One of the most prominent herbs found in Ayurveda is Ashwagandha. Based on Indian principles of natural healing;a traditional form of alternative medicine, it is one of the most important herbs. For over 10 decades, people have been using ashwagandha as an antidote for, increase energy levels, and improve concentration.
“Ashwagandha” is Sanskrit for “smell of the horse,” which refers to both the herb’s scent and its potential ability to increase strength.
The botanical name is Withania somnifera, it is also known by other names like “Indian ginseng” and “winter cherry.” Ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that’s native to India and Southeast Asia. Its extracts or powder from the root of the plant or leaves are used as a medicine to cure many health condition such as anxiety and fertility issues.
Several studies have proven how effective ashwagandha drink is when it comes to reducing the effects and symptoms of stress and anxiety by building a resistance to stress. Research also agrees that the adaptogen can assist in lowering blood sugar levels, boost immunity by increasing natural killer cells, and improves brain functioning and memory.
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Take some quantity of Ashwagandha drink can also improve the quality of sleep and may help with the treatment of insomnia. Particularly, the leaves of the plant contain the compound triethylene glycol, which helps in sleep induction.
Makes 2 servings
- 2.5 cups boiling water
- 1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao
- 1 teaspoon ashwagandha
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 dates
Optional: top with edible dried flowers, cinnamon, chia seeds, or hemp hearts.
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
For an extra creamy drink, soak your cashews in hot water for 15-30 minutes, then drain and rinse before adding to the blender. Serve immediately.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble || Sourced from www.cleanprogram.com
Benefits of Ashwagandha Drink
I have listed 9 health benefits of ashwagandha drinks based on findings sourced online. The Potential health benefits of ashwagandha include better athletic performance, improve the quality of sleep, boost body immune system, makes one more energetic.
Most researches suggests this herb may help people with conditions like anxiety and infertility, however, stronger studies are needed.
9 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha Drink
1. May help reduce stress and anxiety
Perhaps, Ashwagandha is best known for its special powers to cure stress. It’s categorized as an adaptogen; a substance that helps the body adapt to stress. Ashwagandha seems to be of great help to control mediators of stress, including heat shock proteins (Hsp70), cortisol, and stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK-1).
It also reduces the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a system in your body that regulates the stress response.
A small survey was conducted with a group of 58 participants, those who took 250 or 600 mg of ashwagandha extract for 8 weeks had greatly reduced perceived stress and levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared with those who took a placebo.
Another thing is that the participants who took the drink supplements experienced high quality of sleep compared with the placebo group.
Another study was carried out with 60 participants shows that those who took 240 mg of ashwagandha drink per day for 60 days had greatly minimized anxiety compared with those who took a placebo treatment.
Recently, another studies carried out agrees that there’s not enough evidence to form a consensus on the most appropriate dosage and form of ashwagandha drink for treating stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety.
2. May benefit athletic performance
Recent research has shown that ashwagandha drink has beneficial effects on ones athletic performance and may be a potential supplement for athletes. A particular analysis result of research includes 12 studies in men and women who drank ashwagandha drink between 120mg and 1,250mg per day. The results agrees that the herb may improve physical performance (including strength and oxygen use during exercise).
Another analysis of five studies reveals that taking ashwagandha has huge impact on oxygen intake (VO2 max) in healthy adults and athletes.
VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen a person can use during intense activity. It’s a measurement of heart and lung fitness.
The presence of average VO2 max is important for athletes and nonathletes alike. On the otherhand, low VO2 max could result to death, while higher VO2 max is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Additionally, ashwagandha may help increase muscle strength.
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In one study, male participants who took 600 mg of ashwagandha per day and participated in resistance training for 8 weeks had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size compared with a placebo group.
3. May reduce symptoms of some mental health conditions
Several evidence agrees that ashwagandha will suffice in reducing symptoms of other mental health conditions, such as depression, in certain populations.
In a research conducted, the observers considered the effects of ashwagandha on 66 persons with schizophrenia who experience depression and anxiety. They found out at the end of the study that participants who consume 1,000 mg of ashwagandha drink daily for 12 weeks had significant reductions in depression and anxiety than those who took a placebo.
Another findings suggest that taking ashwagandha may help improve total symptoms and perceived stress in people with schizophrenia.
A small research in 2013 also suggests that ashwagandha could help develop cognitive impairment in people living with bipolar disorder. More research is needed.
Another study in 2012 reveals that adult under stress who were given 600mg of ashwagandha extract per day for 60 days showed a significant reduction of 77% in symptoms of depression, and on the otherhand, the placebo group reported a 5% reduction.
But, only one of those who participated in this study had a history of depression. This shows that the research needs to be looked into the more.
4. May help boost testosterone and increase fertility in men
Another health benefits of Ashwagandha drink is that it helps in boosting male fertility and increase testosterone levels.
