Inflammatory diseases are on the rise. As we age, our bodies develop inflammation and oxidative stress as a natural defense against disease.
Some say it’s due to increased environmental pollutants, lifestyle choices, and improper diet.
Others say it’s due to the increasing number of people who are overweight or obese.
Whatever the case may be, there’s no doubt that inflammatory diseases are a big problem.
But what can be done to fight them?
When it comes to chronic inflammation, many people turn to anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
While these drugs may seem like a good idea, they can be more harmful than helpful.
For example, a study found that taking a daily dose of ibuprofen can increase the risk of stomach cancer by as much as 45 percent, and naproxen can increase the risk of breast cancer by 23 percent.
One answer may lie in ashwagandha, a herb known for its many health benefits.
Read on to learn more about this powerful herb and its impact on inflammatory diseases.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb used in India for centuries. The name ashwagandha is derived from the Sanskrit words “ashva,” meaning horse and “gandha,” meaning smell. The herb is so named because of its strong horse-like smell.
Ashwagandha is a small shrub that grows in the dry regions of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, and Africa.
The plant has small white flowers and dark green leaves. The roots and leaves of the plant are used to make medicine.
Ashwagandha is most commonly used for stress and anxiety. It is also used for improving thinking ability, memory, and concentration.
Other uses include treating arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, kidney disease, sexual dysfunction, and skin conditions.
The chemical constituents of ashwagandha include alkaloids, saponins, sterols, and tannins.
The herb has various pharmacological effects, including adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, anti-tumor, immunomodulatory, and neuroprotective effects.
Ashwagandha is a safe and effective herbal remedy for many conditions.
However, as with all supplements, it is crucial to speak with a healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha or other herbal remedies.
Related: What Ashwagandha is Good for? Science-Backed Health Benefits
Ashwagandha and Inflammatory Diseases: How does it work?
Studies suggest that ashwagandha works by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
This action helps reduce inflammation throughout the body and may help improve inflammatory disease symptoms.
The human body is constantly under attack by foreign invaders, bacteria, viruses, or other harmful agents.
To fight back, the body mounts an immune response that involves inflammation. This is a natural process that helps them heal and defends themselves.
However, sometimes the body’s inflammatory response goes into overdrive.
This can happen when the body is fighting an infection or injury or reacting to something that’s not harmful.
When this happens, inflammation can become chronic and lead to various diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
Fortunately, there are several natural substances that can help to modulate the body’s inflammatory response. One of these is ashwagandha.
The main active ingredient in ashwagandha is Withaferin A, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
How does it work?
Recent studies have shown that ashwagandha can help to reduce inflammation in various ways; it can inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, enzymes, and other factors. It can also stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory substances, such as interleukin-10.
In addition, ashwagandha has been shown to boost the activity of regulatory T cells, which help to keep the immune response in check.
These effects make ashwagandha a powerful tool for treating inflammatory diseases.
If you suffer from any chronic inflammatory condition, it may be worth trying ashwagandha to see if it can help.
Modern Research on Ashwagandha’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Ashwagandha is a popular herbal remedy in India and has been used for centuries to treat various ailments.
Modern science is now beginning to uncover the mechanisms behind ashwagandha’s therapeutic effects, and new research is revealing that this ancient herb may be a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
Ashwagandha has been shown to modulate the inflammatory response, and new research is beginning to elucidate the mechanisms behind this effect.
One study found that ashwagandha could inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in human cells.
Cytokines are small proteins involved in cell signaling and play a vital role in the inflammatory response.
By inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, ashwagandha may help to reduce the severity of inflammatory diseases.
Another study showed that ashwagandha could suppress the expression of genes involved in inflammation.
The study found that the herb was able to down-regulate the expression of genes that promote inflammation while up-regulating the expression of genes that have anti-inflammatory effects.
This suggests that ashwagandha may be able to help modulate the body’s inflammatory response.
Overall, the research on ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory effects is still in its early stages.
However, the evidence suggests that this ancient herb may be a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
As more research is conducted, we may see ashwagandha being used more frequently to treat inflammatory diseases.
The Benefits of Ashwagandha for Inflammatory Diseases: What Does the Research Say?
If you suffer from an inflammatory disease, you may want to consider taking ashwagandha.
One study found that it was effective in treating arthritis. Another study showed that it could help to reduce inflammation in the gut.
There are several other benefits of taking ashwagandha as well. It can help to improve your cognitive function and reduce stress levels. It is also thought to boost your immune system.
Related: 18 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Quinoa
The Risks of Ashwagandha for Inflammatory Diseases: What Do the Experts Say?
