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Ashwagandha

In India,Ashwagandha is considered a powerful  adaptogen, meaning that it has a beneficial normalizing effect on the entire body.

Ashwagandha is often used as a rejuvenator. It can also be used as a sedative, anti inflammatory, diuretic and to increase physical energy and endurance. It’s beneficial for colds and coughs, diabetes, ulcers, insomnia and Parkinson’s disease. It also protects the nervous system in a beneficial way.

Ashwaganda is rich in antioxidants, such as catalase,  glutathione  and superoxide dismutase. These are all powerful free radical fighters and help protect against oxidation of the cells. These antioxidants may explain the wide use of this herb for anti-aging.

In India, Ashwaganda is often prescribed to elderly patients for the treatment of cerebral disorders, such as memory loss. Some research suggests that this herb can increase acetylcholine receptor activity, partially explaining it’s benefit to the brain. It has been used historically for increasing cognitive ability also.

Researchers at the University of Texas found that extracts of Ashwaganda had similar effects on the brain as the nutrient GABA. This may be why it is good for reducing anxiety.

Taking Ashwagandha can calm the mind, promoting better more restful sleep. It does this by calming the nerves and improving a person’s ability to handle physical and emotional stress.

Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory action and is often taken to treat  rheumatoid arthritis. There is a naturally occurring steroid in the herb that is similar to hydrocortisone. It’s  pain relieving action is as effective as aspirin.

Ashwagandha is popular with athletes too. It can promote better oxygen flow to the cells in the muscles, helping to increase strength and endurance during exercise. This would enable the athlete to gain more lean muscle than normally possible. It can also reduce the effect of stress hormones and reduce lactic acid build-up.

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