The twenty-first-century women get subjected to immense stress and pressure both in the office and at home. The current trend of living a fast-paced, hyperconnected life, despite being a status symbol, takes a toll on health. Women often complain of inflammation, reduced immunity, anxiety, irregular menstrual cycles, and hormonal imbalance.
Thankfully, a few adaptogens in the wellness world like Ashwagandha can take care of the situation. Ashwagandha is a safe and effective medicinal plant that can serve as a perfect antidote for several medical issues. It is the most sought-after Ayurvedic product to tackle the present stress epidemic.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal plant with the botanical name Withania somnifera. It is also known as “Amukkara,” “Indian winter cherry,” or “Indian ginseng.” The plant belongs to the class adaptogen and has long been used as a diuretic, anthelmintic, astringent, stimulant, aphrodisiac, and thermogenic compound.
The small shrub grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. For more than 3000 years, the proponents of Ayurvedic medicines have used Ashwagandha for women as a potent immunity booster, nervous system soother, and enhancer of longevity and vitality.
Ashwagandha Benefits For Female
Ashwagandha is part of the adaptogen class of plants, introduced as supplements, powders, teas, tinctures, or raw forms. Although used for thousands of years, scientists still research its efficacy in several body diseases.
Here are the potential ashwagandha benefits for women:
1. Help Relieve From Stress and Anxiety
As an adaptogen, ashwagandha prepares the body to cope with stress. According to the study, it helps control the stress mediators like cortisol and proteins like heat shock proteins (first line of defence cells against stress hormones).
Ashwagandha helps women experience significant relief from chronic stress symptoms like extreme fatigue, insomnia, etc. Ayurvedic texts also recommend using ashwagandha for alleviating tension, exhaustion, and body ache.
2. Help Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is the normal response to certain situations like trauma, infections, and toxins. In such cases, the body produces anti-inflammatory reactions for restoring balance.
However, in cases of chronic pain, the body fails to release the anti-inflammatory responses resulting in severe inflammation.
Studies show that Ashwagandha contains traces of WA or Withanolide Phytochemicals that play a vital role in reducing inflammation. Taking ashwagandha tea, prepared from its dried leaves, benefits in dealing with excess inflammation, providing instant relief.
3. Help Improve Memory and Focus
Early evidence reveals that taking ashwagandha, especially at night, improves cognitive functioning. In older adults, it even helps deal with the mild cognitive impairment and conditions of schizophrenia.
Improved cognitive functioning enhances cognitive task performances, attention, and reaction time. Timely intake of ashwagandha improves attention spans and memory while normalising body imbalances.
Further, as study suggests, it allows the body to utilise oxygen effectively, helping improve concentration and focus.
4. Helps in Cancer
The withaferin compound in ashwagandha induces apoptosis (death of unwanted cells) that helps kill the cancer cells. Moreover, it even prevents the growth of new cancerous cells in many ways.
WA helps in the formation of harmful ROS or reactive oxygen species within the cancer cells, which disrupts the functioning of these cells. Studies show that one of the ashwagandha benefits for women is that it helps treat breast and ovarian cancer. It further prevents the spreading of cancer in other organs.
5. Help Regularise the Menstrual Cycle
Delayed periods, irregular periods, period cramps, fertility issues, growth of facial hair, or any physical changes during menopause are usual. Women often encounter such problems due to increased stress.
Hormonal imbalance is the prime reason behind such female reproductive issues, even causing pregnancy-related complications. In a nutshell, Ashwagandha benefits periods.
When you regularly consume ashwagandha with milk, it helps retain these issues. It improves the hormonal imbalance while strengthening the functioning of the adrenal glands. It even stimulates the blood flow. Hormonal balance improves fertility and regularises the period cycle.
6. Acts as a Sexual Stimulant
One of the clinical studies indicates that ashwagandha benefits females who experience sexual dysfunction. Its regular use improves sexual arousal, orgasm, and lubrication.
It even relieves mental stress, which induces a good mood, enhancing the blood flow and sexual potency.
Kamasutra, an ancient text on human sexuality, lays out benefits of ashwagandha root for women's libido. It acts as stimulation that enhances arousal and provides optimum satisfaction.
7. Contributes to Heart Health
Ashwagandha increases oxygen levels in the body. The level, here, pertains to the maximum oxygen one takes while physically exerting oneself. Such levels play a vital role in measuring cardiorespiratory endurance, which indicates the healthy flow of oxygen between the heart and the lungs during such physical activities.
Including ashwagandha in your diet helps treat high cholesterol, chest pain, high blood pressure, and various heart diseases.
