The Ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow flowers that's native to India and North Africa. Extracts or powder from the plant's root or leaves are used to make medicine. It's one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels and improve concentration.
"Ashwagandha" is Sanskrit for "smell of the horse," which refers to both its unique smell and ability to increase strength. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and it’s also known by several other names, including Indian ginseng and winter cherry.
Ashwagandha is used for arthritis, anxiety, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), balance, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), trouble sleeping (insomnia), tumors, tuberculosis, asthma, a skin condition marked by white patchiness (leukoderma), bronchitis, backache, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems, hiccups, Parkinson's disease, under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism), and chronic liver disease. It is also used to reduce side effects of medications used to treat cancer and schizophrenia. Ashwagandha is used to reduce levels of fat and sugar in the blood.
Ashwagandha is also used as an "adaptogen" to help the body cope with daily stress and as a general tonic. It is usually taken in the form of powder or tablet.
Wow, it sounds awesome and it is claimed to be good for hair - But what is the truth behind this ancient herb.
A recent study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looked at the effects Ashwagandha consumption had on muscle mass and strength in healthy young men engaged in resistance training. The study showed that those young men who were treated with Ashwagandha had significantly greater increases in muscle strength.
You are probably thinking to yourself...awesome! What's wrong with Ashwagandha?
Well...testosterone levels went way up with Ashwagandha. Increase in testosterone results in an increases in Free T and DHT levels...which causes hair loss. It is important to realise that many supplements people use for working out or bulking up can have a devastating impact on your hair.
Check to see if your collagen complex or hair vitamin has Ashwagandha. Not only can it cause hair loss but it can grow facial hair on women.
Now that's not a pleasant thought....
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