We know it’s not fair, but your appearance can be considered attractive because of your height. And more often than not, if you are short, you would want to gain a few inches to improve your personality. Some claim that ashwagandha can help you gain height. But does it really? Let’s find out.
How Do You Gain Height?
When you are growing up, your pituitary gland secretes a hormone called the human growth hormone (HGH). HGH in turn stimulates your liver to trigger another hormone called the insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). IGF-I triggers the production of cartilage at the two ends of your long bones, that is the leg bones and some of the hand bones. This cartilage then turns into bone or ossifies. This makes your bones longer and increases your height. The HGH also helps your muscles grow.1
Once you cross puberty, the HGH level starts dropping, and eventually all the cartilage in your long bones becomes ossified, fixing your maximum possible height. Your genes act as a limit, of course, but food and other activities can play a big role in determining whether your body grows to its full potential.
Ashwagandha Cannot Increase Your Height
Some Web sites claim that ashwagandha influences the HGH and thus leads to an increase in height. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this claim. While ashwagandha has been found to be effective in curing a multitude of metabolism-related conditions and balancing hormones such as the stress hormone cortisol and the thyroid hormones, no study has yet reported its direct or indirect effect on the human growth hormone. And sadly, there has been no study to report its effect on height gain by any other mechanism either.
That said, once you reach your maximum height, ashwagandha can help you maintain that height.
But Ashwagandha Helps You Maintain Your Height
When your body attains its maximum height, good nutrition and regular exercises can help maintain it. However, lifestyle factors, bad food habits, lack of exercise, and natural aging can cause your bones and muscles to weaken, in turn affecting both your height and your strength.
As you age, you lose bone mass or density, which turns the bones brittle and susceptible to fracture even on slight impact. Overall height decreases, mainly because the trunk and spine shrink, giving you a bent posture. You can prevent all of this with ashwagandha, which has proven effects on bone health.
By Increasing Bone Mineral Density
Ashwagandha has been seen to increase bone mineral density, which is often depleted in old age because of osteoporosis. On the one hand, it increases the formation of cells that synthesize bones. On the other, it reduces the activity of the cells that break down old bones and release the minerals back into the blood. Ashwagandha also increases the expression of the gene responsible for the mineralization of bones.
Not just osteoporosis but also stress and inflammation can lead to bone damage. Ashwagandha is a well-known adaptogen, which means that it can regulate stress and reverse its damaging effects.
By Promoting Bone Healing
In a study on Withaferin A, a principal component of ashwagandha, it was found that it inhibits the breakdown of proteins and helps heal injuries. It also helped regenerate new bone tissue in the femur.2
By Strengthening Bones
Ashwagandha has been seen to increase biomechanical strength, especially in the femur and the vertebrae. It also makes the shock-absorbing spongy bone tissues denser and thus better able to handle movement-related impacts.3
When you have strong bones and are able to stand erect, you can draw up to your full height. Moreover, ashwagandha, which is used in Ayurveda as a rejuvenator, can keep you healthy and give you a healthy appearance.
|↑1||Growth Hormone (Somatotropin). Colorado State University.|
|↑2, ↑3||Khedgikar, V., P. Kushwaha, J. Gautam, A. Verma, B. Changkija, A. Kumar, S. Sharma et al. “Withaferin A: a proteasomal inhibitor promotes healing after injury and exerts anabolic effect on osteoporotic bone.” Cell death & disease 4, no. 8 (2013): e778.|