Does ashwagandha increase height ? | ashwagandha health Benifits

 Does ashwagandha increase height ?| ashwagandha health Benifits 

Ashwagandha is a fairly uncommon plant in Europe and yet we have every interest in getting to know it better. Native to India, this plant is endowed with various health benefits, but also a few side effects that must be discussed. And its benefits have been researched and used for thousands of years. So in order to make you discover this plant, here is a small overview of all its effects, good as well as less good.

Ashwagandha: Indian ginseng

Bearing the scientific name of Withania somnifera , ashwagandha is a plant belonging to the nightshade family. It has its origins in India, where it has many other names, including "Indian ginseng" or "winter cherry". The plant is described as a relatively small shrub. It has oval leaves of about ten centimeters. This plant is particularly appreciated in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurvedic medicine), due to its multiple effects on health.

Thus, what makes it so interesting is above all its unusual composition. Indeed, ashwagandha contains flavonoids, which are very powerful natural antioxidants . On the other hand, this Indian plant also contains alkaloids, catechin, steroidal lactones (including withaferine A), and kaempferol. Thus, this mixture of active and natural ingredients makes ashwagandha one of the most powerful plants in the world! And one of the most famous of traditional Indian medicine.

The benefits of ashwagandha

Used for millennia in the many remedies of traditional Indian medicine, ashwagandha is a plant that has gained in reputation over the years. Recently, it has aroused the interest of Europeans and Americans, in particular because of its health benefits. But what are the medicinal properties of the plant exactly?

Neuro-protective effects

The composition of ashwagandha is rich in nutrients and active ingredients. Among them are therefore the withanolides as well as the sitoindosides. These elements are known to promote the production of antioxidant enzymes within the cerebral cortex itself. Studies done on ashwagandha show that the plant stimulates the production of these brain-beneficial enzymes ( 1 ). Their mission in our cerebral cortex is essential: it consists in reducing the effects of oxidative stress on our brain, and therefore preserving neurons.  

On the other hand, these enzymes also play a preventive role against the appearance of lesions in the cerebral system. Most treatments for neurodegenerative diseases contain plant extracts. In addition, ashwagandha is able to improve the cognitive abilities of people who consume it as part of regular cures ( 2 ). In traditional Indian medicine, it is then used to counter muscle and bone loss, but also the degeneration of cells and tissues in the body.

Reduction of anxiety and stress 

The benefits of ashwagandha are wide-ranging, and many of them relate to our mental state. Thus, the plant native to India helps to reduce the harmful effects of stress on the body. It is an “adaptogenic” plant, just like rhodiola rosea or Asian ginseng ( 3 ). People who suffer from transient or chronic stress can therefore use ashwagandha to relieve themselves. The plant significantly reduces the feeling of anxiety that oppresses them ( 4 ). Researchers also compare the effects of ashwagandha to those of drugs used to treat stress and anxiety problems. 

But the soothing effects of the plant are far from stopping there. Indeed, by acting on stress and on our well-being, it also helps to improve our sleep and our rest. It is quite possible to consume ashwagandha to fight against sleep disorders, and in particular against insomnia. It is for this reason that it is preferable to consume this plant in the evening. In addition, Indian ginseng helps our body to reduce and fight against signs of fatigue. As such, it is very often associated with a source of vitamin C.

An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant 

One of the reasons behind the use of this plant in Ayurvedic medicine is its anti-inflammatory effect. Indeed, the plant helps to prevent and fight against joint diseases, such as rheumatism or arthritis ( 5 ). In a way, the consumption of this plant helps reduce inflammatory pain. These anti-inflammatory properties of ashwagandha are just as interesting in the context of cardiovascular problems. 

Ashwagandha is also known worldwide for its extraordinary antioxidant properties. By improving the elimination of free radicals in the body, it helps to counter cellular aging, but that's not all. The Indian plant also helps prevent various diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Ashwagandha is considered a natural anti-aging remedy, due to its benefits on aging cells. In some regions, it is even presented as a plant of "longevity" and youth! 

The effects of the plant on fertility and libido 

Ashwagandha is often presented as a natural and particularly powerful aphrodisiac. Its adaptogenic properties are no strangers to this, since they reduce the effects of stress on the body. These are very often the cause of sexual disorders or dysfunctions. The clinical studies carried out so far have also demonstrated the anti-stress effect of the plant on patients. But in these cases, the herb also helped improve their sexual activity ( 6 ). Of course, Indian ginseng should not be consumed in too high doses. Indeed, in case of excess, its consumption can have the opposite effect of that sought, and therefore affect the libido ( 7). Finally, the plant also seems to improve the quality and quality of sperm in men who consume it. 

Ashwagandha: effective against cancer? 

