Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is a traditional medicinal plant that is becoming increasingly important in Europe due to its properties for regulating stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha, which is also known by names such as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of naturopathy. Ashwagandha are adaptogens that can help the body relieve stress and sleep better. Ashwagandha is best known for its health benefits when taken as a tea, powder or dietary supplement.
Ashwagandha at a glace
Many of the health benefits of ashwagandha are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumour growth. Ashwagandha has been used for over 3,000 years to reduce stress, increase energy levels and improve concentration. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is known for its rejuvenating and adaptogenic properties, as it can also regulate hormone balance and the immune system. Initial studies showed that ashwagandha increases testosterone levels in men and can thus promote the build-up of muscle mass.
The effects and benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha can provide a natural solution to stress management. What is special about Withania Somnifera and its high concentration of withanolides is that it adapts to the needs of the body. Thus, it can provide support in times of emotional and physical stress as it can adapt to the hormonal and nervous systems. The Indian root thrives in very dry conditions and soils of poor quality - and thus also reflects its adaptability.
In addition to its stress-reducing properties, the root can also provide numerous additional benefits. It supports cardiovascular function and can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. These positive effects naturally translate to increased well-being for men. However, many clinical studies have only tested the herbal substance on a relatively small number of participants. Further and more extensive studies are needed to prove the benefits of ashwagandha, especially in the long term.
💆🏽♂️ 1. Stress and anxiety regulation
As mentioned earlier, ashwagandha is best known for its stress-relieving properties. The main chemical constituents of ashwagandha are withaferin A and withanolide A. These mimic GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid), an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and calms nervous activity.
Several studies have established this benefit by observing that ashwagandha has the ability to significantly lower stress and anxiety levels in participants.
😴 2. Improved sleep quality
A study has shown that ashwagandha can also improve sleep quality. Stress is associated with lower sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness. Taking ashwagandha before bed can help you relax, making it easier to fall asleep. Several compounds may be responsible for ashwagandha's sleep-promoting effects. Researchers suspect that triethylene glycol, which occurs naturally in the plant, encourages tiredness. Other researchers suggest that ashwagandha acts on the GABA receptors, which play a key role in the sleep-wake rhythm.
🧠 3. Improved focus and memory
Ashwagandha is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory. Studies confirm it by indicating that ashwagandha has an antioxidant effect that protects the nerve cells from damaging free radicals. However, only a few human studies have been conducted in this area. Early studies suggest that it may improve other aspects of brain performance. For example, adults in this study who consumed 300 mg of ashwagandha twice a day improved their overall memory, attention and reaction.
🦍 4. Anti-inflammatory effect and strengthens the immune system
Ashwagandha is packed with antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. A study by the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland found that taking ashwagandha increases the number of immune cells that fight infections and help you stay healthy and fit.
🏋🏾♂️ 5. Facilitates muscle building and increases testosterone levels
Ashwagandha may also improve the effectiveness of your training sessions and workouts. In a study conducted exclusively with men, the consumption of ashwagandha caused a significant increase in strength and muscle mass. Compared to a control group, a more than twofold reduction in body fat percentage was observed, as well as a significant reduction in muscle damage after the workout.
Withania somnifera is traditionally used to improve sexual performance and libido of men. Scientists have shown that taking ashwagandha increases sperm count and motility and leads to a significant increase in testosterone levels. This is mainly due to the lowering of cortisol levels. Thus, ashwagandha shifts hormone production to anabolic hormones, including testosterone and DHEA (the precursor of the male sex hormone androgen).
The correct dosage of ashwagandha (NRV)
Neither ashwagandha nor the compounds it contains are recognised as essential nutrients, so there is no nutrient reference value (NRV) for this substance.
Ashwagandha is mainly known for its sleep-inducing effects and should therefore be taken mainly in the evening before going to bed. In small amounts, such as in the NOUMEN Sleepcare Supplement, no side effects are known. You should be careful with high dosages, as stomach upsets may occur.
NOUMEN for stress reduction and sleep improvement
NOUMEN protects you from stress factors and environmental influences. With our de-stressing routines, you will be able to increase your performance and improve your sleep. Learn more about improving your evening routine in our Sleepcare JOURNAL.
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We use ashwagandha in our NOUMEN Sleepcare supplement to help you benefit from its stress-relieving properties and fall asleep more easily.