When it comes to herbal remedies, few have as long and storied a history as ashwagandha.
In recent years, ashwagandha has gained popularity as a natural treatment for inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Several studies have looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of ashwagandha. One study, published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research, found that ashwagandha effectively reduced inflammation in rats with Crohn’s disease.
Another study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, found that ashwagandha was able to reduce inflammation in rats with arthritis.
So far, the research on ashwagandha and inflammatory diseases is promising.
However, it’s important to remember that these studies were done on animals, not humans.
More research is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of ashwagandha in humans.
There are a few potential risks of ashwagandha for inflammatory diseases.
First, ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, such as steroids. If you’re taking any medications, you must talk to your doctor before taking ashwagandha.
Secondly, ashwagandha may lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you should talk to your doctor before taking ashwagandha.
Lastly, some people may be allergic to ashwagandha. If you’re allergic to other herbs, such as ginseng, there’s a possibility you may also be allergic to ashwagandha.
Overall, the risks of ashwagandha for inflammatory diseases appear to be minimal.
However, more research is needed to determine the safety and efficacy of this herb in humans.
Talk to your doctor if you’re considering taking ashwagandha for inflammatory disease.
So what is the ideal ashwagandha dosage for inflammation?
General doses of ashwagandha range from 250-500 mg per day, but it’s best to start with a lower amount and increase gradually as needed.
Possible Side Effects of Ashwagandha
The most common side effect of ashwagandha is gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea or indigestion. If you experience gastrointestinal symptoms after taking ashwagandha, stop taking the supplement and see your doctor.
Ashwagandha may also cause thyroid problems in some people. If you have a history of thyroid problems or take medication for thyroid conditions, speak with your doctor before taking ashwagandha.
The Bottom Line
Ashwagandha is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Its ability to reduce inflammation is due to its high concentration of withanolides.
Additionally, ashwagandha treats other diseases such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Therefore, ashwagandha may be an effective treatment option if you are suffering from an inflammatory disease.
FAQs | Ashwagandha for Inflammation
Is ashwagandha an anti-inflammatory?
Yes, ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been demonstrated to help treat inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and Crohn’s disease by reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Is ashwagandha good for nerve pain?
Ashwagandha does have anti-inflammatory effects. It has been demonstrated to help lower joint inflammation and can help decrease inflammation throughout the body.
Does ashwagandha reduce inflammation?
Ashwagandha may help to reduce inflammation. In one study, participants who took ashwagandha had lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, than those who did not. More research, however, is needed to confirm these findings.
Other Articles in This Series
- Ashwagandha Skin Benefits You Didn’t Know About
- Ashwagandha and Heart Health
- Amazing Health Benefits of Ashwagandha for Diabetes
- Ashwagandha for Infertility: Does It Work?
- The Truth About Ashwagandha for Stress and Anxiety
- Is Ashwagandha Good for Sleeping?
- Link Between Ashwagandha and Breast Cancer (or Any Cancer)
- Ashwagandha and Immune System
- Chronic Fatigue | Does Ashwagandha Give You Energy?
- Benefits of Ashwagandha for Arthritis
- Does Ashwagandha Help with Depression?
- 11 Benefits of Ashwagandha for Menopause
- 3 Proven Ashwagandha Benefits for Sexual Dysfunction (Based on Research)
- Ashwagandha and Parkinson’s (Should You Try It?)
- Ashwagandha for Alzheimer’s Disease | What Does Science Say?
- PubMed Central: Tackling Chronic Inflammation with Withanolide Phytochemicals—A Withaferin A Perspective
- NIH/ClinicalTrials: Ashwagandha: Effects on Stress, Inflammation and Immune Cell Activation
- Science Direct: Evaluation of Anti-inflammatory Effect of Ashwagandha: A Preliminary Study in vitro
- PubMed: Studies on immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) extracts in experimental immune inflammation
- PubMed: Ashwagandha root extract exerts anti‑inflammatory effects in HaCaT cells by inhibiting the MAPK/NF‑κB pathways and by regulating cytokines
- MensHealth: Complete Guide to Ashwagandha and Its Benefits
- Wild Nutrition: 5 Healthy Benefits of Ashwagandha
Featured Photo by Flickr
Editor’s Note: It is important to note that the information contained in this health article is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult a healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. The content in this health article is based on the opinions of the author and should not be taken as medical advice. The author is not a medical doctor or healthcare professional. The information in this article is provided “as is” and carries no warranties. This information does not replace the advice of a healthcare professional.
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