Scientists are always interested in the potential anti-cancer effects of the plants, fruits, vegetables and other plants they study. Therefore, the effects of ashwagandha on the disease have also been the subject of clinical studies. During these trials, the researchers discovered the presence of withaferin A in the plant, as well as its effects. And this one seems to block a protein involved in the development of cancer cells ( 8 ). Consuming ashwagandha (and withaferine) therefore limits the effects of this protein on the cells of our body. And to prevent the development of cancers and other types of diseases in a natural way.

Ashwagandha and sports practice

Ashwagandha is a plant that many athletes use, and which is authorized in competition. Moreover, it is often considered as one of the best to improve the sports performance of athletes who mobilize both their explosiveness and their strength. In addition, the plant is also effective, to a lesser extent, on endurance and long efforts. The effectiveness of the plant is such that it raises some debate, especially with regard to sports competitions. However, many amateur and professional athletes are still unaware of this plant with its many virtues on health and physical performance.

The effects of ashwagandha on short efforts

Ashwagandha taken as a supplement helps to improve the strength of people who consume it. These effects are observed both in athletes and in sedentary people. In addition, supplementation helps improve performance in intermittent sprints, both for people who train and for those who do not exercise daily. Finally, ashwagandha supplementation increases testosterone production in people who have low testosterone levels as well as those undergoing strength training programs.

Scientific studies have proven that this plant improves strength and helps increase muscle mass in people who practice muscle building (or weight training) ( 9 ). The results are significant and confirm that the use of the plant is useful and beneficial in a sports setting.

Ashwagandha as a dietary supplement also helps improve balance, power, peak velocity, and maximal oxygen uptake in athletes ( 10 ). The same is true for muscle strength in the back, legs and hands.

Ashwagandha and Long-Term Efforts

The effects of ashwagandha on sports performance primarily concern short and intense efforts. However, the elements available to us to date also allow us to emphasize its effectiveness in sports performance during long-term efforts (aerobic type). Similarly, the plant has a beneficial effect on the maximum oxygen consumption capacity: VO2MAX. Regarding this ability, it allows a slight improvement.

In addition, ashwagandha-based supplementation can delay the onset of exhaustion during long efforts. In other words, the plant helps to improve stamina. As such, it acts on cardiovascular endurance ( 11 ). Athletes who follow a course of this plant can thus improve their cardiorespiratory endurance.

An adaptogenic plant 

Phytotherapy is now widely used in sports. And this, in order to take advantage of the benefits of plants on physical performance. Adaptogenic plants are among the favorites in this area, such as Korean ginseng , rhodiola or ashwagandha. Adaptogenic plants help the body to adapt to all stressful situations. In this, they help to improve sports performance and endurance. But not only. They also help to optimize recovery after intense physical exertion. Athletes especially appreciate the effects of ashwagandha on inflammation.

Other benefits of the plant

The virtues and benefits of ashwagandha on health are still numerous. Indeed, it has not been used for thousands of years in vain! This plant is for example known to reduce blood glucose levels, especially in the context of diabetes. It is also known for its protective effects on the heart, and the prevention of heart disease ( 12 ). Ashwagandha notably reduces the risk of necrosis in people with heart disease. She is a benefactress of the heart. It is also very interesting to consume before sports training as a booster to improve physical performance and concentration.

Ashwagandha: side effects

Ashwagandha is considered a safe plant, as long as it is consumed sensibly. In the long term, its use does not generate any health problems or particular symptoms. However, plants such as ashwagandha are very powerful: their effects should not be underestimated. Especially when you do not respect the recommended dosages. In addition, its consumption is subject to some contraindications that are important to remember.

Side effects of ashwagandha

The consumption of ashwagandha can, in some cases, lead to the appearance of symptoms, also called “side effects”. Relatively safe, they may still be taken into consideration. In high doses, this Indian plant can cause various intestinal disorders: diarrhea, constipation, etc. Always in high doses, ashwagandha generates a hypnotic effect. It is therefore always necessary to take care to start an ashwagandha cure with reduced doses, and to increase them over the weeks. It is best to take ashwagandha in the evening: it can have sedative effects at too high doses. Finally, it should still be remembered that ashwagandha is very well known to scientists. At the recommended doses, it does not represent any danger.

Contraindications to its consumption

The presence of alkaloids in the composition of ashwagandha makes it a plant not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. In India, pregnant and breastfeeding women sometimes use it, but they always do so in very low dosages. In the face of doubt, it is best to avoid it. On the other hand, ashwagandha is often not recommended for people with intestinal disorders, hyperthyroidism or hemochromatosis. Finally, people who are taking treatment with antidepressants should also seek the advice of their doctor before starting a treatment with ashwagandha or any other plant. If in doubt, follow your doctor's advice.

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