The philosophy of natural healing never ceases. For centuries, mankind has been using the gifts of nature in promoting healthy living. Even in today’s technological world, primitive herbs are taking the limelight to combat chronic illnesses and in promoting overall health and wellness.
One of the great gifts from mother nature is Ashwagandha. This Indian herb is a miracle plant that offers a number of healing abilities. In this article, you’ll come to know this exotic superherb and how it helps many body parts, particularly your brain and your hair.
Getting To Know Ashwagandha
If you are going to search Ashwagandhaon the web, you will be directed toWithani a somnifera as this is the scientific name of this plant. In Latin, the word somnifera means ‘sleep-inducing.’ Ashwagandha is actually the combination of the words ashwa, which means ‘horse’ and gandha, which means ‘smell.’ This can be attributed to the fact that the plant has a strong horse-like smell, and its tendency to increase vigor.
It is also known as Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, or poison gooseberry. Its flowers are typically small, green in color, and bell-shaped. The fruits are red-orange when ripe and they are about the same size as raisins. Ashwagandha is native to India, the Middle East, and Africa, but now it can be grown in the United States or in places with mild climates.
Withanolides are a group of chemicals that are considered to be one of the most studied components of Ashwagandha. The other component is withferin, a chemical found in the stems and leaves. These two chemicals have antioxidant properties and anti-tumor effects. More so, this herb is considered to be the most powerful ‘adaptogen’ which means it helps your body manage stress.
Indeed, ashwagandha is a powerhouse superherb for it contains the following components:
- Fatty Acids
The Helpful Ashwagandha Plant Parts
Take a look at the whole Ashwagandha plant and the uses of the different parts for various medical purposes. Each part of this herb is actually functional, and that’s the reason why this Indian herb is one of the highly-priced herbs around the globe. Now, here are the helpful Ashwagandha plant parts which you can take advantage:
Leaves – The leaves of Ashwagandha have Withaferin A which makes them have curing capabilities such as the ability to reduce a fever. Also, ointment from boiled leaves of this herb can be used if you have bed sores. More so, they can be used to cure boils, inflammation, skin lesions, and swelling. Ashwagandha leaves are now getting more popular in the form of tea.
Flowers and Fruits – Ashwagandha flowers can be used as an astringent, diuretic, and depurative. They are even considered an aphrodisiac! On the other hand, the fruits are eaten in some parts of the world, but in most places, it is being extracted to produce topicals and tinctures. Both the flowers and fruits are now being extracted to produce a variety of healing products.
Seeds – Just like the fruits and the flowers, the seeds of Ashwagandha are also a diuretic. Aside from that, they are an anthelmintic meaning they can expel internal parasites like parasitic worms.
Roots – The roots of this Indian herb is said to be an aphrodisiac, tonic, and stimulant. It can be dried, then turned into powder. The roots are actually considered the most potent part of this plant. In addition, the roots can be extracted to aid in the healing of rheumatism, edema, and cough. Ashwagandha roots are also good for you if you want to regain your strength.
Ashwagandha And All Its Healthy Benefits
Ashwagandha has been used as traditional Indian medicine for centuries already. It is one of the herbs used in Ayurveda, one form of Indian alternative medicine which is based on natural healing. This herb has rejuvenating and restorative properties, and just like its name, it can possibly provide the strength and vigor of a horse.
This miracle herb is really great to improve your health, and here are the healthful benefits of Ashwagandha to the different parts of your body:
Ashwagandha: Great For Your Body
Ashwagandha actually positively impacts most of your body systems. Thus, it can really ensure overall health and wellness like having the strength and endurance of a stallion. It can even prevent chronic diseases from developing in your body. Listed below are the innumerable health benefits that this herb can offer:
- It helps in lowering your blood sugar level even if you are a healthy individual, and especially for diabetes patients.
- It can decrease the amount of cancerous cells in your body.
- It increases your muscle strength and muscle mass, and it helps in the reduction of body fat.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties which is great for persons with rheumatism.
- It improves the condition of your heart by lowering down triglycerides and cholesterol level of your body.
- It can prevent seizures and convulsions for people with epilepsy.
- It controls the spread of disease due to bacterial infection.
- It fights cataract disease because of its cytoprotective and antioxidant properties.
- It increases the production of thyroid hormones which is good for those with hypothyroidism.
- It has hematopoietic properties which is good for anemic persons.
- It is great for those with kidney problems because it can counteract the toxic effects of certain medications.
- It has great benefits for your skin because it combats signs of aging, promotes wound healing, treats keratosis, and stimulates collagen production.
Ashwagandha: Great For Your Brain
Among the many health benefits of this herb to your body, it is particularly helpful to the brain because of the following reasons:
- It is known to improve brain functions and stress. It was found out that people who undergo pretreatment of Ashwagandha can be protected from stress induced by gastric ulcers. This makes this Indian herb known as ‘stress hormone.’
- It can alleviate depression for it can act as a mood stabilizer for clinical conditions of depression.
- It can reduce your anxiety because it provides calming effects on people with anxious mood for it provides relief to people who experience anxiety attacks.
- It is good for persons who had a brain injur y or disease for it tends to reduce brain and memory function problems.
- It can also be given to children with a deficit in memory and for elderly people who are losing their memory.
- It helps to regenerate dendrites and nerve cells making it an effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- It can induce deep sleep which can enhance memory, and this makes the herb helpful to persons with insomnia. Ashwagandha increases acetylcholine levels in the brain, which results in improved memory and intelligence.
