Ashwagandha is a potent herb that has been used in Ayurveda for a variety of conditions. Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse” in Sanskrit because it is said that the herb has the vigor and strength of a horse. It is primarily used to boost the body’s immune defense as well as the cognitive function.
Due to its remarkable medicinal value, this herb falls under the category of Rasayana in Ayurvedic system of medicine. Rasayana means it is used to promote physical and mental health, to provide defense against disease, and to slow the process of aging.
What Makes Ashwagandha Special?
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a class of plants and herbs that help to bring the body’s stress response to normal levels. Such herbs make us more resilient at times of stress (physical /emotional) and restore a state of balance. Adaptogens are revered in Ayurvedic healing because they act as boosters without the effects of a stimulant.
How Does Ashwagandha Boost Immunity?
The antioxidants and withanolides found in Ashwagandha play a major role in its ability to boost your immune system. Studies show that withanolides exhibit antimicrobial, antitumor, and immuno-modulating properties.
Improves Antibody Production: Research shows that Ashwagandha increases the production of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that play an essential role in the immune system by fighting bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Antibodies are like soldiers that fight against invading bacteria and other foreign bodies such as allergens. Antibodies engulf and digest the toxins and eliminate them from your body in the form of mucus, or flush them out as sweat, urine, and feces.
Increases Nitric Oxide Production: Ashwagandha increases the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is responsible for activating macrophage actions of the immune system and improves the ability to ingest invader cells. Studies show that the body naturally increases nitric oxide production in the face of infection, which accounts for a part of the immune-boosting effects of the herb.
Promotes Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Ashwagandha helps lower inflammation by reducing the number of C-reactive protein in the body. Lowering chronic inflammation helps your immune system to perform efficiently by improving the action of Natural Killer cells. Natural killer cells are a part of the innate immune system, and they play a critical role in host-rejection of both tumors and viral-infected cells. Research shows that Ashwagandha helps to increase the natural killer cells in humans studies.
Ashwagandha has many beneficial compounds such as flavonoids, antioxidants like glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase which help enhance the body’s immune resistance. It also contains amino acids like tryptophan, other favorable compounds like lignans, triterpenes, and neurotransmitters all of which contribute to its therapeutic effects. Studies also show that Ashwagandha’s variety of therapeutic effects come with little or no toxic effects. So it is a safe herb to be taken as a supplement.
If you have an under-functioning immune system, taking Ashwagandha supplements alongside a nutritious meal can be a game changer. It is an easy and effective way to boost your immune system safely. It is also important to make sure your Ashwagandha supplement is 100% natural with no additives like coloring, flavoring or preservatives.
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