I sat on a Sunday morning, searching for ways to grow taller. Currently, there is this trend. Besides, most of the men want to look handsome too. Therefore, I wondered what the search results could be like. Well, one of the results made me curious. So, I wanted to know more about this. Moreover, I was not sure how true it was. It was about an “increase in height, using Ashwagandha powder”.
There is no scientific proof to claim this particular statement. Ashwagandha does not make us taller. It increases bone density, maintains height. It also helps retain our posture even at a relatively older age.
Many a time, it so happens that our knowledge about a particular aspect will be very poor. I decided to increase mine, a little more. The first thing we should be bothered is about how we grow taller. That seems to be the key to concluding whether something can stimulate. So, let us know more about growth, of course, in terms of body.
What determines our height?
Before delving into this, I would like to come up with a disclaimer. Growing tall, or being tall is nowhere connected to the well being of a person. Therefore, it is certainly an individual choice.
Two major factors determine the height of a person.
Off late breakthroughs have allowed identification of more than 700 different genetic variants that influence the height of a person. Genetics determines 80 percent of their height. Scientists have come up with this estimation. What scientists have not been able to determine is, which genes these variants are in.
From the previous paragraph, we understood that genetics plays an important role in our height. However, environmental factors like childhood malnutrition and illness can limit human growth. The growth of an individual starts from pregnancy. When the right amounts of nutrition are consumed at the right age, it will not be a cause of concern.
Human height variation across the world
The genetic difference might not be the sole reason for height difference across the world. It could also be the differences in living standards. For instance, compare the American standard of living with someone in uninhabited places in South Africa. It will be enough case study.
There are other factors too that can be added to this. Like:
- Gender Difference
- The world average height of men is about 12 cm. taller than the world women average. According to science, two genes in men contribute to height. One, on chromosome 15 and the other on chromosome Y. One of the chromosomes is absent among women. The other one releases an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen in both sexes, which in turn fuses bones. The time of its release determines the height.
- Year of birth
- According to statistical evidence, humans have grown to different heights in time. For example, in 1896, average men were at a height of about 163 cms. Now it has increased to about 171 cms. Same with women.
- Regional variation
- Forget about the world. Consider Indians. Punjabis having a hefty body might easily cross the height of 6 feet. However, a person from Manipur might have an average height of about 5.5 feet.
- Regional variation is mostly due to genetic factors.
Overall, with all these statistics, we have understood the variations of height.
What is Ashwagandha? What apart from Height does it help?
Ashwagandha is derived from Sanskrit. Ashwa, meaning horse and Gandha meaning Smell. When combined it means “smell of the horse“. Firstly, it is an incredibly healthy herb. Secondly, it is classified as Adaptogen, a herb that can help our body manage stress. All in all, it is good for both body and brain.
Ashwagandha can be a blessing for the following:
- help lower blood sugar levels
- reduce cortisol
- boost brain function
- fight anxiety and depression
There are a lot of benefits. We will briefly cover them one by one.
- Stimulates the immune system.
- It increases the production of white blood corpuscles. Also, helps recover illness
- Since the herbs have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it is useful for repelling infections
- Its anti-aging properties help patients who are suffering from sleepless nights. It rejuvenates the nervous system, relieves stress and removes insomnia.
- Skin aging
- High levels of antioxidants prevent skin ageing and remove wrinkles and dark spots
- Heals wound
- Leaves of this plant are very helpful in providing the healing effect when applied as a paste
- Heart Health
- Improves blood circulation in the heart. Moreover, prevents blood from clotting. Stabilizes, sugar levels and cholesterol in the blood.
- Food Poison
- Removes harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning, such as salmonella.
- Blood Sugar
- It not only regulates blood sugar but also suppresses the desire to consume sugar.
- Destroys the ability to multiply cancer cells, and this is the key step in fighting Cancer
- Dry skin
- Moisturizes rough parts of the skin. It helps in treating skin problems like keratosis.
- Hair Loss
- Reduces the levels of cortisol, thereby controlling hair loss
We talked about the benefits of Ashwagandha. However, there is one important benefit that we have not mentioned. It is the protection of bones. Yes, one of the most important benefits of Ashwagandha is that it keeps the bones intact. It is time for us to know a little more about how bones grow and how they must be protected. Bones are the parts of our body that are crucial in increasing our height, making us look tall.
How do we gain height generally?
Let us get into biology to know the concept of how bones grow. The last time I studied biology was when I was in the 12th class. Let us make it very short and sweet.
You might know that the Human body is made up of different kinds of chemicals, juices, glands, etc. One such gland is the Pituitary gland. This gland secretes a hormone called HGH (Human Growth Hormone). You guessed it right. These are responsible for growth.
How do we look tall/short?
Bones are responsible for our height. In other words, if leg bones grow, they make us look like we are tall. So, the longer the leg bone is, the taller do we look like. Of course, hands and spinal cord will have to grow proportionally, without which, we might look disfigured.
Coming back to our HGH, these HGH stimulates the liver and triggers a new hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor I (IGF-I). IGF-I triggers the products of cartilage. But, this cartilage production happens at the two ends of our long bones. For instance, the long bone situated in our legs produces this cartilage. Same with the long bones present in the arms. When the cartilage ossifies (is a process of making the soft cartilages into hard bones, like baking), they turn into bones. Therefore they become hard. This is how the bones grow. In other words, as long as the HGH is active, it results in IGF-I, which in turn triggers cartilage. This cartilage ossifies and becomes elongated bones.
When do bones stop growing?
After puberty, when our body stops producing HGH, IGF-I stops getting produced. When this stops getting produced, there is no production of cartilage either. After that, there is nothing to ossify. Hence, there is no growth in the bone.
How does Ashwagandha help us with height?
As opposed to what some people claim, there is no such thing in the world that can yet trigger the process as mentioned earlier. That is to say that, HGH cannot be triggered by Ashwagandha as is claimed. As a result, there is no effect on height either. Nothing of that sort is proved. But yes, there could be an environmental factor that can trigger the HGH naturally without the help of any herb or chemical like Ashwagandha.
Naturally, there are the below factors that may weaken the bones:
- bad lifestyle
- bad food habits
- lack of exercises
- natural aging
These may affect both our height and strength. As we age, our bones become brittle and even a slight impact on the bones might fracture them. They will become very weak. As a result, the overall height may decrease. Our postures might get disfigured. We can prevent all this by using Ashwagandha. It has proven effects on our bone health.
How Ashwagandha Increases Bone Mineral Density?
Ashwagandha increases bone mineral density. Often this mineral is depleted in old age because of osteoporosis. On the one hand, it increases the formation of cells that synthesize bones. On the other hand, it reduces the activity of the cells that break down old bones and release the minerals back into the blood.
Please find below the importance of strengthening bones.
- increases biochemical strength, especially in the femur and the vertebrae
- make the spongy bone tissues denser, making it easier to better handle movement-related impacts
When you have strong bones that stand erect, we can also stand straight, to our fullest height.
To sum up, there is no item on earth found till now that can trigger HGH and increase our height. Ashwagandha can increase bone density, making it strong and erect.