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Worldwide, there are alarming numbers of mental health disorders. These diseases, reach to incapacitate for life in the United States to 30% of those who suffer it. It is known that anxiety is the most common mental disorder, characterized by affecting people of all ages.
And this is so true, that a young university student contacted me through social networks. It is a philosophy student, who does not support the stress that sometimes represents the academic burden. At first, she was not so sincere and only attributed the anxiety situation to an extreme diet change that she made.
I mentioned that anxiety can be an answer to stress. In addition, I emphasized some of the causes of anxiety. Above all, those that are linked to a lack of clear identification of the origin of the situation that keeps you stressed.
Situations with stress and anxiety lead to a cognitive and emotional deterioration that prevents us from carrying out routine activities and manifests immediately in our health. For that reason, we must be very careful in maintaining good mental and emotional health in order to balance and keep our body healthy.
I was honest with her, and I told her at present, most of the treatments for the control of the anxiety trigger a series of side effects, harmful to health.
I reminded him that we live in difficult times, where anxiety, uncertainty and stress are the common denominator of society.
I emphasized the importance of returning the look to nature for support. And so, I managed to establish a communication for a few days, which allowed me to talk about Ashwagandha, as a natural alternative without undesirable effects.
What is Ashwagandha?
This interesting medicinal plant grows in a very large area . This area includes from the Atlantic Ocean to Southeast Asia and from the Mediterranean Sea to South Africa. It is native to the arid regions of India, North Africa and the Middle East. However, it is grown in less dry places, including the United States.
In many traditional systems of medicine, all the organs of the plant including the bark of the they are used. In India, it is part of Ayurvedic medicine, being one of the main ingredients of the most known geriatric tonics.
Its scientific name is Withania somnifera and belongs to the solanácea family. That is to say, it is related to the potato, the tomato, the paprika and the aubergine. It is known as Ashwagandha, Withania, greater blackberry or Indian ginseng.
Multiple studies have been conducted that show that this plant has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
It also has components that exert positive effects on the nervous system. central. Hence, it comes from being compared with Siberian Ginseng and Chinese Ginseng, in its properties as an adaptogenic plant. For this reason, it is popularly known as Indian Ginseng. “Ashwagandha” in the Sanskrit language means “smell of the horse”. To highlight the unique smell that the plant possesses, as well as its ability to increase body strength.
Properties of the ashwagandha or withania
Withania somnifera, has been widely studied and researched. According to many of the studies that have been conducted, it has about thirty-five compounds with multiple properties for health.
The root of this plant has many bioactive components, among which are mentioned alkaloids, lactones, steroids and saponins. Steroid lactones are a class of constituents called withanolides and withaferins.
Within the withanolides, withaferin A and withanolide D are responsible for the main pharmacological properties.
Somniferine is one of the most well-known: It is a bitter alkaloid with hypnotic activity.
Many scientific findings indicate that Ashwagandha is a very powerful regenerative tonic.
Within these, its use is included as: Anti-stress, neuroprotective, antitumor, antiarthritic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.  It is useful for different types of diseases such as Parkinson's, dementia, memory loss and diseases caused by stress.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic plant like Panax ginseng, which helps the body to reach equilibrium in front of stress situations.
Studies around the world have shown that the plant has positive effects on several compounds entities that act by promoting states of stress. Among them, memory, attention, the immune system and ulcers.
It has been used frequently in the treatment of insomnia processes.
It is classified as an “adaptogen”, which indicates its ability to regulate the physiological processes. This favors the stabilization of the body against stress.
Its effect as anxiolytic (tranquilizer) has been compared to the drug Lorazepam, a drug to treat anxiety.
In addition its antidepressant properties, have been compared with the drug Imipramine , a drug used to treat depression
Ashwagandha extract exhibits properties that act on the central nervous system. Neuroprotective, antiepileptic, and anti-addictive effects have been described.
Laboratory-based studies demonstrate its potential use for the treatment of Alzheimer's.
It has also been described as a potent analgesic in the treatment of arthritis and as an anti-inflammatory. . It also has aphrodisiac, rejuvenating and prolonging life properties.
Ashwagandha generates processes that include oxygen. These processes are toxic to cancer cells but not to normal cells. This may favor cancer cells becoming less resistant to apoptosis (programmed cell death). Laboratory studies suggest that it may help treat several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain and ovarian cancer.
Benefits of ashwagandha
1. It helps reduce blood sugar levels
In several studies, it has been shown that Ashwagandha reduces blood glucose levels. A laboratory study found that it increased insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. This includes healthy people and those with diabetes.
2. It favors the reduction of cortisol levels
Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” because the adrenal glands release it in response to stress. This hormone is also released when blood sugar levels fall below normal. Unfortunately, in some cases, cortisol levels can rise chronically, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen.
