Ashwagandha - Overview, History, Uses, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a famous medicine herb from Ayurveda. In the ayurvedic medicine system, it is also known as "Withania somnifera" and "Indian Ginseng". It is a versatile herb that is talked about as having a nourishing tonic effect like ginseng and various health-promoting effects on the roots and fruits. It belongs to the evergreen shrub of the Solanaceae family. It is native to India as well as the Middle East and Africa too. Ashwagandha root has been used habitually for more than 4000 years and has been used as a medicine for health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, energy enhancement, and nourishing tonic herb. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha is also known as a "rejuvenating drug".
The word Ashwagandha means "smell like a horse" in the Sanskrit language. It is derived from the unique pungent odour from the fresh roots of Ashwagandha. The scientific name suffix "Somnifera" means "sleeping", which means that this herb has a sedative effect. There are species of ashwagandha available in the world due to variations in the soil, climate and many more. It has been cultivated on a large scale for commercial purposes in India since the latter half of the 19th century, becoming a major production area.
- Latin Name: The Latin name of Ashwagandha is Withania somnifera
- Family Member: Ashwagandha belongs to the Solanaceae family or Nightshade family. It is a flowering family that ranges from vines, shrubs, trees, etc. Ashwagandha belongs to the shrub category in the Nightshades family.
- Common Name: The common name of Ashwagandha is Indian Ginseng, Ajagandha, Winter Cherry, Asgandh and many more.
- Habitat: Ashwanghad required sub-marginal wastelands and low fertility areas. It prefers a subtropical climate to grow well and gives the best quality ashwagandha roots. Full sun and fairly dry conditions are also suitable for ashwagandha plant growth.
- Season: The best suitable season to plant ashwagandha is July/ August or October.
Ingredients Contained In Ashwagandha
Below are the compounds or ingredients that are available in the Ashwagandha.
Withanone: Withanone is an active compound found in the Ashwagandha leaves. The roots of Ashwagandha contain Withaferin A, which is a form of Withanone. This active compound is effective to stimulate the neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Hence, it is good to improve anxiety, mood, depression, insomnia, memory, immunity and many more. It is very important and beneficial to have withanone and its compound in the body.
Saponin And Tannin: Saponin and tannin are antioxidant compounds that reduce the harmful oxidative stress from the body. Saponin is a type of polyphenol whereas tannin is a type of flavonoid. Reducing oxidation increases the health benefits. It reduces ageing symptoms, improves antibacterial effects, enhancement of immunity, prevention of obesity, improvement of liver function, maintenance of youth, and longevity of the skin.
Iron: Ashwagandha is rich in iron. Iron is a very important mineral required by the body. The deficiency of iron causes anaemia. Daily intake of iron or ashwagandha boosts the blood cells, improves anaemia, endurance, not feeling tired, and improves muscle strength.
Alkaloids, Steroidal lactones, Minerals: Alkaloids, steroidal lactones, and minerals can help with physical strength, tiredness relief, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory activity, and stress reduction.
History of Ashwagandha
The history of ashwagandha is linked with the history of Ayurveda. It is traced back to around 6,000 BC. Ashwagandha has been part of Ayurveda since ancient times. It is a super herb that has been used in India and Pakistan.
Not just the Ayurveda medicine system uses ashwagandha, but the Chinese medicine system was also impressed with it years back. It is a typical adaptogen herb that has the effect of increasing adaptability and resistance to various stresses.
It's an adaptogen plant, which means it boosts flexibility and resilience to a variety of conditions. Adaptogen is a broad name for a substance that improves the body's adaptability and has been used to cure ailments in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for over 4000 years.
The potential of Ashwagandha to adapt and endure stress was not recognised by contemporary medicine until the 1940s. Following that, according to much research, Dr Brekman of Russia created circumstances in which adaptogens are safe to live and promote adaptation and resistance to biological stress produced by physical, chemical, and biological stimuli, as well as anomalies. We've identified three things to help the body recover from stress.
Features of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha holds many features of the body which is why it is famous in the world. It is also known as "natural viagra" because of its strong energy-enhancing effect. It has the function to make male hormones dominant. Furthermore, by making the "sympathetic nerve" of the autonomic nerve dominant, it is effective in improving concentration and immunity, improving blood flow, improving libido, and preventing depression. In recent years, middle-aged and older men have recognised LOH syndrome, which is caused by hormonal imbalances such as menopause in women, and the absence of male hormones that affect "motivation" such as motivation, libido, and attention causes mental problems. It turns out to be quite simple. Ashwagandha is expected to improve all this situation.
