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_A Brief Guide to ASHWAGANDHA FOR MEN'S HEALTH

Health & Wellness

Ashwagandha for Men’s Health — A Guide

There is a lot of misinformation out there in the world of health and fitness. It is all too easy to fall prey to one of two logical 'traps' as a man trying to navigate the world of nutrition: 1) Dismiss herbal remedies as being a load of rubbish, and to assume that all supplements are a waste of money. 2) Buy into the 'natural health' industry and spend a fortune on supplements believing that they will all work. Both of these extremes have their flaws. The truth is that the world of health and fitness is complex and that men do have a number of things they need to take into consideration that women do not. There are certain conditions that men are at a greater risk of, and they need to approach cardiovascular health, diabetes, and depression in a slightly different way than women.1 The basics of health are the same, however, sometimes taking a more targeted approach to nutrition and supplementation can be beneficial. [post-carousel /]

Ashwagandha for Men

Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that is known as an 'adaptogen', which means that it can help the body respond better to stress.2 It has been popular throughout history and is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine. It is thought that it can have a lot of beneficial effects, in particular for men. Let's take a look at some of the primary effects of this herb.

Improving Strength

Ashwagandha has been found to have a beneficial effect on strength and cardiovascular fitness, which makes it a great choice for men (and women) who play sports or who are interested in their overall fitness.3 It has been found to be useful for improving cardiovascular endurance. Even if you are not planning on running a marathon any time soon, that's a hard benefit to ignore!

Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Another benefit of the herb which is backed by studies is that of reducing stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha can help to reduce feelings of stress and improve overall wellbeing in adults that are struggling with stress.4 Both men and women experience stress, but the way that it manifests can differ dramatically, as can responses to it, and many of the common social coping mechanisms for stress are seen as less 'acceptable' for men.5 While it remains important for men to have a healthy outlet for stress, having supplementation options that can reduce stress can be incredibly beneficial.

Neuroprotective

There are some initial studies which suggest that Ashwagandha could be a 'rejuvenator', protecting mitochondrial health and potentially having a neuroprotective effect.6 These studies are still early ones, but the cognitive health improvements that it is thought to offer could stand someone in good stead as they get older.

Improved Sleep

Ashwagandha is thought to help improve sleep, and to help those who are suffering from insomnia to doze off. What is particularly interesting about its effectiveness as a sleep enhancer is that unlike sleeping pills, the sleep that is promoted by Ashwagandha is very similar to normal sleep.7 If you have ever found that taking sleeping pills leaves you 'zonked out' but that you do not really feel any more refreshed when you wake up, then this could be a boon for you.  Ashwagandha will help you to really recharge your mental batteries.

Weight Control

One issue that a lot of men struggle with is keeping their weight at a healthy BMI. Weight is important, especially as we get older because being overweight or obese can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.8 There is some evidence to suggest that Ashwagandha can be helpful for weight management, in particular in men who are suffering from chronic stress.9

Improved Sexual Health

Ashwagandha is often marketed to men as a way of helping with erectile dysfunction, and there is evidence to show that it can indeed help with this issue.10 Researchers are unclear, however, as to whether Ashwagandha is directly acting as an aid to getting and maintaining an erection, or whether it works by some other mode of action. Stress, anxiety, and circulatory issues are all co-morbid with erectile dysfunction, so helping to reduce those issues could help to improve a person's ability to maintain an erection. Further studies would be required in order to determine the way that Ashwagandha works. It is fair to say, however, that many people who have mild sexual performance issues can benefit from taking Ashwagandha.

Is Ashwagandha Safe?

So far, there have been no long term studies into the safety of Ashwagandha supplements. However, for most people, it is thought to be safe to take Ashwagandha in the quantities that are found in the average over the counter supplement.11 Some people do report mild to moderate side-effects such as an upset stomach or a headache when they take supplements, but these do not usually cause for concern. There are some instances where Ashwagandha use would be contraindicated. This supplement can lower your blood pressure and also lower your blood sugar. In addition, it may increase your thyroid hormone levels. Therefore, those who have blood pressure issues, are diabetic or pre-diabetic, or are taking prescription medication for thyroid issues should speak to their doctor before taking supplements that contain Ashwagandha. It may be best to avoid the substance altogether because it could interact with your medication. Ashwagandha can be a good part of a preventative health care regimen for many people, however, it is not a good idea to use it as a medicinal treatment for a more serious underlying health condition. If you have a health issue and it does not get better after a few days, then you should see your doctor. Studies show that worldwide, men tend to have lower levels of health literacy and are less willing to go to the doctor.12 Do not make yourself a statistic by failing to access potentially life-saving health care.

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In Conclusion

In addition to Ashwagandha, many people find that aromatherapy can help them feel better in their well-being. MONQ’s Healthy Blend is intended to help you access your deeper feelings of healthiness, making you more content just through breathing! Photo credits: PaulBiryukov/shutterstock.com, ThanineeChuensomchit/shutterstock.com, AndriiVodolazhskyi/shutterstock.com, KateAedon/shutterstock.com, ArtemOleshko/shutterstock.com, OlenaYakobchuk/shutterstock.com, IndianFoodImages/shutterstock.com

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