Ashwagandha root
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 3, 2023 ·  5 min read

9 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is a plant that’s been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries. It’s believed to have many health benefits, including improving memory and reducing stress levels. This is what we know so far about the benefits of ashwagandha.

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9 Ashwagandha Benefits

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As an herbal remedy for various health issues, ashwagandha benefits include reducing anxiety, arthritis, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction symptoms. Though traditionally used more in Eastern medicine, it has begun to catch on in other parts of the world. Today, ashwagandha is gaining popularity in the West thanks to its wide range of health benefits. Of all the potential benefits of this root, here are a few of the best ones. (1)

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1. Reduce stress and anxiety

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Stress has an incredibly negative impact on the body. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps your body deal with stress and anxiety. It’s been used traditionally to help treat insomnia and depression and reduce inflammation. (2)

2. Improve athletic performance

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Used in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time, people have begun using it to improve athletic performance and treat fatigue. Studies have shown that ashwagandha can reduce physical stress on the muscles and body. This may help you recover from exercise more quickly. (3)

3. Boost testosterone and fertility in men

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This special plant has been shown to increase testosterone levels and improve fertility in men. Some studies have found that it can potentially increase sperm count. It may also help with erectile dysfunction (ED). (4)

4. Reduce blood sugar levels

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Ashwagandha can help reduce blood sugar levels and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. It does this by improving insulin sensitivity in the body, allowing your cells to use glucose for energy better. It’s also been shown to decrease triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the blood. (5)

5. Reduce inflammation

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Inflammation causes many chronic and acute health problems. Ashwagandha is an anti-inflammatory herb that can help reduce inflammation in the body. It does this by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines, which are compounds that trigger immune responses. It’s also been shown to decrease C-reactive protein levels (CRP), an inflammatory marker that predicts heart disease risk. (6)

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6. Improve brain function and memory

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Ashwagandha has been shown to improve brain function and memory. It does this by increasing levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that promotes the growth of new neurons in the brain. This can help to prevent age-related cognitive decline and memory problems. (7)

7. Improve sleep quality

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Sleep is crucial for the proper functioning of the body. Ashwagandha is known to help improve sleep quality. It reduces stress levels and balances cortisol levels, the stress hormone. This can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and achieve more high-quality sleep. (8)

8. Supports Mental Health

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There is some evidence to suggest that ashwagandha may help reduce the symptoms of some mental health conditions. This includes depression and anxiety, bipolar disorder, as well as schizophrenia. Though the findings are intriguing, researchers all agree that more studies are needed to support this. Still, it should not be used as a replacement for other medically prescribed medications for any mental health conditions. (9)

9. Relatively safe and widely available

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Ashwagandha is a safe supplement to take and is available without a prescription. It’s important to note that while it’s generally considered safe, some side effects can occur. These include insomnia, headaches, digestive issues, and nausea. It is always important to consult your doctor before taking anything new, especially if you are pregnant or already on other medications. This includes ashwagandha. (10)

The Bottom Line

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You can support your health in many natural ways, particularly if used alongside a healthy lifestyle. Ashwagandha is a safe and effective supplement that can help you sleep better. It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for insomnia, stress, and anxiety. It has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels in the body, which can help improve the quality of your sleep. If you are looking for an alternative to sleeping pills or other supplements, then ashwagandha might be worth trying. Ashwagandha is available in various formats, including liquid tinctures, capsules, tablets, and powders. It may also be found in formulas marketed for stress.

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  1. Ashwagandha.” Examine
  2. Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study.” NCBI. Jaysing Salve, et al. December 2019.
  3. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial.” PubMed. Sachin Wankhede, et al. November 25, 2015.
  4. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight Males.” NCBI. Adrian L. Lopresti, et al. March 10, 2019.
  5. Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng) in diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis of scientific evidence from experimental research to clinical application.” PubMed. Sharanbasappa Durg, et al. January 2020.
  6. Tackling Chronic Inflammation with Withanolide Phytochemicals—A Withaferin A Perspective.” NCBI. Emilie Logie and Wim Vanden Berghe. November 10, 2020.
  7. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions.” PubMed. Dnyanraj Choudhary, et al. November 2017.
  8. Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” NCBI. Kae Ling Cheah, et al. September 2021.
  9. Effects of a standardized extract of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on depression and anxiety symptoms in persons with schizophrenia participating in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.” PubMed. Jessica M Gannon , et al. May 2019.
  10. Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, study in Healthy Volunteers.” PubMed. Narsing Verma, et al. March 2021

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.