Updated: Apr 13, 2022
The Indian Ginseng or the Indian Winter Cherry, popularly called Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), is a popular revered herb used in Ayurveda. The word Ashwagandha comes from Sanskrit and means ‘smell of a horse’. While it is named so owing to the smell of the root of the herb, many people equate it with the strength and vitality that one gets after consuming it. The popularity of Ashwagandha is soaring across the globe. Why? Well, this has to do with the herb’s recent classification as an ‘adaptogen’, which means it helps the body fight stress.
Though ashwagandha is gaining popularity across the world today, it has been always widely used in the Indian subcontinent for its health benefits. Let’s delve a bit deeper into how ashwagandha helps both men and women stay healthy!
Benefits of Ashwagandha for Men and Women
Ashwagandha offers many health benefits for both men and women, along with some general health benefits for both genders. Some of these include:
Reduces stress levels
One of the top reasons why ashwagandha is a much sought-after herb today is its stress-busting, calm-inducing property. There are multiple studies that have proved that ashwagandha reduces anxiety and stress levels (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25405876/).
Reduce blood sugar
Though there is limited evidence, ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic practices to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. It is said to bring about this effect by increasing insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity in muscle cells.
Reduces cortisol levels
Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress or when your blood sugar levels drop too low. Some studies have shown that ashwagandha helps lower levels of cortisol and reduce associated symptoms (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/). Reduced cortisol level also means reduced stress and anxiety.
Boosts libido in men and women
Ashwagandha has long been used as an aphrodisiac or sexual stimulant in both men and women. In men, the consumption of ashwagandha causes their bodies to produce nitric oxide in the blood. This nitric oxide increases their sexual desire (libido) and enables them to have greater satisfaction during sexual intercourse. Consumption of ashwagandha improved lubrication, and quality of orgasm.
Boosts testosterone levels and fertility in men
Common symptoms of a drop in testosterone levels include reduced muscle mass, hair loss, and reduced energy during sexual intercourse. Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve the production of testosterone in men. Apart from testosterone, ashwagandha also increases the level of luteinizing hormone and helps to maintain hormonal balance in men.
Helps in hormonal balance in women
Ashwagandha is a boon to women as it maintains hormonal balance in them and boosts fertility. The herb is known to regulate the thyroid gland and production of thyroxine, which may impact mood, weight, and metabolism, all of which impact a woman’s ability to conceive.
Reduces menopausal issues
Menopause is a challenging phase for women as their hormonal levels are undergoing significant change. Taking ashwagandha in the pre-menopausal phase can help in hormonal balance, better blood circulation to the endocrine system, and reduce menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, sexual issues, etc. For all these reasons, many Ayurvedic practitioners recommended ashwagandha for women.
Reduces cholesterol levels
Along with its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, ashwagandha also lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Together, all these properties make this herb cardioprotective and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Improves brain function
Ashwagandha has strong antioxidant properties that prevent nerve damage due to free radicals. For this reason, this miracle herb has been used to boost memory and improve cognition. However, there is limited research around this benefit of ashwagandha today.
Apart from the above-mentioned health benefits of ashwagandha, it is also known to improve sleep, boost immunity, increase energy levels, and prevent conditions like depression.
Ayurveda is a treasure-house of medicinal herbs like ashwagandha. From stress-busting to libido-boosting, this herb has a wide range of health and medicinal benefits for men and women. With multiple supplements containing ashwagandha root and extract, it is easy to add it to your daily routine and improve your health and quality of life.