Adaptogens were discovered by a Russian scientist in 1947, fully defined by two Russian doctors in 1958 and finally accepted by the US FDA in 1988. An adaptogen does three things. 1) It produces no negative side effects. 2) It effects more than one system of the body, such as the nervous system and hormone system. And 3) It balances body functions, such as raising blood sugar that is too low in one individual while lowering blood sugar in another individual where it is too high. Adaptogens help the body deal with stress.
In another post, I talked about the eight benefits of turmeric, which has been has valued in East Indian medicine for thousands of years. In this newsletter, I’d like to cover Indian ginseng, or ashwagandha, as it’s more commonly known.
Here are some of its benefits.
1. Reduce stress
Adaptogens in general are known as stress reducers and ashwagandha certainly does this.
2. Rejuvenate the immune system
Ashwagandha has been used for hundreds of years to improve the immune system and modern research is verifying this.
3. Prevent and combat age-related chronic diseases
Ashwagandha “possesses a wide array of therapeutic properties including anti-arthritic, anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and [heart protective].” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25787309
4. Improve brain function and prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
In addition to preventing and combating other age-related diseases, ashwagandha has been used to sharpen mental facilities and combat neuro-degeneration. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24882401
A study published in 2000, provided clinical evidence that ashwagandha was effective in combating anxiety and depression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194174
6. Help reduce enlarged prostate glands
A recent study published in January of 2016 found that ashwagandha extract reduced some of the effects of an enlarged prostate.
Ashwagandha and turmeric are two of the five herbs in Protandim.