THE BENEFITS OF ASHWAGANDHA: AN ANCIENT HERB IN MODERN MEDICINE
Ancient herbs have been making a splash in modern medicine in the last twenty or so years. They're even creeping into health foods (finally).
Mountains of research proves that healthy lifestyle choices such as the food you consume is proven to help prevent mental and physical illness and disease. Nutrient-dense foods promote high energy levels, fulfilment, happiness and a host of other benefits that is required for looking good and feeling great.
In the hierarchy of medicinal herbs, medical scientists are lauding the multiple benefits of ashwagandha, a family member of adaptogens which help the body adapt to or deal with all kinds of mental and physical stressors. And if people need anything in today’s world, it's a supplement that helps you handle stress!
WHAT IS ASHWAGANDHA?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb used in Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and it’s also known by several other names, including Indian ginseng and winter cherry. It’s classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it can help your body manage stress.
Today, the abundance of benefits of Ashwagandha are being re-explored by medical science, but the plant has been a mainstay of ancient Ayurvedic treatments for thousands of years. In ancient times, the root and berry of this evergreen shrub were used to treat patients in ancient India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa where ashwagandha grows indigenously.
The Ashwagandha herb is traditionally used to boost energy, reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. Its efficacy in reducing anxiety, stress, improving muscle strength and reducing fatigue symptoms in patients with chronic conditions has been demonstrated in recent trials, which is why clinical studies are underway in the UK to trial its effectiveness in promoting recovery from long COVID.
Furthermore, scientific research has shown Ashwagandha has a number of medicinal benefits that can potentially boost testosterone levels, muscle mass and male fertility. Other significant benefits include reducing stress and anxiety, increasing strength performance, improving glucose metabolism, reducing inflammation, boosting brain function, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, blood sugar and cortisol levels and helping fight insomnia, fatigue, and the symptoms of depression as well as treating cancerous cells.
Himmense SHIFT contains 500mg of Ashwagandha. See more below for the numerous benefits of Ashwagandha that are supported by science:
REDUCES CORTISOL LEVELS, STRESS + ANXIETY
Chronic stress is the worst enemy of your immune system. When you are constantly stressed, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol. Cortisol is known as a stress hormone given that your adrenal glands release it in response to stress (and induce the famous “fight-flight-or freeze" response), as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low. Whilst stress hormones can be useful for keeping you alert, in people with highly stressful lifestyles, cortisol levels become elevated, and the body cannot flush away the waste. This is when cortisol becomes your archenemy.
Chronically elevated cortisol can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen as well as a weakened immune system. The good news is ashwagandha is a warrior in reducing stress. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha supplements may help lower cortisol levels in chronically stressed individuals.
In a 60-day study in 64 people with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group.
In a separate placebo controlled study, chronically stressed adults lowered cortisol levels by up to 30% after digesting supplements containing ashwagandha.
Other research suggests that ashwagandha may also help reduce depression.
BOOSTS TESTOSTERONE + INCREASES FERTILITY IN MEN
If you are thinking about starting a family, several studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps increase testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men. It’s a magical herb for men…
In one study of 75 infertile men, the group treated with ashwagandha showed increased sperm count and motility. What’s more, the treatment led to a significant increase in testosterone levels. The researchers also reported that the group who took the herb had increased antioxidant levels in their blood. In another study men who received ashwagandha for stress experienced higher antioxidant levels and better sperm quality.
INCREASES MUSCLE MASS AND STRENGTH + REDUCES BODY FAT
Supplements that contain ashwagandha are increasingly being used to build muscle mass and strength in body builders and weightlifting circles. The medicinal properties are proven to be effective at mediating the negative effects elevated cortisol has on your muscles and fat storage. Scientists are still a little mystified about the precise mechanism of action for ashwagandha's impact on cortisol, but meta-analysis has revealed theoretical data in a growing body of scientific evidence. It is thought that ashwagandha inhibits cortisol secretion in the adrenal glands and restricts the amount of serum passing into your system by up to 27%.
In one study, healthy men who took 750–1,250 mg of pulverized ashwagandha root per day gained muscle strength after 30 days. In another double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study of 57 young male subjects (18-50 years old) with little experience in resistance training, showed those who took ashwagandha had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size. It also more than doubled their reductions in body fat percentage, compared with the placebo group.
REDUCES BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS
Several studies have suggested that it can reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes.
Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy and decrease markers of inflammation.
IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION AND MEMORY
Ashwagandha has been shown to demonstrate “significant improvements” in executive cognitive function in ageing individuals.
In one controlled study of healthy men who took 500 mg of standardized extract daily reported significant improvements in their reaction time and task performance, compared with men who received a placebo. Another 8-week study in 50 adults showed that taking 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily significantly improved general memory, task performance, and attention.
Ashwagandha may help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. One animal study found that it lowered total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 53% and nearly 45%, respectively. While controlled human studies have reported less dramatic results, they have observed some impressive improvements in these markers.
MIGHT HAVE ANTI-CANCER PROPERTIES
Animal and test tube studies have shown that withaferin, a bioactive compound in ashwagandha promotes the death of tumor cells and may help treat several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer. Although no evidence suggests that ashwagandha exerts similar effects in humans, the current research is encouraging.
MAY PROMOTE THE RECOVERY FROM LONG COVID
India and the UK are collaborating to conduct clinical trials of ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from long COVID. The double-blind clinical trial will involve 2,000 people living in the UK with long Covid and will take place over one year.
The positive effects of ‘Ashwagandha’ have been observed in Long COVID and successful completion of the trial could be a major breakthrough and give scientific validity to India’s traditional medicinal system. Dr Sanjay Kinra, professor in clinical epidemiology at LSHTM and principal investigator on the study, said: “Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce symptoms of other conditions that are similar to those of long Covid, so we are hopeful that it will be an effective way to combat the condition.”
If you want to know more about how ashwagandha helps to bulletproof your immune system check this guy out.
Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people, however, pregnant women and people with autoimmune diseases should avoid ashwagandha unless authorized by a healthcare provider. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes.
MAKE HARD WORK LIGHT WORK
HIMMENSE SHIFT daily collagen drink for men is only 22 Kcal and contains 5.4g of protein. Infused with vitamin C, for maximum absorption, as well as vitamins B5, B6, B12, D3, Selenium and Ashwagandha for multiple health benefits.
We know men want to look and feel their best which is why we’ve made sure our collagen for men is free from added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavours or colours and does not contain lactose, gluten, dairy, soya, wheat, starch, yeast, animal fat, alcohol, emulsifying agents & soy lecithin. And our packaging is recyclable.
Our supplements are mansize. Also known as pocket-size.
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Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Consult a doctor or healthcare professional if you have any questions or are taking any other medications before you try any remedies.