Ashwagandha is a powerful medicinal herb that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Like many traditional remedies, it is now enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to a large amount of scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness.
Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen, meaning that it helps the body adapt to stress, thereby mitigating its most harmful effects.
Ashwagandha is found in India and North Africa, and translates literally as “smell of the horse.” This name is thought to refer partly to the unique odor of the plant, as well as to its known ability to increase strength – to give you the strength of a horse. The botanical name however is Withania Somnifera.
Whatever you call it though, and however you came across it, Ashwagandha is a herb with a truly extraordinary list of beneficial properties. For combating fatigue, increasing energy, and fighting the dreaded “21st century syundrome,” Ashwagandha may be one of the most vital supplements you can possibly take.
In this post, we will explore some of the most compelling reasons to supplement with Ashwaganhda.
1. It lowers cortisol
The first reason that you should consider taking Ashwagandha is in order to combat stress. Ashwagandha appears to be effective at combating stress in part by lowering cortisol by up to 26%. This is useful, seeing as cortisol is what we often describe as the “stress hormone.” The more cortisol you have in your body, the more anxious and even jittery you will feel.
Cortisol is not only linked with stress though: it also has a host of unwanted effects on the body and brain. For example, cortisol is known to lower levels of testosterone, to increase hunger, and to make sleeping difficult. Cortisol even contributes to the storage of fat around the body, and in particular, it may increase the bad kind of fat – visceral fat – around the gut.
While cortisol has its uses, most of us have far too much of it, and too little of the hormones and neurochemicals it opposes.