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27
DEC

Why You Need Withania

Filed Under: Herbs at 8:00 am | By: Dr. Jeremy Wolf, ND & Lead Wellness Advisor
ashwa

 

Withania somnifera more commonly known as Ashwagandha is a plant from the subtropical parts of India and Middle Eastern countries. It belongs to the solanaceae family or nightshade family.  In botanical and Ayurvedic medicine this herb has been indicated for chronic stress, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, auto-immune disease, male infertility, and numerous other medical conditions.

Withania promotes a calming effect on the body. In fact, the term somnifera  means “sleep inducing” in Latin, so it is no wonder why herbalist and other practitioners use it for insomnia.  It helps people who experience insomnia as a result of stress maladaptation and ayurvedic herbalists use it to reestablish long-term sleep rhythms. A research article looked at the role of Withania in sleep disturbed rats. They found that pretreatment with Withania somnifera shortened sleep latency, decreased waking, increased NREM, and increased total sleep time.

Withania medicinal properties does not just stop at its role in insomnia, Ashwagandha has also been shown to enhance fertility. In a study done on infertile males, researchers found that withania was able to recover the quality of semen of post-treated compared to pre-treated infertile men.  They concluded that due to the herbs ability to repair multiple disturbed compounds in semen, it can improve the quality of semen, and improve energy production.  It may be used as an empirical therapy for the clinical management and treatment of male infertility.

Lastly, withania elicits immune modulating effects and antitumor activity. It mobilizes the white blood cells making them more capable of protecting the body. In vitro studies done on withanolides (the compounds found in withania) showed these compounds had the ability to inhibit the growth of human breast, lung, and colon cancer cell lines.  Also, withania’s ability to increase red blood cell counts makes it useful for those undergoing chemotherapy that are exhausted or anemic.

 




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