Library of Nature: Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, called Withaniasomnifera in the scientific world, is a small evergreen shrub from the nightshade family with thousands of years’ long history of use in Ayurveda. It is one of the most revered herbs in the traditional Indian medicinal system and has been referred to as the king of herbs due to incredible health beneficial compounds it contains.

Ashwagandha is also known by the names ofIndian ginseng, winter cherry, and Indian winter cherry.

What Does Ashwagandha Contain?

As mentioned above, Ashwagandha is a natural treasure house of health beneficial compounds. The most important ones, which give it most of its health benefits, include alkaloids, steroidal lactones, saponins,[1] flavones, tannins, glycosides, coumarin, and terpenoids. The herb has also been found to contain five different types of phenolic acids and three types of flavonoids.[2]

Different parts of Ashwagandha plant contain a unique combination and concentration of bioactive compounds. The bioactive compounds present in the root of Ashwagandha have been found to have anxiolytic and anti-depressant properties similar to some modern drugs.[3]

A Brief History of Ashwagandha Use

The history of Ashwagandha use in Indian traditional medicine can be traced back to over 3,000 years. Ayurvedics consider it Rasayana; the Sanskrit word for rejuvenation. Rasayana herbs are used in Ayurveda to improve overall health and well-being and promote longevity. From reducing the signs of aging to managing stress to promoting sleep, Ashwagandha has traditionally been used for a variety of health-boosting purposes.

The herb is also revered by herbal experts as a tonic for improving energy, memory, hormonal function, mood, and libido.[4] There’s also a long history of Ashwagandha’s use as an astringent and anti-inflammatory.[5] It is also known to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandhais known to offer a wide range of health benefits. Here are some of the proven ones:

·       It’s a Natural Stress Buster

Ashwagandha is one of the best known adaptogenic herbs. The ability of Ashwagandha to reduce stress and anxiety is one of the key reasons behind its popularity. Research shows that the herb has the capability to lower the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body.[6]

·       It Helps With Sleep Issues

Sleeplessness or the inability to sleep properly is a common problem these days. Ashwagandha is a wonderful natural ingredient to resolve this problem. Its scientific name somniferameans sleep-inducer so, there’s no doubt regarding the herb’s ability to help with sleep issues. Whether you struggle falling asleep or have trouble with staying asleep, Ashwagandha can help.[7]

The herb doesn’timproves sleep only temporarily; it helps fix your sleep cycle.[8]There is also scientific evidence available that Ashwagandha can help improve sleep issues in people with stress and anxiety.[9]

·       It Helps Improve Skin Health

The rejuvenation benefits of Ashwagandha are not just limited to internal body; they also apply to the skin. Ashwagandha is great for skin rejuvenation. It also works great for reducing the visible signs of aging by fighting against the oxidative stress and also improves skin firmness.[10]The herb has also been found to have anti-microbialproperties[11], which also make it effective for various types of skin infections.[12]

The Sum Up

Ashwagandha is one of the most prized herbs in the traditional Indian medicinal system, called Ayurveda. Many of its benefits are also supported by scientific evidence. This, when coupled with the plenty of anecdotal evidence and the long history of the herb’s use, make it worth giving a try at least. Get your hands on Ashwagandha tincture to gain the maximum benefits of this incredible herb.

 

 

References:

[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

[2]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337479365_Withania_somnifera_L_Dunal_An_Overview_of_Bioactive_Molecules_Medicinal_Properties_and_Enhancement_of_Bioactive_Molecules_Through_Breeding_Strategies

[3]https://www.utep.edu/herbal-safety/herbal-facts/herbal%20facts%20sheet/ashwagandha.html

[4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

[5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

[6]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798

[7]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28207892/

[8]https://www.thekitchn.com/what-is-ashwagandha-252420

[9]https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31728244/

[10]https://www.seniority.in/blog/7-anti-ageing-herbs-to-help-you-look-and-feel-younger/

[11]https://file.scirp.org/pdf/JBM_2015102114424162.pdf

[12]https://www.yinovacenter.com/blog/live-longer-live-stronger-10-of-the-best-herbal-adaptogens-for-anti-aging/

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