By: Kennedy Shelley
For over 3,000 years, this ancient root has been used in India to help with a variety of issues including stress reduction and overall inflammation, but it also may help reduce your blood pressure.
The root is Ashwagandha, which translates to “horse smell,” because it really does smell like a horse stall.
But what is more powerful than the smell is the beneficial benefits it brings to most people.
It seems to be very well tolerated with no known side effects.
Why does it work?
Well, it seems to reduce stress in the body by reducing inflammation.
The research so far shows that it works at the cellular level, helping our mitochondrial level.
The mitochondria are in most cells of the body and are the power center of the cell. You need it for energy.
When you maintain healthy mitochondria, your body is firing on all cylinders.
That reduces stress because other systems don’t have to pick up the load.
Chronic inflammation creates a host of problems over time.
One the quickest we see is the blood pressure rise, but this increased blood pressure stresses your kidneys which are filtering your blood.
And then your arteries get inflamed and can form pimple-like plaques in the artery walls.
When these break, you get clots that can cause heart attacks or strokes.
But long-term inflammation leads to other chronic conditions such as arthritis.
And this is the benefit of using ashwagandha.
It helps your body deal with stress, maintains your energy levels and as a result decreases chronic inflammation.
What this means is that unlike taking an aspirin which has quick results, this is a long-term herbal treatment.
Researchers have found that ashwagandha tends to reduce c-reactive proteins which are key markers for chronic stress.
Again, this is with long-term use, so don’t expect to take a pill and you are fine.
But when you have noticed from your blood work that you have elevated stress and inflammation, trying ashwagandha over a couple of months may help reduce these markers.
Because ashwagandha tends to help balance cortisol hormonal levels, this helps you deal with stress.
But this does not mean that this is a “one and done” treatment.
In other words, too much cortisol once in a while is not bad.
Your body needs some stress in your life in order to be healthy and cortisol is a stress hormone.
But when you are flooded with it all the time because you are in a constant stressed state, you start putting on fat around your belly and all the effects of chronic inflammation start to become a problem.
Men will find that taking ashwagandha in about two months should see an increase in overall strength.
This was proven in a 2015 study that showed how ashwagandha helped improve recovery from heavy exercise, and because the researchers were studying weightlifters, they also saw an increase in the amount of weight the subjects were able to lift.
So, talk to your healthcare professional about adding in this ancient herb to your diet. You can get capsules of this on Amazon or put some of the powder in your coffee.