So, you've probably heard of CoQ10 for promoting energy. 1 You may have also heard about the herb ginseng; usually about increasing physical stamina or boosting sexual performance. 2 But there is a herb that is quite uncommon in comparison to these two, yet said to be highly effective at increasing insulin sensitivity, thus reducing blood sugar levels.
This herb is called ashwagandha, which is an adaptogen. 3 While many are familiar with adaptogens, there are still many people who do not know what the term means. An adaptogen is a natural product that helps your body adapt to stress by normalizing your adrenal glands and reducing cortisol production. 4 Basically, adaptogens help the body deal with stress.5
The main adaptogen in ashwagandha is known as withanolides, which helps to fight tumor growth and inflammation. 6
How Ashwagandha May Help Increase Insulin Sensitivity
1) Ashwagandha Helps Reduce Blood Sugar: 7
Ashwagandha, which is believed to lower blood glucose levels and even help in managing diabetes; may be used as a glucose disposal agent because of its ability to help reduce blood sugar. 8
This means that not only can you benefit from having less blood sugar, but your body will be able to better handle the insulin that is present in your body. When the body cannot respond well to normal insulin levels, blood sugar levels can become unbalanced. 9 This creates a negative environment in your body where the cells do not receive the energy they need, and high sugar levels continue to build up.
However, with ashwagandha root extract present in your system, it works with insulin and helps promote better use of the hormone. 10
2). Ashwagandha May Also Help Reduce Stress, Which Could Lead to Weight Gain. 11
When you are stressed out, your body releases cortisol, the "stress hormone," 12 when you have less cortisol in your system, you are better able to manage your insulin levels and avoid experiencing negative side effects. This means that ashwagandha may help your body manage stress and in turn, maintain healthy weight levels.
3). Caring for the Pancreas
Another way in which ashwagandha helps increase insulin sensitivity is by caring for the pancreas. 13 The pancreas produces insulin, so when you take care of your pancreas, your body's ability to produce insulin naturally increases. 14 This means that it is easier for your body to manage insulin levels and avoid the side effects of having high blood sugar.
4). Glucose Disposal Agent
Ashwagandha is a glucose disposal agent, meaning that it helps the body manage insulin. 15
When blood sugar levels get too high, the body cannot respond well to insulin, and the pancreas struggles to produce more of it. With ashwagandha's help, the body can process insulin better and use it efficiently. This means that ashwagandha may lower blood sugar levels naturally while also working with insulin to manage normal blood sugar levels. 16
5). Ashwagandha May Increase Insulin Sensitivity At The Cellular Level, Allowing More Sugar Into Cells Where It Is Needed: 17
In the most basic sense, ashwagandha works with insulin to increase your body's ability to utilize sugar for energy and to help maintain overall health and wellness. In this way, ashwagandha can be beneficial for type 2 diabetes because it may help decrease blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. 18
From helping to lose weight, improving the body's ability to manage stress, and maintaining positive blood sugar levels, ashwagandha is a powerful supplement that may help with insulin sensitivity and overall health and wellness.