Ashwaganda, also known as Indian Ginseng, is classified as an adaptogenic herb. This means it helps the body ‘adapt’ or deal with stress. It has a calming effect and does this by reducing cortisol levels. But Ashwaganda does much more. It may also reduce anxiety and depression. According to an article published in the Life Extension magazine in June of 2006 Ashwaganda was found to be as effective as Ativan and Tofranil which are pharmaceuticals for treating anxiety and depression.
Ashwaganda contains antioxidants that seek and destroy the free radicals that have been implicated in aging disease states. It has been used to manage autoimmune disorders. It is reported to be neuroprotective of brain cells which means it may be of value for supporting cognitive function. It may stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol, act as a diuretic and support healthy sexual function. It may also normalize blood pressure.
Ashwaganda is not recommended for pregnant women and is best not taken with other sedative or anti-anxiety drugs. Avoid if sensitive to the nightshade plant family.
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