Ashwagandha has an impressive reputation in the world of herbal medicine. Thanks to emerging research on its powerful, broad-range medicinal effects, ashwagandha has been gaining modern recognition. However, this herb is one of the few trends that has legitimate validation and an extensive historical credibility.
Used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha has been seen time and time again to improve the functioning of the immune system, strengthen and sooth the nervous system, increase energy, beauty and promote overall longevity.
This adaptogenic overachiever is one of the most holistically beneficial herbs, positively effecting every system in the body. As an adaptogenic, it is capable of rebalancing the entire metabolic, immune and nervous system once stressed. Because of this primary ability, it can effectively improve many aspects of health, acting as an aphrodisiac, thermogenic, immunologically-active nervine.
Narrowing in on some of Ashwagandha's far reaching effects, today we would like to hone in on its specific abilities to improve female health. Let's take a closer look...
5 Benefits of Ashwagandha for Women
Graceful Aging: Stress is enemy number one when it comes to aging. Elevated levels of the catabolic stress hormone cortisol are directly related to aging, stress and disease. When chronically elevated, cortisol can catabolize skin tissue, leading to weak, frail, aged skin that is more likely to wrinkle. Cortisol can also slow the metabolism overall, leading to fatigue, lethargy and impaired rejuvenation. In addition to catabolizing the skin, cortisol is very damaging to the brain and is one of the major reasons people experience cognitive decline.
Fortunately, one of Ashwaganhda's major benefits is lowering the production of this hormone. Studies have proven that in 60 days, ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels upwards to 20%. 1
Reduce Menopause & PMS Symptoms: The symptoms of both menopause and PMS can be related directly to a progesterone deficiency. When progesterone is low and estrogen is high, many things go wrong in the female body that contribute to hot flashes, mood swings, bloating/cramps, headaches, bleeding issues and more. There are many ways in which a progesterone deficiency attributes to these symptoms. In short, the hormonal imbalances associated with menopause and PMS increase the functioning of stress hormones, impair metabolic function, and. slow circulation throughout the body. Combined, this low energy, depressive state can cause these symptoms and more.
On the plus side, Ashwagandha can help with menopause and PMS by acting on the endocrine system, improving the production of progesterone. There are even studies that have found symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings and anxiety can be alleviated with Ashwagandha supplementation. 2, 3
Improved Sexual Potency: Ashwagandha is a profound sexual enhancing herb. In fact, the Kama Sutra recommends the use of Ashwagandha to improve libido, increase sexual satisfaction and fertility. There also happens to be supportive scientific evidence for these suggestions.
In one study on the use of Ashwagandha for sexual function, it was found that women who supplement with it had significant increases in arousal, lubrication, orgasm and overall sexual satisfaction. 4
Fertility Health: Stress, disease and aging can cause fertility issues by greatly reducing the production of the fertility hormone, progesterone. Ashwagandha has two major ways it promotes fertility health. First, it lowers cortisol, as mentioned, which is a great antagonist to progesterone and fertility health. This is why stress, "kills the mood". On the other hand, ashwagandha also directly boosts progesterone production, which is the hormone of pregnancy and fertility.
- Lowers Prolactin: Hyperprolactinemia is a condition where the pituitary produces too much prolactin. Women are more prone to this condition because prolactin is stimulated by estrogen. High prolactin levels are implicated in a large amount of health issues, especially the ones that seem to be more heavily implicated in women, like osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, migraine headaches, PMS, infertility, PCOS, breast cancer and hair loss. Ashwagandha can effectively lower prolactin, however, which will be systematically beneficial. Even if you do not suffer from hyperprolactinemia, if you suffer from other metabolic stress related issues, lowering prolactin can help improve these symptoms. 5
Where to Get Ashwagandha?
There are many places to get ashwagandha and many different ways to use it. For those interested in more traditional routes, you can purchase whole Ashwagandha root and make alcoholic extracts. However, most of the studies mentioned here, and done on Ashwagandha use a specific full-spectrum strain of Ashwagandha known as KSM66.
Not only is this the highest potency form of Ashwagandha, it is also the purest and cleanest form. So for those of you who seek organic, non-toxic products that work, KSM66 is a no brainer.