Over the course of the last several hundred years, medical practitioners have used Ashwagandha [Withania somnifera] to treat a variety of ailments. The name by itself is a giveaway here. Ashwagandha is derived from the smell of its root. It is believed to impart the strength of a horse [ashwa] when consumed.
Also known as Indian ginseng, this is most commonly used as an adaptogen to relieve stress. However, its effect on neurodegenerative diseases and cognition cannot be discounted. However, in this post, we will be discussing its highly potent effect on female reproductive and sexual health.
As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha works in the following ways
- Reduces cortisol levels
- Improves sleep
- Decreases inflammation
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Improves adrenal function
- Boosts immune system
- Boosts stamina
- Enhances cognition
Ashwagandha and Menstrual Health
Menstruation in addition to cramps and bleeding often brings breast tenderness, mood swings, bloating, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and acne.
In the presence of hormonal imbalances, these symptoms are exacerbated with higher than usual estrogen levels, which crowd out progesterone and other hormones. Along with difficult periods and PMS, these hormonal imbalances can potentially over time lead to hair loss, weight gain, inability to conceive, and difficult perimenopausal symptoms.
These in concert with today's prevailing landscape of chronic stress and environmental toxins lead to out-of-balance hormonal levels amplifying PMS symptoms.
With Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome [PCOS] it is essential to make lifestyle changes to treat the disorder in addition to consulting an OB-GYN. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and When consumed regularly in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle, it is capable of treating and eliminating uterine fibroids in the long-run.
Studies have demonstrated ashwagandha's efficacy in increasing White Blood Cell (WBC) count. This leads to a stronger immunity and is particularly helpful for PCOS.
There are several studies that demonstrate the efficacy of ashwagandha in reducing perceived stress and blood markers of stress. Within the scope of reproductive wellness, it helps in reducing heavy bleeding and in regularizing periods especially for those prone to anxiety.
Ashwagandha and Female Libido
Studies demonstrate that ashwagandha proves to be helpful in women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, female sexual arousal disorder, female orgasmic disorder, or combined genital and subjective arousal disorder.
Ashwagandha acts like a GABAergic drug by binding to GABA receptors. This leads to calming, anti-anxiety, highly stabilizing effects.
Ashwagandha provides hearty support as an antioxidant when supplemented with a healthy, holistic diet. This goes a long way in maintaining longevity and health. Its adaptogenic properties reduces cortisol levels, relieves anxiety, improves blood flow to genitals, leading to an increased libido.
Ashwagandha And Thyroid
A study looking at the use of ashwagandha for bipolar disorder reported changes in thyroid indices. The study saw a significant increase in T3 and T4 with a decrease in TSH. As far as side-events, physical, hemotological, and vital parameters showed no changes.
Ashwagandha works at treating hypothyroidism while it may exacerbate hyperthyroidism. It is important to consult your physician before consumption.
Having a weak immune system leaves your body susceptible to inflammation and in the long-run, this has the potential to even turn chronic. Ashwagandha works towards protecting the cell membranes from lipid peroxidation, the damage that occurs from chronic inflammation.
Brain fog is one of the most common complaints of thyroid patients. While it is not debilitating, it makes everyday tasks challenging. Ashwagandha has been shown to support improved cognitive function and memory in such cases.
At Forest Raga, we bring you the purest Ashwagandha root, grown naturally in rich nourishing soils. If consumed regularly, it has the potential to improve energy levels, provide restful sleep and optimize functioning of the adrenals and reproductive systems.
As one of the highest regarded and most commonly used adaptogens in Ayurveda, ashwagandha works wonders for female reproductive and sexual wellness.
Reach out to us in case of any queries.