You may have heard herbal products referred to as Ayurvedic medicine or herbs. This classification is typically given to specific herbs traditionally used in India for thousands of years. No exaggeration, Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world's oldest forms of healing. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on the balance of the body, mind and spirit, and an imbalance in any of these areas can lead to illness. This form of healing believes in treating the underlying cause of the disease rather than the disease itself. The goal is to address the body as a whole because every reaction in your body causes another reaction, one hormone imbalance causes a cascade of responses etc.
One of the most popular herbal products that fall under the classification of Ayurvedic medicine is “Ashwagandha.” Ashwagandha is classified as an "adaptogen." An “adaptogen" supplement refers to any product that helps the body adapt to both internal and external factors that affect the body. Various parts of the Ashwagandha plant are used, but most supplements contain the root as the primary raw material source. The root has a horsey-like smell and is said: "to confer the strength and virility of a horse."
Ashwagandha- The Power Supplement to Beat Stress
Balances Cortisol Levels Ashwagandha’s adaptogenic effects work through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, helping to regulate the release of cortisol into the bloodstream. Remember, the body requires a balance, and too much cortisol can negatively affect blood pressure, stress, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain, etc. And too little can cause weakness, dizziness, and more severe effects if left untreated. Most people have too much cortisol, which is released from the adrenal glands during times of stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha helps the body better manage anxiety and stress by balancing the chemical stress response. It also helps to balance testosterone and luteinizing hormones resulting in increased sperm count and mobility.
Anti-Anxiety Benefits- Ashwagandha’s anti-anxiety activity may be due to binding GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain and calming nerve cell activity. Other typical physiological responses to stress, such as increased blood urea nitrogen, lactic acid, corticosterone, and activating dopamine receptors, are also reduced with ashwagandha.
Provides Sleep Support- Ashwagandha’s benefits for sleep may arise from the naturally occurring content” triethylene glycol, a compound shown to induce sleep. Other research suggests that ashwagandha interacts with the brain’s GABA receptors which control your circadian rhythm and regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Supports Underactive Thyroid - Ashwagandha has also been studied for its benefits on an underactive thyroid condition by supporting thyroid hormone production, increasing the amounts circulating in the blood. If you are on medications for an underactive thyroid, you must monitor your levels, as this herb could cause them to drop too much.
Balances blood sugar - Stress and cortisol play fundamental roles in regulating blood sugar. When cortisol is out of control, your blood sugar levels will be too. This can lead to trouble sleeping, irritability, low mood, concentration, and compromised immunity. Several studies show the benefits of this herb for balancing blood sugar levels by protecting the pancreas and balancing the insulin response.
Immune Modulating - Ashwagandha also has immune-modulating properties. In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is often recommended to revive and rejuvenate the immune system after an illness. Ashwagandha also acts as an antioxidant and can increase cytokine levels - both of which stimulate the immune response.
Can boost testosterone and fertility in men – Ashwagandha could benefit male fertility by increasing testosterone. In men with low and normal sperm counts, supplementing with ashwagandha is associated with an increase in sperm concentration, motility, and volume.
Can help lower cholesterol - Heart health benefits come from Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce cholesterol and lower triglycerides in the blood. One study found that daily supplementation with the adaptogen reduced total cholesterol by 53% and reduced triglyceride levels by 45%.
Can help to alleviate menopause symptoms - Menopause is triggered when a woman’s ovaries cease production of estrogen, throwing the female body out of balance. Ayurvedic practitioners have used ashwagandha for centuries to restore hormonal balance in perimenopausal women.
Boosts Physical Performance- As an exercise supplement, ashwagandha helps increase aerobic and cardiovascular endurance. It improves endurance by influencing the activity of ATPase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down ATP. It also reduces post-exercise serum creatine kinase levels, resulting in less muscle damage and faster recovery (Handler, 2017).
Check your label to ensure your Ashwagandha is KSM-66 Ashwagandha™ root extract. (Botanical name Withania somnifera). While the dried herb (Ashwagandha) is still beneficial for stress management. Ashwagandha KSM-66 may be more potent, and it is processed. KSM-66 uses a proprietary extraction process that preserves the full spectrum of beneficial compounds in the ashwagandha plant. This makes KSM-66 a more concentrated and potent form of ashwagandha on the world market today because it is the highest concentration full-spectrum extract available today compared to other forms of the herb.
Natural Factors Stress-Relax Ashwagandha features clinically studied organic KSM-66 Ashwagandha and has the same potency used in multiple clinical studies. The full spectrum extract maintains the balance of the various constituents as in the original herb maintaining the true essence of the ashwagandha root could be extracted without losing its potency. There is confidence in taking Natural Factors Stress-Relax Ashwagandha not only because it has the highest number of certifications, but it is testing for purity and efficacy through (Isura Testing)