Many herbs identified and used by Ayurveda as medicinally valuable are capturing the attention of and getting popularized in the Western world. But one of the most popular among them is Ashwagandha. The scientific name of this wonderful plant is Withania somnifera, and its tremendous health benefits are being proven through scientific studies. This herb has been used since thousands of years in Ayurveda as a “rasayana” (rejuvenator) and adaptogenic (adapting to the body’s needs and helping it to resist psychological and physiological stress). Earth’s Wisdom today wants to introduce this amazing herb to readers.
Ashwagandha supports, tones and revitalizes bodily processes. You’ll be surprised to know that it has dual functions that are totally opposite i.e. it calms down and energizes at the same time.
Ashwagandha nourishes and energizes your nervous system and thus makes it healthy. It reduces the impact of stress and thus helps resolve signs like agitation over time.
This calming and rejuvenating effect of Ashwagandha not only makes the nervous system healthy but also the entire being. Due to this amazing quality, Ashwagandha has become a major supplement for toning and rejuvenation.
Besides this dual effect, Ashwagandha has numerous other benefits, such as:
A lot of researchers have become interested in Ashwagandha, especially with its growing popularity. So far, the prominent effects of Ashwagandha found by research are:
When used in combination with shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum), safed musli (Chlorophytum borivillanum) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Ashwagandha has been found to show antioxidant properties and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
The benefit of Ashwagandha on immune system has been keenly studied particularly for its potential support to immune system during chemotherapy and radiation.
And there are many more studies showing various health benefits of Ashwagandha.
According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha balances vata (gas) and kapha (cough or slime) when they are in excess. But since it has heating, slimy properties, it can imbalance pitta (acidity) and even worsen ama (toxin buildup). Ayurveda particularly reveres the strengthening, building and nourishing properties of Ashwagandha. Its health benefits listed above come from these very properties and it mainly ensures healthy reproductive system and muscles, and balances vata.
Ashwagandha is traditionally used in powder form which can be mixed with water or honey and warm milk. When taken before bedtime, the mixture calms down vata and promotes healthy sleep patterns, boosts strength and strengthens reproductive system. A common dose is ¼ - ½ teaspoon once or twice in a day.
Another traditional recipe is to mix honey and ghee in equal amounts as anupan (a vehicle which can transport the drug deep inside the tissues) with Ashwagandha for overall rejuvenation and nourishment. It’s important to note that equal measurements each of honey and ghee such as ½ teaspoon is fine, but never take equal weights like 1 gram each because this is considered to be toxic.
Taking Ashwagandha with sugar offers a cooling effect and can even replace honey, especially in summer months.
A mixture of ghee, sugar and Ashwagandha can be taken as a supplement to strengthen female reproductive system and joints.
Today Ashwagandha also comes in tablet form which you may find convenient, especially during travel. You can take 1-2 tablets once or twice in a day, morning and night, whichever is the most convenient time for you. You don’t need to take them with food.
So, are you ready to take the benefits of the wonderful herb called Ashwagandha?
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