Ashwagandha is one of the well known herbs of Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India. This herb has been used for thousands of years but is gaining popularity due to recent studies. Ashwagandha is known as a adaptogen that promotes balance in the body. Adaptogens are plant/herb substances that have been found to help our bodies manage stress and maintain balance. Ashwagandha is one of the few herbs that have been shown to have positive effects on mental and physical function.
One of the most popular uses of ashwagandha is to help regulate or support a reduction in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone in the body with multiple functions. Chronically elevated levels, sometimes due to stress, can have negative effects. Multiple clinical studies have shown supplementing with ashwagandha root extract can support normal cortisol levels and may reduce stress, and anxiety.
The same mechanisms that reduce stress and anxiety may also support reduced symptoms of depression. A study has suggested ashwagandha extract improved resistance to stress and therefore improves self-assessed quality of life.
Research has also shown ashwagandha may improve muscle size and strength. In a study investigating strength and recovery, ashwagandha root extract combined with resistance training was associated with increased muscle mass, strength gains, and markers of muscle recovery. Interestingly ashwagandha has also been shown to support maximum velocity, power output, and VO2 max oxygen consumption suggesting it could be useful for overall sports performance.
Antioxidant activity and inflammation support is another area ashwagandha seems to excel. Some studies have found an increase in the activity of natural killer cells and supported protection from oxidative stress and free radicals. This activity may help support a reduction in inflammation, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and cognitive function.
With modern physical and mental stress levels seemingly at their highest it can be easy to see how many can benefit from this traditional, centuries old root.
Our Essence Active Greens features ashwagandha as part of the superfood Phytonutrient Blend.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.