8. Help Combat the Vaginal Infection
The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of ashwagandha may help deal with vaginal infections. Many experts recommend using this herb for yeast infections.
9. Regulates Blood Sugar Level
The physiological structure of women makes them fall prey to diabetes. The main reasons diabetes impacts them are hormonal imbalance, irregular menstrual cycle, PCOS, or any hormonal fluctuations.
Ashwagandha root benefits for women, when it comes to regulating sugar, are several. While aids in controlling frequent sugar cravings, it also help reduce the blood fat, called triglycerides.
10. Improves Sleep
Studies show that regular consumption of ashwagandha promotes restful sleep. Experts suggest that consuming 600 mg of ashwagandha root for 12 weeks improves mental alertness and sleep quality for 65-80 aged people.
Although it has a small impact on the sleep pattern, it has a positive effect on sleep quality. Moreover, the sleep-inducing properties of ashwagandha benefit people with insomnia. Mix a tablespoon of ashwagandha powder with a cup of warm milk before sleep for better results.
11. Aids Weight Loss
Stress is the foremost reason behind the weight gain in women. However, the ashwagandha herb helps lower stress while reducing physiological and psychological stress markers.
Further, it reduces the cortisol level and food cravings. Consequently, it improves your eating habit and allows you to take a road to weight loss.
12. Help Cure Vitiligo
Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes loss of skin colour in patches. It often happens when pigment cells either die or stop functioning.
Although medical conditions help cure its symptoms, it is impossible to cure it completely.
13. Ashwagandha Benefits for Skin
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that helps achieve flawless and glowing skin. High antioxidants help fight against acne, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. Moreover, it contains alkaloids that allow the nervous system to ease anxiety and stress.
Reduced stress and anxiety directly impact the skin's health and texture. Here are some ways how ashwagandha helps in restoring your skin:
- Moisturisation and cleansing: The WA compounds in ashwagandha help clean the impurities and dirt and deeply soothe the dry skin. Better cleansing prevents clogged pores and acne.
- Prevents ageing: Ashwagandha enhances DHEA-Dehydroepiandrosterone (hormone), responsible for estrogen hormone formation. It further helps initiate the production of essential proteins ensuring healthy skin hydration. Both estrogen and DHEA help keep the skin youthful while enhancing the skin's natural oil production and collagen generation.
- Healing benefits: One can apply the fluid having ashwagandha as a cream for treating bruises, cuts, and skin infections.
14. Prevents Menopause Issues
With the onset of menopause or during menopause, women experience high hormonal imbalance. It may lead to anxiety, depression, hot flashes, and even trouble sleeping. Ashwagandha impacts the endocrine system that helps alleviate such symptoms.
15. Ashwagandha Benefits For Female Fertility
Infertility is the body condition when a woman fails to conceive or may suffer a miscarriage. It may happen due to hormonal imbalance, lifestyle, physical injury, etc. Turning to Ayurvedic herbs may help boost one's fertility. The question here arises: how does ashwagandha benefits for female fertility?
- Biologically, ashwagandha has active substances, having micro and macro elements, nucleic acid, lipids, peptides, and amino acids. Moreover, its roots have therapeutic properties that improve the endocrine system, regulating adrenal and thyroid glands.
- These glands play a vital role in balancing the reproductive hormones. Further, hormonal balance plays an active role in treating female fertility.
- Women suffering from anaemia due to iron deficiency often have issues while conceiving and may face frequent miscarriages. Ashwagandha is rich in iron that helps you manage such infertility issues.
- Moreover, it has a calming effect on the nervous system, ideal in dealing with stress-generated insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and nervous exhaustion. These issues are common in women having infertility.
What Are the Benefits of Ashwagandha Powder for Women?
If you are looking for the benefits of powder for women, then remember that with little knowledge about kitchen chemistry, you can churn out excellent milkshakes, smoothies, and coffee with a measured dose of Ashwagandha powder and milk. Most women who do not like popping up pills and capsules prefer the powdered form of this Ayurvedic medicine.
How To Take Ashwagandha?
Including ashwagandha in your daily routine is highly beneficial. However, how you use it matters the most. Here are some significant ways of taking ashwagandha:
#1 As Ashwagandha Tablets or Capsules
You can take one tablet or as prescribed by the doctor with warm milk twice a day, especially after food.
#2 As Ashwagandha Powder
Take one-fourth or a half tablespoon of ashwagandha powder with honey or warm milk. The dosage may vary according to the doctor's recommendation.
#3 Ashwagandha Milkshake
Roast approx four tablespoons of ashwagandha churna in a cup of pure ghee. Add 1-2 tablespoons of honey. Now, add the mixture to one cup of cold milk and blend it. Drink immediately for better taste. One can avoid adding honey if you have high blood sugar.
