Commonly Used to Combat Stress, Ashwagandha Provides a Variety of Benefits to Plant-Based Lifestyles
By Jhena Waring
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), is an evergreen plant native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Often hailed “the king of Ayurvedic herbs,” its usage goes back over 3000 years.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen: a type of herb that helps the body adapt to stress. It provides a natural remedy for various ailments by balancing the body. Internal balance creates a homeostatic state; an optimal and healthy place of well-being.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is said to deliver a plethora of benefits. The herb boosts immunity alongside anti-inflammatory properties. It can also strengthen overall brain functioning and memory. Studies also show it can reduce blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels (Healthline.com).
Some studies reveal Ashwagandha’s efficacy in helping with conditions such as anxiety and depression.
The ancient medicinal herb can provide aid during times of stress, or help diminish the effects of every-day life stressors by reducing cortisol levels, a hormone that accumulates in response to chronic stress.
Holistic practitioners recommend using Ashwagandha for restlessness on those nights when you may be tired, but unable to fall asleep.
Several studies claim that Ashwagandha can help to promote leanness and increase muscle mass.
Past Applications of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has been a pivotal part of homeostatic regulation in Ayurveda for years. Because of the plant’s wide-ranging health benefits, it has been used as a Rasayana, which is an herbal system that improves physical and mental health. It uses plants that expand longevity, vitality and happiness.
As holistic health systems such as Ayurveda gain popularity in the West, so do medicinal herbs like Ashwagandha.
Commonly, people use the herb to reduce and manage stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha can provide relief for inflammatory processes that are stimulated in response to fatigue and tension.
Insomniacs who are looking for a natural aid may be able to find solace in Ashwagandha. Incorporating it into a night-time routine may promote relaxation and reduces restlessness.
In Ayurveda, this specific usage is especially recommended for those with a Vata dosha.
Ashwaganda and Plant-Based Living
Ashwagandha can be a beneficial addition to a plant-based diet. It is commonly taken in a powder form or in capsules.
To experience the effects of Ashwagandha, it should be taken daily. Professionals recommend incorporating it into a routine by taking it at the same time daily.
For instance, you can add the root powder to your morning acai bowl, overnight oats, or a smoothie.
Do consult a professional regarding the duration of Ashwagandha usage.
Ashwagandha and COVID-19 Study
A new collaborative study between laboratories in Japan and India is testing the efficacy of Ashwagandha in stopping the cellular development of the coronavirus. Though a new study, a potential correlation has been found.
So far, they have discovered that a natural compound in Ashwagandha and Propolis or bee glue, could potentially stop its viral replication.
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
There are currently no known side affects to Ashwagandha. At the same time, there are no long-term scientific studies proving its benefits; more studies need to be done for more conclusive results to be made.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We advise readers to always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.