to the stress- and anxiety-reducing properties of the herb. Ashwagandha is traditionally used as a powder and can be mixed with water or warm milk and honey before bed to promote healthy sleep patterns.
There are tons of studies on Ashwagandha, and we hope to learn more about how we can benefit from this fascinating herb in the future. Like with any supplements, please talk to your doctor before adding it to your health and wellness routine.