More and more people in the western world are turning to traditional, herb-based, medicine to treat their various health issues. As the popularity of natural medicine, especially east-Asian, rises, the use of herbs such as ashwagandhais becoming so wide-spread that you can hear about it everywhere.
This article will explore the basic characteristics of ashwagandha, the benefits it offers to our health, the way we can use the plant, and even the dosage and possible side-effects of using this herb for a prolonged period of time.
Ashwagandha – the basics:
The name ashwagandha originates from Sanskrit, and its literal translation would be horse smell. Do not be alarmed, as the name applies to the herb’s healing abilities and powers, rather than its smell.
The variety of this plant that is consumed for health purposes can be bought in most markets, and it is a root of a plant named Withania somnifera, which belongs to the Nightshade family. The plant originates from western Asia and dry parts of India, and it was originally found even in North Africa. It often grows by the side of the road, making it somewhat difficult to find in a clean, pure, form.
What we refer to as Ashwagandha is not only withania somnifera. There is also a variety named Convolulusarvensis, or field bindweed, that grows in the Himalayan region. Local Ayuerveda healers have been using this plant to treat a variety of disorders for centuries, and now it grows in basically every region in the world. In the United States, the plant is marked as a noxious weed. People with experience in natural medicine claim that this variety of ashwagandha is more potent than withania somnifera.
Ashawagandha – uses and benefits
This plant is regarded as one of the most potent natural cures for most types of sexual disorders; hence the name horse smell. Ashwagandha restores libido, enhances potency, and it is even used to treat infertility. The infertility treatment with ashwagandha has positive effects in both men and women, but it is believed to be more helpful in men, as it raises the sperm count and testosterone levels.
Another major plus side of aswhagandha is its ability to aid in weight loss, fight depression and exhaustion, and help with immunity improvement. Some people who are into body building consume ashwagandha in order to gain healthy weight and improve their muscle mass.
Ashwagandha can be mixed with milk and consumed before going to bed, if you suffer from sleep disorders. This plant is a gentle sedative, and it helps with insomnia. It also aides our brain function, and its use is recommended for those who want to improve their memory, focus, or even treat ADHD.
Ashwagandha is also commonly used to treat inflammation in those suffering from joint diseases such as arthritis. People that are receiving cancer treatment often resort to using this herb in order to prevent inflammation and infections, and improve their immunity systems’ strength.
Ashwagandha – dosage and side effects
As opposed to most artificially made drugs, ashwagandha, and other natural remedies, can be effective in both low and high doses. Ashwagangha is regarded as a very safe herb to consume in any doses; high, medium, or low. High doses are used for acute conditions, medium dosage is recommended for chronic ones, and low doses are suggested to those who exhibit subtle symptoms that don’t negatively affect their lives in a major way.
Ashwagandha dosage, apart from your condition, also depends on age and sex. For adult males, the low dosage goes up to 15-30g of ashwagandha root powder to treat stress, insomnia, and exhaustion, while high doses are not recommended to females without medical supervision, and for a shorter periods of time. The doses of 2-5g of ashwagandha root powder are suggested to be taken with milk in order to effectively treat chronic conditions such as anxiety, chronic insomnia, or prolonged periods in women. The potential side effects of ashwagandha are the common ones when it comes to herbs: its use can interfere with psychiatric drugs, so it’s not suggested for people on this type of meds. Some people (10-20%) experience the opposite effect from what’s intended; instead of calming them down before bed,ashwagandhagives them energy, and keeps them up .