Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been used in India for thousands of years as a rasayana (rejuvenative), aphrodiasiac and as an adaptogenic herb (relieving long term stress in the body). It is a small shrub belonging the the Nightshade family bearing yellowish flowers that ripen into red berries. In Hindi, Ashwagandha means “like a horse” referring to its unique smell and it’s rejuvenating properties. It’s also nicknamed “Indian Ginseng” as it is used similarly as ginseng is in Chinese Medicine.
There have been many recent studies in Indian and Japan showing Ashwagandha effective for depression, anxiety, regeneration of nerve cells, inhibiting cancer cell growth and may also help protect immune function during chemotherapy treatment. Ashwagandha is thought to benefit patients suffering from Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s diseases and other neurodegenative conditions.
Historically, Ashwagandha has been used by men and women as a reproductive tonic, working especially well for men. It is a slightly warming herb, good for Vata and Kapha excess, with calming, mild and sedative effects. The root is typically used in powder form in encapsulated formulas or mixed with warm milk and honey taken before bedtime. 1-6 capsules can be taken, with smaller doses working up to larger if needed. High doses may cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea and should not be taken by pregnant women.
Medical Disclaimer: The following information is for educational information and not intended for diagnosis. Always consult with your Medical Practitioner when ever needed.