Ashwagandha is a small shrub called Withania somnifera. It means ‘winter cherry‘ in Dutch. The word “somnifera” stands for “sleep-inducing“, which refers to the nerve-strengthening effect. The name “Ashwagandha” means “the strength and smell of a horse“. Ashwagandha is a real powerhouse that provides more energy and also supports our metabolism!
The Ashwagandha bush can grow up to one and a half metres high and is found throughout Africa. The plant is also found in the Mediterranean, South Asia and Mauritius. In the traditional Indian herbal medicine of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha plays an important role as an aphrodisiac because of its libido enhancing effect. According to traditional Asian use Ashwagandha supports the resistance and provides more physical endurance.
Ingredients of Ashwagandha
The roots of the Ashwagandha bush contain various alkaloids, such as anaferine, anahygrine, cuscohygrine, whitaferine A and whitasomniferanolide. They also contain the active components of ashwaganda: withanolides. These constituents are steroids and are very similar to the main constituent of Panax Ginseng. That is why Ashwaganda is also called “Indian ginseng“.
Effects of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is said to restore the balance in body and mind. It would improve the mood and help with stress. Ashwagandha also has a calming and a stimulating effect. According to traditional Asian use, ashwagandha promotes endurance and also increases resistance.
Important properties of ashwagandha
- Provides more motivation,
- Reduces anxiety,
- It has a calming effect on the nervous system,
- It ensures that you sleep better and recover better after overtiredness,
- Helps to recover after a burn-out,
- Strengthens your immune system.
How do you use Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha can be taken in many different ways! You can put Ashwagandha powder in a capsule and take it. If you do not like capsules, or if you have trouble taking them, you can choose to mix ashwagandha powder through your yoghurt or smoothie. This is also well absorbed by your body.
You can also make a tea of it. Dissolve a teaspoon of powder in a mug of hot water.
A lesser known way of using ashwagandha is to put the powder in the vaporizer. Fill the herb chamber with ashwagandha powder and press it down. Don’t forget to put back the screen and set your vaporizer to 190ºC.
The amount of ashwagandha you can take on a day, differs per situation. If you are very stressed or if you are facing a stressful situation, you can take a little more. General recommendations are:
- Capsules: 1 capsule per day for support or 2 capsules in stressful situations.
- Powder: 0.5 to 1 teaspoon powder per day
Ashwagandha can be used daily.