Looking to find out more about ashwagandha benefits for women? We’ve got you covered. Read on for its potential uses, side effects, and more.
You’re not alone if you’re curious about ashwagandha benefits for women.
The market is growing at a rapid pace, set to reach $102.72 million by 2029.
So is it worth all the hype?
It certainly looks promising—but it’s complex.
Ashwagandha has been used for millennia in the Ayurveda tradition as a medicinal herb with various uses.
But while there’s been a surge of recent interest in the plant, further studies are needed to confirm exactly how it works in our bodies.
We’ll take you through the details.
In this article: 📝
- What is ashwagandha?
- What are the benefits of ashwagandha for women?
- Does ashwagandha help women’s hormones?
- Is ashwagandha safe for women?
- Ashwagandha benefits for women: the bottom line
What is ashwagandha?
You may know this plant as winter cherry. (Or, if you’re really fancy, Withania somnifera.)
But ashwagandha is likely the most descriptive of its names.
It comes from the Sanskrit word ashva, which means “horse.”
And the root of this plant is said to smell like a horse!
That’s why, in its medicinal usage, this evergreen shrub is said to give you the power of the horse.
In the Ayurveda system of medicine, ashwagandha has been used for various purposes, ranging from an aphrodisiac and narcotic to treatment for constipation, insomnia, and rheumatism.
It’s also been used to treat inflammation, boils, pimples, and snake bites when applied directly to the skin.
From its ancient roots, it’s now been thrown into the limelight, and its numerous potential uses are being explored.
What are the benefits of ashwagandha for women?
While the research is young, the benefits appear to be vast.
1. Improve sexual arousal, satisfaction, and lubrication
Some research suggests that ashwagandha may improve sexual function in women.
This study, for example, looked at categories including arousal, satisfaction, lubrication, and orgasming—and orally taking ashwagandha appeared to have benefits all around.
2. Lower blood sugar and fat
Recent research has also shown some encouraging results in ashwagandha’s ability to lower blood sugar and fat safely.
3. Help with PCOS symptoms
And if you’ve heard of the benefits of ashwagandha for PCOS, the research is inconclusive, but it does show promise.
PCOS comes with a range of symptoms, including higher blood sugar levels, fatigue, and stress.
The potential perks of this plant could help with some of these.
4. Stress and anxiety relief
Most importantly, ashwagandha is said to be an adaptogen—a plant that can affect how our bodies deal with stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
That’s why it’s also called Indian Ginseng, a comparison with a herbal supplement used in Chinese medicine with similar effects.
Various studies have shown some promising results in this area.
This recent investigation showed that ashwagandha might affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Um, sorry, what?!
More than just a tongue twister, this is a crucial part of your neuroendocrine system.
It has all sorts of essential jobs in your body, including controlling stress, regulating mood, and helping with your immune and digestive systems.
Ashwagandha may get to work on this axis by interacting with a neurotransmitter called GABA, which produces a calming effect in our bodies.
But at this point, the concept of adaptogens is still understudied—and preliminary results (Rupr.) confirming these properties in certain plants don’t yet include ashwagandha.
So, basically, it’s all very promising but there are still lots of questions left to answer.
Further studies are needed to see exactly how this plant affects our bodies.
Does ashwagandha help women’s hormones?
The story of ashwagandha and female hormones is complicated.
This recent study, for example, showed that the shrub may increase estradiol levels and reduce levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
If you’re going through perimenopause, this can significantly affect the symptoms you might be experiencing.
But the reality is we just don’t know enough yet to be able to say exactly how this happens and whether it will have any negative effects in the long term.
Is ashwagandha safe for women?
The golden rule here is to check in with your doctor before taking ashwagandha, to see if it’s a good idea for you.
Everyone’s health situation is different, and what works for one person may not be ideal for another.
Ashwagandha may interact with other medications you are taking.
And it’s best to avoid it if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an autoimmune disorder.
If you do decide to take it, there are some possible side effects to be aware of, the most common of which are drowsiness and digestive issues.
In rare cases, cold and cough symptoms have been reported, as well as hallucinations, vertigo, and blurred vision.
It may also cause nausea, cramps, constipation, rashes, and a dry mouth.
Like all supplements, adaptogens are not strictly regulated by the FDA, meaning you can’t be exactly sure what you’re taking.
This is important because some ashwagandha pills were shown to contain high levels of lead, which caused rare cases of a blood condition called hemolytic anemia.
Ashwagandha benefits for women: the bottom line
This plant has been used for millennia as a treatment for various ailments.
And while it all looks really promising, more research is needed to confirm its benefits.
If you’d like to give it a go, check in with your doctor to see if it’s a good fit for you. ❤️
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