High Anti-inflammatory Effect: Ashwagandha is considered to be an extremely effective ayurvedic medicine for healthy longevity. As per the report, ashwagandha has the effect of improving chronic disease due to its anti-inflammatory effect. The medicinal properties of the Ashwagandha have been confirmed by modern science. It's a symptom that your autonomic nerves are disrupted if you get tired easily (easy tiredness) or have chronic fatigue. The immune system is weakened when the autonomic nerves are disrupted, and inflammation is more prone to occur throughout the body. Because hypertension, a lifestyle-related condition, produces persistent inflammation of blood vessels, taking an adequate dose of the "Ashwagandha" supplement daily should be expected to be useful in preventing and improving chronic diseases and lifestyle-related disorders.
Increase Muscle Strength: Ashwagandha contains saponins and alkaloids familiar like ginseng, maca, longjack and many more. Ther activate the androgens in the body and boost the muscle mass, physical strengthening and more. Nicotine and caffeine are both alkaloids, which are components found in plants. "Ashwagandha" alkaloids are hypothesised to have arousal and excitatory properties similar to coffee. Saponin, on the other hand, has been shown to provide a variety of health benefits. "Ashwagandha" is thought to be Indian ginseng because of its high saponin content, yet it is similar to "ginsenoside," a saponin component of ginseng that behaves like a sex hormone in both quantity and nature.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha belongs to the adaptogen category. Hence, it is beneficial for mental and physical stress. It is not a stimulant but a herb with a nerve tonic effect and is recognized for its high efficacy. Let's talk about some of its health benefits for the body.
Improve Sexual Function: Being Indian ginseng, ashwagandha is effective in sexual wellness and sexual function. It is famous for medical purposes to enhance the fertility of men and women. Ashwagandha usage is highly famous among men. Since it increases the blood circulation in the body and improves erection. Parallel, it is also useful to increase testosterone, which is the male hormone. You might anticipate gaining energy, sperm mass, penile size, and testicular weight by restoring normal sexual function. It also works on both men and women, and it is intended to help with menstrual abnormalities and infertility.
Lower Blood Sugar: Ashwagandha is capable of functioning the action of insulin. Insulin is an important hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, constant, and suppresses the sudden rise in blood sugar levels. Hence, ashwagandha is effective to manage the blood sugar in the body. If you have diabetes and arteriosclerosis, keep your blood sugar level healthy with the use of ashwagandha. Having ashwagandha capsules will work effectively and easily.
Relieve Stress & Depression: Ashwagandha has been used to increase the resistance to stress. Basically, it reduces the cortisol hormone as a corticosteroid that makes immune substances, but it causes a chronic stress response and increases cortisol. Reduction in cortisol helps to reduce stress, depression and other related problems like insomnia, hyperventilation and many more. Ashwagandha contains ginsenoside, a type of saponin which adjusts the autonomic nerves. Hence, it has excellent sedative and relaxing effects and brings a calm and happy mood to the body.
Strengthen Physical Strength: Being adaptogen in nature, ashwagandha increases the adaptability of the body which is good to boost the physical strength of the body. From ancient times, ashwagandha has been used in rejuvenating and life-prolonging effects. But in today's world, it is noted that it is able to boost stamina in the human body. You can increase your stamina, energy and overall performance with the use of ashwagandha in your regular life.
Increase Immunity: Ashwagandha is Indian ginseng. It contains many substances similar to ginseng. It has saponin, a powerful antioxidant as well as aloids. They all together protect the body and increase the immune system. The antioxidants fight the free radicals and external pathogens and create a protective layer on the body. Regular use of ashwagandha gives a boost to immunity. It is effective for men as well as women.
Reduce Inflammation: Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the unwanted inflammation in the body and support better bone, skin and health. Inflammation is a natural response to an infection or any stress. Such types of chronic inflammation are improved by the ashwagandha. The compounds named WA target inflammation pathways in the body.
Improve Insomnia & Sleep: The use of ashwagandha supports restful sleep and improves insomnia condition. It is studical proven that ashwagandha is helpful in sleep issues. It relaxes the mind and supports calmness in the body. This natural remedy is the best for any age group.
Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb. As we know it has been used for thousands of years. If you are thinking of adding ashwagandha or its extract to your daily life, then it is very important to keep an eye on the dose. Having a natural herb or drug, one always needs to consume it to a limit. The overdose of anything is never good.
According to the FSSAI-Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the RDA value of ashwagandha is-
- Ashwagandha Roots- 3-6g (As powder)
- Ashwagandha Extract- 0.5-1g
Starting using ashwagandha in any form. If you choose a supplemental form of ashwagandha, then you can also refer to the label part. Everything about the dosage is always prevented in the label.
Ashwagandha Precaution & Side Effects
Ashwagandha is described as a "safe and effective herb" with fewer concerns and risks of side effects, long-term study, when used in small to moderate doses by healthy persons, is lacking. The current scenario is that many issues remain unresolved. At first, we are going to buy ashwagandha capsules or supplements, make sure about the main component of the product and it should be ashwagandha. The roots and leaves part of ashwagandha has been used for the body's benefits. If you consume too much, you may develop gastrointestinal symptoms like sleepiness, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Hence, it is always good to consume ashwagandha or any herb in the right amount under the vision of a healthcare professional.
