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Does Ashwagandha Lower Blood Pressure

Who Should Not Take Ashwagandha

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Unfortunately, the use of ashwagandha by certain people may lead to serious side effects. Groups of people who should NOT use ashwagandha include:

  • People who are pregnant or breastfeeding: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplements. Ashwagandha is likely unsafe to use during pregnancy because there is some evidence to suggest that it may cause miscarriages. There is not enough reliable information on ashwagandha and breastfeeding to know how ashwagandha affects breastmilk, so err on the side of caution and avoid it .
  • People with diabetes: Animal studies suggest that Withania somnifera might lower blood sugar levels, which seems like a good thing for people with diabetes . However, since people with diabetes are usually on blood sugar lowering medications, the addition of ashwagandha could cause blood sugar levels to drop too low unexpectedly, and this can be very dangerous .
  • People having surgery: Data from animal trials shows that ashwagandha may have a sedating or tranquilizing effect, slowing down the central nervous system . When combined with ashwagandha, drugs used during and after surgery may increase this nervous system slowdown. You should stop taking ashwagandha at least two weeks before surgery, and be sure to let your surgeon know about any medications and supplements you are taking .

Ashwagandha And Blood Pressure

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herbal medicine derived from the roots of a small shrub, Withania somnifera. Ashwagandha is classed as a rasayana adaptogen and revered as a royal herb for its ability to improve physical and emotional health.

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People Have Used Ashwagandha For Wellness And Healing For Thousands Of Years

They regularly used this ancient herb in India, Middle East and some parts of North Africa for more than 2,000 years. Its benefits include supporting immunity, inflammation, memory, sexual function, fatigue, and stress. Really, it helps the human body in so many ways. The history and modern use of ashwagandha is astounding! And researchers today are just getting hip to this ancient medicine.

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Proven Benefits Of Ashwagandha

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May Increase Thyroid Function

This may sound like welcome news for some, especially those suffering from conditions characterized by low thyroid function, such as hypothyroidism and Hashimotos thyroiditis. Still, it can be dangerous for people with already elevated thyroid function or hyperthyroidism.

One study looked at people with subclinical hypothyroidism . In those who took ashwagandha root extract, the two main thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine , returned to normal levels. Researchers believe this effect may happen due to ashwagandhas cortisol-lowering effect, but more work must be done to confirm that .

This study sparks hope that Withania somnifera may prove helpful in treating people with thyroid function that isnt low enough to meet the blood level cutoffs of true hypothyroidism but can still cause lethargy, weight gain, and hair loss.

Where Did Ashwagandha Come From

Ashwagandha , also known as Indian Winter cherry or Indian Ginseng, is an evergreen shrub thats found in India, Africa and parts of the Middle East.

Ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to increase energy, improve overall health and reduce inflammation, pain and anxiety, says Dr. Lin. She adds that Ayurvedic medicine is the traditional medicine system in India. It is a healing tradition that uses nutrition, exercise, mindfulness practices and herbs to promote balance between the body, mind, spirit and the environment.

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Types Usage And Dosage

Ashwagandha supplements are widely available online and in health food or vitamin stores. Wonder how to take ashwagandha?

The most popular form of the herb is the root extract, but leaf extracts are also available. You can find the extracts in capsule and powder forms. The root and even the leaves are often used to make ashwagandha tea.

When purchasing ashwagandha supplements, make sure theyre standardized for human consumption. The withanolide content should range from 1 percent to 10 percent, but not all supplements are labeled with this information.

Purchasing a high-quality supplement produced with gold-star standards is the best way to guarantee you get a product high in withanolides. The higher the withanolide content, the stronger the effects of the supplement.

Of course, organic ashwagandha is preferable to non-organic.

When supplementing with an organic ashwagandha power or other product, the general recommendation is starting with 300 to 500 milligrams per day, with withanolides in a range of 5 percent to 10 percent. Slowly increase your ashwagandha dosage, watching for potential adverse effects.

Many supplements recommend between 1,0001,500 milligrams per day at full dosage. Various sources claim the optimal ashwagandha dosage to take may be as high as 6,000 milligrams each day.

Its smart to do this under the guidance of your naturopathic practitioner or health care provider, and when to take ashwagandha depends on why you are taking it.

Benefits Of Ashwagandha For Men

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Traditionally, Ashwagandha has been used to treat male ailments. Its ability to stimulate and regulate testosterone generation in the body is one of the important benefits of ashwagandha for men.

