Ashwagandha developed in India through the ancient medicine system of Ayurveda. It is regarded as a powerful wellbeing and health promoting herb. Ashwagandha is also known as Withania Somnifera or Indian Ginseng.
It is estimated that the roots and berry-like fruit of the Ashwagandha shrub have been used medicinally in India since at least 6,000 B.C. This makes it possibly one of the oldest known medicinal herbs.
The name Ashwagandha originates in Sanskrit language. Ashva means ‘horse’ and gandha translates as ‘smell’. Needless to say, the smell in its raw form is ‘horse-like’! However, you will be pleased to hear that, when taken in supplement form, this does not follow through.
Ashwagandha is grown predominantly in India, but also in other areas of the world, such as Africa and the Middle East, where climatic conditions allow. Both the root and the berry of the plant are used to make herbal health supplements.
Although Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years, more recently, it’s use has become much more widespread. This is partly as it has become more easily accessible, but is also due to more information and research into its health benefits becoming available.
Ashwagandha is classed as an ‘adaptogen’ in scientific terms. Herbs that are adaptogens can help your body to manage stress. Adaptogens can also help balance hormones and improve quality of sleep.
The herb also contains a high concentration of ‘withanolides’ and it’s believed that this is what helps to provide so many health benefits to those that take it as a supplement.
Taking Ashwagandha benefits the health of both your body and brain, and helps promote your overall wellbeing in a really positive way. This includes fighting symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as boosting brain function, reducing inflammation or helping to lower blood sugar levels.
To find out more about the benefits of taking Ashwagandha in supplement form, please read ‘Ashwaganda: The Top 10 Benefits’.
Ashwagandha: is it safe to use?
The answer is that, yes, Ashwagandha appears to be a safe supplement for most people. It is therefore is widely used and widely available.
As with most herbal or dietary supplements, caution should be exercised at first, and dosage and directions should always be followed carefully.
Some people should not take this as a supplement, and this includes women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Those who have autoimmune conditions (such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Type 1 Diabetes) should consult their doctor before taking Ashwagandha.
Although use is safe, anyone that is on medication for thyroid function or blood sugar regulation should also speak to their doctor before taking it. The supplement may increase thyroid hormone levels in some people and can decrease blood sugar and blood pressure levels. It just means that normal medication dosages may need to be adjusted with the guidance of a doctor.
Ashwagandha: How much should I take?
The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha supplement is between 450mg-650mg once or twice per day. It can usually be found in capsule form at this dose, and then taken accordingly to suit your own health and lifestyle.
Available doses do vary between 125mg-1250mg. However, it is generally recommended not to exceed 1250mg per day. Studies have shown that the higher the dose the more significant the results, in general.
Ashwagandha: What can we conclude?
Ashwagandha is a traditional Ayurvedic herb with many health benefits that can support your overall wellbeing and lifestyle.
It can help to reduce anxiety and stress, support in fighting the symptoms of depression, potentially boost fertility and testosterone in men, and may even boost brain function and muscle mass.
To find out more about the benefits of taking Ashwagandha in supplement form, please read our blog ‘Ashwagandha: The Top 10 Benefits’.
Supplementing with Ashwagandha is an easy and effective way to improve your health, wellbeing and quality of life. Is it time to give this a go? Empower Your Wellbeing.