Ashwagandha is one of those trending supplements that has seemed to pop up overnight. However, that isn't exactly true. While yes, it has quickly grown in popularity, it has actually been around for some time now.
The supplement itself comes from a root of the ashwagandha oil plant, which is typically harvested in India.
Used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine, there's a reason why it has remained in the natural health community for thousands of years: proven results.
But what are these results, how does the ashwagandha oil benefit your body and should you take it?
We've got the answers for you right here.
The Many Uses of Ashwagandha Oil
As an adaptogen, not everyone will experience the same benefits of the oil. That's because it depends greatly on the current chemical balance of your body and the stress levels you are dealing with. Each every single person is a little bit different, most will experience slightly differently results.
In general, it is used to help you better cope with stress and anxiety.
The two are often tightly related. Stress leads to anxiety, which can lead to depression. When you are hit with stress, your body will release chemicals to help you cope with it.
However, over time, the more stress you deal with the more strained your adrenal gland is, which results in two different problems.
First, your body requires higher levels of the chemical as it begins to adapt to the amount originally released.
Second, when your adrenal gland becomes stressed, it no longer is able to produce the necessary amount, which can lead to anxiety and depression.
As ashwagandha oil helps regulate your body and it's chemical production, you're less likely to feel stressed, which cuts down on your chance of moving into the anxiety and depressed stages.
Beyond anxiety and other, connected issues, the oil is often used when treating skin conditions. Some have used it for the loss of pigment in areas of the body (known as leukoderma), or with swelling following an injury.
It can also be used to treat wounds thanks to the anti-inflammatory elements found within the oil.
Of the different ways you are able to take the ashwagandha, the oil form is best for external skin conditions.
Other medical issues ashwagandha oil has been known to help with includes asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis and liver disease.
Many have successfully used ashwagandha oil as a method for treating fertility issues, such as erectile dysfunction. It has been shown to help increase sexual arousal within those who regularly take the supplement, which is another benefit of the oil.
The exact dosage is usually going to vary a bit, depending on the reason for you to take it. Your age, gender and current health may also impact the exact dosage you should take.
Due to this, it is generally best to discuss taking ashwagandha oil with your doctor ahead of time. If you are on medication for lowering your blood pressure you should not take the oil.
Additionally, you should avoid the oil if you are pregnant or nursing.
Now, while the exact dosage is going to vary a bit depending on these different personal attributes, there are some general guidelines with regards to ashwagandha oil.
If the oil is in a gel capsule, you should begin with a 300 mg supplement in the morning with breakfast. You'll want to start out with a lower dosage amount and begin to work yourself up.
Taking a large dosage amount right away may cause an upset stomach, gas, heart burn and other digestive issues as your body adjusts to it being in the system.
It's best to always start small with any supplement you take and begin to move up from there.
So for starters, begin with the 300 mg supplement in the morning, once a day. If the ashwagandha oil is in liquid form you'll want to check the labeling to identify exactly how much is 300 mg.
You can add this into your morning tea, protein shake, oatmeal or however else you'd like to take it.
After several days of 300 mg in the morning, add a second 300 mg dosage to the evening.
Again, you'll want to continue at this dosage for at least several days. If you feel slight indigestion or heart burn, don't move on to the next step. You'll want to continue on at this dosage.
If after a week or two you are still suffering from digestive problems you should either drop your dosage back down to a single 300 mg level once a day, or stop all together.
After several days of this, as long as you still feel good and are not experiencing any kind of discomfort, it's okay to double your dosage to 600 mg in the morning and 600 mg in the evening.
Now, there may be times where your recommend dosage is far greater than this. Dosage requirements will shift depending on the desired result and the reason for why you're taking it.
When this is the case, you'll want to follow this same dosage suggestion and continue to build up the amount you take slowly but surely.
If you begin to suffer any kind of undesired side effects it is perfectly fine to lower your dosage back down.
When to Avoid Taking
In general, as long as you follow the dosage instructions it's perfectly safe to take ashwagandha oil.
However, there are a handful of instances where you should avoid it. We briefly mentioned earlier to not take it while pregnant or if you're on medication to lower your blood pressure.
On top of this you should also avoid it if you have medication for thyroid hormone production.
Taking the ashwagandha oil on top of it may increase thrypoid hormone production.
As an adaptogen, the ashwagandha extract helps improve your body's ability to deal with stress and regulate chemical levels. While it doesn't directly attack one aspect of your body, it instead improves your overall wellbeing.
And when you think about if, do you know any single person who, if asked, "would you like to improve your overall wellbeing," would say no?
Well that's exactly what the extract and ashwagandha oil is able to do for you.
While it's just now starting to receive the attention it rightfully deserves, it doesn't reduce the value of adding it to your diet.
So if you want to begin better regulating your stress levels while also improving your body's chemical balance, adding the ashwagandha oil may be perfect for you.