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Ashwagandha—weight loss, chronic stress and cardiorespiratory endurance

Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It can provide many benefits including support for the immune system. It also has high antioxidant properties and adaptogenic characteristics that help the body adjust to stress.   

Weight loss

Chronic stress has a link to many health conditions, one of the most common being obesity. In one study, 52 adults under chronic stress took a placebo or 300 mg of ashwagandha twice per day.

After eight weeks, the placebo group had lost 1.5 percent of body weight compared to 3 percent for those taking ashwagandha. Body mass index (BMI) scores also improved, with the placebo group improving 1.4 percent and the ashwagandha group improving 3 percent.

Endurance

In another study, doctors wanted to test the effects of ashwagandha on endurance and quality of life in healthy adults. They recruited 50 adults with normal BMI scores and had them take a placebo or 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice per day.

After eight weeks, compared to the start of the study, those taking ashwagandha saw an increase in maximum oxygen capacity 3.5 times greater than the placebo group. After 12 weeks, those taking ashwagandha saw a further 15 percent increase in maximum oxygen capacity, which was also three times greater than the increase in the placebo group. Those taking ashwagandha reported better psychological health as well as more positive social relationships.

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