The good news is, Ashwagandha can help reduce cortisol levels. In a study in adults with chronic stress, those who supplemented with Ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol. Those who took the highest dose had a 30% reduction, on average, compared to the control group.
3. Promotes the reduction of stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is widely recognized for its ability to reduce stress levels. Many tests have shown that it is possible to reduce symptoms effectively, in people with anxiety and stress disorders.
An experiment conducted with the participation of 64 people with chronic stress, showed amazing results. Those who were supplemented with Ashwaganda, showed levels of reduction of anxiety and insomnia in the order of 69%. While those who were given a placebo only experienced a reduction of 11%.
4. Reduces inflammation
Ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation. It has been found that it favors the increase of the activity of the natural controlling cells. These cells have immune functions, which favors the fight against infections, helping to keep you healthy. It has also been shown to help reduce inflammation markers. The best known is C-reactive protein (CRP). A direct link to this marker and the risk of heart disease have been found.
5. It lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
Beyond its anti-inflammatory effects, Ashwagandha promotes heart health by inducing the decrease of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In a study in adults with chronic stress, the group that took the highest dose of Ashwagandha achieved a 17% decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) and an 11% decrease in triglycerides.
6. It can improve brain function
Many clinical trials and controlled studies have been conducted, which allow to affirm the positive effect of Ashwagandha. In a controlled study, healthy men who took 500 mg of the herb showed substantial improvements in reaction time and performance. This compared to men who received a placebo.
In an eight-week clinical investigation, interesting findings were made. People who were given 300 mg of Ashwagandha root extract twice a day improved significantly. This improvement was reflected in a better level of memorization, speed in the performance of tasks and adequate levels of attention.
7. Helps to improve adrenal fatigue
This health disorder occurs when there are constant levels of stress. Adrenal fatigue (also called adrenal fatigue) is caused when the adrenal glands function below the proper level. Normally this is initiated by intense and prolonged stress, or by the presence of acute or chronic infections. Cortisol levels can vary in the same person, depending on the time of day. This occurs in those people who suffer from adrenal fatigue. Consuming Ashwagandha regularly can help balance cortisol levels, which promotes body energy balance.
Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people. However, certain people should not take it, including pregnant and lactating women.
People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid Ashwagandha, unless they are licensed by a doctor.
This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and type 1 diabetes.
In addition, those taking medications for thyroid disease should be careful when taking Ashwagandha. This is because it can promote the increase of thyroid hormone levels.
An excellent recipe for the adrenal glands
Almond Butter and Ashwagandha
The recipe that I show you below, is a traditional recipe for those For centuries they have been using the Ashwagandha. It is healthy and at the same time exquisite. It is easily combined with other foods or simply as a dressing.
- Two cups of almonds
- Two teaspoons of Ashwagandha powder
- One teaspoon of coconut oil
- Add the almonds in a blender or food processor.
- Mix until a smooth butter forms. Mix for about twenty to thirty minutes at low to medium speed.
- The teaspoon of oil allows the almonds to remain unctuous.
- When obtaining a uniform mixture store in an airtight and refrigerated container.
- It is preferable to use it in a term no longer than a week.
- When we talk about cognition, we generally refer to everything related to knowledge. In other words, the “bank” of information that we have acquired through learning or experience.
- There is a level of cognitive deterioration, very associated with the aging process. However, Ashwagandha has been used for a long time in the traditional Indian Ayurvedic system to improve memory and cognition.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the young university student had not mentioned to me that she was suffering from a series of disorders, mainly nervousness, blurred vision, insomnia and fatigue. All this was due to the adverse effects of the antidepressant use that he mentioned to me, he had been doing for several months. However, the organic disorder came from the malfunctioning of the adrenal glands.
Much of what I show you today in the post I sent opportunely for the networks. With the pleasant surprise that deepened so much in the subject that now exchanges information with me. On that occasion, I gave him the name of some health food stores where he got Ashwagandha and it did not take him long to change course. Her favorite recipe was originally the one I show you here.
She is now completely detoxified from Imipramine (antidepressant medicine) and feels comfortable with the opportunity provided by the use of this vegetable marvel. Currently, she is one of my most faithful followers. She says she feels healthy and balanced.
Being healthy is not just good nutrition and having an active life. It is also to have good mental and emotional health with positive thoughts that generate a lifestyle with optimism, harmony and happiness. It is the key so that you can say that you are healthy.
“The essential functions of the mind consist of understanding and invention, that is, the construction of structures through the structuring of reality” Jean Piaget
If you liked this article and have a sincere interest in learning how you can live healthier, I would like to give you a copy of my last book # I Can with Dr. Cocó.
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