What Ashwagandha Really Does For Your Body

If you're someone who likes to include holistic herbs in your diet to support your general health and sense of well-being, then taking ashwagandha supplements may be for you.

Ashwagandha is a plant native to India and North Africa that has been in use for several thousand years to help treat a variety of health conditions. It is used within the Ayurvedic medical system, an ancient medical tradition based on a natural approach to improving health. Ashwagandha's natural healing powers are primarily located in its root, and it is reportedly most renowned for its potential to lower stress and anxiety by reducing cortisol, a hormone the adrenal glands produce in reaction to stress (via Healthline).

In fact, research has shown that a daily dosage of between 500 and 600 mg of ashwagandha for up to 12 weeks has the potential to reduce insomnia for those who struggle with stress and anxiety.

Yet, while ashwagandha is most known for helping to mitigate stress levels, it also has a number of other reported health benefits.

Other ways ashwagandha can help your body

According to Medical News Today, if you suffer from arthritis, you may want to try ashwagandha, as it can potentially reduce your pain by stopping the pain signals that normally travel through your central nervous system. Taking ashwagandha may also address inflammation issues associated with your arthritis.

Medical News Today also reports that a 2015 study revealed that extract from the ashwagandha root produced enhanced cardiorespiratory endurance, or improved heart health, in humans. However, more research is needed to support these results. According to findings in several other studies, ashwagandha may also be able to slow, or possibly even prevent, the loss of brain function in those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease. Ashwagandha has also demonstrated the potential for halting the cell growth of certain types of cancer.

While initial studies have shown promising results for ashwagandha, more research is needed, including a better understanding of the side effects, which have been known to include vomiting and diarrhea when ashwagandha is ingested in larger dosages. If you are thinking of taking ashwagandha supplements and you have a serious health condition or are pregnant, WebMD recommends that you consult a healthcare professional first to make sure it is safe to do so and for recommendations on the appropriate dosage.