Health Benefits of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
1. It's an Ancient Medicinal Herb
Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels and improve concentration."Ashwagandha" is Sanskrit for "smell of the horse," which refers to both its unique smell and ability to increase strength. Its botanical name is Withania somnifera, and it is also known by several other names, including Indian ginseng and winter cherry.
2. It Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
In several studies, Ashwagandha has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.A test-tube study found that it increased insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. Several human studies have confirmed its ability to reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes.
3. It Has Anti-Cancer Properties
Animal and test-tube studies have found that Ashwagandha helps induce the apoptosis or "programmed cell death" of cancer cells.It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in several ways.One of these ways is believed to be the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are toxic to cancer cells but not normal cells. Another mechanism causes cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis.
4. It Can Reduce Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is known as a "stress hormone" because your adrenal glands release it in response to stress and when your blood sugar levels get too low.Unfortunately, in some cases, cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen.Studies have shown that Ashwagandha may help reduce cortisol levels.
5. It May Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress. Researchers who looked at its effects on rat brains reported that it blocked the stress pathway by regulating chemical signalling in the nervous system.Several controlled human studies have shown that it can effectively reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders.
6. It May Reduce Symptoms of Depression
Although it hasn't been studied much, a couple of studies suggest Ashwagandha may help alleviate depression. In a controlled 60-day study in stressed adults, those who took 600 mg per day reported a 79% reduction in severe depression. At the same time, the placebo group reported a 10% increase.
7. It Can Boost Testosterone and Increase Fertility in Men
Ashwagandha supplements may have powerful effects on male hormone levels and reproductive health.In a study of 75 infertile men, the group treated with Ashwagandha had an increase in sperm count and motility.What's more, the treatment led to a significant increase in testosterone levels.
8. Ashwagandha May Increase Muscle Mass and Strength
Research has shown that Ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength. One study's purpose was to determine a safe and effective dosage for Ashwagandha. Healthy men who took 750–1250 mg per day had gained muscle mass and lost fat after 30 days.
9. It May Lower Cholesterol and Triglycerides
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, Ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Animal studies have found that it significantly decreases these blood fats. One study in rats found that it lowered total cholesterol by as much as 53% and triglycerides by nearly 45%. While controlled human studies have reported less dramatic results, there have still been some impressive improvements in these markers.
10. It May Improve Brain Function, Including Memory
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that Ashwagandha may reduce memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease. Researchers have shown that it promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals.
11. Ashwagandha is Safe for Most People and Widely Available
Ashwagandha appears to be a safe supplement for most people. However, certain individuals should not take it, including pregnant and breastfeeding women. People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid Ashwagandha unless authorised by a doctor. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and type 1 diabetes.
Siberian Ginseng Benefits
Siberian Ginseng, a relatively new addition to Western natural medicine, has quickly gained a reputation similar to that of the better known and more expensive Korean Ginseng. Unlike many herbs with a medicinal use, it is more useful for maintaining good health rather than treating ill-health. Research has shown that it stimulates resistance to stress and so it is now widely used as a tonic in times of stress and pressure. Regular use is said to restore vigour, improve the memory and increase longevity. It has been used during convalescence and in the treatment of menopausal problems, geriatric debility, physical and mental stress and a wealth of other ailments.
Siberian Ginseng or Eleuthero has been used in China for 2000 years as a folk remedy for bronchitis, heart ailments, and rheumatism, and as a tonic to restore vigour, improve general health, restore memory, promote healthy appetite, and increase stamina. Referred to as ci wu ju in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections as well as colds and flu. It was also believed to provide energy and vitality. In Russia, eleuthero was originally used by people in the Taiga region of Siberia to increase performance and quality of life and to decrease infections.
