Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera – An Ayurvedic Rasayana for Body and Mind
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen and a revered Ayurvedic elixir for rejuvenation, nourishment, and strength. It is a natural supplement to lower cortisol and balance thyroid hormones.
It literally translates to the “strength of the stallion”. It is also commonly known as Indian ginseng, for its ability to boost mental and physical stamina and its extraordinary stress relieving properties.
It belongs Medhya rasayanas sub-group of Rasayanas. Medhya typically refers to the mind and mental/intellectual capacity.
Ashwagandha – A powerful Adaptogen to activate your energy systems – Health Benefits
The root of Ashwagandha is regarded as a tonic, aphrodisiac, narcotic, diuretic, anthelmintic, astringent, thermogenic and stimulant. The root smells like a horse (“ashwa”) and is believed to provide the power/energy of a horse.
- Enhances the function of the brain and rejuvenates the nervous system leading to increase in the cognitive ability of all age groups starting from young children.
- Improves body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity.
- It also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.
- Has anti ulcer and anti tumor properties. It prevents stress-induced ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stabilises mood, relieves from anxiety, and helps sleep better for its abilities to positively boost functioning of nervous system.
- Is a powerful anti-arthritic support as it soothes nervous system from pain response for its analgesic and anti inflammatory properties.
- Is effective in treating central nervous system (CNS) disorders, particularly in epilepsy, stress and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disorders.
- An aphrodisiac, it enhances vitality and fertility in men by improving semen quality and in women by supporting uterine functionality.
Modes of Consumption
- Ashwagandha root is commonly available in powdered form and mixed with water, ghee (clarified butter) or honey.
- Recommended dose is 6 to 10 g, twice a day. Powdered and mixed in hot cup of milk before bedtime helps treat insomnia and anxiety.
Large doses of Ashwagandha can have side effects in terms of increased anxiety as it acts as a stimulant. For pregnant women, commonly prescribed dose of Ashwagandha is not recommended.