Inspired living

Ashwagandha – the herb to assist with diverse good health


Ashwagandha is an herbal adaptogen meaning it helps the body deal with stress. Withania somnifera, as it is known is a berry found in India and is popular worldwide for its healing qualities. Ashwagandha is full of antioxidants which may slow the aging process and the progress of some illnesses such as diabetes and thyroid issues. Its role in diabetes is that it could regulate blood sugar levels and may help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels.

Thyroid Help

If you have an underactive thyroid Ashwagandha may help to give it a boost. Women often suffer with low thyroid action may find that this herb may increase T4 and TSH levels in the body helping to improve the thyroid function. However, if you have an overactive thyroid you need to be more cautious. This is because if your thyroid hormone levels are already too high Ashwagandha can make it go even higher.

The body’s immune system is complex, it has two types of white blood cells, and these are TH1 and TH2. These two different blood cells need to be balanced in the body for the immune system to function to its full capacity.

If the immune system is not balanced it could lead to other health issues such as autoimmune conditions and inflammation
If the immune system is not balanced it could lead to other health issues such as autoimmune conditions and inflammation.

Ashwagandha may help give the immune system a boost and balance it. Speak to your natural therapist as to whether this herb is for you if you have thyroid issues and remember to present your blood test from the doctor to them so they can get a full picture of your health. For more information on inflammation which is the root cause of a poor immune system check out my article on https://www.wellbeing.com.au/body/nutrition/inflammation-root-illnesses.html

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Ashwagandha may also be able to help sufferers of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It possibly has neuro-protective effects as well as promoting dendrites. Dendrites are essential for healthy brain function, when your brain is healthy it could help keep neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s at bay however this needs to be backed by scientific evidence so it’s a good idea to research this on trusted medical sites if you are interested in its effect on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.


Some studies have shown that this herb could possibly help to slow the growth of certain cancers such as breast cancer and skin cancer. This would be because it helps to support the immune system. In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha was used to help boost the immune system after an illness, and several scientific studies have also correlated the use of Ashwagandha with improved immune function. So the herb makes a great preventative when used in conjunction with medical practices to fight many immune diseases.

Mental health

Ashwagandha could be beneficial in helping to reduce stress and help to calm anxiety by regulating the cortisol hormone and it works on the adrenal glands. Many people suffer from burnout and adrenal exhaustion which affects their mood and in turn causes anxiety and depression. Speak to your natural therapist if you have stressful issues in your life and see if Ashwagandha is one of the herbs they recommend.

Side effects to be aware of with Ashwagandha

Every medicine or herb has potential side effects and Ashwagandha is no exception. It can cause in excess gut issues such as diarrhoea and stomach pains. It can also irritate people with autoimmune conditions, especially those with autoimmune joint pain. Ashwagandha is part of the nightshade plants and if you are someone that does react to other plants in this family such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes you should also be avoiding ashwagandha.

Action to take

It is always advisable to discuss your health at length with a trusted practitioner. Your doctor and your natural therapist can work hand in hand to provide top health care for you from the point of view of which drugs you may need and which natural supplements will increase your immunity. Remember your natural practitioner is the expert in supplements and nutrition and your doctor in drugs and medication. Consult both to get a good all round view of what you need.



Jenetta Haim runs Stressfree Management at 36 Gipps Road, Greystanes, and specialises in assisting your health and lifestyle in all areas by developing programs on either a corporate or personal level to suit your needs. Jenetta has just published a book called Stress-Free Health Management, A Natural Solution for Your Health available from your favourite bookstore or online. For more information and to get in touch, visit her website.