Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, a plant class known for providing health benefits when consumed as teas, powders, tinctures, or supplements, or in their natural state. Medicinal properties of Ashwagandha’s roots and berries make it an invaluable herb.
Why has Ashwagandha become so popular?
SUPPORTS A REDUCTION IN STRESS
The most notable properties of Ashwagandha are its stress-relieving properties. Researchers have noted that Ashwagandha significantly reduces participants’ anxiety levels and stress. Researchers confirmed that Ashwagandha could improve sleep quality, as well. Participants slept more soundly using the herb than with placebos.
SUPPORTS AN INCREASE STRENGTH AND SKELETAL MUSCLE
The effectiveness of Ashwagandha in enhancing strength and muscle size is still being studied. Recent studies have found that participants’ speed and muscle size increased. An additional study found Ashwagandha to increase muscle power, lower body fat percentages, and reduce cholesterol levels. Ashwagandha consumption was also associated with improved sleep, but the study did not compare it to a placebo.
The use of Ashwagandha proved effective for only male participants in another study. When compared to men taking a placebo, Ashwagandha users experienced significant improvements in muscle strength, as well as significant decreases in body fat percentage and post-workout muscle damage.
MEN’S HEALTH BENEFITS
Men may also benefit from Ashwagandha in terms of reproduction. The rebalancing of reproductive hormone levels by administering Ashwagandha to infertile men has proven to improve sperm quality dramatically. This led to an increase in women becoming pregnant during a trial period.
Researchers found that Ashwagandha significantly increased testosterone levels in male participants but not in females in another study related to stress. An additional study assessing Ashwagandha’s effects on muscle strength in men found that testosterone levels rose significantly, being ideal for the purpose of using the ingredient.
MENTAL CLARITY AND FOCUS
According to some studies, Ashwagandha has the potential to improve cognition, memory, and motor performance. As compared to a placebo, Ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ reaction times on cognitive and psychomotor tests. Ashwagandha has even been shown to improve participants’ attention span, immediate and general memory across a variety of tests, according to one study. This ingredient is now commonly seen in nootropic style products along with the traditional test boosting products.
GENERAL HEALTH IMPROVEMENTS
In two studies, Ashwagandha has been found to increase VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen you can consume while exercising. During physical activity, cardiorespiratory endurance is measured by how well the heart and lungs deliver oxygen to the muscles. As a result, higher VO2 max levels are indicative of a healthy heart that performs well under those conditions.