One major health benefit in which Ashwagandha is notably known for is its anxiolytic properties. This is because Ashwagandha has mechanisms similar to that of GABA. GABA or gamma aminobutyric acid is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Meaning, it blocks and inhibits the transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to another thus, calming nervous activity (1). Because of this, it could improve mood and block any impulses that would promote anxiety and depression. It also enhances your ability to respond and deal with stress. Ashwagandha is thus highly beneficial to people who are depressed, under extreme stress, or for individuals who are seeking an improvement in their mood and social interactions (social anxiety).2. It's Good For Sleep and Relaxation
Since Ashwagandha has similar properties to that of GABA, it provides a sedative-like effect, because of this more relaxed state, you can fall a sleep more easily. An anxious and stressed state of mind impairs one's quality of sleep and a person who lacks restful sleep will feel more stressed. Thus, the cycle of being stressed and anxious continues. But with Ashwagandha acting like GABA, there would be an improvement in one's sleep quality.3. Ashwagandha Keeps the Brain & Body Healthy
Another major health benefit of Ashwagandha is that it's an antioxidant and a neuroprotective compound. It serves to prevent toxins and free radicals that may damage the brain. Free radicals refer to molecules that are unstable and highly reactive causing damage to cells (2). Ashwagandha works by neutralizing free radicals and oxidative stress thus preventing the destructive processes that the latter may bring.
Some studies claim that Ashwagandha also has anti-microbial properties. It counteracts and destroys harmful bacteria in our body such as Salmonella. The root extract of Ashwagandha on the other hand builds our immune system. This is attributed by an increased ability of the macrophages to fight infections and destroy harmful compounds that may destruct the normal processes of our body. Because of these properties, Ashwagandha promotes a healthy mind and body.4. Other Uses for Ashwagandha
Some studies claim that Ashwagandha also has anti-inflammatory and anti-malarial benefits. This is associated with the proper regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol levels in the body. The pharmacological benefits of Ashwagandha are attributed to its primary ingredients- the withanolides withaferin A and withanolide D. Withanolides refer to a group of at least 300 naturally occurring chemical compounds that have medicinal properties. Withaferin A more specifically, has anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic properties (3). There is also anecdotal evidence that suggets Ashwagandha boosts libido in men.
It is crucial for any supplement to be taken at the right amount and frequency for it to produce the desired effects while possibly eliminating or minimizing the undesired ones. Generally, Ashwagandha is dosed between 100mg to 1000mg daily. However, most users recommend a dose of 600mg daily for it to be effective. These doses are recommended to be divided and taken into several administrations within the day for a more constant and sustained benefit of Ashwagandha.
Since Ashwagandha powder has a strong and bitter taste, you might want to mix it with tea, juice, or other beverages of your choice. Some also suggest to take it with food for better absorption. Start with a low dose and if nothing is felt, slowly increase dosage to a reasonable amount. You may also want to consider consulting your doctor or herbalist as your biology and underlying conditions (if any) may play a role in Ashwagandha being safe and effective.2. Stacking (or combining) Ashwagandha with other Supplements
Stack is done to maximize a supplements potential and also to decrease or reduce side effects. If you wanted to have a significant boost in cognitive function, you may want to stack Ashwagandha with the Racetams. An example of which would be Ashwagandha and Pramiracetam. With Pramiracetam you will notice an improvement in the formation, storage and retrieval of long term memories combined with Ashwagandha, you get a better mood. These two supplements in a stack, working hand in hand would be great for students and professionals who want to increase their productivity.
You can purchase Ashwagandha at most supplement stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, GNC, Whole Foods in the United States & Canada. It is readily available in capsule (Sensoril leaf extract 10%), pill, powder (crushed Ashwagandha root extract at 2.5%) or liquid form. Capsules and pills may be easier to administer however if you want to save more from your money, you may buy Ashwagandha powder in bulk. Generally regardless of the route you go, the absorption and effects will be the same.
We recommend you buy the KSM-66 extract which is patented and much more effective than what you may get at generic drug store. KSM66 took 14 years of R&D to develop, refine and is of the highest concentration. This version is also tested for heavy metals (common in Indian Ayurvedic herbs) and is remarkably much healthier to consume. Consider the safer, healthier, and more potent version of Ashwagandha, click here to buy it. The link also has options to buy the best leaf extract and regular organic root extracts, which are better than the popular gaia version.
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