In this world, every little thing that can help us reduce our stress levels and their effects on the body is of utmost importance. After all, stress is a primary factor in the development in illness and disease. One such herbal solution known as Ashwagandha, also called Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry or Withania somnifera, is so powerful that it can not only slow the aging process, but is also a wonderful force against oxidative stress, cell death, and mutation. Further, the plant helps to lower cortisol levels, one of the worst stress hormones.
Ashwagandha as a Stress-Reducer, Cancer-Fighter, and Relaxant
Stress has been linked to all sorts of physical diseases, including heart disease, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. Chronic stress hurts almost every cell in the body. Fortunately, Ashwagandha has immunity boosting qualities, greatly increasing the counts of white blood cells and killer cells which also fighting disease. It also helps to promote more restful sleep, and with just a 300-500 milligram dosage per day, you can enjoy relaxation and a better sense of well-being.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it adapts to support the body in whatever way it is needed. It also helps to support the nervous system and can even play a pivotal role in helping to fight cancer cells. Lung cancers, breast cancers, and colon cancers were the most prominently affected types of disease in laboratory tests.
Ashwagandha also stabilizes blood sugar levels so that you don’t crave sweets and simple carbohydrates, a great benefit to those who are watching their weight.
Further adding onto the benefits of ashwagandha, the plant also helps you to sleep better, not by masking the effects of stress, which often cause insomnia, but by distressing the body so that the natural circadian rhythms can be balanced and restored. It is so good at reducing stress, that stress-related ulcers can be removed with its prolonged use. It even lowers blood pressure, another stress-related illness.
Lastly, ashwagandha is also being studied as a natural cure for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease since it can promote nerve cell growth.
This Ayurvedic herb has minimal side effects, but should not be used by women who are pregnant or those with stomach ulcers. Ashwagandha can be purchased as an extract or in pill form or you can grow your own Ashwagandha bush and brew natural teas or make your own tinctures to receive the highest level of benefits the herb has to offer. It is certainly restorative in a number of ways, and stress reduction is at the top of the list.
Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.