“What the heck is Ashwagandha?” This was my exact thought years ago when I first came across this strange-sounding word. I was actually researching the benefits of turmeric when I stumbled upon it. It soon became apparent to me that Ashwagandha was a pretty big player in the world of health, popping up everywhere from Instagram wellness bloggers to the latest trendy supplement brand.
So, what exactly is Ashwagandha? Well, for starters, it is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda (a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing) and it has been used for centuries. It’s classified as an adaptogen meaning it helps the body to manage stress. The plant is native to the Middle East and certain areas in Africa and India, and it’s still used in India to treat patients today.
As you can guess, Ashwagandha is most well-known for its ability to reduce stress but as I researched further, I found a list of benefits longer than any list I had seen before, even for turmeric!
So, without further ado let me share with you some of the many reasons I’ve added this super herb to my natural stress-management arsenal:
It helps you sleep better.
Now, I don’t know about you, but nothing feels more fantastic to me than a long, deep sleep. Bad sleep quality over time can mean irritability, anxiety, tiredness, drowsiness, moodiness, and more negative side effects. Ain’t nobody got time for that! One of Ashwagandha’s benefits is improving sleep quality. You’ll be happy to know that people who take Ashwagandha usually report a change in waking up feeling more alert and energized.
It helps you get in better shape.
Let’s be real, getting gains in the gym isn’t easy. Putting on muscle and getting leaner requires a lot of time, energy, and commitment. Whether you’re trying to grow muscle or increase your athletic performance, Ashwagandha can help you with your gym goals. Ashwagandha has been shown to increase muscle size, increase muscle strength, and improve aerobic performance and cardiovascular endurance.
It supports heart health.
Heart health is one of the biggest wellness concerns today. As a Health Coach, I’m always on the lookout for a natural alternative to keeping the heart healthy. One thing I love about Ashwagandha is that it offers heart-protective antioxidant support.
It supports the immune system.
As I mentioned earlier, Ashwagandha is the hero that swoops in and saves the day on the stress front, but I also want to point out that it’s doing double duty to boost your immunity. When you nix chronic stress, your immune system can carry out its protective duties like a champ. I don’t know about you, but I feel like these benefits just keep getting better and better!
It helps men with sexual health.
This is perhaps the most common use of Ashwagandha (after stress) in modern ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha has been shown to support and balancing the Testosterone hormone in men. Having a healthy testosterone level has significant effects on the human body, such as healthy fertility, increasing stamina, boosting immunity and helping to reach peak endurance.
It supports brain health.
With the type of work I do as a Health Coach, making sure I have high levels of concentration and focus are very important to me. One of the things I love most about Ashwagandha is that it supports healthy brain function. Consuming Ashwagandha helps to detoxify neural pathways in the brain so that we feel clear-headed and refreshed. What could be better than that?
So, as you can see, Ashwagandha brings a lot to the table! The awesome benefits it has for both our mental and physical health are quite endless. Boosting the immune system, helping out other systems, supporting fertility, growing those muscles, need I say more?
I know I was pretty ecstatic the first time I started experiencing some of the beneficial aspects of Ashwagandha. I should also note – it’s very safe to take with minimal side effects. There’s no other supplement I’d recommend more which is why I take it every day. Now, it’s your turn! Give it a try and see how you feel. Ashwagandha could be just what you need to start feeling like a real superhuman.
Board-Certified Integrative Health Coach