In Ayurvedic medicine it is considered a rasayana, which means the path of essence, and speaks to its longevity properties. It enhances Ojas, which is the equivalent in Chinese Medicine as Jing and has been in use for over 4000 years.
Also known as the Indian Ginseng.
The name Ashwagandha means horse smell as the root has a strong horse-like odor. It is also believed to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion.
The Benefits of Ashwaganda
- Used with Auto-Immune Disorders
- Inhibits Enzyme that Breaks Down Acetylcholine in the Brain, sometimes used for nootropic effects
- Has a Calming Effect and May Help Reduce the Effects of Too Much Stress
- Works on the HPA Axis and Neuroendocrine System
- Effective for Worrying and Cloudy Thinking
- May Help Lower Blood Pressure
- Helps Stabilize Blood Sugar and Lower Cholesterol
- Immune System Support
- Increases Production of Bone Marrow and Sperm
- Increases Blood Cell Count and Hair Melanin
- Increase Libido and Sexual Function
Health Issues and Diseases Helped by Ashwagandha Historically
- Colds and Coughs
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Nervous Disorders
- Intestinal Infections
Powdered Form of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is the root of a plant that can be consumed as is. Although extracts are available, they are not necessary to gain the benefits of this powerful herb. This is not raw but is steam sterilized to prevent bacteria and mycotoxins.
Use to make your own teas, decoctions and tinctures. Serving size is 1 to 3 grams meaning a 200 gram bag (over 7 ounces) can last up to several months depending on dosage. One tablespoon is 8 grams. This can easily be mixed into water and other liquids.
Side Effects and Contraindications
The side effects of Ashwagandha typically only happen at excessive dosages. It’s been reported to cause abortions, so pregnant women should avoid this herb. It is not recommended to take in combination with other sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs. Large doses may cause diarrhea and stomach upset.
Those with nightshade sensitivity may experience dizziness and headache and might want to avoid Ashwagandha.
Some people find Ashwagandha does not sit well on an empty stomach. Consume with food, or drink with milk as is recommended in Ayurvedic medicine.