Ashwagandha Tea Benefits

Ashwagandha Tea Benefits

What is Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, a cornerstone of Ayurvedic medicine, has been cherished for centuries for its ability to relieve stress, enhance energy, and sharpen concentration [1].

Its name, derived from Sanskrit, means "smell of the horse," which indicates the herb's distinct aroma and potential to boost strength.

Known botanically as Withania somnifera and commonly referred to as "Indian ginseng" or "winter cherry," this small shrub with yellow flowers is native to India and Southeast Asia.

The plant's roots and leaves are used to create extracts and powders to treat various conditions, including anxiety and fertility issues.

Let us take a closer look at eight remarkable benefits.

1. Easing Stress and Anxiety

One of the most celebrated benefits of ashwagandha tea is its ability to mitigate stress and anxiety. As an adaptogen, it helps the body manage stress more effectively.

Ashwagandha influences key stress mediators like heat shock proteins, cortisol, and stress-activated protein kinase [2].

Moreover, it modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which regulates the body's stress response.

Research supports these claims. In one study with 58 participants, those who took ashwagandha experienced significantly reduced stress and lower cortisol levels than a placebo group [2].

Additionally, these participants reported better sleep quality.

Another study with 60 individuals found that daily intake of ashwagandha significantly reduced anxiety [3].

2. Enhancing Sleep Quality

Are you struggling with sleep? Ashwagandha tea might be your answer. This herb has been linked to improved sleep quality and mental alertness upon waking.

In a study involving older adults, those who consumed ashwagandha daily reported significant improvements in sleep compared to those who took a placebo [4].

Another review of several studies highlighted its positive impact on sleep quality, especially in individuals with insomnia [5].

3. Boosting Brain Function and Memory

Ashwagandha tea's benefits extend to cognitive function as well.

A review of five clinical studies found that it may enhance cognitive abilities in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and individuals with schizophrenia [6].

Key areas of improvement included executive function, attention, reaction time, and overall performance on cognitive tasks.

One study showed that participants who consumed ashwagandha daily experienced notable improvements in memory, attention, and information-processing speed thanks to its antioxidant effects on the brain [7].

4. Supporting Mental Health

Beyond stress and anxiety, ashwagandha tea may alleviate symptoms of other mental health conditions, such as depression.

In a study of individuals with schizophrenia experiencing depression and anxiety, those who took ashwagandha showed more significant reductions in symptoms than those on a placebo [8].

Research also suggests it may benefit cognitive impairment in people with bipolar disorder [9].

Also, a 2021 review highlighted its potential in managing various mental health and neurological issues [10].

5. Improving Athletic Performance

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts might find an ally in ashwagandha.

Studies indicate this herb can enhance physical performance, including strength and oxygen utilization during exercise [11].

One analysis of multiple studies found that ashwagandha significantly improved maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max), a key indicator of cardiovascular fitness [12].

Another study revealed that male participants who combined ashwagandha with resistance training experienced greater muscle strength and size gains than a placebo group [13].

6. Supporting Male Fertility and Testosterone Levels

Ashwagandha tea is also linked to improved male fertility and higher testosterone levels.

In a study of men with overweight and mild fatigue, those who took ashwagandha showed a significant increase in testosterone and DHEA-S, a hormone involved in testosterone production [14].

Additionally, a review of four studies found that ashwagandha treatment improved sperm concentration, volume, and motility in men with both standard and low sperm counts [15].

7. Managing Blood Sugar Levels

Emerging evidence suggests ashwagandha tea may benefit individuals with diabetes or high blood sugar levels.

A review of 24 studies highlighted its ability to reduce blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, insulin, blood lipids, and oxidative stress markers [16].

These effects are attributed to compounds like withaferin A, which have antidiabetic properties and help stimulate glucose uptake by cells [17].

8. Reducing Inflammation

Ashwagandha contains potent compounds such as withaferin A, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies have demonstrated its ability to lower levels of inflammatory proteins [18].

For instance, a study involving COVID-19 patients found that an Ayurvedic formulation containing ashwagandha reduced inflammatory markers significantly [19].

Safety and Side Effects

While ashwagandha is generally safe for most people in the short term, up to three months [20], its long-term effects are not well-known.

It’s advisable to avoid ashwagandha if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking certain medications.

Additionally, those with autoimmune or thyroid disorders, liver problems, or those about to undergo surgery should consult a doctor before using ashwagandha.

Common side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, drowsiness, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Conclusion

Ashwagandha, a revered herb in Ayurvedic medicine, offers many health benefits for the mind and body.

Its ability to reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost cognitive function makes it an invaluable natural remedy for mental well-being.

Additionally, its positive effects on athletic performance, male fertility, blood sugar management, and inflammation highlight its versatile potential in promoting overall health.

Incorporating ashwagandha tea into your wellness routine may provide a natural and effective way to enhance your physical and mental health.

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References

[1]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32201301/

[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6979308/

[3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6750292/

[4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7096075/

[5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8462692/

[6]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31742775/

[7]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31742775/

[8]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31046033/

[9]https://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/randomized-placebo-controlled-adjunctive-study-extract/

[10]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8762185/

[11]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006238/

[12]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230697/

[13]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4658772/

[14]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438434/

[15]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30466985/

[16]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31975514/

[17]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25796090/

[18]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696210/

[19]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857981/

[20]https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/ashwagandha

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