The amazing health benefits of ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb. It’s played a part in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,500 years. Ayurvedic herbs are a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. Aswagandha’s health benefits range from protecting nerves, reducing anxiety, anti-inflammatory and helping to regulate the thyroid. These are just some of the benefits of this amazing herb.
Ashwagandha is incredibly powerful in helping to lower cortisol levels and balancing thyroid hormones. It works to protect against stress and calm mood swings.
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha’s botanical name is Withania somnifera and it’s commonly called Indian ginseng or winter cherry. The plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers and is native to India and North Africa. The plants root and leaves are dried to be used in various treatments.
What is an adaptogen?
Adaptogens are a group of a unique plants that help to support the adrenal system. They help to manage hormones which in turn helps to moderate our stress levels. They can help the body to be more resilient to chronic stress.
Health benefits of ashwagandha extract
Several studies have shown that ashwagandha may help to lower blood sugar levels in both healthy subjects and those with diabetes.
It has been linked to reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone because our adrenal glands release it in response to stress. One study showed a reduction of cortisol of 30%.
A further study showed that a 69% reduction in stress levels over a 60 day period.
The fact that the herb helps to reduce stress and cortisol levels may also play a part in the fact that it is associated with a reduction in depression.
How ashwagandha helps to boost AMPK
AMPK is an enzyme found in every cell in our body. It is key in making energy in the form of adeno triphosphate (ATP). AMPK determines the level of ATP available and then regulates the supply and storage as needed. It is the master switch for metabolism. As we age the levels of AMPK diminish making it harder to burn fat and sugar reserves, resulting in weight gain and lower energy levels.
In a study of more than 800 natural substances Ashwagandha topped the list for its ability to boost AMPK and slow ageing1 while reducing mTOR (mammalian target of rapamyacin, linked to cellular growth, obesity and higher levels of the hormone insulin.
One of the major causes of aging is the breakdown of protein in the body. This is readily seen when collagen protein production slows down and skin becomes think and wrinkles. Ashwagandha displays sirtuin properties that activate a protein clean up network to remove damaged proteins from the body
Ashwagandha has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine to boost memory, however there is only a limited amount of research carried out in this area.
Ashwagandha was one of the ingredients that we chose for Skin Perfecting Complex as it is a perfect ingredient to calm the mind and reduce the impact of pollution on the skin.
Read how our Skin Perfecting Complex can help to improve your skin here.