TRADITIONAL USES OF ASHWAGANDHA
Ashwagandha root has been used for centuries. So, what makes it so attractive and why has it been used for so long? Traditionally, before we could determine via scientific studies what effects Ashwagandha had on the body, Ashwagandha was already being used for many of the same applications as it currently is. It was mainly used in India, in Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenator, relieving the body from fatigue and stress.
Other potential Ashwagandha benefits include:
Promoting healthy levels of inflammation
Promoting healthy cognitive function
Promoting physical strength
ASHWAGANDHA BRAIN HEALTH BENEFITS
The withanolides have also been shown to promote overall brain health. They can achieve this by providing robust neuroprotective effects through normalizing elevated glutamate levels. Glutamate is an important excitatory neurotransmitter. In normal levels, glutamate helps us form and store memories. However, in abnormally high levels, it can cause damage to our brain cells. By normalizing glutamate levels, Ashwagandha can help promote overall brain health.
The glycowithanolides in contrast to the withanolides are not as stress reducing. Rather, they appear to be very neuroprotective and calming. Various studies have shown that glycowithanolides can help promote relaxation and a positive mood. One of the mechanisms by which glycowithanolides appear to achieve this is by normalizing the levels of tribulin. Levels of tribulin increase when stress levels are elevated and may cause feelings of restlessness and a gloomy mood. Via reducing tribulin levels, Ashwagandha may help regulate these feelings of restlessness and instead may promote relaxation and a positive mood.
Ashwagandha benefits also appear to extend to the GABA system. Ashwagandha does this by enhancing signaling through the GABA A receptor, which is one of the primary inhibitory receptors in the brain. By enhancing signaling through the GABA A receptor, Ashwagandha may be able to promote significant feelings of relaxation, which may even translate to improved sleep quality!