Preliminary research suggests that ashwagandha can help treat a wide range of cardiovascular diseases, supporting its use in traditional medicines for this purpose.
How does it work?
Ashwagandha's antioxidant protective benefits in the heart after a heart attack appear to be comparable to those of vitamin E. Its anti-inflammatory properties could be helpful in blocking an inflammatory factors involved in heart disease, and ashwagandha's glucose-lowering effects help reduce this known risk factor. Animal studies show that it reduces blood pressure as well.44
Evidence of Benefit
Ashwagandha's stress-reducing benefits are supported by human clinical studies and could be beneficial since stress is known to be detrimental to cardiovascular health. In fact, in one randomized clinical study involving close to 100 participants, not only did ashwagandha reduce stress and anxiety, it also significantly reduced cardiac risk factors compared to placebo.45
Results of animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may help people with heart disease (including diabetics) lower high cholesterol, particularly triglycerides.46 The prolific, kidney-shaped yellow seeds contain linoleic acid, which may help prevent atherosclerosis.10
In a clinical study, an herbal preparation (Cardipro) containing ashwagandha, arjuna, holy basil, and Indian gooseberry boosted so-called good cholesterol (HDL) levels while significantly reducing overall cholesterol levels.10