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8 Ways To Use Ashwagandha To Fight Stress, Diabetes And More

“I am so stressed,” is a common statement you get to hear these days; be at your workplace, home or at any gatherings.

One of the best ways to balance the mind and body to ward off stress is a powerful herb used in Ayurveda called Ashwagandha.

According to Dr. Deepak, Ayurvedic Physician, the main cause of stressinduced symptoms such as irregularity in sleep, high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure etc. is an imbalance of Vata and Kapha. Ashwagandha is known to balance both Vata and Kapha and keep diseases at bay.

Let’s have a look at some of the health benefits of Ashwagandha:

1. Boosts libido

Ashwagandha is known as a rejuvenating herb and helps lower the stress levels in the body. This, in turn, helps in the management of stress-induced sexual problems and improves libido in men. Regular consumption of ashwagandha might also improve the quality of sperm[1][2].

Tips:

-Take 1/2 teaspoon of Ashwagandha root powder along with ghee, sugar and honey daily for a month once or twice a day to improve sperm quality.
-Or, mix 1/2 teaspoon of Ashwagandha root powder in a glass of warm milk. Drink this at bedtime.

You can now buy a wide range of Ashwagandha supplements at 1mg!

2. Beats stress

It alleviates stress by reducing the level of a stress hormone called cortisol[3].

Tips:

-Take 1/2 teaspoon of Ashwagandha root powder and boil it in 2 cups of water.
-Add a pinch of ginger. Boil till it reduces to half.
-Cool the mixture and add honey to enhance its taste.
-Drink this tea to relax your mind.

3. Fights Diabetes

Ashwagandha is known to normalize blood sugar level by increasing insulin sensitivity and insulin production, especially during fasting and post-meal period[4][5][6].

Tips:

-Take a glass of milk and half a glass of water in a pan and bring it to boil.
-Add 1/2 teaspoon of Ashwagandha root powder and boil for another 5 minutes.
-Add crushed almonds and walnut (around 2 teaspoons) to the mixture.
-Drink this mixture to manage blood sugar level.

4. Arthritis pain relief

Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties because of the presence of an active substance called Withaferin A which helps arthritis patients[7].

Tips:

-Take 1/2 teaspoon of ashwagandha root powder.
-Mix it in a glass of milk.
-Drink this thrice a day to see improvement in the symptoms of arthritis.

5. Maintain height

Although Ashwagandha cannot make you taller but it can help strengthen your bones and heal injured and osteoporotic bones[8].

Tips:

-Take 10-20 ml of Ashwagandharishta (liquid form of ashwagandha).
-Add an equal amount of water to it.
-Drink it after food twice a day for at least 3-4 months.

6. Insomnia

Although it does not act as a sedative, it helps reduce the stress levels and restore the body’s natural mechanisms to regulate sleep[3][9].

Tips:
-Take 1/2 teaspoon of ashwagandha root powder (churna).
-Mix it in a glass of lukewarm milk.
-Drink it before going to bed for a better sleep.

7. High blood pressure

A study on patients suffering from hypertension showed that ashwagandha root powder mixed with milk could lower blood pressure[3].

Tips:

-Take 1/2 teaspoon of ashwagandha root powder in a cup of water.
-Boil the mixture in a pan for at least 10 minutes.
-Add few drops of lemon and 1 teaspoon of honey to enhance the taste.
-Drink this mixture once a day in the morning.

8. Weight management

Studies have shown that people with increased cortisol levels tend to develop more abdominal fat which can be harmful. Ashwagandha acts by normalizing the level of cortisol thereby helping you manage your weight and the risks associated with increasing weight[10].

Tips:

-Take 1/2 teaspoon of Ashwagandha leaves powder (churna).
-Mix it in 1 teaspoon of honey.
-Take it before meals once or twice a day.
-Repeat this daily for 1-2 months for better results.

Some important points:

a) If you are taking blood pressure or diabetes medications consult a doctor before taking Ashwagandha.

b) Always consult a doctor before taking ashwagandha during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

c) Do not take ashwagandha in high dosage and for a longer period as it may cause stomach upset.

References

1. Shukla KK, Mahdi AA, Mishra V, Rajender S, Sankhwar SN, Patel D, Das M.Withania somnifera improves semen quality by combating oxidative stress and cell death and improving essential metal concentrations.Reprod Biomed Online. 2011;22(5):421-7.

2. Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, et al.Withania somnifera improves semen quality in stress-related male fertility.Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2011.

3. Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. “A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.”Indian J. Psychol. Med.2012;34(3):255.

4. Andallu B, Radhika B. Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Indian J Exp Biol. 2000:607-9.

5. Anwer T, Sharma M, Pillai KK, Iqbal M. Effect of Withania somnifera on insulin sensitivity in non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus rats. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology.2008.102: 498-503.

6. Gorelick J, Rosenberg R, Smotrich A, et alN5.Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicitated Withania somnifera.Phytochemistry.2015 Aug;116:283-289.

7. Prince SE, Sonal C, Khan RM. Evaluation of analgesic, antipyretic and ulcerogenic effect of Withaferin A.Int J Integr Biol. 2009;6(2):52–56.

8. Khedgikar V, Kushwaha P, Gautam J, et al.Withaferin A: A proteasomal inhibitor promotes healing after injury and exerts anabolic effect on osteoporotic bone.Cell Death Dis.2013;4.

9. Sachan S, Mishra HS, Yadav KN.Ashwagandha: Solution to stress and insomnia.IJAMY, 2015: 153.

10. Moyer AE, Rodin J, Grilo CM, Cummings N, Larson LM, Rebuffé-Scrive M. Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution in women.Obes Res. 1994 May;2(3):255-62.

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