Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicine where it has been used for more than 4,000 years. Today we know that the effect is a result of the herb affecting the stress hormone cortisol. Here are eight occasions when ashwagandha helps - all according to new research.
Ashwagandha, also known as 'Withania Somnifera', was originally used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. This herb is becoming increasingly popular in the west and is most well known for its ability to reduce stress and promote a calmer and happier sense of being. A growing body of evidence is being collated around this powerful herb with an impressive variety of health benefits.
Several studies show that the ashwagandha extract KSM-66 increases the availability of dopamine, a substance of great importance for well-being and pleasure. When stressed, the formation of dopamine receptors increases, which reduces the amount of free dopamine. Instead of calming the body with the help of ashwagandha, the formation of dopamine receptors decreases, which increases the availability of free dopamine, which is a basic condition for joy, calm and harmony.
Ashwagandha is for its ability to increase the resistance to stress and thus lower the production of the catabolic, degrading hormone cortisol. Studies show that ashwagandha down-regulates the stress axis, which reduces cortisol production by close to 30 percent.
Several studies on the extract also show good effect effect on memory, logical thinking and concentration ability. This is partly explained by the effect on the GABA receptors, which both calms the central nervous system and affects logical thinking. However, Ashwagandha also has a more direct effect by stimulating the formation of choline, an important component of lecithin and other phosphorus lipids contained in the cell membranes. In addition, choline activates the formation of acetylcholine - a substance that facilitates signals both between nerve cells and between nerve cells and muscles.
Several clinical studies show that strength, muscle growth and fitness increase. Several factors contribute to this, including the increase in the production of ATP, the energy used in working cells. In addition, the body's own production of creatine is stimulated, which further increases the muscle's working capacity. As the cortisol content decreases, the amount of hemoglobin also increases and the oxygen uptake capacity improves. That the muscles can work harder without taking damage is shown by decreasing levels of creatine kinase, a protein that increases in the blood as the muscles break down. The muscle can recover faster. Both muscle growth and strength increase at the same time as oxygen uptake is enhanced.
One of the main uses is sleep. The explanation is the effect on GABA, an important signal substance that reduces nerve directions, which makes the brain easier to relax. However, it is not to be confused with sleep producing substances that make you sleepy. It does not GABA, it helps you come to rest which is the basis for you to be able to relax and sleep well.