What is Hempanghanda? and what are the benefits of Hemp and Ashwagandha combined?
Naturas Organics Hempanghanda is a combination of Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) and Ashwagandha mixed together to create a superfood supplement in capsule form.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb Ashwagandha has been called the king of Ayurvedic herbs… It is classified as an adaptogen, meaning that it may help your body cope with stress
The Ashwagandha Plant
Ashwagandha provides other benefits for your body and brain. For example, it can boost brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Below are 12 benefits of Ashwagandha that have been supported by science.
- Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb…Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, an alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. Having been used for over 3,000 years to alleviate stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration.
Ashwagandha’s scientific name is Withania somnifera, other names include Indian ginseng (Ginseng has also been studied as a way to improve mood and boost endurance as well as treat cancer, heart disease, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, hepatitis C, high blood pressure, menopausal symptoms, and other conditions) and winter cherry.
Lots of its health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth
Ashwagandha is a prominent herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and has become a popular supplement due to its health benefits.
- Can reduce blood sugar levels
Ashwaghandha in several studies, has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
One test-tube study found that it increased insulin secretion and improved insulin sensitivity in muscle cells
Also, several human studies have suggested that it can reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes
What’s more, in a small study in 6 people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing with ashwagandha for 30 days lowered fasting blood sugar levels. However, the study didn’t include a control group, making the results questionable
Some evidence suggests that ashwagandha reduces blood sugar levels through its effects on insulin secretion and sensitivity.
- Might have anticancer properties
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 (13Trusted Source).
Although no evidence suggests that ashwagandha exerts similar effects in humans, the current research is encouraging.
Animal and test-tube studies have shown that withaferin, a bioactive compound in ashwagandha, promotes the death of tumor cells and may be effective against several types of cancer.
- Can reduce cortisol levels
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.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha may help reduce cortisol levels
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 supplements may help lower cortisol levels in chronically stressed individuals.
- May help reduce stress and anxiety
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
Also, several controlled human studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders
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
Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both animal and human studies.
- May reduce symptoms of depression
Although it hasn’t been thoroughly studied, a few studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate depression
The limited research available suggests that ashwagandha may help reduce depression.
- Can boost testosterone and increase fertility in men
Ashwagandha supplements may have powerful effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health
In one study in 75 infertile men, the group treated with ashwagandha showed increased sperm count and motility. What’s more, the treatment led to a significant increase in testosterone levels
The researchers also reported that the group who took the herb had increased antioxidant levels in their blood.
In another study, men who received ashwagandha for stress experienced higher antioxidant levels and better sperm quality. After 3 months of treatment, 14% of the men’s partners had become pregnant
Ashwagandha helps increase testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men.
- May increase muscle mass and strength
Research has shown that ashwagandha may improve body composition and increase strength
In a study to determine a safe and effective dosage for ashwagandha, healthy men who took 750–1,250 mg of pulverized ashwagandha root per day gained muscle strength after 30 days
In another study, those who took ashwagandha had significantly greater gains in muscle strength and size. It also more than doubled their reductions in body fat percentage, compared with the placebo group
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and increase strength in men.
- May reduce inflammation
Several animal studies have shown that ashwagandha helps decrease inflammation
Studies in humans have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection and help you stay healthy
It has also been shown to decrease markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). This marker is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
In one controlled study, the group who took 250 mg of standardized ashwagandha extract daily had a 36% decrease in CRP, on average, compared with a 6% decrease in the placebo group (3).
Ashwagandha has been shown to increase natural killer cell activity and decrease markers of inflammation.
- May lower cholesterol and triglycerides
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
While controlled human studies have reported less dramatic results, they have observed some impressive improvements in these markers
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).
Ashwagandha may help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- May improve brain function, including memory
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may mitigate memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease
Research has shown that it promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals.
In one study, rats with epilepsy that were treated with ashwagandha had nearly a complete reversal of spatial memory impairment. This was likely caused by a reduction in oxidative stress
Ashwagandha supplements may improve brain function, memory, reaction time, and the ability to perform tasks.
- Ashwagandha is safe for most people and widely available
Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people, although its long-term effects are unknown.
However, certain individuals should not take it, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.
People with autoimmune diseases should also avoid ashwagandha unless authorized by a healthcare provider. This includes people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 1 diabetes.
Additionally, those on medication for thyroid disease should be careful when taking ashwagandha, as it may increase thyroid hormone levels in some people.
It may also decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels, so medication dosages may need to be adjusted if you take it.
The recommended dosage of ashwagandha depends on the type of supplement. Extracts are more effective than crude ashwagandha root or leaf powder. Remember to follow instructions on labels.
Standardized root extract is commonly taken in 450–500-mg capsules once or twice daily.
It’s offered by several supplement manufacturers and available from various retailers, including health food stores and vitamin shops. There’s also a great selection of high-quality supplements available online.
