Ashwagandha, a prominent herb in traditional Indian medicine Ayurveda, continues to gain support from the medical community as studies find how beneficial the herb is for overall wellbeing and health. Previous studies have found the herb helps reduce cortisol levels and boosts testosterone levels in humans, and now researchers have found evidence the herb is linked to better quality sleep and reduced anxiety.
One new trial, published in the journal Cureus, discovered that among aging women and men, taking Ashwagandha improved sleep, mental alertness, and overall quality of life. For centuries, the herb has been used to promote longevity, health, and rejuvenation, and this new research backs up its traditional use.
Older adults enjoyed improved sleep, mental alertness, and overall quality of life
The trial involved aging adults between age 65 and 80, and half were given ashwagandha root extract twice a day and the rest were given a placebo. The trial lasted for 12 weeks, and sleep quality, mental alertness, daytime sleepiness, and quality of life were all evaluated before the trial, at four weeks, at eight weeks, and at the end of the 12-week period.
Aging adults that were taking the ashwagandha root extra saw significant improvements in physical, social, quality of life, psychological, and environmental aspects of their lives compared to the placebo group. Mental alertness and sleep quality improved in those taking the supplement, too. Those taking ashwagandha tolerated it well, and it was considered beneficial and safe.
According to researchers, the study showed improved sleep and a significant improvement in the quality of life for elderly individuals taking the extract. They believe taking ashwagandha root extract could be an excellent supplement for aging adults to boost general well-being and improve age-related health problems.
Ashwagandha offers anxiety relief, too
Beyond its newfound ability to improve sleep and boost well-being, ashwagandha also provides anxiety relief. Packed with alkaloids, known to relax the body and work as mild sedatives, previous trials found that the herb offers natural anxiety relief without the side effects that often come with anxiety-relieving medications.
As an adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha adapts to the needs of your body, helping your system regulate itself between the ups and downs of its experiences. This helps to support your adrenal system, balance hormones, and combat chronic stress.
By reducing cortisol levels in the body, ashwagandha offers additional health benefits, such as improved immune function, reduced cholesterol, weight loss, and improved bone density. By relieving anxiety and stress, it also may ease depression and improves the overall quality of life.
You can take ashwagandha yourself in the form of a tea, tincture, or as a capsule to reap the health benefits this herb offers. Keep in mind, it’s best to work with an integrative healthcare provider when adding a new herb to your routine, particularly if you have any health conditions.
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