Popularly known as winter cherry, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a widely used herb due to its numerous medicinal and restorative properties.

Ashwagandha protects cells from oxidative damage and stress-related diseases such as depression, high blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions. Being an adaptogen, it improves a person’s ability to cope with stress.[1,2,3,4,5,6] It also improves lower limb muscular strength and neuro-muscular co-ordination.[7]

Besides this, ashwagandha’s antimicrobial properties and antibacterial activities protect against potentially dangerous bacteria, including Salmonella—a bacteria that causes food poisoning.[8]

Ashwagandha For Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
Ashwagandha improves the functioning of the thyroid gland by increasing the secretion of T4 and T3 hormones in the blood, thus reducing lipid peroxidation—the process by which free radicals remove electrons from lipids (fats) in the cell, causing cell damage.[9,10]

Ashwagandha scavenges free radicals to prevent damage to vital organs such as the thyroid gland, heart, liver, skin, and almost all cells of the body.[11] This relieves the body from fatigue, depression, constipation and muscle cramps—all of which are symptoms of hypothyroidism.

How To Take It

  • Ashwagandha can be taken as a fluid extract or supplement. Talk to a naturopath to determine the correct dosage for you.
  • To make ashwagandha tea, pour boiling water on five ashwagandha leaves and let them infuse for 10 minutes. Drink one cup of this decoction in the morning and one in the evening for better results. However, do not have more than two cups per day as a high dose of ashwagandha can lead to thyrotoxicosis (excess of thyroid hormone in the body).[12]
  • You can buy ashwagandha leaves here.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Natural Remedies here.

Read More:
4 Natural Ways To Treat Hypothyroidism
Science Says: Researchers Gain New Insights Into Hypothyroidism

References:

1. Provino R. The role of adaptogens in stress management. Aust J Med Herbal. 2010;22:41–9.

2. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009;4:198–219.

3. Bhattacharya SK, Muruganandam AV. Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: An experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003;75:547–55.

4. Singh G, Sharma PK, Dudhe R, Singh S. Biological activities of Withania somnifera. Ann Biol Res. 2010;1:56–63.

5. Sharma V, Sharma S, Pracheta, Paliwal R. Withania somnifera: A rejuvenating ayurvedic medicinal herb for the treatment of various human ailments. Int J PharmTech Res. 2011;3:187–92.

6. Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. Withania somnifera: An Indian ginseng. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008;32:1093–05

7. Sandhu JS, Shah B, Shenoy S, Chauhan S, Lavekar GS, Padhi MM. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):144-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-7788.72485.

8. Owais M, Sharad KS, Shehbaz A, Saleemuddin M. Antibacterial efficacy of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) an indigenous medicinal plant against experimental murine salmonellosis. Phytomedicine. 2005 Mar;12(3):229-35.

9. Panda S, Kar A. Changes in thyroid hormone concentrations after administration of ashwagandha root extract to adult male mice. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1998 Sep;50(9):1065-8. PubMed PMID: 9811169.

10. Dhuley JN. Effect of ashwagandha on lipid peroxidation in stress-induced animals. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Mar;60(2):173-8. PubMed PMID: 9582008.

11. Panda S, Kar A. Evidence for free radical scavenging activity of Ashwagandha root powder in mice. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997 Oct;41(4):424-6. PubMed PMID: 10235668.

12. van der Hooft CS, Hoekstra A, Winter A, de Smet PA, Stricker BH. [Thyrotoxicosis following the use of ashwagandha]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2005 Nov 19;149(47):2637-8. Dutch. PubMed PMID: 16355578.