Ashwagandha, otherwise known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for over 2,500 years. In fact, a loose translation of its Sanskrit name can be understood as ‘strength of the stallion’ or ‘smell of the horse’, due to it’s potency in regulating the immune system, enabling faster recovery after illness, and because it’s roots seem to emanate a smell akin to horse sweat. It is considered to posses herbal intelligence as it helps to eases anxiety by naturally lowering cortisol levels, depending on the body’s needs.
In the wild, the ashwagandha plant is a small shrub with yellow leaves and red fruit, that is native to India and Northern African countries. People have made powders from it’s roots and leaves for millennia to treat a wide variety of conditions, as it is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, has antidepressant and cardio-protective properties and stimulates the thyroid gland.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, which is a unique class of healing plants that helps to restore balance to the body. These plants are in a class of their own as they help your body to respond to any influence or stress and normalise your physiological functions.
Hundreds of studies have shown its ability to:
- Improve thyroid function
- Treat adrenal fatigue
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Combats the effects of stress
- Increase stamina and endurance
- Prevent and treat cancer
- Reduce brain cell degeneration
- Stabilise blood sugar
- Lower cholesterol
- Boost immunity
It is an especially potent herb for women, as stress, dis-ease, hormonal imbalances and nutritional deficiencies threaten female reproductive health. Since ashwagandha eases such maladies, it creates an environment within the body which promotes fertility. It is also a mood-enhancing herb, and research suggests that it can offer therapeutic value in fighting mood imbalance, which could be especially beneficial for women who battle mood swings.
Ashwagandha and Mental Health
For me, the most impressive and exciting benefit of ashwagandha is coincidentally what it is best known for – it’s ability to combat anxiety and depression. Modern scientists have proven what has been known by traditional medicine for millennia. In both animal and human studies, ashwagandha was shown to block the stress pathway in the brain by regulating chemical signalling in the nervous system. In a 60 day study of 64 people with chronic stress, those in the ashwagandha group reported an almost 70% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, compared to only 11% in the placebo group.
Keep in mind that ashwagandha is a very safe option when it comes to treating anxiety and other mental health issues. It does not have the risks and side effects that many modern medicines have, although it is advisable to take it in isolation from pharmaceuticals, as it is not known how they would interact in the body. Pregnant women are advised to avoid ashwagandha, as it possesses abortifacient properties.
How Do I Get Ashwagandha?
We are so excited to be adding ashwagandha to our store. Making this powerful healer available to you as a single herbal tincture is on the top of our to do list because of it’s unique healing abilities. We hope that you give it a try and let us know what you think!
I wish you well on your healing journey – may this sacred herb bring wholeness and wellness into your life as it has done for countless others over thousands of years.