Additionally, in a 4-week study in people with schizophrenia, those treated with ashwagandha had an average reduction in fasting blood sugar levels of 13.5 mg/dL, compared with 4.5 mg/dL in those who received a placebo (
Animal and test-tube studies have found that withaferin — a compound in ashwagandha — helps induce apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells (
It also impedes the growth of new cancer cells in several ways (
First, withaferin is believed to promote the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside cancer cells, disrupting their function. Second, it may cause cancer cells to become less resistant to apoptosis (
Animal studies suggest that it may help treat several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer (
In one study, mice with ovarian tumors treated with withaferin alone or in combination with an anti-cancer drug showed a 70–80% reduction in tumor growth. The treatment also prevented the spread of cancer to other organs (
Although no evidence suggests that ashwagandha exerts similar effects in humans, the current research is encouraging.
Cortisol is known as a stress hormone given that your adrenal glands release it in response to stress, as well as when your blood sugar levels get too low.
Unfortunately, in some cases, cortisol levels may become chronically elevated, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and increased fat storage in the abdomen.
In one study in chronically stressed adults, those who supplemented with ashwagandha had significantly greater reductions in cortisol, compared with the control group. Those taking the highest dose experienced a 30% reduction, on average (3).
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress.
Researchers have reported that it blocked the stress pathway in the brains of rats by regulating chemical signaling in the nervous system (
In a 60-day study in 64 people with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group (
In another 6-week study, 88% of people who took ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety, compared with 50% of those who took a placebo (
In one controlled 60-day study in 64 stressed adults, those who took 600 mg of high-concentration ashwagandha extract per day reported a 79% reduction in severe depression, while the placebo group reported a 10% increase (
However, only one of the participants in this study had a history of depression. For this reason, the relevance of the results is unclear.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, ashwagandha may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Animal studies have found that it significantly decreases levels of these blood fats.
One study in rats found that it lowered total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 53% and nearly 45%, respectively (
In a 60-day study in chronically stressed adults, the group taking the highest dosage of standardized ashwagandha extract experienced a 17% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides, on average (3).
The best way to measure antioxidant activity is using the ORAC test. Here’s how 100 grams tests out compared to other superfoods:
It tests out at being 55x higher than blueberries and 1.5x higher than acai! The only fruit that ranks higher is the coffee cherry, but that’s assuming you don’t count the inner bean (seed) in the measurement.
Given its potency, maybe eating just a little bit of amla per day isn’t so bad after all!
If you think orange juice is high in vitamin C, think again.
For starters, all of the OJ for sale in the U.S. is pasteurized. That destroys the vitamin C content. Unless you are buying the expensive cold-pressed version, brands like Tropicana, Minute Maid, and Florida’s Natural all use synthetic ascorbic acid which is added in after pasteurization. Over 80% of ascorbic acid is made in China. (1)
Compared to fresh oranges, Indian gooseberries have 20-30x the concentration of vitamin C. The raw powder is a rich source, too. (2)
Ginger has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Gingerol acts on vanilloid receptors, which are located on sensory nerve endings. Again, similar to the initial intense burning feel you get when you consume spicy pepper, ginger’s burn only lasts but a second, and researchers discovered that it “affects the pain pathways directly but also relieves the inflammation, which in itself causes pain.”
Ginger is also very very powerful in improving your digestive function.At the same time, ginger also appears to have beneficial effects on the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, and to increase motility through the digestive tract. This suggests ginger couldhelp prevent colon cancer and constipation. Ginger supports your digestion because of its prebiotics content, which is plant-based fiber that causes good bacteria to grow in your digestive tract. If you have any sort of intestinal inflammation, warning signs that you have GI inflammation — things like psoriasis or eczema, acne, any sort of skin blemishes, and basically any warning sign that you probably have inflammation in your digestive track — ginger has been proven to be very effective at reducing inflammation and also supporting your digestive system health.