Ashwagandha and Height Increase: Does It Really Work?
If you're on a quest to increase your height, it's likely you've stumbled across a variety of remedies and supplements that claim to assist in height gain. One such supplement that's gaining popularity is Ashwagandha. But, does this Indian herb actually work to increase height? In this comprehensive article, we'll explore the science behind Ashwagandha and its potential to aid in height increase.
Understanding the Science Behind Height Increase
Before delving into the potential benefits of Ashwagandha, it's essential to first understand the science behind height increase. Human height is primarily determined by genetics, which accounts for approximately 80% of the variation in height (1). The remaining 20% is influenced by several factors, such as nutrition, physical activity, and hormones. One particular hormone that plays a critical role in height increase is human growth hormone (HGH).
HGH is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for stimulating growth and cell reproduction in humans. During childhood and adolescence, the body naturally produces higher levels of HGH, which is why these are the periods of most significant growth. However, as we age, the production of HGH decreases, leading to a decrease in bone density and muscle mass, among other things.
What is Ashwagandha and How Does It Work?
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that's been used in Ayurvedic practices for centuries, primarily for its adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are natural substances that can help the body adapt to stress and promote overall well-being.
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is believed to boost energy levels, reduce stress, and regulate hormones. Ashwagandha contains several biologically active compounds, such as withanolides, alkaloids, and flavonoids (2).
Recent studies have also shown that ashwagandha may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. One study found that ashwagandha extract was able to reduce inflammation markers in the body, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) (3). Another study showed that ashwagandha extract was able to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells (4).
The History of Ashwagandha and Its Traditional Uses
Ashwagandha has a long history of use in traditional healing practices in India as an "Rasayana", a rejuvenating herb. It's been used for various ailments such as stress, anxiety, depression, and digestive issues. In the past, it was also used to treat cognitive decline, as well as boost energy levels and strength (3).
Recent studies have also shown that ashwagandha may have potential benefits for people with arthritis, as it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce joint pain and swelling (4). Additionally, some research suggests that ashwagandha may have a positive effect on fertility in both men and women, although more studies are needed to confirm these findings (5).
The Nutritional Composition of Ashwagandha Explained
Ashwagandha is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that offer various health benefits. Some of its most notable nutrients include antioxidants, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. The herb is also rich in amino acids and compounds that boost energy, reduce stress, and regulate hormones (4).
Additionally, studies have shown that ashwagandha contains withanolides, which are compounds that have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties (5). Withanolides have been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce inflammation in the body, making ashwagandha a potential natural remedy for cancer and other inflammatory diseases.
Can Ashwagandha Help Increase Height in Children and Adolescents?
While Ashwagandha is not a magical potion for height increase, some studies suggest that it may support the natural growth process in children and adolescents. However, more research is needed to understand the extent of its effects.
A study conducted in 2020 found that Ashwagandha supplementation significantly increased the levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in adolescents with height deficiency. IGF-1 is a hormone that plays a critical role in promoting growth and development during childhood and adolescence (5).
Another study conducted in 2018 found that Ashwagandha root extract had a positive effect on bone mineral density in rats. This suggests that Ashwagandha may have a potential role in promoting bone growth and development, which is essential for height increase in children and adolescents (6).
Ashwagandha's Potential Benefits for Bone Health
Ashwagandha may also enhance bone health by increasing bone density and preventing bone loss. A study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that Ashwagandha supplementation helped increase bone mineral density in rats (6). Although studies suggest that Ashwagandha may promote bone health, further research is necessary to confirm this theory in humans.
Another potential benefit of Ashwagandha for bone health is its ability to reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis, and Ashwagandha has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties (7). By reducing inflammation, Ashwagandha may help prevent bone loss and maintain bone density.
In addition to its potential benefits for bone health, Ashwagandha has been studied for its effects on stress and anxiety. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that Ashwagandha supplementation significantly reduced stress and anxiety levels in participants (8). This may be due to Ashwagandha's ability to regulate cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress.
The Role of Hormones in Height Increase and How Ashwagandha Can Help
Hormones play a key role in growth and development, which includes height increase. Ashwagandha may promote height increase by regulating hormones that influence growth, such as HGH, which is essential for bone and muscle growth during childhood and adolescence.
