ASHWAGANDHA (Withania somnifera) Powder
About this Herb
Ashwagandha, one of the most popular Indian botanical plants, has been used in Ayurveda – the 5000-year-old Indian system of medicine, as a rejuvenative, and a daily tonic for many centuries. Ashwagandha embodies the very essence of a preventative and curative approach to health in Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is referred to as the Prince of Herbs in Ayurveda.
Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera Dunal and frequently referred to as Indian Winter Cherry, is a member of the Solanaceae family. The name Ashwagandha is derived from Sanskrit words “Ashwa” which means “horse” and “Gandha” which means “odour”, that describes the strong aroma of the root and is considered to be reminiscent of a horse’s skin, or sweat, depending upon to which authority one refers. The species name somnifera refers to the Latin somnus meaning “to sleep” apparently alluding to the use of Ashwagandha as a sedative and as a nervine.
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub, perennial in nature, that grows to a height of 1.5 metres with small bell shaped yellow flowers and is native to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and some parts of Africa. Ashwagandha belongs to the night shade family of plants and is cultivated in drier regions of India, Nepal, and Yemen. The shrub prefers dry stony soil with the sun to partial shade. It can be grown from seed or greenwood cuttings.
Ashwagandha was included in the writings of Charaka, Sushruta and many other Ayurvedic scholars throughout the centuries in various literacy texts called the Samhitas. Ashwagandha is described as a Balya, which promotes strength and vitality, according to Charaka Samhita. Other Ayurvedic texts categorized Ashwagandha as Breehana enhancing muscle bulk, and Vajikarna as promoting sexual wellness and acting as an aphrodisiac. Traditionally, Ashwagandha is categorized as a Rasayana, according to Sushruta Samhita, which can slow the process of aging, boost longevity and enhance mental and physical strength. Ashwagandha is valued as an adaptogen in western herbalism – a herbal modulator that can help restore and revitalize the body and mind, i.e., restore hormone balance and healthy function in various body systems, especially in the adrenal glands, helping to promote stress resistance and energy throughout the day
Ashwagandha has long been revered in the Far East for its healing, aphrodisiac and immune boosting properties.
Meaning “the smell of a horse”, the ashwagandha root is renowned for imparting the strength and vigour of a stallion! It is named so due to the odour of horse sweat the roots seem to emanate, and although all parts of the ashwagandha plant are believed to hold medicinal properties, it is the root that is regarded to be the best for therapy.
Considered “nature’s gift to mankind”, Ayurveda has used ashwagandha for centuries to promote physical and mental health, improve vitality, longevity and resistance against infections and diseases.
Ashwagandha is a powerful herb for the immune system, which as an antioxidant, supports overall immune system function. The main chemical constituents of the root activate enzymes and macrophages (Th1 helper cells), that can engulf disease before it manifests – defending the body against parasitic, bacterial and viral infections. It can also reduce the harmful suppressive effects of chemotherapeutic drugs on the immune system.
Research studies have shown that ashwagandha increases white blood cell counts, platelet counts, stem cells in the bone marrow and the amount and diversity of antibodies produced in the body. This is why it has been especially used in Ayurveda to support patients’ recovery from illness.
Ashwagandha’s amorous reputation is legendary, producing an increase in sexual desire and satisfaction in both men and women. Its extracts have the ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the body. This causes a dilatation of the blood vessels that carry blood to the genitals, leading to increased sexual desire.
Its stabilising effect on male hormones is well documented, with studies showing that it increases luteinising hormone (which stimulates testosterone production) and significantly raises serum testosterone levels.
Also a powerful herb for male and female fertility, ashwagandha’s stress busting qualities help to create a more optimal environment for fertility and conception. Studies show that consuming ashwagandha can reduce the body’s level of the stress hormone, cortisol, by up to 26%.
Ashwagandha provides menopausal support to women, acting on the endocrine system by encouraging hormonal balance. In a recent study of 51 menopausal women, a significant reduction in symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and mood was noted as a result of supplementation with ashwagandha.
There are several studies showing that ashwagandha slows, stops or reverses neuritic atrophy (loss of neurons), and synaptic loss (the connections between them).
These neuro-protective qualities are due, in part, to the antioxidants present in ashwagandha – repelling free radicals and preventing them from damaging cells in the brain. Age related degenerative diseases can be prevented and longevity increased.
Ashwagandha helps to maintain heart health through its regulation of blood circulation. It helps to prevent blood clots, stabilises blood sugar and controls cholesterol levels in the body. It also helps to keep blood pressure within the normal range.
Ashwagandha is one of those rare herbs which is both energising and calming at the same time. It works holistically on the entire body to bring it back to homeostasis and help it to function efficiently. For example it could provide energy to someone feeling sluggish or it can have a calming effect on the nerves of someone feeling tense and anxious. .
How to use:
Powdered ashwagandha root is traditionally mixed with ghee, honey, or water and either ingested or applied topically to inflamed joints or as part of an Ayurvedic skincare routine. To balance ashwagandha powder’s earthy, bitter flavor, you can mix it into sweet desserts, hot beverages, and smoothies
Withanoloids and alkaoids.
Do not take if congested. No significant side effects have been reported with ashwagandha.The herb has been used safely by children in India. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take ashwagandha.
Always consult your healthcare professional if you are taking other medications.
ASHWAGANDHA (Withania somnifera) Powder
These ingredients have been tested and carefully selected by a certified herbalist.
All tonics, loose teas, herbal leaves, and powders should be refrigerated after seal is broken for longest potency and freshness of herbs. Herbal compounds such as tinctures and capsules doesn’t need to be refrigerated and should be stored in a cool, dark place out of direct light. These methods will guarantee the longest potency and freshness. All herbal compounds will have expiration dates on the item packages effective immediately. If Stored correctly these herbal compounds will last far longer than the recommended expiration date.