(Natural News) Chronic stress is associated with many health problems, including weight gain and obesity. Researchers in India suggest people who are chronically stressed to consider taking ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) to prevent weight gain and obesity. Ashwagandha is a common adaptogen and is known for reducing stress and anxiety.
The researchers aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the root extract of ashwagandha in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. For the study, they recruited 52 individuals under chronic stress and gave them either 300 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha or placebo twice every day for eight weeks.
The researchers used the Perceived Stress Scale and Food Cravings Questionnaire, as well as the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, and Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire. They also measured the serum cortisol, body weight, and body mass index (BMI) of the participants. The measurements were done at the beginning of the study, the fourth week, and the eighth week.
The results of the study, which were published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, revealed that chronically stressed individuals who took ashwagandha root extract exhibited reductions in psychological and physiological markers of stress. The ashwagandha treatment also improved their mental well-being and reduced serum cortisol levels.
In addition, ashwagandha root extract reduced the participants’ food cravings and improved their eating behaviors. Those who received the ashwagandha treatment experienced reductions in body weight and BMI. The ashwagandha treatment was also found to be safe and tolerable.
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The researchers concluded that ashwagandha root extract is a safe and effective remedy for managing body weight in people undergoing chronic stress.
More on ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, which belongs to the nightshade family, is also known as Indian ginseng and winter cherry. In herbal medicine, ashwagandha root is made into powders and tinctures. This plant has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 years.
In addition to ashwagandha’s ability to reduce stress and prevent weight gain, it also has the potential to heal wounds. Traditionally, its fresh leaves were applied topically to heal joint pains, skin sores, and to reduce swelling. It can also be used to boost energy, stamina, and endurance. It can be used as a general body tonic, making you feel stronger and healthier. (Related: Ashwagandha root for effective anxiety and stress relief, improved immunity.)
This herb is also a promising alternative treatment for many brain degenerative diseases due to its ability to promote the growth of nerve cells. It has also exhibited an ability to protect the brain cells from the harmful effects of the environment.
Ashwagandha can also boost overall immunity, and can be a promising anti-cancer agent as it has been shown to slow the growth of cancerous tumors. It is also good for the endocrine system as it promotes hormone balance. Research suggests it can reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and mood swings.
This herbal medicine also has rejuvenating and calming properties, which makes it a great remedy for insomnia. It works by calming the nervous system, reducing stress, and fighting sleeplessness.
Additionally, the powerful antioxidant properties of ashwagandha make it a great herb for protecting the skin against free radical damage and slowing down the aging process, firming up the skin for a younger look. It also promotes the production of natural skin oils, vital compounds, and proteins that make the skin healthy. It is also used in shampoos as it is said to improve scalp circulation and strengthen the hair. Moreover, it can help eliminate dandruff and prevent the graying of hair by stimulating melanin production.
Read more news stories and studies on the health benefits of ashwagandha by going to AlternativeMedicine.news.