Ashwagandha root is an adaptogenic herb widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. An adaptogen is a unique group of herbal plants used to improve the health of your adrenal system. They help strengthen the body’s response to stress and enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue naturally, without side effects. And as the name implies, they “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs.
Ashwagandha is a Hindi word that describes the horse-like smell of the this herb, as well as making reference to the virility of a horse—as it was traditionally (and still is) used to support a healthy reproductive system. Its Latin name is Withania Somnifera.
This herb has been used since ancient medicine to help increase vitality, energy, endurance, stamina, promote longevity and strengthen the immune system. It enhances endocrine function, especially the thyroid and adrenals.
From knowing what it can do, you can only imagine that the use for this herb will be immense in our current world that is in dire need to rebalance our body’s chemical in reversing the damages done by physiological and psychological stress.
It is often taken as a daily tonic to improve general vitality while naturally balancing the body’s hormones to alleviate anxiety and other stress-related disorders.
Common Uses Of Ashwagandha
This Indian herb, often referred to as Indian ginseng, is one of Ayurveda’s most popular herbal remedies for promoting sexual health—both for men and women. The root is regarded as tonic, aphrodisiac, narcotic, diuretic, anthelmintic, astringent, thermogenic and stimulant.
Ashwagandha root is often prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners for:
- Relieving inflammation and pain in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism, gout and asthma
- Relieving constipation
- Strengthening heart health and control cholesterol
- Treating diabetes and lower blood sugar levels
- Stabilizing/Balancing the secretion of thyroid hormones for thyroid health
- Anti-aging—scavenging and neutralizing free radicals in the body
- Reducing oxidative stress throughout the body
- Inducing sleep in insomniacs
- Improving blood quality by increasing red and white blood cells, and platelets count
- Strengthening immune system
- Healing in the gastrointestinal tract—ulcers, flatulence, colic, worms, hemorrhoids
- Promoting mental health—preventing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
Ashwagandha’s Health Benefits For Men
Prolonged stress can cause many untold health issues, beginning in the gut.
Modern medicine has recently documented that individuals with sexual dysfunction are finding this root beneficial as an aphrodisiac that does not cause any adverse effects.
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Hormonal imbalance in men can cause many health issues to their prostate, erectile response and unnecessary fatigue. Consuming ashwagandha increases sexual health by balancing and stabilizing testosterone levels. Some of the benefits:
- Protects prostate health
- Provides blood circulation to the reproductive organ
- Reverses male infertility by increasing sperm quality and count
- Increases libido
- Maintains ideal body weight and strengthens muscle mass
- Improves ability to concentrate and focus
- Increases stamina and energy
- Prevents premature balding
- Supports men’s health as they go through andropause
- Improves mood and overall wellbeing
Ashwagandha’s Health Benefits For Women
This magical herb has the ability to balance the hormones specifically according to your body needs. Some of the benefits may experience from using ashwagandha:
- Anti-aging—promotes better skin, hair and delay in aging
- Decreases cortisol levels, calms nerves and reduces stress
- Supports and reduces menopausal symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety and hot flashes
- Increases libido, arousal and sensitivity
- Strengthens female reproductive health, creating a better environment for fertility
- Protects the brain and improves memory
- Increases stamina and energy
- Regulates hormones and supports thyroid function
BUY ASHWAGANDHA ROOT:
How To Consume Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha root is easily available for purchase in various forms: in its fresh root form, dried, powdered/capsules or as a liquid extract.
- Traditionally, about ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of the powder is mixed with warm milk and honey, to be drunk before bed.
- Another way of taking it is to mix about ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of the powder with equal parts of coconut milk and raw honey.
- You can also boil about ½ teaspoon of the powder for each cup of water. Boil for about 2 minutes, let it steep, cool and drink. Add honey to taste if desired.
- For convenience, you can also purchase ashwagandha root in capsules or liquid form. Take according to the dosage recommended on the bottle, or about 500mx once or twice daily.
For better results, eating a diet high in healthy fats, protein and fiber (fruits and vegetables) is necessary. Also reduce/eliminate processed foods and foods high in sugar.
No side effects have been reported for taking ashwagandha in dosages of less than 1200mg a day, whether for short or long-term use.
Individuals suffering from gastrointestinal disorders should start with a very small amount to gauge the body’s ability to handle the medicinal properties of ashwagandha root.
Pregnant women and individuals who are on long-term medication should avoid taking ashwagandha root. Speak to your naturopathic if you would like to add this herb in your health routine.
Spermatogenic activity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3863556/
Common uses: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
Testosterone in men: http://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/effects-on-body
Prevents neurodegenerative diseases: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20528765