Ashwagandha has a wide reputation in the world of herbal medicine as a potent adaptogen. Traditionally, ashwagandha has been used to improve energy, stamina, resistance to stress, libido, immunity and more. Today, research on ashwagandha’s broad-range medicinal effects has given it modern recognition.
This adaptogenic overachiever is considered one of the most beneficial herbs for improving every biological system of the body. As an adaptogen, it is capable of regulating the entire metabolic, immune and nervous system. As a result of its regulatory effects, it can effectively improve many, if not all aspects of health, acting as an aphrodisiac, thermogenic, immunologically-active nervine and more.
Narrowing in on some of Ashwagandha's far-reaching effects, today we would like to hone in on its specific abilities to improve female health. Let's take a closer look...
5 Benefits of Ashwagandha for Women
Stress is the number one enemy when it comes to aging. Elevated levels of cortisol, the catabolic stress hormone, are directly related to aging, stress, and disease. When chronically elevated, cortisol can catabolize skin tissue, leading to weak, frail, aged skin that is more likely to wrinkle.
Cortisol can also slow the metabolism, leading to fatigue, lethargy and impaired rejuvenation. In addition to catabolizing the skin, cortisol is very damaging to the brain and is one of the major reasons people experience cognitive decline.
Fortunately, one of Ashwaganhda's major benefits is lowering the production of this hormone. Studies have proven that in 60 days, ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels upwards to 20%. 1
2. Improving Menopause & PMS
The symptoms of both menopause and PMS can be related directly to a progesterone deficiency. When progesterone is low and estrogen is high, many things go wrong in the female body. This can contribute to hot flashes, mood swings, bloating/cramps, headaches, bleeding issues and more. There are many ways in which a progesterone deficiency attributes to these symptoms.
In short, hormonal imbalances associated with menopause and PMS increase the functioning of stress hormones in addition to impairing metabolic function and slowing circulation throughout the body.
On the plus side, Ashwagandha can help with menopause and PMS by acting on the endocrine system, improving the production of progesterone. There are even studies that have found symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and anxiety can be alleviated with Ashwagandha supplementation. 2, 3
3. Improved Libido
Ashwagandha is a profound sexual enhancing herb. In fact, the Kama Sutra recommends the use of Ashwagandha to improve libido, increase sexual satisfaction and fertility. There also happens to be supportive scientific evidence for these suggestions.
In one study on the use of Ashwagandha for sexual function, it was found that women who supplement with it had significant increases in arousal, lubrication, orgasm and overall sexual satisfaction. 4
4. Fertility Health
Stress, disease, and aging can cause fertility issues by greatly reducing the production of the fertility hormone, progesterone. Ashwagandha has two major ways it promotes fertility health. First, it lowers cortisol, as mentioned, which is a great antagonist to progesterone and fertility health. This is why stress "kills the mood". On the other hand, ashwagandha also directly boosts progesterone production, which is the hormone of pregnancy and fertility.
5. Lowers Prolactin
Hyperprolactinemia is a condition where the pituitary produces too much prolactin. Women are more prone to this condition because prolactin is stimulated by estrogen. High prolactin levels are implicated in a large number of health issues, especially the ones that seem to be more heavily implicated in women, like osteoporosis, hypothyroidism, migraine headaches, PMS, infertility, PCOS, breast cancer and hair loss.
Ashwagandha can effectively lower prolactin, which is systematically beneficial. Even if you do not suffer from hyperprolactinemia, but suffer from other metabolic stress-related issues, lowering prolactin can help improve these symptoms. 5
Where to Get Ashwagandha?
There are many places to get ashwagandha and many different ways to use it. For those interested in more traditional routes, you can purchase whole Ashwagandha root and make alcoholic extracts. However, most of the studies done on Ashwagandha use a full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha, like the one we use in Revitalize, our powerhouse herbal supplement for optimal health of the body and mind.
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