Many people are turning towards traditional food and therapy that worked earlier to keep our ancestors
healthy and today, we are going to talk about one such ancient Ayurvedic herb, which has powerful health benefits. It’s none other than ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, a herb that’s deeply rooted in the traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine. With a history dating back thousands of years, this remarkable herb has been used in India to promote overall wellbeing and vitality. Ashwagandha is revered for its adaptogenic properties, which means it helps the body adapt and respond to stressors effectively and keeps the the mind, body, and spirit in homeostasis. The name ashwagandha is derived from Sanskrit, with ashwa meaning horse and gandha meaning smell, signifying the herb’s ability to impart the vigour and strength of a horse.
Forms of ashwagandha
Ashwagandha root powder: This is the most common and widely available form. The dried roots of the plant are ground into a fine powder, which can be consumed in various ways.
Ashwagandha capsules/tablets: Ashwagandha is also available in a convenient capsule or tablet form, making it easier to incorporate into your daily routine. People who can’t take on powders prefer having capsules.
Ashwagandha tea: The roots of the herb can be steeped in hot water to create a soothing and aromatic tea or infusion, as well. This method allows you to enjoy the natural taste and benefits of ashwagandha while also promoting relaxation.
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Benefits in the body
Adaptogenic properties: Ashwagandha is renowned for its adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps the body manage stress and maintain balance. It supports the adrenal glands, helping to regulate the body’s stress response and reducing the negative effects of chronic stress.
Balancing hormones: Chronic stress can disrupt the balance of hormones, leading to imbalances. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, which may help regulate the stress response and minimise the negative effects of chronic stress on hormone balance.
Calming and nervine effects: Since ashwagandha helps in managing stress, it has a calming effect on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. It helps alleviate nervous tension, restlessness, and irritability, supporting overall mental well-being.
Improved sleep: Ashwagandha can help regulate sleep patterns, improve sleep quality, and reduce insomnia. By promoting a sense of calm and relaxation, it supports restful sleep.
Enhanced cognitive function: It has been found to support cognitive function and memory, improve focus, concentration, and overall mental clarity. The herb also exhibits antioxidant activity, which can help reduce oxidative stress in the mind and body. Oxidative stress has been linked to hormone imbalance, reduced cognitive function, inflammation, low energy levels etc and by reducing oxidative damage, ashwagandha may help support overall health. If you’re considering using ashwagandha or any other herbal supplement, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalised guidance based on your specific needs and health condition.
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