Maintaining healthy levels of testosterone is vital to the health of men. It can even help with the dreaded Andropause, or mid-life crisis. For men suffering low sperm count and mobility, Ashwagandha has been proven to improve and maintain healthy male fertility levels.

In a recent study of men with low sperm counts, it was found that the Withanolides found in ashwagandha improved sperm count by almost 167%. In addition, they also noticed improvements in sperm quality and antioxidant levels.

Weve already learned about ashwagandhas ability to reduce stress levels.

It comes as no surprise that, in a study of men aged between 22 and 45, the herb helped in almost all cases of stress-related infertility. It even helped some of the participants successfully conceive with their partners. While its not proven to be a 100% cure for infertility in men, the results of these studies have been promising.

As always, consult a doctor first if youre considering using ashwagandha for improving fertility. Finding the root cause will help you decide on the best treatment available.

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Ashwagandha Is Not Suited For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

Some sources mention that ashwagandha may induce abortion, which is why it is not recommended for use by pregnant women. It should also be used with caution by young children and breastfeeding women. It is also to be used with caution by those suffering from liver problems and stomach ulcers and those preparing for surgery.

These observations are, however, based on the properties of ashwagandha root and leaf extract and may be applicable only if the dosage is beyond recommended range. Its best to consult a doctor, in any case.

Andallu, B., and B. Radhika. Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry root. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 38, no. 6 : 607-609.
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You May Experience Digestive Issues

Nausea, stomach irritation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues are possible when taking ashwagandha. One positive here is that if you stick to the recommended dose, this may not be as much of a problem.

“Ashwagandha is a safe herb when used as directed,” Heintze says. “When taking doses exceeding recommendations or larger doses, it may cause digestive upset or nausea.”

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Is Ashwagandha Safe Who Should Not Take It

Ashwagandha is traditionally used in alternative medicine, like Indian Ayurvedic medicine. This medicinal plant is an adaptogen, meaning it may help your body adapt to physical, mental, and emotional stressors. Ashwagandha is generally considered safe and has been used for stress, anxiety, low testosterone, and other medical conditions. Certain groups of people should avoid using ashwagandha, including those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those who have medical conditions like diabetes, high or low blood pressure, stomach ulcers, autoimmune disease, or thyroid disorders.

So Get Started By Taking A Daily Dose Of Ashwagandha And Take Note Of The Results

Ashwagandha For Low Blood Pressure

You might find ashwagandha in capsule form. Or you can purchase it as part of a specially blended formula. Either way, taking a dosage each day will help your body to find more strength and ease. It may take a few weeks, or even months, but change will happen.

Are you serious about lowering your blood pressure? Well, you should also be sure to eating healthy and choosing exercise that reduces blood pressure. Each step that you take is towards a healthier future for your body and mind!

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How Long Does It Take For Ashwagandha To Start Working

How quickly supplements begin to work in the body greatly depends on other factors in your life.

There is no magic pill for good health. Supplements can help to nourish your body, especially in conjunction with other healthy habits. It is essential to eat a balanced diet and get enough exercise in order for your body to receive the herbal benefits that nature has to offer.

When used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, ashwagandha can begin to impact the body beneficially within two weeks. The quality of your ashwagandha supplement is what will make the biggest difference. A high-concentration, full-spectrum extract is required to make the biggest impact in your body. At least 600 mg per day is also recommended to improve your ashwagandha experience.

Herbalist K.P. Khalsa recommends higher doses for improved results while using ashwagandha. This is especially necessary for people who regularly engaging in poor diet and lifestyle h bits and experience elevated levels of stress. Khalsa also notes that continued use produces the best results.

You cannot take ashwagandha overnight and expect it to start working right away. Most of the time, it takes a while for herbs and natural ingredients to synergistically work with your body before feeling any benefit. Depending on your health already, it may take several months to experience or even notice big changes.

Risks And Side Effects

Although its usually well-tolerated and generally considered to be a gentle herbal supplement, some possible side effects of ashwagandha may include upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms of indigestion. Its also possible that ashwagandha may cause hormonal changes, potentially making issues like like hyperthyroidism or high testosterone in females worse.

In order to prevent potential side effects from ashwagandha, slowly increase your dosage as you watch for any negative reactions. If you take medications, before starting to take herbal supplements always discuss any potential interactions or concerns with your health care provider.

