Contribution of Ashwagandha to Ayurveda

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of the most beneficial herbs in Ayurveda and is commonly known as “Indian Winter cherry” or “Indian Ginseng”. Ashwagandha is a Sanskrit word means the “smell of a horse” as it increases sexual stamina and has immense rejuvenation power. Due its wide range of health benefits it makes an important and prominent place in ayurvedic rasayan and named as a “Sattvic Kapha Rasayana".

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) belongs to Solanaceae family. Beside a strong aphrodisiac it has one major property that it is a one of the best anti-ageing herb. Some other health benefits of Ashwagandha include anti depressive, stabilize blood sugar, enhance memory and learning ability, maintain the cholesterol level and anti-insomnia effects.

Ashwagandha Plant:

  • Common Name: Winter cherry, Indian Ginseng (Eng.), Poison gooseberry
  • Latin Name: - Withania somnifera (somnifera means "sleep-bearing" in Latin, indicating its sedative nature, but it also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen)
  • Family- Solanaceae
  • Botany:  Withania somnifera is a small shrub that grows to 1.5m with small yellow flowers that turn to red fruits.
  • Part used: Its long tuberous roots are used to prepare the herbal remedy Ashwagandha where as berries and leaves are used for external application.  

Ashwagandha benefits:

1. Anti Depressant : Ashwagandha is well known for its dual effect energizing/ calming effect at the same time. Research says that its regular use improves resistance to stress, possibly by decreasing cortisol production. Cortisol is a body’s stress hormone, causes to muscle loss and weakness, wrinkles, and cognitive impairment. It provides a nourishing, energizing effect to your nervous system. Hence it is widely use for toning and rejuvenation process.

2. Sexual Potency : Ashwagandha had a great impact on sexual health as it improves semen quality. A recent scientific study says that this herb supports sexual health  by increasing blood flow and reducing bodily tension. Women taking Ashwagandha typically experience an increase in sexual desire.

3. Increased Blood Production: Ashwagandha possesses hemo-poetic properties due to which it increases red blood cell and white blood cell counts thereby helping to prevent conditions like anaemia.

4. In cases of hypothyroidism :  A recent research says that Ashwagandha can stimulate the thyroid gland. Hence this herb can be taken on daily basis to increase the secretion of thyroid hormones

5. Cardio-tonic : Ashwagandha, act as anti stressor along with its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which make it a cardio-protective herb. Beside all this it also strengthens the heart muscles and reduces blood cholesterol levels. 

6. Anti-Inflammatory and Antibacterial Properties : Ashwagandha consist of alkaloids, saponins, and steroidal which provides it an Anti-Inflammatory property. Ashwagandha also possesses antibacterial properties Due to which it is effectively used in rheumatologic problems, urinogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tract infections when consumed orally.

Ashwagandha Side Effect

  • Ashwagandha is a safe drug when taken for short-term. Large doses of it cause stomach upset, diarrhoea, and vomiting.
  • Ashwagandha had abortifacient properties so better to avoid in pregnancy and during breast feeding.
  • Don’t use Ashwagandha if you are suffering from stomach ulcer as it irritate the mucosal lining of stomach.
  • Ashwagandha act as immunity booster so patient suffering from auto immune disorder should avoid it.

Ashwagandha dosages

Ashwagandha root powder is easily available in the market either in powdered, capsule or granules.

Dosages

  • Ashwagandha churna (root powder) 1 to 6 gm with Luke warm water or one glass milk before going to bed. 
  • Ashwagandha tablet form (2-4 tabs. of 250 mg daily) with luke warm water before going to bed.
  • Ashwagandha tea: boil the 1 tsp powder in 250 ml water and boil it for ten min. 

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