11 Powerful Benefits of Ashwagandha for Health, Skin and Hair
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng and withania somnifera, is considered one of the most powerful immune-boosting herbs in Ayurveda. The herb belongs to the tomato family and is cultivated in India, Middle East, northern Africa, and even some part of the United States. Ashwagandha is typically a shrub bearing yellow flowers that contain small berries. Ashwagandha extract, used for a number of alternative healing techniques is derived from the berries or roots of the bush. Below are some of the greatest benefits of Ashwagandha or withania somnifera:
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
It Improves Energy and Stamina:
According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is known as balya, which means that it possesses the ability to enhance strength. Ashwagandha helps improve physical dexterity and endurance.
It Has Stress-Relieving Properties:
Stressed out by all that work pressure? That’s why you need Ashwagandha in your life! Ashwagandha has the ability to curb the overactivity of the stress hormone, cortisol. Many modern-day antidepressants also contain Ashwagandha due to its calming properties.
It Possesses Anti-Carcinogenic Benefits:
This is probably one of the greatest health benefits of Ashwagandha. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, many animal and laboratory studies have reported the anti-cancer benefits of Ashwagandha.
It Enhances Immunity:
Ashwagandha has the reputation of being a highly powerful immune-booster. Studies indicate that it helps in the increase of white blood cells - the greatest factor responsible for improved immunity function.
It Prevents Insomnia:
If you’re finding trouble falling asleep in the night, a daily dose of Ashwagandha can help. Being highly rejuvenating, Ashwagandha helps calm the nervous system, busts anxiety and induces sleep. You can mix a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder with a teaspoon of honey and a glass of warm water to prepare a sedative and calming concoction for yourself.
It Restores Hormonal Balance
For women undergoing menopause, daily intake of Ashwagandha can help restore hormonal balance, and thus, prevent mood swings and hot flashes.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for Skin
It Makes The Skin Glow:
One of the best benefits of Ashwagandha for skin is its ability to make the skin glow. Applying a mixture of one tablespoon ginger, two tablespoons Ashwagandha root and one tablespoon dried lemon peel on your skin after cleansing and moisturizing, as it can increase the blood circulation to your skin and give it a natural flush.
It Prevents Premature Skin Aging:
Did you know that stress can play havoc on your skin and cause it to age faster by inhibiting the production of skin friendly compounds and proteins like collagen, elastin and hyaluronan? Hormonal imbalance can further worsen your skin and cause it to become dry and wrinkled. Ashwagandha helps prevent both, stress as well as hormonal imbalance, thereby preventing your skin from aging prematurely.
Benefits of Ashwagandha for Hair
It Strengthens The Hair:
Ashwagandha increases the circulation of blood to the scalp, thereby supplying it with essential nutrients and strengthening the hair from the root.
It Treats Dandruff:
Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can fight scalp conditions like dandruff, scalp psoriasis and eczema.
It Prevents Premature Hair Graying
Another one of the benefits of Ashwagandha for hair include the prevention of premature hair graying. Use or consumption of Ashwagandha on a regular basis helps stimulate the production of melanin - the pigment responsible for giving color to the hair.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
Though there are not many reported cases of Ashwagandha side effects, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, here are two such instances:
Overactive thyroid - A 32-year-old woman experienced chronic fatigue after ingestion of Ashwagandha capsules, the symptoms of which disappeared after its discontinuation.
Burning, itching, and discoloration of skin/mucous membrane - A 28-year-old man experienced these symptoms after taking Ashwagandha, the symptoms of which improved with conventional treatment.
If you experience any of the above symptoms or stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting, consult your doctor immediately. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, blood pressure, stomach ulcer, and autoimmune diseases, intake Ashwagandha only after discussing with your doctor.
It is always better to reach out to a certified Ayurvedic doctor before including Ashwagandha in your diet. You can find the best and the most experienced Ayurveda doctors in Delhi on Sehat to help you with the right intake and dosage of Ashwagandha .