Although ashwagandha is safe for most people, certain individuals shouldn’t use it unless authorized to do so by their healthcare provider. Standardized root extract is commonly taken in 450–500-mg capsules once or twice per day.
The bottom line is Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits. It can reduce anxiety and stress, help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone in men, and even boost brain function.
Supplementing with ashwagandha may be an easy and effective way to improve your health and quality of life
HEMP SEEDS AND OIL
6 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
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Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.
They are from the same species as cannabis (marijuana) but a different variety.
However, they contain only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
Hemp seeds are exceptionally nutritious and rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals.
Here are 6 health benefits of hemp seeds that are backed up by science.
- Hemp Seeds Are Incredibly Nutritious
Technically a nut, hemp seeds are very nutritious. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are often referred to as hemp hearts.
Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).
They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits (1).
Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein.
That is considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories are 16–18% protein.
Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc (1, 2Trusted Source).
Hemp seeds can be consumed raw, cooked or roasted. Hemp seed oil is also very healthy and has been used as a food and medicine in China for at least 3,000 years (1).
Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They are also a great protein source and contain high amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
- Hemp Seeds May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide
Interestingly, eating hemp seeds may reduce your risk of heart disease.
The seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in your body
Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease
In a large study in over 13,000 people, increased arginine intake corresponded with decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. High levels of CRP are linked to heart disease
The gamma-linolenic acid found in hemp seeds has also been linked to reduced inflammation, which may decrease your risk of diseases like heart disease
Additionally, animal studies have shown that hemp seeds or hemp seed oil may reduce blood pressure, decrease the risk of blood clot formation and help the heart recover after a heart attack
Hemp seeds are a great source of arginine and gamma-linolenic acid, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Hemp Seeds and Oil May Benefit Skin Disorders
Fatty acids may affect immune responses in your body
Studies suggest that your immune system depends on the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids. They have about a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which is considered in the optimal range.
Studies have shown that giving hemp seed oil to people with eczema may improve blood levels of essential fatty acids.
The oil may also relieve dry skin, improve itchiness and reduce the need for skin medication
Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats. They have a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which may benefit skin diseases and provide relief from eczema and its uncomfortable symptoms.
- Hemp Seeds Are a Great Source of Plant-Based Protein
About 25% of calories in hemp seeds come from protein, which is relatively high.
In fact, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein (1).
They are considered a complete protein source, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids. Your body cannot produce essential amino acids and must obtain them from your diet.
Complete protein sources are very rare in the plant kingdom, as plants often lack the amino acid lysine. Quinoa is another example of a complete, plant-based protein source.
Hemp seeds contain significant amounts of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, as well as very high levels of arginine and glutamic acid (18).
The digestibility of hemp protein is also very good — better than protein from many grains, nuts and legumes
About 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein. What’s more, they contain all the essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source.
- Hemp Seeds May Reduce Symptoms of PMS and Menopause
Up to 80% of women of reproductive age may suffer from physical or emotional symptoms caused by premenstrual syndrome
These symptoms are very likely caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin
In a study in women with PMS, taking 1 gram of essential fatty acids — including 210 mg of GLA — per day resulted in a significant decrease in symptoms
Other studies have shown that primrose oil, which is rich in GLA as well, may be highly effective in reducing symptoms for women who have failed other PMS therapies.
It decreased breast pain and tenderness, depression, irritability and fluid retention
Because hemp seeds are high in GLA, several studies have indicated that they may help reduce symptoms of menopause, too.
The exact process is unknown, but the GLA in hemp seeds may regulate the hormone imbalances and inflammation associated with menopause
Hemp seeds may reduce symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, thanks to its high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
- Whole Hemp Seeds May Aid Digestion
Fiber is an essential part of your diet and linked to better digestive health
Whole hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, containing 20% and 80%, respectively
Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in your gut. It’s a valuable source of nutrients for beneficial digestive bacteria and may also reduce spikes in blood sugar and regulate cholesterol levels
Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and may help food and waste pass through your gut. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes
However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds — also known as hemp hearts — contain very little fiber because the fiber-rich shell has been removed.
Whole hemp seeds contain high amounts of fiber — both soluble and insoluble — which benefits digestive health. However, de-hulled or shelled hemp seeds contain very little fiber.
The Bottom Line
Though hemp seeds have only recently become popular in the West, they’re a staple food in many societies and provide excellent nutritional value.
They are very rich in healthy fats, high-quality protein and several minerals.
However, hemp seed shells may contain trace amounts of THC (< 0.3%), the active compound in marijuana. People who have been dependent on cannabis may want to avoid hemp seeds in any form.
Overall, hemp seeds are incredibly healthy. They may be one of the few superfoods worthy of their reputation.
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Facts taken from healthline.com