Ashwagandha boosts BDNF
Ashwagandha is a very popular herb in India where it is considered one of the best longevity herbs. It is also famous for helping to relieve stress and anxiety. The amount of reduction can be as high as 55%, on average.
The power of Ashwagandha is in how it impacts our hormones. It stimulates the thyroid, causing an increase in TSH (Thyroid-stimulating hormone), a decrease in cortisol, and an increase in leptin production.
Leptin is a hormone that causes you to feel full when you eat. The more leptin, the less food it takes to make you feel like you're full. This is why people say that Ashwagandha mimics calorie restriction, of which there are numerous known benefits. Studies in mice have shown that it actually causes them to eat less food.
One of the benefits that can be attributed to decreases in cortisol is improved sleep and less fatigue during the day, one of the most reported effects from drinking Ashwagandha tea.
The last and I believe most important quality of Ashwagandha is how it impacts BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which some of the mental benefits previously discussed can be attributed to. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha helps prevent the loss of BDNF. That means it will help increase neuroplasticity and synaptic plasticity, which are crucial to perserving the health of the brain.