When it comes to herbs, there are a multitude of those toted to be miracle cures, and then there are the few gold standards that have real testing behind them. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that’s been used for centuries. Back then, the anecdotal evidence was enough to keep people using it. But nowadays we need something a bit more solid. Testing and studies have linked Ashwagandha to a host of benefits.
Here are the 6 proven health benefits of the herb for men, in particular.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance that helps the human body deal with stress. Now, stress is a catchall term for thousands of different biochemical processes in your body. The outward perception of stress is the combination of all these processes combined. One of the ashwagandha benefits for men is that it decreases the overall stress load in the human body. This, in turn, allows one to process things smoothly throughout the day.
#2 Decreased Anxiety
Researchers found that a compound in Ashwagandha can block a stress pathway in the brain. When rats were given the herb their physical and apparent anxiety was visibly reduced. This included insomnia as well. When the study was carried over to people, there was an 88% success rate compared to the 50/50 chance which the placebo group showed.
#3 Increased Testosterone
If we’re talking about things that affect men personally, nothing rings louder than testosterone. A man’s testosterone levels determine a whole host of positive effects One of which is his performance in bed. And hey, who wouldn’t want an extra boost in that department? When you increase testosterone in men, mood increases, muscle tone increases, and secondary sexual traits tend to ramp up.
#4 May Slow Cancer Growth
In animal studies, a compound found in Ashwagandha was found to induce a process called apoptosis, aka “cell death.” Now, as much as that might sound like a negative, cell death is part of the constant replenishing and the regeneration of the cells in our body. This phenomena, in vitro, were shown to have an effect on cancer cells in particular.
#5 Decreased Inflammation
Along with the decreased cortisol levels, Ashwagandha may reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a big buzzword in the industry right now, even if relatively few people understand the process. Human trials showed that the herb increases the activation rates of natural killer cells, also known as “NK Cells.” They’re responsible for targeting foreign bodies and mutated cells and destroying them, thus contributing to the decrease in inflammation due to these agents.
#6 Lower Cholesterol
Studies performed on Rats demonstrated a significant decrease in cholesterol and triglycerides, circulating fat molecules that, in excess, can contribute to heart disease and cardiovascular disease. The decrease wasn’t as drastic in human trials, but in a time where we’re looking at different models to produce an overall effect, it’s still promising.
Ashwagandha, stripped of all the mysticism and anecdotes, still holds up as a viable herbal addition to our health plan. Although it shouldn’t replace anything your doctor prescribes, having it in your back pocket as an option can only help.
Which is the best Ashwagandha to buy?
There are lots of brands on the market, but the one I use is Ashwagandha by Strom – I will take two tablets in the evening, along with 500mg of magnesium glycinate. I take them both together to help with my sleep. Since taking Ashwagandha 4 months ago I have noticed a big difference to my recovery. I feel less sore, and sleep better which has lead to performance increases in strength, muscle size and training intensity.
Extra Supplement Articles By LEP Fitness…
If you liked this article on Ashwagandha you may also want to check out my other supplement blog posts – I’ve written articles covering the best pre-workouts, protein powders, protein bars, sleep supplements, etc.
Thanks for reading, speak soon,
Nick Screeton – LEP