Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find an herb that has superpowers? Imagine finding a plant that can support sleep, stress, body detoxification, memory functions, immune health and so much more. Meet Ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha in Sanskrit means “the smell of a horse,” Ashwa, meaning horse, and Ghanda, meaning odor. Its name speaks to the herb’s scent and its ability to support strength and endurance (1). Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is also commonly known as Indian Ginseng or Indian Winter Cherry. It's a stout shrub that can reach a staggering height of 5 feet! Leaves, roots, and berries can all be used for medicinal purposes, but the root is most commonly used. The leaves contain withanolides and constituents that support the body’s natural detoxification process. When you powder the roots, they can be used as strengthening and calming tonics, while the berries can be used as an aid to help fight off a bug. Ashwagandha is a part of the nightshade family or Solanaceae family. You can spot a nightshade by their foliage, which have alternating leaves that grow in a staggered fashion on their stems. Nightshades are known to contain different types of alkaloidal compounds that can cause physiological changes.
Ashwagandha in Ayurvedic Medicine
Native to India and a staple of Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, Ashwagandha is a core recommendation by Ayurvedic doctors for just about all their patients and any condition. Ayurveda is a word derived from Sanskrit, Ayur, meaning life, and veda, meaning science or knowledge, translating to “Knowledge of Life.” Ayurveda is based on the belief that disease is due to imbalances within a person’s consciousness. Ayurveda encourages lifestyle and habit changes to regain balance within a person’s mind, body and soul. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, helping the body resist both physiological and psychological stress. Not sure what an adaptogen is? Check out: What the Hell are Nervines, Adaptogens & Alteratives?
Ashwagandha Benefits & Uses
As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha is key in helping us adapt to stress. By promoting healthy cortisol levels, it can provide support for occasional anxious feelings, and help improve sleep and energy levels. Stress management plays a key role in strengthening our immune system and supporting brain function. Ashwagandha also helps people who suffer from occasional joint, muscle and skeletal discomfort. It works on nerve cell communication, helping to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. Finally, Ashwagandha has been shown to help improve cardiovascular function, support endurance and strength, enhance athletic performance and recovery, promote healthy testosterone levels, improve sexual function and promote longevity.
More and more research strongly supports that Ashwagandha favors us in our stress response. As a result, we revised our Deep Stress formula to include Ashwagandha. Deep Stress supports adrenal burnout, mood instability, and bodily discomforts. Be on the lookout for our enhanced formula later this month!
Given its centuries old resume, extensive research, and countless benefits, if stranded on a deserted island, Ashwagandha is the herb to take.
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Taylor Marie Fleshman is an aspiring herbalist. She is currently attending courses through Herbalism Roots in Denver, Colorado. Her goal is to teach her community about the power behind medicinal herbs and the importance in staying connected with Mother Nature. She works as a customer journey representative here at WishGarden Herbs.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.