A Complete Guide on How to Use Ashwagandha
Have you heard of the incredible variety of health benefits of ashwagandha?
It’s nothing new. Ashwagandha root has been used in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) for over three thousand years. You may have seen it stocked on the shelves of health food stores over the years.
Lately, however, with the increasing popularity of supplements and nootropics, its use has gained a broader appeal. If you’re interested in supplements and don’t know about the benefits of ashwagandha, now is the time to learn about it.
If you’re looking to find out how to use ashwagandha, what it is, and what it’s used for, read on.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an evergreen, fruiting plant of the nightshade family. Also known as the winter cherry or Indian ginseng, it is native to the Indian subcontinent.
The name derives from Sanskrit and translates as “the smell of the horse.” This is a nod to both the fact that the powder of its ground root smells like a horse and the fact that it was known to bring energy and virility to its users.
Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body mediate physical and psychological stress by various mechanisms. By doing so, it helps reduce chronic stress and frees up the body’s energy for other purposes.
The Benefits of Ashwagandha
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is known as a Rasayana, a compound that promotes longevity, vitality, and overall wellbeing.
It is best known for a couple of its benefits, though it has many. The first is its adaptogenic quality – that is, being a stress-reliever. Ashwagandha normalizes levels of cortisol, a major hormone produced as a product of stress. Taking it regularly protects against increases in stress levels.
The second primary benefit is its effect on sexual and reproductive health. Ashwagandha increases fertility and may increase libido in both men and women. Its normalizing effects on hormones also promote good sexual health.
Other benefits include having a preventative effect against anxiety and depression, helping fight insomnia, improving immune function, helps prevent cancer, reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, and promotes healthy weight loss. It’s a small wonder it’s so well-regarded among Ayurvedic practitioners!
How To Use Ashwagandha
In Ayurvedic tradition, powdered ashwagandha root is mixed into a warm drink with ghee, honey, and milk and drunk before bed. If you have ashwagandha root powder, you can find variations on this recipe online. As with turmeric, adding black pepper can help the body absorb ashwagandha.
These days, supplements are readily available containing ideal mixtures of ashwagandha and black pepper. These supplements can be a simple alternative to mixing your own doses. Click here for more information.
Ashwagandha can interact with certain types of drugs, such as certain immunosuppressants and sedative medications, and isn’t recommended for pregnant women. As with any supplement, be sure to discuss its use with your doctor before taking ashwagandha.
Mind Your Health
Ashwagandha is an ancient herb with a plethora of health benefits. Used correctly and responsibly, it can have long-term positive effects on your overall health.
If you found this guide on how to use ashwagandha useful, be sure to check out the health news section of the blog!