Meghan Markle takes Ashwagandha as supplement during pregnancy: 5 facts to know about the Indian herb  |  Photo Credit: Instagram
As with most things, the British royal family is very particular about their health care and Meghan Markle is no exception, reports the UK publication Cheatsheet. Prince Harry’s wife has an impressive wellness routine which includes a dedicated yoga practice, saatvik aahaar or clean-eating habits, and a collection of supplements which includes the Ayurvedic medicine called Ashwagandha (derived from the powdered root of the Ashwagandha shrub) – the Indian Ginseng that promises good health and the power to deal with stress.
This powerful Ayurvedic healing-herb has been used since ancient times for its restorative and rejuvenating benefits. In Sanskrit ‘ashwa-gandha’ means “the smell of a horse”, which some say indicates that the herb has the potential to impart the vigour and strength of a stallion.
Amazing health benefits of Ashwagandha
Here are five things about the ‘magical herb’ that the users of Ashwagandha swear by:
- Stress-buster Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, which means that it helps the body to adapt. Adaptogens are substances that are a combination of amino acids, vitamins, and herbs, which when ingested, modulate your response to stress or a changing environment. Regular usage of Ashwagandha helps beat external stresses such as air pollution and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia.
- Ashwagandha is known as a brain tonic: Ashwagandha is said to have neuroprotective qualities that help improve memory and brain functioning. It helps prevent nerve degeneration as it also promotes antioxidant activity. Regular intake of Ashwagandha improves brain functioning but also enhances your reflexes and responses to things. This madhya rasayan helps one live longer,
- Ashwagandha as a preventive drug for diabetes: Ashwagandha finds strong support within Ayurveda as a remedy for diabetes. A research report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695282/) revealed that the flavonoids found in the roots and leaves of this Indian herb (Ashwagandha) are used to cure diabetes. The scientists carried out experiments on diabetic rats and concluded that Ashwagandha possesses antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic properties, leading to a substantial reduction in the blood sugar levels in diabetic rats. This study was carried out in 2009.
- Thyroid, Cancer, Immunity issues: Ashwagandha nails them all: In cases of hypothyroidism, Ashwagandha is said to stimulate the thyroid gland and increase the secretion of thyroid hormones. Naturopathic doctor, Marie Winters, in a research study, published in the Alternative Medicine Review says that along with prescribed radiation therapy and chemotherapy, taking Ashwagandha helps reduce the side effects of chemotherapy without messing with the tumour cell-killing activity. Elevated levels of stress can inhibit the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Ashwagandha helps immunity reconfigure.
- The ancient cure for infertility? Ashwagandha as a potency medicine? Ashwagandha may help boost fertility and promote reproductive health, especially among males. The study studied patients with varying sperm motility, erectile dysfunction etc. A paper published in the US in 2013 concluded that “The present study suggests a potential role of high-concentration, a full-spectrum root extract of Ashwagandha in treating male infertility, which needs further exploration.” Sexual problems in women, including difficulty reaching orgasm and fertility, are said to respond positively to Ashwagandha.
Medical Caution: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner before using any of the medicines, including Ashwagandha – mentioned above.