11 Incredible Benefits of Ashwagandha Powder

What is Ashwagandha Powder?

Ashwagandha or otherwise known as withania sominfera is an ancient Ayurveda herb that has been used for over three thousand years. It is native to India and is often referred to as the king of all herbs due its amazing benefits to mind and body. Here are 11 incredible benefits of Ashwagandha powder backed by science.

  1. Reduces Blood Sugar Levels

Maintaining your blood sugar levels is important to manage your weight and overall health. Several studies have shown that Ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels.

In a 2013 study schizophrenia patients were treated with Ashwagandha powder and had an average reduction in their fasting blood sugar levels of more than 300% (13.5 mg/dL) in comparison to the placebo group of 4.5 mg/dL [1].

It does this by increasing insulin production and insulin sensitivity, which then lowers blood sugar levels in people who do not have diabetes.  

  1. Fights Inflammation

Inflammation is your body’s response to any injury, toxins or infection. Inflammatory cells are sent to the area affected to trap offending substances or heal the tissue. This causes swelling in the surrounding regions and is the body’s natural healing process. This is a good thing, but when we have chronic inflammation the body is on high alert at all times. This can cause damage to the heart, brain and other organs [13].

Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can increase immune cells which help fight disease and keep the body healthy. It also reduces the inflammation marker C-reactive protein, which is linked with heart disease [14] [15].  

  1. Lowers cholesterol

High levels of cholesterol are linked with heart disease and cancers. According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention over 102 million Americans (including children) have high cholesterol.

In a 60 day study for chronically stressed adults, Ashwagandha was shown to reduce bad cholesterol by 17%, increase good cholesterol by 11% [16], and in a separate study on rats lowered cholesterol by up to 53% [17].

  1. Helps Kick Cancers Butt!

Cancer is the world’s second biggest killer and our diets and lifestyles can play a major role. Several studies have shown that Ashwagandha may help prevent and fight cancer.

A 2014 animal and test-tube study showed that the compound withaferin which is found in Ashwagandha helps kill cancer cells, known as apoptosis [2].

In another study, conducted on two groups of mice with ovarian tumours, one group was treated with withaferin and an anti-cancer drug and the other were given the anti-cancer drug alone. The results showed the mice who had withaferin has a massive reduction of 70-80% of tumour growth and prevented the spread to other organs [3].

Ashwagandha may be able to fight cancer as it promotes cancer cell death and stops the spread of tumours.

  1. Reduces Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a hormone which is released in the body when we are stressed, but when cortisol levels are chronically high it can lead to muscle loss, anxiety and an increase in body fat levels.

Ashwagandha is a natural adaptogen, which means it naturally helps your body deal with stress. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels in the body.

A 2012 study conducted on 64 subjects who suffered from chronic stress were randomized into a placebo group or the study drug treatment group. Both groups took one capsule twice daily for a period of 60 days. The drug treatment group had 300mg of Ashwagandha extract. Results showed the group who supplemented with Ashwagandha had a significant reduction in their cortisol levels [4].

  1. Reduces Stress, Anxiety & Depression

When we are stressed and anxious our body produces more cortisol. This is an evolutionary trait, which helped us deal with threats. But when the body has too much cortisol it can create anxiety and stress, so it creates a viscous cycle.

Studies have shown that supplementing with Ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety symptoms [5] [6] [7]

Another study in 2000 had a two month study which showed the group who consumed Ashwagandha powder on average had a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia in comparison to 11% for the placebo group [8].

Ashwagandha has been shown to naturally reduce cortisol levels as it calms the mind and helps relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

  1. Boosts Testosterone & Increases Fertility

Studies have shown Ashwagandha to have incredible benefits on testosterone levels and reproductive health [9] [10].

In a 2013 study a group of infertile men had supplemented with 675mg of Ashwagandha daily for a period of 90 days. Results showed testosterone levels had increased by 17% and a massive 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume and 57% increase in sperm motility in comparison to the placebo group [11].

Ashwagandha boosts testosterone and improves fertility as it improves sperm count and quality in men.

  1. Increases Muscle Mass & Strength

A 2012 study has shown that supplementing with Ashwagandha can improve body composition by increasing muscle mass and increasing strength [12].

In another study 57 young male subjects were split into two groups a placebo and a group which consumed 300mg Ashwagandha twice daily. Both groups did resistance training for a period of 8 weeks and the results were measured between the two groups.

The group which consumed Ashwagandha powder had increased muscle strength by nearly 100% in comparison to the placebo group for exercises which included the bench press and leg extension.  

Results also showed an increase in muscle size and testosterone levels and a reduction in exercise induced muscle damage and overall body fat [18].

Ashwagandha can be a great supplement to add to your workout routine as it helps increase muscle mass, strength and size. It also improves overall body composition as it reduces body fat.

