Discover The Many Benefits of Ashwagandha
Perhaps you've heard of the ashwagandha plant, but do you know about all of the great benefits that this colorful piece of nature has to offer?
The ashwagandha is a very versatile medicinal plant, native to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, where it has long been used as a remedy. In Ayurveda (a system of medicine with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent), for example, the berry plays an important role in its narcotic and sleep-inducing effects. In fact, this plant is considered one of the most important tonics in the practice of Ayurveda.
In India, ashwagandha is mainly used for problems associated with impotence. It is said to increase the libido and sexual desire, while holding the reputation of being able to increase the length of the erection and even improve sperm quality.
What is ashwagandha used for?
Ashwagandha supports a healthy balance in the nervous system and is said to help with feelings of burnout and chronic fatigue. Additionally, the calming effect of this plant is a great source for anxiety and panic attacks, and helps those who suffer from sleepless nights and insomnia. In fact, this berry is sometimes used as a sedative, proving to be heaven-sent for those who find it difficult to 'switch off' after a long and busy day. And even in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, this beautiful herb is used as a support.
Ashwagandha not only promotes a peaceful sleep however, but also influences the duration of the deep sleep phase, so that you can start a new day feeling fresh and awake.
It also has an anti-inflammatory effect due to its antibacterial properties. The leaves are applied to sores on the skin and heal the inflammation and swelling. It is also said that this plant holds disinfecting capabilities, as it cleans the blood and promotes the regeneration of tissue - especially that of the muscle.
How do you use ashwagandha?
The leaves, the root bark, and the root itself are processed into tea and powders, but can be most easily consumed in capsule form. Because the tea is not particularly tasty, you can add honey or cinnamon to disguise the bitter taste. You can also chew the root to rid the mouth of bacteria and to reduce toothache.
The four different dosage forms are Arishta (herbal liqueur), Churna (powder), tablets (for strengthening) and Gritha (ashwagandha in Ayurvedic butter form).
How does ashwagandha work?
Scientific studies suggest that ashwagandha can protect brain cells against the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle - such as stress, toxins in the environment, and poor nutrition.
In the field of anxiety and depression, it was determined that the use of the plant has a similar effect on these diseases as some antidepressants.
Studies show that when ashwagandha extract was added to a stress-inducing situation or activity of a person, the stress parameters were effectively normalized.
Athletes are also large consumers of ashwagandha! According to a study, it increases muscle strength during training and reduces the occurrence of training-related muscle damage, as well as a significant reduction in body fat. In addition, the study found that the subjects had a significant increase in muscle mass in the chest and arms.
Because ashwagandha belongs to the group of adaptogens, it also ensures that one's blood sugar is absorbed faster by the cells of the body, increasing physical and mental performance. Additionally, the serotonin (the 'happy' hormone) level of an ashwagandha user is also increased, as it helps one to withstand stress in a more constructive way, triggering less harmful reactions.
What's also interesting, is that adaptogens help to relax one's blood vessels, thus effectively lowering blood pressure. Even people who suffer from hypothyroidism are advised to take adaptogens.
At present, studies are being conducted in hopes that the ashwagandha plant could one day be used as a remedy for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and to cure cancer.
But in general the ashwagandha is a beautiful herb that should not be absent in stressful situations and is a great support when it comes to sleep-related problems. In fact, you will find this ingredient in our Enjoy45+ Mild herbal drops - a solution that brings comfort to women during menopause.
This article was written by our guest blogger, Anna Rosenblatt, and endorsed by Lieve Plasch.
More inspiration can be found on her website, healthyhappy.de