#4 Ashwagandha Tea
Add one tablespoon of ashwagandha powder to two cups of water. Boil it till the mixture reduces to half. Now add some milk and honey to it. Drink it at least once a day.
#5 As a Shrikhand
Drain all water in 250 gm of thick curd while hanging it in a muslin cloth. Take the hung curd and keep it in the refrigerator. Now, divide it into four equal parts. Add honey/sugar according to your taste and one tablespoon of ashwagandha powder to each.
Enhance its flavour while adding a pinch of cardamom powder and some dry fruits. Knead every portion properly for a smooth texture and cool in the refrigerator for some time. Replace the sugar or honey with jaggery if you have high blood sugar.
Side Effects Of Ashwagandha On Females
There are rare severe ashwagandha side effects for women. Generally, the dosage of 500 mg to 1000 mg is normal. However, one should know about the potential side effects before including them in the routine.
Although it improves sleep quality and cycle, its potential side effect is drowsiness, which is often unwelcoming. It even sometimes interrupts day-to-day activities.
#2 Nausea and Upset Stomach
One can face some uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms like upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhoea. High dosage irritates the membranes of the stomach. However, it is mild and gets cured if you stop taking it.
Pregnant ladies should avoid taking ashwagandha. It has an abortifacient effect, situation inducing abortion. Its compounds may cause miscarriage or premature birth, and even uterine contractions.
Summing Up on Ashwagandha Benefits for Female
Ashwagandha is a medicinal plant that helps deal with period issues, PCOS, skin, body weight, sleep, and many more issues. Including it in your daily routine ensures better hormonal balance.
However, one should be very particular with its use and seek a doctor's recommendation to avoid any side effects. Even if you have any severe complications, talk to the experts without any delay.
Does Ashwagandha Balance Female Hormones?
Yes, Ashwagandha helps in balancing female hormones. Research claims that It helps normalise blood cortisol levels and thyroid hormones. It even regulates reproductive hormones that aid in PCOS and period cramps.
Moreover, it provides pathways to the brain that administers the production and control of hormones in the body. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking ashwagandha as its compound may lead to uterine contraction causing premature birth or even miscarriage.
Can Ashwagandha Change Your Period?
Consuming ashwagandha capsules regulates sensitive reproductive hormones. Hormonal imbalance is the primary reason behind delayed or irregular periods.
As ashwagandha calms down stress and anxiety and establishes a healthy hormonal balance, it can change your period issues. Ashwagandha provides strength to the adrenal glands and their functioning and stimulates the blood flow. It even improves fertility and regularises the menstrual cycle. So, in a nutshll, yes, ashwagandha helps change your period if irregular.
Is Ashwagandha Good For PCOS?
Yes, Ashwagandha is good for PCOS. PCOS is the common hormonal issue in women which consists of the following symptoms:
- Anxiety and depression
- Irregular periods
- Unwanted hair growth due to increased male hormones called androgens.
- Ovaries develop small fluid collections called follicles, failing to release eggs regularly.
- Fatigue, etc.
Ashwagandha helps cure the symptoms of PCOS. Firstly, it regulates stress hormones called cortisol that contribute to weight gain. It even helps balance the body's hormones and alleviate anxiety and depression.
Ashwagandha may help reverse PCOS symptoms while reducing insulin resistance and treating thyroid imbalance. It is also ideal for under-active thyroid gland hormones, which are associated with PCOS symptoms.
PCOS suppresses ovulation, which often causes infertility. Ashwagandha helps relieve this condition and support the reproductive system while regulating stress hormones.
Can Ashwagandha Increase Estrogen?
Reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone play a vital role in fertility health. Consuming ashwagandha helps boost reproductive hormones.
Estrogen levels in the body lower prolactin, especially helpful for women suffering from hyperprolactinemia (a condition when the pituitary gland produces high prolactin). Correct prolactin level also limits metabolic stress-related issues.
- Sunil B Kelgane, Jaysing Salve, February 2020; Efficacy and Tolerability of Ashwagandha Root Extract in the Elderly for Improvement of General Well-being and Sleep: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7096075/
- Alexander Muacevic and John R Adler, February 2020; Efficacy and Tolerability of Ashwagandha Root Extract in the Elderly for Improvement of General Well-being and Sleep: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC7096075/
- Batool Rahmati, Mohammad Hassan Ghosian Moghaddam, July 2016; Effect of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal on Sex Hormone and Gonadotropin Levels in Addicted Male Rats - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27441058/