  1. Improves Cognitive Function

Traditionally Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurveda medicine to boost memory. A 2017 study on 50 adults which were split into two groups, one which was supplemented with 300mg Ashwagandha root powder daily and another placebo group for a period of eight weeks.

Results showed Ashwagandha root powder benefits memory, as the controlled group had significant improvements in their immediate and general memory and improvements in processing speeds in comparison to the placebo group [18].

  1. Can Spice Up Your Sex Life

Ashwagandha has been shown to help with female sexual dysfunction. A 2015 study on 50 women, where the controlled group consumed 300mg of Ashwagandha twice daily for period of eight weeks. The results showed that they experienced more orgasms and overall better sex life in comparison to the placebo group. This could be due to the stress reducing properties of Ashwagandha powder [19].

  1. Makes a Great Natural Sleep Aid

Sleep is vital for the body to rest and recover, but sometimes when we are stressed and worried about our ‘to do list’ our mind has a hard time switching off. As Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety it naturally relaxes the body, so it can be an excellent drink to have before bed.

A recent 2019 study aimed at showing the effects of Ashwagandha on patients with anxiety and insomnia, showed that consuming 300mg of Ashwagandha root powder daily improves sleep quality and insomnia [20].

Final thoughts

Ashwagandha is a truly powerful herb and can be an excellent natural daily supplement as there are so many incredible benefits.

But when choosing your Ashwagandha supplement ensure it is the root extract only as the leaves can be toxic. Plant Burst have only organic Ashwagandha root powder and are free from any additives or other nasties, so you get all the amazing Organic Ashwagandha benefits and no side effects.

Bibliography

[1]

Indian J Pharmacol., "Effects of Withania somnifera in patients of schizophrenia: A randomized, double blind, placebo controlled pilot trial study," 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3757622/.

[2]

Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, "Molecular targets and mechanisms of cancer prevention and treatment by withaferin a, a naturally occurring steroidal lactone.," 2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24046237.

[3]

Kakar SS1, Ratajczak MZ2, Powell KS3, Moghadamfalahi M4, Miller DM2, Batra SK5, Singh SK1., "Withaferin a alone and in combination with cisplatin suppresses growth and metastasis of ovarian cancer by targeting putative cancer stem cells.," 29 September 2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25264898.

[4]

Department of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry, Asha Hospital, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India., "A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.," July 2012. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798.

[5]

Department of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry, Asha Hospital, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India., "A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.," July 2012. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798.

[6]

Department of Research and Clinical Epidemiology, The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Canada. kcooley@ccnm.edu, "Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974.," 31 August 2009. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19718255.

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"A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera.," July 2000. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21407960.

[8]

K. Chandrasekhar, Jyoti Kapoor, and Sridhar Anishetty1, "A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults," July 2012. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/.

[9]

Medical Elementology and Free Radical Biology Lab, Department of Biochemistry, C.S.M. Medical University, (Formerly King George's Medical University), Lucknow 226003, India. mahdiaa@rediffmail.com, aamahdi@mefr.in., "Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility.," 29 September 2009. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19789214.

[10]

Centre of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, SGPGIMS Campus, Lucknow, India. ashishg24@yahoo.co.in, "Efficacy of Withania somnifera on seminal plasma metabolites of infertile males: a proton NMR study at 800 MHz.," 26 August 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23796876.

[11]

Ambiye VR1, Langade D2, Dongre S3, Aptikar P4, Kulkarni M5, Dongre A3., "Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study.," 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24371462.

[12]

ICMR Advanced Centre for Reverse Pharmacology in Traditional Medicine at MRC-KHS, Mumbai, India., "Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers.," July 2012. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23125505.

[13]

"Why You Should Pay Attention to Chronic Inflammation," 14 October 2014. [Online]. Available: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-you-should-pay-attention-to-chronic-inflammation/.

[14]

Unilever Food and Health Research Institute, Unilever Research India, 64, Main Road, Whitefield, Bangalore 560066, India., "In vivo enhancement of natural killer cell activity through tea fortified with Ayurvedic herbs," 10 January 2014. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19504465.

[15]

Helfgott Research Institute, National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR 97239, USA., "In vivo effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on the activation of lymphocytes.," 15 April 2009. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19388865.

[16]

[Online]. Available: https://blog.priceplow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/withania_review.pdf.

[17]

[Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16713218.

[18]

[Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28471731.

[19]

[Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609357/.

[20]

[Online]. Available: https://www.cureus.com/articles/22928-efficacy-and-safety-of-ashwagandha-withania-somnifera-root-extract-in-insomnia-and-anxiety-a-double-blind-randomized-placebo-controlled-study.

[21]

R. C. Franziska Spritzler, "12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha," 3 November 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#2.

[22]

Wankhede S1, Langade D2, Joshi K3, Sinha SR4, Bhattacharyya S5., "Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial.," 25 Novemeber 2015. [Online]. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26609282.


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