The result of a study involving 43 overweight men aged between 40–70 who had mild fatigue took tablets containing ashwagandha supplement or a placebo daily for 8 weeks, showed that the ashwagandha treatment saw an 18% increase in DHEA-S, a sex hormone involved in testosterone production. Participants who took the herb also had a 14.7% greater increase in testosterone than those who took the placebo.
Additionally study conducted showed that ashwagandha treatment significantly increased sperm concentration, semen volume, and sperm motility in men with significant low sperm count. But on a second note, the researchers concluded that there’s currently not much back-up data to approve the potential benefits of ashwagandha for male fertility and that more high quality studies are needed.
5. May reduce blood sugar levels
Just a few evidence has suggested that ashwagandha may have some benefits for people with diabetes or high levels of blood sugar. A research of 24 studies, involving 5 clinical studies in people with diabetes, found that treatment with ashwagandha significantly reduced blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), insulin, blood lipids, and oxidative stress markers.
It’s believed that certain compounds within ashwagandha, including one called withaferin A (WA), have powerful antidiabetic activity and may help stimulate your cells to take in glucose from your bloodstream.
However, research is limited at this time, and more well-designed studies are needed.
6. May reduce inflammation
Ashwagandha drinks has been said to reduce inflammation in the body because of the presence of a compounds, including WA, in which researchers have found that WA targets inflammatory pathways in the body, including signal molecules called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2).
Animal studies have also shown that WA may assist in the reduction of inflammatory proteins such as interleukin-10 (IL-10). There are evidence that ashwagandha could help reduce inflammatory markers in humans too.
A study was conducted in 2008, on adults experiencing stress. Some extract of ashwagandha was administered to them for 60 days. The outcome showed a significant reductions in C-reactive protein — an inflammatory marker — compared with those who consumed a placebo.
Another study by researchers on people with COVID-19 received an Ayurvedic drug containing 0.5 grams of ashwagandha and other herbs twice per day for 7 days. This reduced participants’ levels of inflammatory markers CRP, IL-6, and TNF-α compared with a placebo.
The treatment formulation also contained:
- 1 gram of giloy ghanvati (Tinospora cordifolia)
- 2 grams of swasari ras (a traditional herbo-mineral formulation)
- 0.5 grams of tulsi ghanvati (Ocimum sanctum)
Even though these findings are promising, research on ashwagandha’s potential effects on inflammation is limited at this time.
7. May improve brain function, including memory
Consuming ashwagandha may have a significant benefit on cognitive function. A review that consisted of five clinical studies observed that there was early response in improving cognitive functioning in certain populations, including older adults with mild cognitive impairment and people with schizophrenia after taking ashwagandha.
Cognitive functions it may benefit included:
- executive functioning
- reaction time
- performance on cognitive tasks
A study in 50 adults showed that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha extract per day for 8 weeks led to significant improvements in the following measures compared with taking a placebo:
8. May help improve sleep
Just as mentioned above, consuming ashwagandha can help improve sleep, and some other studies suggest that it also help solve sleep issues. A study in 50 adults ages 65–80 saw that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha root per day for 12 weeks greatly improved sleep quality and mental alertness upon waking compared with a placebo treatment.
Also, another research of five high quality studies showed that ashwagandha had a significant positive effect on overall sleep quality. Taking ashwagandha drink reduced people’s anxiety levels and helped them feel more alert when they are awake.
This same results were more noticeable in persons with insomnia and in those who took more than 600 mg daily for 8 weeks or longer.
9. Relatively safe and widely available
Another great benefits of Ashwagandha drink is that it is safe to take and is widely recognized. A review of 69 studies revealed that ashwagandha root appears to be safe and effective for managing certain health conditions, including stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
Another study in 80 healthy men and women showed that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha extract daily for 8 weeks was safe and had no side health effects in participants. It is not safe, however for some people. For instance, pregnant women should avoid it because it may cause pregnancy loss if used in high doses.
In same vein, individuals with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer and those taking certain medications, such as benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, or barbiturates, should avoid taking ashwagandha.
Other side effects have been recorded in people taking ashwagandha supplements, including upper gastrointestinal discomfort, drowsiness, and diarrhea. Additionally, ashwagandha may affect the thyroid, so those with thyroid disease should check with a healthcare professional before taking it.
One thing you should note is that the required dosage recommendation for ashwagandha varies. For example, doses ranging from 250–1,250 mg per day have been shown to be effective for different conditions. It is safe to inquire from a health practitioner if you have any doubts or worries about it.
My Final Thoughts About Ashwagandha Drinks
Ashwagandha drink is an old medicinal herb that is endowed with several health advantage. So many studies suggest that it may be of great help in reducing anxiety and stress, improve sleep, and also improve cognitive functioning. Ashwagandha is seen as “safe” for most people. Before deciding to add ashwagandha to your diet, ensure to seek advice from a doctor.