Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb, and it is considered as one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda science. Ashwagandha, or withaniasomnifera, is commonly known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. The name winter cherry is basically derived from the appearance of the plant, which is an evergreen shrub with red berries. However, the red berries are not used for making the ashwagandha powder. When the roots of the winter cherry shrub are powdered, they provide various health benefits; this powder is known as ashwagandha powder. The name Indian ginseng is a bit misnomer as it is not botanically related to the ginseng. However, both ginseng & ashwagandha are adaptogenic.
So, if you're looking for an alternative form of treatment and are curious to learn about Ayurvedic medicine, then ashwagandha is an excellent option. This powder is beneficial for anyone struggling with mental health, sexual health, cognitive function, immunity, and various other health conditions. However, just like every good thing has its downside, ashwagandha too has its downside. So, in this article, we will discuss the benefits and downside of using it.
Ashwagandha, when taken for some time, has the potential to reduce blood sugar levels. Researches have shown that this herb helps to improve insulin sensitivity. Also, it indicates that ashwagandha can lower the blood sugar level for people with diabetes issue.
Various test-tube studies done on animals have found that Withaferin A— a compound found in ashwagandha helps to induce apoptosis (programmed death of cancer cells).
Studies on animals suggest that ashwagandha helps in the treatment of various types of cancer which includes breast cancer and lung cancer. However, Double-Blind human studies are yet to reach the stage 3 test. But considering the benefits it brings to the quality of life with lowered oxidative stress point of view, there's no harm of using it in your daily routine.
Cortisol is the hormone released by the adrenal glands in the human body when a person is extremely stressed out. This hormone is often used as a physiological marker of stress in the body. Having high cortisol levels for a prolonged period of time are often linked to chronic stress. Taking an Ayurvedic medicine like ashwagandha helps to reduce cortisol levels which, in turn, help to increase serotonin & dopamine levels in the brain. Thus, taking ashwagandha helps to reduce chronic stress and symptoms of depression.
Chronic stress often leads to various hormonal changes that can directly affect your sex drive and fertility. Since ashwagandha are known for reducing chronic stress, it also helps men suffering from erectile dysfunction. There are certain ashwagandha supplements available that majorly helps with this issue. Taking an Ayurvedic herb like ashwagandha is a more holistic way to treat this condition than taking other allopathic supplements.
Although ashwagandha has various benefits, it too has its downside. For any form of traditional medicine, or complementary/alternative medicine, it is important to consult a health care professional before taking a new medication; this reduces the risk of experiencing side effects or contraindications.
As far as ashwagandha extract is concerned, you can safely consume it for a maximum period of three months. After that, it can be risky to continue having ashwagandha. However, there are no researches or studies to show its potential long term side effects. Below are a few points that you keep in mind before taking ashwagandha:
These were just a few downsides of having ashwagandha, the benefits it provides are something that cannot be matched. So it is suggested to seek a professional health care provider advise before taking it.