What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Its scientific name is Withania Somnifera, commonly called The Indian Ginseng. Note that ginseng and ashwagandha are not the same, however, and their effects differ.
Ashwagandha’s name comes from two Sanskrit words, “ashva,” meaning horse, and “gandha,” meaning smell. Put them together, and what do you get? The smell of the horse! Don’t let this deter you from trying ashwagandha, however. Its meaning is related to the smell of the plant’s root and the reported benefit that you’ll gain the strength of a horse! If you’re sensitive to the scent, it comes in various forms, so you need not worry!
People primarily use ashwagandha to manage stress levels and improve sleep quality. Other reported effects include reduced headaches, a more stable mood, and balanced blood sugar levels. You need to understand that ashwagandha’s health benefits stem from its ability to balance cortisol levels. Cortisol is one of the body’s vital stress hormones. It’s a necessary hormone, yet many people in today’s fast-paced world have chronically elevated cortisol levels. When you produce too much cortisol for too long, you can experience a range of health issues, and this is where ashwagandha’s benefits come in.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body cope with mental stress. Therefore, if you suspect your health issues could be related to raging cortisol levels, Ashwagandha can help rebalance your cortisol levels and ease your symptoms. Based on this, ashwagandha is a promising treatment for improving many common menopause complaints, especially if your adrenal glands are overworked and you’re constantly running on adrenaline. Let’s look closer at whether ashwagandha can help with your menopause symptoms.
How Does Ashwagandha Help With Menopausal Symptoms?
Ashwagandha could help improve hormonal imbalances during menopause and relieve symptoms related to fluctuating hormone levels. Studies on ashwagandha specific to perimenopause and menopause are limited. However, one small study on 91 perimenopausal women showed promising results. Compared with the placebo group, those who took the ashwagandha supplement showed statistically significant improvements on the Menopause Rating Scale and menopause-specific quality of life. They also experienced statistically-significant increases in estradiol and reductions in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH).
Estrogen levels drop during menopause, and this has a knock-on effect on other hormones. Declining estrogen causes FSH and LH to increase, and the combination of high FSH and low estrogen appears to cause the hot flashes that many menopausal women know so well. The study’s estradiol observations are noteworthy because estradiol levels are linked to depressive symptoms in menopausal women.
With these results and ashwagandha’s effects on cortisol in mind, this ancient Indian remedy has excellent potential for improving the hormonal imbalances that can exacerbate menopause symptoms. Therefore, some may find that ashwagandha helps with hot flashes, balances mood, and promotes restful sleep. More large-scale clinical studies are needed to better understand the benefits of ashwagandha for menopause relief.
How to use Ashwagandha and Where to Buy It
Ashwagandha supplementation is available in powdered, tincture, pill, or capsule form. Sometimes it’s used in a formula including other herbs for menopause, such as shatavari, amla, or fenugreek. Mix the powdered form into water, milk, or hot beverages, or blend it into smoothies. If you’re not a fan of the flavour, then pills or capsules might be your best bet.
The recommended dosage is typically 250-500 mg daily but can be higher, depending on your needs and tolerance level. Consult with your doctor before taking any herbal remedies. It’s also worth noting that ashwagandha takes time to work, and you may need to take it for several weeks before experiencing relief from the symptoms of menopause.
If you’re looking for natural remedies for menopause symptoms, ashwagandha may be worth trying. You can purchase ashwagandha at your local health store or online stores like Amazon and iherb.
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