Ashwagandha: Great For Your Hair
If you want to have manageable and healthy hair, try this amazing herb. With the numerous healthful benefits of Ashwagandha, it can also significantly impact the growth of your hair because of its alkaloid content. These alkaloids impact the nervous system to ease the stress and anxiety level of a person, which can directly impact the health of your hair.
As one of the herbs in Ayurveda, Ashwagandha has been used to treat scalp and hair problems. Adding Ashwagandha to your hair products will give you the following hair benefits :
- It improves scalp blood circulation that is beneficial for the hair follicles to receive more nutrients to make it stronger.
- It makes hair stronger by bringing down the cortisol level in your body helping to reduce the impact of stress,and can eventually prevent your hair from breaking.
- It helps in getting rid of psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff on your scalp because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- It reverses the graying of your hair by stimulating the melanin production, which is the pigment responsible for your hair’s color.
- This herb can also be helpful to people who are experiencing hair loss for Ashwagandha makes hair stronger and the hair follicles healthy.
Other Helpful Benefits
Truly, this Indian herb can significantly improve your health and can even prevent diseases. Adding to the powerhouse benefits of Ashwagandha are the following:
- Helps with infertility issues
- Increases libido
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause like mood swings and sleep troubles.
- This miracle herb can also increase breast milk for it is a galactogogue . It helps in the thickening of breast milk, and in increasing its nutritive value.
Studies On The Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
To support the health claims of this Indian herb, these are the 5 Ashwagandha studies that everyone must know:
- Anti-arthritic Agent And Anti-inflammatory Agent
The overview of Ashwagandha conducted by the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicine (AJTCAM) found out that this superherb has anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it beneficial for persons with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid.
- Anti-cancer Agent
A study conducted in 2018 concluded that Ashwagandha can be a potential anti-cancer agent and a powerful antioxidant. It was mentioned that this Indian herb can be a powerful antioxidant when it is in water extract form. This study also revealed another way to counteract cancer the natural way.
- Sleep-inducing Property
In 2017, it was revealed in a study that triethyleneglycol found in the leaves of Ashwagandha is a sleep-inducing component of this superherb. With this, it can be used for people who are experiencing insomnia.
- Sleep Protection
This study on Ashwagandha leaves supports the claim that Ashwanganda is good for the brain. The leaf extract is effective in protecting you from oxidative stress. This is made possible because of the derived bioactive compound which has neuroprotective potential that is good for your brain’s health.
- Increased Fertility Among Males
Ashwagandha extract can improve the reproductive system as revealed by this study. It can particularly enhance spermatogenesis among males and can decrease the chance of infertility because of the enhanced semen.
Ashwagandha As Part Of Your Everyday Life
If you want to maximize your use of this miracle herb, then you can consider using it in different forms. Listed below are the four forms where you can take advantage of the use of Ashwagandha.
The most common form of Ashwagandha is in powder form or churan. When this herb is powdered, it can be mixed with honey, ghee, or even distilled water alone. It is also great to add powdered Ashwagandha to your milk before going to bed. In taking the powdered form of this herb, it is recommended to have 3-6 grams daily.
You can add the powdered Ashwagandha to boiling water in order to make Ashwagandha tea. However, the tea form of this Indian herb is already available online or in local stores near you so you can enjoy it the more. It is good to note that drinking ashwagandha tea is great every morning or before bedtime.
Ashwagandha extract is also available online and in some beauty product outlets. The extract can be be used as topical, and it can be applied to the skin to treat backaches, wounds, and one-sided paralysis or hemiplegia. The daily dose in the form of extract can approximately be 250-500 milligrams.
Also, you can achieve healthy and lustrous hair, if you add ashwagandha extract to your favorite shampoo.
You can have this by boiling distilled water and Ashwagandha roots or other parts for a few minutes. However, you have to remember that the maximum amount of Ashwagandha infused-water that someone can consume each day is only two cups.
Aside from the forms mentioned, this superherb can also be an ingredient in many recipes such as the following:
- Sweet And Salty Cookies
- Healthy Drinks And Smoothies
- Ashwagandha Powder Balls
- Ashwagandha Laddus (Sweets)
- Indian Ashwagandha Desserts
Ashwagandha can also be made into facial tonic in order to have glowing skin. Just put together Ashwagandha powder, lemon juice, and dried ginger and apply to your face for 15 minutes. In addition, the powder form can also be used as a facial cleanser, and it can also be an anti-acne cream because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cautions In Taking Ashwagandha
Just like other medications and herbal medicines, Ashwagandha must always be taken with precautionary measures. The following must be considered before you take this superherb:
- Pregnant women should not take Ashwagandha for this may lead to miscarriage.
- It is advised that Ashwagandha should not be taken in large amounts for it can cause side effects like nausea, upset stomach, or diarrhea. Dosage of this superherb is based on a person’s health condition, age, and other factors.
- Although Ashwagandha is good for those with hypothyroidism, this Indian herb should be taken with caution by persons with hyperthyroidism.
- A person who takes prescription medications or sedatives should not take Ashwagandha for there is a possibility of interaction that can cause shock reaction.
Indeed, this Indian herb is a gift to all of us for almost all parts of it are being used for medicinal purposes. Ashwagandha can even be taken in different forms which makes it consumer-friendly. It really has a great impact on the normal functioning of our body parts, and it has great benefits to our brain and hair. However, with all the good things about this superherb, it must be noted that consuming this must be coupled with caution and prescription from the doctors. Take Ashwagandha with the right prescription and you’ll have the strength of a stallion.