Below is the point that you should while using the Ashwagandha supplements-
- Pregnant Women: Taking drugs, vitamins, herbs, and other supplements at your discretion during pregnancy is harmful. Avoid using Ashwagandha without recommendation.
- Breastfeeding mothers: This herb is supposed to help with postpartum recovery, but it may affect your child if you are feeding.
- Ovarian polycystic syndrome (PCOS) Be mindful that hormone imbalances can exacerbate symptoms.
- It is a bitter herb that is tough to swallow with diabetes therapy.
- People who have thyroid problems that cause thyroid hormone fluctuations might aggravate symptoms.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus nephritis These autoimmune illnesses may become worse.
- The overdose of Ashwagandha can show the adverse effect on liver function and liver health.
FAQ(frequently asked questions) On Ashwagandha
How to use ashwagandha powder?
A pure ashwagandha powder is very effective for your body. You can consume ashwagandha powder with water, ghee, honey etc. Mix ghee, honey or water with some ashwagandha powder. Mix it properly and have it. Mixing ashwagandha powder in any beverage, smoothies, etc is also recommended.
How to take ashwagandha powder?
Take 1 tablespoon of ashwagandha powder and mix it in a glass of water. Mix it properly and drink it sip by sip.
When to take ashwagandha?
You can consume ashwagandha after having a meal in the morning and at night. Just make sure about the dose. Try not to overdose on it.
Ashwagandha increases height in how many days?
Ashwagandha is a shrub. It grows 4-6 inches and takes 90-120 days to get its height.
How much ashwagandha per day?
Having 3-6 g of ashwagandha roots or 0.5-1 g of ashwagandha extract is ideal to have in a day.
Ashwagandha belongs to which family?
Ashwagandha belongs to the family of The Solanaceae, or nightshades. They are flowering plants.
How to take ashwagandha tablets?
The right way to take ashwagandha tablets is with water after a small snack or meal. It should not be consumed on an empty stomach.
When to take ashwagandha before or after meal?
It is ideal to have ashwagandha and its supplement after the meal. It is herb medicine. Herbal medicine works well when used after the meal. You can have ashwagandha and its supplements after breakfast, and dinner.
What is Ashwagandha's function?
Ashwagandha is a famous and useful herb. It is Indian ginseng and manages many body functions to work properly. Ashwagandha helps to calm the brain, relax the mind, boost energy, reduce swelling and inflammation, improve the immune system, support restful nights and many more.
What are the dangers of taking ashwagandha?
Having ashwagandha does not cause any danger to the problem until it has been used in the right way. The overdose of ashwagandha might cause side effects to the body in some cases, like constipation or diarrhoea or vomiting or weakness, etc.
Who should stay away from ashwagandha?
People who are pregnant, breastfeeding, have diabetes, high blood pressure problem, ulcer, or autoimmune disease should avoid ashwagandha or its supplement use. If you want to use it, please talk to some professional first.
Is ashwagandha good for anxiety?
Ashwagandha is famous for its mental health. It is effective to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression and promotes a happy mood for the body. In addition, it is also good for cognitive function and gives a restful sleep.
Does Ashwagandha aid weight gain?
Ashwagandha is not effective in weight gain, rather it is good for weight loss. Ashwagandha has the power to boost the metabolism in the body and help to manage weight.
Is ashwagandha good for those who have high blood pressure?
Ashwagandha is effective to control the blood pressure in the body. If you are a patient who has a high blood pressure problem, then adding ashwagandha to the diet is good.
Is Ashwagandha an effective Viagra substitute?
Viagra is a drug-based medicine. If you are looking for something natural with a similar viagra function, then Ashwagandha is best. It has strong endurance power that increases the stamina in the body and gives a better sexual life.
Is Ashwagandha good for guys?
Yes, Ashwagandha is good and effective for boys and men. It is a herb that helps to increase the testosterone hormones in the body, improve fertility, support reproductive health and provide better stamina and endurance.
Does ashwagandha cause you to fall asleep?
Ashwagandha is very useful to make you feel sleepy quickly. It relaxes the mind, slows breathing, and improves sleepiness by regular use. Many people who suffer from insomnia, try ashwagandha or its extract for better nighttime.
Is ashwagandha good for the heart?
For heart health, Ashwagandha is good. It contains a lot of antioxidants that promote health and longevity and support heart health. It reduces the chances of heart failure, maintains blood pressure, increases blood circulation and more. After all, ashwagandha is categorised in the Rasayanas.
When should you consume ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a natural herb. You can consume it anytime. You just need to make sure about the right dose. Ashwagandha is mostly used as a supplement form that you can use at night or in the morning.