Ashwagandha Root Powder - Indian Ginseng - Withania Somnifera - Ashgandh
Withania somnifera, known commonly as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, or winter cherry, is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Several other species in the genus Withania are morphologically similar
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) has become one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs in use in the Western world. And it is no wonder, with all the benefits that Ashwagandha has to offer Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurveda for thousands of years as a (rejuvenative) and an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress.The name Ashwagandha translates into “smell of a horse”; this is a reference to both the unique smell of the herb, as well as the virility of a horse, an inference to the traditional use of Ashwagandha to support a healthy male reproductive system.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is used to tone, support, and revitalize bodily functions. It has been revered over time for its ironic dual capacity to energize and calm at the same time. Stress can cause fatigue, often manifesting as “hyper” signs like agitation and difficulty sleeping. By providing a nourishing, energizing effect, you can support a healthy nervous system. When the stress doesn’t impact the nervous system as strongly, the “hyper” signs will naturally resolve over time, allowing for a calming effect. This quality of Ashwagandha makes it a prime supplement to use in the toning and rejuvenation process.In addition to its dual energizing/calming effect, Ashwagandha offers a number of benefits:
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Calms mental processes
- Fosters healthy sleep patterns
- Benefits a healthy reproductive system in both males and females
- Sustains energy levels, strength, and vitality, including with physical activity
- Supports healthy back and joints
Ashwagandha and Ayurveda: Traditional Uses
Ashwagandha is used in Ayurveda to balance Vata and Kapha; in excess, because of its heating, unctuous, building nature, it can imbalance Pitta, and also worsen (toxic build-up).Ayurveda recognizes Ashwagandha particularly for its building, strengthening, and nourishing nature. It is used for the same reasons as listed in the Benefits section above, particularly to support healthy muscles and reproductive systems, and to balance Vata.
How to Use Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is available in both powder and tablet forms. The traditional use is as a powder, mixed with warm milk and honey, and taken before bed,calming vata and fostering healthy sleep patterns, reproductive system, and strength. A general dose can be 1-6 grams daily. It can also be used with ghee and sugar to support the female reproductive system and joints.For a more convenient method of taking Ashwagandha, you can also find the herb in tablet form. This can be an easier method, especially for those that travel a lot, have a shortage of time, or do not like the taste of Ashwagandha tea. Banyan Botanicals prefers tablets over capsules as there is still some mild tasting of the herb that occurs. Taste starts the digestive process, and sends signals to the body as to what to expect, already initiating your body’s own inner pharmacy.
Ashwagandha has become of interest to a number of researchers, particularly as it grows in popularity.
- It has been the subject of studies to see benefit on the immune system, including possible support of the immune system which must undergo radiation and chemotherapy.
- Used in combination with Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Safed musli (Chlorophytum borivillanum), and Sesame seeds (seeds of Sesamum indicum), Ashwagandha has shown support of healthy cholesterol levels and antioxidant properties.
- Other studies done on Ashwagandha can be reviewed on pubmed.
Large doses of Ashwagandha can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. Ashwagandha has otherwise been tolerated well in the few reported studies that exist.
The health benefits of Ashwagandha include its well-known ability to enhance stamina and its truly extraordinary stress-relieving properties.
In Sanskrit ashwagandha means “smell of a horse.” That’s because this herb is said to impart the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.
Although ashwagandha is frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its restorative properties, traditional Chinese and Korean ginseng and ashwagandha are not related botanically.
Ashwagandha extracts have been shown to contain many beneficial compounds, including withanolides, alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and sugars. While its leaves and fruit do contribute to ashwagandha’s health benefits, extracts of its tuberous roots are most commonly used in herbal remedies.