One study conducted in 2015 suggested that Ashwagandha may increase HGH levels in healthy adults. However, more research is necessary to confirm its effects (7).
In addition to regulating HGH levels, Ashwagandha may also help increase height by reducing stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can negatively impact growth and development, and Ashwagandha has been shown to have a calming effect on the body and mind.
Another potential benefit of Ashwagandha for height increase is its ability to improve bone density. Strong bones are essential for achieving maximum height potential, and Ashwagandha has been shown to increase bone mineral density in animal studies (8).
How to Incorporate Ashwagandha into Your Diet for Height Increase
Ashwagandha is available in various forms, such as capsules, powders, and teas. It's essential to follow the recommended dosage on the supplement label or as advised by your healthcare provider. While Ashwagandha may offer potential benefits, it's crucial to combine it with a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle.
One way to incorporate Ashwagandha into your diet is by adding it to your morning smoothie. You can mix a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder with your favorite fruits and vegetables to create a delicious and nutritious drink. Another option is to brew Ashwagandha tea and enjoy it as a warm beverage before bedtime.
It's important to note that Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, so it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider before adding it to your diet. Additionally, while Ashwagandha may have potential benefits for height increase, it's important to maintain realistic expectations and understand that genetics play a significant role in determining height.
What Are the Other Benefits of Taking Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is known for its adaptogenic properties, which offer several other health benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving brain function, and supporting overall well-being. The herb may also promote healthy blood sugar levels and protect against harmful pathogens.
Additionally, studies have shown that ashwagandha may have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Some research has also suggested that ashwagandha may improve fertility in men and women, as well as boost muscle strength and endurance.
Risks and Side Effects Associated with Ashwagandha Consumption
Ashwagandha is generally safe to consume but may cause side effects in some people. Common side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, and dizziness. It's essential to consult your healthcare provider before consuming Ashwagandha if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying health condition.
Additionally, Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, including sedatives, thyroid hormone, and immunosuppressants. It's crucial to inform your healthcare provider of any medications you're taking before consuming Ashwagandha. Furthermore, high doses of Ashwagandha may lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for individuals with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or hypotension. Therefore, it's recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase it under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Is It Safe to Take Ashwagandha for Height Increase?
Ashwagandha may offer potential benefits for height increase, but it's essential to understand that there's no magic pill to increase height. It's crucial to have realistic expectations and consider other factors that may influence height increase, such as genetics, nutrition, and physical activity. It's important to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming any supplements, including Ashwagandha.
While Ashwagandha may not be a guaranteed solution for height increase, it has been shown to have other potential health benefits. Studies have suggested that Ashwagandha may help reduce stress and anxiety, improve brain function, and boost fertility in men.
However, it's important to note that Ashwagandha may interact with certain medications, such as sedatives and thyroid hormone replacement therapy. It's crucial to inform your healthcare provider of any supplements you're taking to avoid any potential adverse effects.
Who Should Avoid Taking Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is not recommended for everyone, and some people should avoid its consumption. Individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have thyroid issues should avoid consuming Ashwagandha. It's also not recommended for people on medication that may interact with the herb, such as sedatives and thyroid medication. It's crucial to consult your healthcare provider before consuming any new supplements or herbs.
Alternative Methods for Increasing Height
There are several alternative methods that may promote height increase, including a balanced diet rich in calcium, protein, and vitamins, physical activity and sports, and proper sleep hygiene. Additionally, it's essential to maintain a healthy weight and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption.
Real-life Success Stories: Does Ashwagandha Really Work for Height Increase?
While there are no guarantees, some people have claimed to experience an increase in height after consuming Ashwagandha. However, more extensive research is necessary to confirm its effectiveness. It's also crucial to consider that other factors may contribute to height increase, such as puberty, genetics, and lifestyle habits.
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb that's been used for centuries in Ayurveda practices. While there's limited research on its potential benefits for height increase, it's essential to understand that other factors, such as genetics, nutrition, and physical activity, play a more significant role in height gain. As with any supplement, it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider before consuming Ashwagandha.
Remember, there's no magic pill to increase height, and the best way to promote overall health and well-being is to establish healthy habits and a balanced lifestyle.