Ashwagandha is a popular Indian herb also commonly known as Indian Ginseng. It is among the top list of herbs used in Ayurvedic medicinal system and now used as a supplement in western region as well.
‘Ashwa’ means horse and ‘Gandha’ means smell in Sanskrit (the smell of horse) and it means that one will become like horse in term of strength and vitality who ever will consume it in according to Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is ranked among the top herbs in Ayurveda literature because of his adaptogenic properties and multiple benefits which has been proven over again and again in human clinical trials and studies. Few Human studies are shown the following benefits:
Helps Normalise TSH, T3 and T4 levels in patients suffering from subclinical hyperthyroidism in 8 weeks study
Helps reducing Cortisol levels and thus reducing anxiety and stress levels in 60 days trial
Increase in muscle strength on bench press and leg extension machine, increase in testosterone levels (anabolic effect), reducing cortisol levels (catabolic effect) and boost fertility & decrease in body fat percentage in 8 weeks study
Strong Anti aging properties via potentiation of telomerase activity in human cells
Prevents memory and cognitive decline with again in 8 week study
Increases insulin sensitivity and thus lowering blood sugar by better sugar disposal at cellular levels in both healthy and diabetics in 8 weeks study
Significantly reduces inflammation and oxidative stress by reducing C creative protein and boost immunity by increasing activity of natural killer cells in 8 week study
Dose: 350-500mg root extract twice daily
When and Why: I personally like to take it in second half of day after 4-5 pm as then I feel rested and calm at the end of the day.
I highly recommend to people who are under psychological or physical stress, or whom I found hyper active due to higher adrenaline and cortisol levels and people having central obesity due to higher blood sugar levels and cortisol levels. It works wonder for Women when it comes to lowering cortisol levels for fat loss purpose.
Brand: One brand I personally found very effective is patent Ashwagandha extract called KSM-66. Many brands are available containing KSM-66