Tested Tradition – Ashawagandha may be hard to say (ash-wa-gan-da) and be little known in the UK, but it is one of the most important herbs of Ayurveda (a traditional system of medicine in India). Small shrub extracts from the plant are associated with a host of health benefits, from helping with a range of age-related health issues to improving athletic performance.
If you’re prone to scepticism when it comes to ‘traditional’ medicines, which may be justified at times, you might be interested to know that there has been a large number of studies published on the possible benefits of ashawagandha; highlighting its huge potential…
In a study, published in August this year, 80 people were given either a placebo or ashawagandha for eight weeks and various sleep parameters were measured, as well as participants filling in sleep questionnaires. It was found that those taking ashawagandha slept significantly better than those in the placebo group, particularly if they previously suffered from insomnia.
Stress and anxiety
A study involving 58 men and women assessed the effectiveness of ashawagandha extract at reducing stress and anxiety. Participants were given either ashawagandha extract or a placebo for eight weeks. At the end of the study, it was found that those in the ashawagandha group had significantly reduced their scores on a perceived stress scale, as well as reducing their cortisol levels (a hormone strongly linked to stress). Those in the ashawagandha group also found their sleep improved over the study period.
Perhaps linked to the above, research has also shown ashawagandha may help with our waistlines. Chronic stress is often associated with weight gain and in a study, 52 people under chronic stress received either a placebo or ashawagandha for eight weeks. Those participants taking ashawagandha were found to be less stressed, had fewer food cravings, were happier and their body weight had reduced, compared to those taking the placebo.
An eight-week study, involving 57 men, saw participants consuming either an ashawagandha extract or a placebo whilst undergoing resistance training. The results showed, compared to those taking the placebo, those taking the ashwagandha extract had significantly greater increases in muscle strength, as measured when bench-pressing and doing leg-extensions, and significantly greater muscle size increase, in their arms and chest. Compared to the placebo subjects, the subjects receiving ashwagandha also had significantly greater reduction of exercise-induced muscle damage (as indicated by the stabilisation of serum creatine kinase), significantly greater increase in testosterone level and a significantly greater decrease in body fat percentage.
Other researchhas shown that ashwagandha may be able to improve people’s VO2max. VO2 max, also known as maximal oxygen uptake, is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilise during intense exercise. It is a common measurement used to establish the aerobic endurance of an athlete prior to or during the course of training.
Fito is an expert producer of natural remedies, with over 20 years of experience, whose ashwagandha capsules offer an easy and convenient way to include the herb in your diet. Fito’s vegan capsules offer high strength and quality ashwagandha supplement – it is a standardised extract with a guaranteed content of withanolides (7.5%); an important active component of ashwagandha.
Please note: DO NOT take when pregnant (There is some evidence that ashwagandha might cause miscarriages) or breastfeeding. Consult a doctor before use if suffering from any medical condition, on any medication, or about to undergo surgery. Consult your doctor before use, if at all unsure whether hibiscus tea is suitable for you and stop use immediately, and consult a doctor, if any adverse reactions occur. Use may cause drowsiness.