Research shows that ashwagandha is NOT necessarily safe for and should be avoided by:

  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • People using diabetes medications, blood pressure medications, medications that suppress the immune system, sedatives or medications for thyroid problems
  • Anyone being treated for hyperthyroidism, unless under the supervision of a doctor
  • Anyone with autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, unless working with a doctor
  • People undergoing surgery that requires anesthesia

Its also recommended that ashwagandha not be mixed with alcohol, mood-altering drugs or sedatives, since it can increase drowsiness and causes mood alterations.

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Individual Components Or Pure Alkaloid Extracts May Be Toxic But The Whole Herb Is Not

However, it has been found that very high doses of pure alkaloid extract is toxic. Water extract, on the other hand, did not induce any toxicity, even at levels as high as 2000 mg/kg which is about 50 times the recommended dosage for humans.1

While individual components of ashwagandha, such as withaferin A, might be toxic even at low doses, the whole herb is not toxic even at high doses. Staying within the recommended dosage of 312 g root or leaf powder or extract should not ideally have any side effects.

Consuming isolated active constituent of ashwagandha, such as withaferin A, instead of the whole herb or herb extract may also cause toxicity. Radiation biologists studying the effect of ashwagandha on cancer demonstrated that the cumulative doses of ashwagandha extract did not show any toxicity, while pure withaferin A was toxic even at a low dose.

This is probably because the components of the crude extracts interact to create a synergy of cancer cell-killing effects or neutralize each others toxicity.2

In simple words, the whole herb may be much more safe and effective than its isolated active constituents. This is in line with modern medical research, which, influenced by advances in systems biology and functional genomics perspective, is moving away from mono-molecular or single-target approach to combinations and multiple-target strategies.

History Of Ashwagandha Use In Ayurvedic Medicine

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Ashwagandha has been used in India and the Middle East for over 4,000 years as a broad-spectrum treatment for a variety of ailments. Within this traditional system, the herb is classified as a Rassayana, meaning “rejuvenator.”

Here’s how the different parts of the plant are used to treat various conditions:

  • The leaves and berries are ground into a poultice and applied topically as a natural treatment for ulcers, wounds, and recovering from surgery.
  • The leaf extract is used for painful swelling and fever.
  • The roots are made into a tonic and used as a stimulant, aphrodisiac, antiparasitic, diuretic, and astringent.
  • The seeds are antiparasitic.
  • The flowers have detoxifying effects and are used as a diuretic, astringent, and aphrodisiac.

The root is also traditionally used to restore health in women after giving birth.

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It May Reduce Inflammation And Pain

Studies show that ashwagandha may decrease inflammation in the body. This is important because inflammation in the body plays a significant role in overall health, especially when the inflammation is chronic .

While these benefits may urge you to give ashwagandha a try, it’s important to be aware of some potential side effects, too. Here are some that are important to know about.

How And Why You Should Try Ashwagandha For High Blood Pressure

If you suffer from high blood pressure, one of the most important things to do is find a natural balance in your body and mind. Sometimes that might mean medication. But often, herbal remedies support that process in surprising and potent ways. One ancient herb Ashwagandha has an especially long history of use and many benefits. That list of benefits includes lowering blood pressure! Curious? Keep reading to get the whole story

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Ashwagandha And Blood Sugar

With processed sugar everywhere, keeping blood sugar levels in check has never been harder.

Studies show strong support in favor of Ashwagandha helping to regulate blood sugar. A small study of six individuals with Type 2 diabetes found that ashwagandha effectively reduced blood sugar levels in the body. Shockingly, the results were comparable to what was experienced with oral medications.

Another report published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that specific plant compounds – in this case, flavonoids – in the roots and leaves of ashwagandha successfully helped rats achieve normal blood sugar levels.

All of this is great news for people with insulin sensitivity, and merits a discussion with a licensed healthcare professional, if blood sugar is a concern.

What Exactly Makes Ashwagandha So Beneficial

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The key chemical structures of Ashwagandha endow it with its unique medicinal properties. It works like this – All plants possess an array of special compounds known as phytochemicals. In simple words, because plants cannot move around, these phytochemicals exist to perform specific tasks. Some phytochemicals act as an immune system, responding to attacking antibodies. Some exist to deter insects from eating them as the plant cannot move around to defend itself. Some phytochemicals simply help the plant to grow fast and strong.

When consumed, these chemicals can overlap with ones that activate pathways in our bodies and can have a very meaningful effect on our bodies. What makes ashwagandha so special is that it has a large quantity of these phytochemicals, which makes it extremely beneficial and positively affects various systems in our bodies.

Now, lets look at the many health benefits of Ashwagandha. Well also talk about how you can use Ashwagandha to treat specific conditions. Lets begin.

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