ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ashwagandha Health Benefits and Side Effects - What is Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) and its uses

Updated on February 6, 2014

Overview

  • Introduction
  • Short Facts
  • Chemical Contents
  • Benefits of Ashwagandha
  • Side Effects
  • Synergy
  • Quality and Dosage

Ashwagandha Berries

Source

Introduction

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for several thousands of years for a number of purposes. Ashwagandha means "the smell of a horse". It does have such a strong taste and it is said that it should give the strength of a horse to the consumer.

Facts about Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a bushy plant with egg-like leaves. It can grow from 1 to 1,5 meters. The berry has a red color and in the berry, there is a yellow seed. It grows in wide parts of Africa, India and even China. The root and the berry are used to make the final product. Ashwagandha has a high reputation and is a very important herb in Ayurvedic medicine. In India, stressed managers often take Ashwagandha instead of Valium. It has the nickname "Indian Ginseng" as it has similar properties and is an adaptogenic herb. It does not have any direct relationship to it, though, and both work differently on a chemical level.

Chemical Contents

There are many chemical elements and molecules in it, which is the reason why it can be used for many different reasons. Some of them are:

  • iron (it contains a lot of it)

  • glyconithanaloids (antioxidants)

  • tannins

  • glucose

  • potassium

  • nitrate

  • alkaloids

  • fatty acids

  • steroid alkaloids (an active part of the herb)

  • flavonoids

  • lactones

  • acyl steryl

  • glucosides

and many other substances.

Benefits of Ashwagandha

Since Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, it adapts to the needs of the body. It does not attack an illnesses directly. It enhances the immune system of the body, regulates processes such as blood pressure and also balances body and mind. Thus, it enhances everything in general and you become more resistent against illnesses and you can fight them better.

Nowadays, many experiments are being conducted.

Experiments have shown that it is able to protect your brain cells (flavonoids are known to protect brain cells. Herbs such as Ginkgo Biloba contain a lot of it and their primary use in Western medicine is in fact brain and memory protection).

Also, experiments have confirmed that it is very effective against stress. It works like a sedative. This is the reason, why it is recommended to take it in the evening.

Ashwagandha also has anti-aging properties. Extracts of it are sometimes used in anti-aging products. The chemicals destroy free radicals that are responsible for cell aging and body damaging. So, the body stays young longer.

People have reported that it increased their concentration, reduced fatigue and made them sleep better than usual after taking Ashwagandha regularly.

Ashwagandha is able to decrease cortisol. Cortisol is released in stressy situations and too much of it can be very dangerous to humans. It strengthens the immune system and is known to increase sexual energy. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is sometimes used as an aphrodisiac. It also works well against erectyle dysfunctions and in tantra, it is used to extend the erection.

It is also suggested that it has anti-cancer properties. Right now, there are several experiments being conducted who try to prove this assumption. It has already been proven that it is effective as a supplement against cancer.

Source

Side Effects

It does not have any side effects really and is very safe to take. If one takes too much of it, it can lead to diarrhea, vomitting and stomach problems. The use should be stopped two weeks before an operation.

Synergy

Ashwagandha can be combined with some herbs in order to increase certain effects.

  • Ginkgo Biloba: high increase in concentration and memory

  • Goji Berry: very strong anti-aging effect; better sleep and more energy

  • Rhodiola: strong nervous balance; increase in concentration and endurance

  • Ginseng: even more vitality; increased libido and stronger aphrodisiac effect; strong nervous balance

Happy Ashwagandha Root

Source

Quality & Dosage

Ashwagandha is a very sensible herb and can easily be polluted. That's why you should always buy purely organic Ashwagandha in order to make sure, there are no undesired chemicals in it.

The recommended dosage is 600 – 1000mg.

Rate the Article!

4.8 out of 5 stars from 8 ratings of Ashwagandha Article

Further Reading

Herbs and Herbal Remedies

Applications of Herbs

  • Herbs for anti-aging and youth
  • Herbs for better meditations
  • Herbs for Libido and erectyle dysfunctions
  • Herbs for more concentration and memory
  • Herbs for more energy and training

© 2014 Slaven Cvijetic

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)