The ability of Siberian Ginseng to increase stamina and endurance led Soviet Olympic athletes to use it to enhance their training. Explorers, divers, sailors, and miners used eleuthero to prevent stress-related illness. After the Chernobyl accident, many Siberian citizens were given eleuthero to counteract the effects of radiation.Although a relatively new addition to Western natural medicine, it has quickly gained a reputation similar to that of the better known and more expensive Korean Ginseng. Unlike many herbs with a medicinal use, it is more useful for maintaining good health rather than treating ill-health. Research has shown that it stimulates resistance to stress and so it is now widely used as a tonic in times of stress and pressure. Regular use is said to restore vigour, improve the memory and increase longevity. It has been used during convalescence and in the treatment of menopausal problems, geriatric debility, physical and mental stress.
They are classified to the group of adaptogens, which raise resistance to various negative factors: physical, chemical, biological and psychological. The preparations stimulate physical and mental ability, raise the organism resistance at various kinds of sicknesses, poisoning, irradiation. They stimulate the central nervous system sex glands activities, decrease sugar and cholesterol level in blood, improve appetite, sharpen sight and hearing.
Siberian Ginseng produces a comprehensive strengthening and toning impact; it has been recommended in treating various neural diseases, impotence, lung ailments, medium forms of diabetes mellitus, and malignant tumours.
The results of pharmacological investigations of Siberian Ginseng have been summarised by I. V. Dardymov and E. l. Khasina (1993) in their book. The authors postulate postulate that effects of Siberian Ginseng on the body, which involve an energy-mobilizing impact primarily through intensified utilization of glucose and a stress-protective effect conditioned by change in central nervous system and hormonal regulation. In an alarming situation, the adrenal glands release corticosteroids and adrenaline which prepare the organism for the fight or flight reaction. When these hormones are depleted, the organism reaches an exhaustive phase. Siberian Ginseng delays the exhaustive phase and can allow a more economical and efficient release of these hormones.
Another way that Siberian Ginseng reduces stress on the body is to combat harmful toxins. Siberian Ginseng has shown a protective effect in animal studies, against chemicals such as ethanol, sodium barbital, tetanus toxoid, and chemotherapeutic agents. Siberian Ginseng can also reduce the side effects of radiation exposure.
Siberian Ginseng has been shown to have neuroprotective effects against breast (mammary gland) carcinoma, stomach carcinoma, oral cavity carcinoma, skin melanoma and ovarian carcinoma. It was found to have a pronounced effect on T lymphocytes, predominantly of the helper/inducer type, but also on cytotoxic and natural killer cells. Its active ingredients may also be of use in combating herpes simplex type II infections.
Germany's Commission E approved Siberian Ginseng as a tonic in times of fatigue and debility, declining capacity for work or concentration, and during convalescence. Other uses for Siberian Ginseng are for chronic inflammatory conditions and traditionally for functional asthenia (Bruneton, 1995). Siberian Ginseng has also been reported to increase stamina and endurance and protect the body systems against stress-induced illness and fatigue.
Siberian Ginseng has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. Research has shown that Siberian Ginseng improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle. This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic exercise longer and recovery from workouts is much quicker.
"Green coffee" beans are coffee seeds (beans) of Coffea fruits that have not yet been roasted. The roasting process of coffee beans reduces amounts of the chemical chlorogenic acid. Therefore, green coffee beans have a higher level of chlorogenic acid compared to regular, roasted coffee beans. Chlorogenic acid in green coffee is thought to have health benefits.
Green coffee became popular for weight loss after it was mentioned on the Dr. Oz show in 2012. The Dr. Oz show referred to it as "The green coffee bean that burns fat fast" and claims that no exercise or diet is needed.
People take green coffee by mouth for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease, and bacterial infections.
How does it work?
Green coffee beans are coffee beans that have not yet been roasted. These coffee beans contain a higher amount of the chemical chlorogenic acid. This chemical is thought to have health benefits. For high blood pressure it might affect blood vessels so that blood pressure is reduced.
For weight loss, chlorogenic acid in green coffee is thought to affect how the body handles blood sugar and metabolism.