Ashwagandha is one of the most important and revered herbs of Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine in India, due to its amazing health benefits.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine for its wide ranging health benefits. It is also known as Indian ginseng or winter-cherry.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
A powerful adaptogen, ashwagandha is good for enhancing the body’s resilience to stress. In addition to its adaptogenic qualities, this potent herb also provides many other health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, increasing muscle strength, improving memory and may even fight against cancer.
REDUCES STRESS & ANXIETY
Ashwagandha helps to reduce stress and anxiety and improve the overall well-being of adults under stress. In a study that lasted for two months, people with chronic stress who were given ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia.
Initially I started taking ashwagandha for its stress relieving benefits, but I grew to love it even more for its anti-inflammatory benefits. While I have experienced a decrease in inflammation and joint pain and am a living testament to its efficacy, there are also several animal studies that have shown that ashwagandha reduces inflammation.
Studies show that ashwagandha increases muscle mass, reduces body fat, and increases strength in healthy men.
Ashwagandha has been taken for centuries for its support of cognitive functions and recent studies support this method. For instance, an 8-week study found that taking ashwagandha extract twice a day improved memory, task performance, and attention span. In addition, another study found that daily supplementation of the root extract helped healthy men with task performance and reaction time.
Studies have shown that one of ashwagandha’s compounds helps to kill cancer cells and keeps cancer cells from growing.Research suggests that it may help treat several types of cancer.
How To Use Ashwagandha
Traditionally, ashwagandha was mixed with honey and ghee and either ingested or applied topically for help with inflammation. Today, adding to juice, smoothies, and snacks are some of the best ways to incorporate this adaptogen into your daily life. It is available in whole form, powder, and extract form.
Form Works well with…
- Powders smoothies, smoothie bowls, plant-based milks, raw snack bars, baked goods, nut butters
- Extracts juices, smoothies, plant-based milks, most applications
- Whole tea
Ashwagandha has a bitter-sweet flavor and is sometimes described as “energetically warming”. You might not like it the first time you try it, however, give it some time, you might grow to actually like the taste.
When To Take Ashwagandha & How Much
The type of health benefit you are hoping to gain by taking ashwagandha can help determine your dosage. There have been studies performed to find the daily dosage levels that provide the different health benefits.
- To reduce stress and anxiety, daily doses of 500-600 mg for 6-12 weeks has shown to be effective in some people.
- If you are looking to reduce inflammation, research shows that a daily supplement of 250-500 mg may help.
- To increase muscle growth and strength, daily ashwagandha supplements of 500-1,250 mg have been shown to work in as little as 30 days.
- Supplementing 500-600 mg of ashwagandha per day can help boost your memory and help you stay focused and perform better on tasks.
Ashwagandha is believed to be safe and effective for most people at dosages of 250-500 mg per day for at least a month. However, your dosage may vary depending on your needs.
If you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication, you may need to avoid taking this medicinal herb. Before adding supplements to your diet, you should consult with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to consume.
Anti-inflammatory juice recipe
Yield: About one 240ml serving
* Pineapple – 1 cup chunked pineapple
* Green apple – 1 medium apple
* Spinach – 2 cups spinach
* Cucumber – 1/5 cucumber
* Celery – 2/3 medium stalk
* Lemon – 1/4 lemon
* Ginger – 1 inch chunk of ginger root
* Ashwagandha extract – 0.5 ml (one serving)
Citrus carrot juice
Yield: About one 240ml serving
* Ashwagandha root extract – 0.5 ml (one serving per shot)
* Grapefruit (peeled) – 1 medium grapefruit
* Orange (peeled) – 2 medium oranges
* Carrot – 2-3 small carrots
* Passion fruit pulp – 1 passion fruit
* Agave – 1 tablespoon – optional
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