This amazing tonic herb can boost energy and reduce anxiety
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania Somnifera and Indian Ginseng, is a tonic and adaptogen herb that supports the body in times of stress.
Adaptogens help improve the body’s resistance to stress by supporting adrenal function, improving mental clarity, increasing energy and enabling the body to physiologically adapt to stressors before reaching burnout.
Learn how to use Ashwagandha for stress and find out how this amazing tonic herb can boost energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and support the immune system.
Health benefits of Ashwagandha
Native to India, the Middle East and parts of Africa, Ashwagandha is a remarkable herb that can exert so many positive effects on the body.
Ashwagandha has shown to:
- Support the body against stress and lessen anxiety by exerting a calming effect and reducing cortisol levels.
- Lift mood and depression by balancing hormones and enhancing nervous system function.
- Increase energy and endurance. Ashwagandha is high in iron and has shown to increase both red blood cells and haemoglobin (the iron-containing, oxygen-transporting protein in blood) therefore boosting the body’s capability to transport more oxygen around the body, especially muscles. Increased oxygen supplies muscles with energy, helping to reduce fatigue.
- Improve brain function including memory and concentration. Ashwagandha is a nerve tonic that protects nerve cells from toxins and free radicals.
- Support the immune system and improve its defence against pathogens by lowering inflammation and boosting immune cells to help fight off infections.
- Protect cells against free radical damage due to its high antioxidant properties.
- Slows down, stops and reverses nerve damage due to its neuroprotective properties. Ashwagandha is highly effective for neuro-degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntingdon’s disease (at any stage of the disease).
- Balance hormones and boost fertility health in both males and females. Ashwagandha has a powerful effect on testosterone levels in men and has also shown to increase sperm count and motility. It also helps to regulate thyroid and adrenal hormones which play an important role in female fertility.
- Regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in muscle cells. Studies have demonstrated that Ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.
- Promote a deep, restorative sleep as it contains a compound called triethylene glycol that encourages sleep induction.
How do you take Ashwagandha?
- As a tea using the dried herbs. You can buy a blend infusion (mixed with other herbs) or on its own.
- A liquid herbal/ tincture or in capsule form. Liquid herbs are more potent and provide a therapeutic dose.
- As a powder (commonly known as churna) which can be added to water, ghee (clarified butter), honey or coconut milk. Taking Ashwagandha in some warm coconut milk at night is a soothing and calming drink that can aid sleep.
The recommended daily of Ashwagandha is 500-3000 mg; the dose is dependent on the form of the herb (i.e., dried, liquid) and the source. As liquid extracts are stronger than powder, they are likely to require a lower daily dose compared to the powder form. Consult with a herbalist who can prescribe the correct formula and dosage for your needs.
Relax the body naturally
Ashwagandha is an excellent tonic herb to support the body in time of stress and anxiety, to balance hormones and protect cells from free radical damage. If you suffer with low mood, fatigue or sleep issues, speak to your natural health practitioner about Ashwagandha.
To learn more about how you can use herbs to improve your health, take a look at CNM’s Herbs for Everyday Living short course.