Any woman who’s gone through the menopause knows that it’s not a walk in the park. Hot flashes, memory loss and mood swings are all common symptoms of this hormonal shift. But there’s no need to suffer in silence. Ashwagandha has been proven to provide menopausal support – here’s how.
Menopause refers to that time in a woman’s life when her periods stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function. This generally happens between the ages of 45 and 55. As well as causing periods to stop, the menopause can induce a number of symptoms.
Here are just a few:
Low oestrogen levels can trigger depression, anxiety and mood swings, as well as reducing your ability to cope with stressful situations. Plummeting oestrogen levels can also cause ‘brain fog’, which can involve forgetfulness, poor concentration and a general lack of focus.
Hot flushes are among the most common of menopause symptoms, and also the most troubling. As oestrogen levels drop, the hypothalamus can be tricked into thinking you’re overheating, causing you to sweat in an effort to cool the body down.
As your testosterone levels drop, so does your metabolic rate. This means that during the menopause, you need fewer calories to put on weight. In addition, the stress linked to menopause can increase levels of cortisol, which encourages fat deposits around the abdomen.
Collagen keeps skin looking plump and refreshed. But when oestrogen levels are down, collagen can take a hit too, leading to dry and itchy skin.
Ashwagandha and the menopause: how can it help?
Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for millennia to treat a wide range of health problems, including menopausal symptoms. Thanks to its adaptogenic properties, ashwagandha has been shown to help the body adapt to stressful situations, whether that’s environmental stressors or hormonal changes.
Ashwagandha has also been shown to play a role in calming the brain, by boosting the production of GABA – an important natural tranquilizer that boosts calm and reduces anxiety.
As many symptoms of menopause are directly linked to elevated cortisol levels, reducing stress naturally can help minimize many of these uncomfortable problems.
Here are just a few ways ashwagandha can help:
Boosts mood and improves sleep
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine adaptogens like ashwagandha are the most effective herbal remedies for treating sleep problems and mood swings in menopausal women.
A recent study has suggested that Ashwagandha, or Withania Somnifera to use its scientific name, could help to decrease stress. After conducting a series of cold water swimming stress tests on albino rats, the study concluded that those rats that had taken Ashwagandha demonstrated higher levels of stress resistance. This ability to decrease stress could be of particular value to women experiencing the menopause.
Boosts energy levels
Many women experiencing menopause complain of low energy and fatigue. However, a 2011 study has suggested that ashwagandha can boost energy levels by tackling problems associated with high stress levels.
Taking adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha is by no means going to make the menopause a walk in the park – it'd take some fairly sophisticated medicine to pull that off. But if you want to take the edge off these symptoms, while letting your body's natural processes run their course, than taking a small, regular dose of Ashwagandha could go a long way to achieving that.
For more information, have a look at our other recent Ashwagandha blogs, here and here to see the other fantastic health benefits of this adaptogenic superfood. If you want to start incorporating it into your diet immediately, have a look at our guide to find out how.
You can buy Superfood World Organic Ashwagandha powder here