Have you heard of ashwagandha? How true is it that the plant has beneficial properties for us humans? We see.
Ashwagandha is an element of Ayurvedic medicine (India’s traditional medical system) that mankind has used for thousands of years.
It is also known as Indian ginseng, oroval, orval or greater nightshade. Its name means “horse aroma” in Sanskrit due to the particular smell it gives off.
This is a flowering shrub that belongs to a modern class of supplements known as adaptogens and which, they say, it could help our body adjust to stress.
As we have said, stress relief is one of the benefits attributed to this shrub, but it has more. Others are: treating insomnia, strengthening the immune system, increasing testosterone or delaying the physical effects of aging.
According to a recent New York Times investigation, for experts it is not yet clear whether it works or not.
One reason it’s hard to know is that ashwagandha is a complex plant. It has hundreds of active compounds that can vary greatly.
“Talking about ashwagandha as a single compound, like it’s Tylenol or vitamin C, doesn’t make any sense,” she said. Dr Peter Cohenassociate professor at Harvard Medical School who studies supplements.
“It’s the same story with ashwagandha as it is with many dietary, botanical and herbal supplements,” she added. Craig Hoppdeputy division director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
A meta-analysis compiling data from 12 small studies on the plant showed “a promising link” between it and stress relief, but for professionals, such as Dr. Anand Dhruvamore research would be needed to demonstrate this connection.
Does it have any side effects?
The Times research also found that “for most people, ashwagandha has relatively minimal side effects.”
Unwanted responses can range from stomach pain or nausea to vomiting and diarrhea.
There are some groups, however, that it is not advisable to use them. Pregnant women should not take it for its abortifacient effects, nor should those with thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders, prostate cancer, or who are sensitive to hormones.
Interviewed experts it is also recommended that you speak to your doctor before trying ashwagandha and be sure to ask if it might interact with any medications you’re taking.
What is Stress?
Stress is like an alarm signal, a reaction of our body to a threat or excessive demand of what we undertake. The body increases its breathing capacity, the pupils dilate, the heart rate quickens and sugar is released to use the muscles and thus respond to the new question or threat.
This is not always a bad thing since there is positive stress and negative stress: Stress (or positive stress) is when the body’s defense is a harmonious response to the request received and does not cause any emotional or physical imbalance, but increases the energy and vitality in what we undertake.
Distress (or negative stress) is the mental and physical tiredness or exhaustion of the individual which generates disturbances in the body and whose causes are usually work or family problems, addictions, frustrations or illnesses.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.