Basics of Botanicals: Ashwagandha

Basics of Botanicals: Ashwagandha

Stress is something all humans strive to navigate in the modern world, but sometimes we need the support of time-tested botanical allies to help our bodies adapt to occasional stress.

When our stress response activates, it causes a cascade of reactions in the body. These effects include the release of the stress hormone cortisol from the adrenal glands, glucose from the liver into the bloodstream, and inflammatory markers like cytokines in the joints, all of which challenge our immune system, energy levels, and ability to focus. In the realm of botanicals, this is where adaptogens shine. 

What are adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a category of non-toxic herbs that offer holistic support to the immune, digestive, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, and endocrine systems. Examples of adaptogens are reishi mushroom, ginseng, tulsi (holy basil), shilajit, rhodiola, and ashwagandha.

In particular, we’re big fans of ashwagandha. Read on for the need-to-know basics of this useful botanical.

The history of ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (aash-wuh-GAAN-duh) is the Sanskrit name given to a perennial shrub in the nightshade family, Withania somnifera. Literally translated to “sweat of the horse,” the name is thought to reference this herb offering humans the vitality of a horse, but it may also refer to its unique and pungent smell. Also called winter cherry, or Indian ginseng, this plant is native to subtropical regions of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and parts of Northern Africa where the roots have been traditionally used to support longevity.

Today, preparations utilizing the roots and/or the leaves are found in capsules, gummies, sparkling water, and tea blends around the world. Demand for this herb rose sharply in 2020 as more people discovered its ability to support a healthy adaptive stress response and a healthy immune system.

Considered a rasayana by Ayurvedic practitioners, ashwagandha has thousands of years of traditional use supporting a healthy response to stress, a healthy libido, and a healthy immune system. It is considered a calming adaptogen, though not sedating - meaning one can still take this herb during the day. 

Why ashwagandha is a critical ingredient in Bluebird’s Adaptive Stress CBD Soft Gels

Like many adaptogens, ashwagandha supports a healthy body holistically, especially with regular use. In Adaptive Stress CBD Soft Gels, we utilize the clinically-backed ingredient Organic Sensoril® which uses water to extract active compounds in the leaf and root, creating a more potent extract than root alone. A standard serving of Ashwagandha root can often be as much as 300-600 mg taken once or twice daily, but Organic Sensoril® is active at just 125 mg taken twice daily. This makes it easier to formulate with other botanicals while ensuring meaningful amounts fit into a single soft gel.  

Attributed to a group of phytoconstituents called withanolides, Organic Sensoril® ashwagandha extract offers support for feelings of occasional fatigue, emotional well-being, and mental stamina.† Regular use shows support for fasting blood glucose already within the normal range, healthy cortisol levels, and a healthy cardiovascular system.† Aside from that, Organic Sensoril® ashwagandha supports healthy joints and a healthy immune system.† These actions make ashwagandha a powerful ally in formulas that utilize other adaptogens and herbs meant to be taken daily for comprehensive support, plus Organic Sensoril ® is standardized to 10% withanolides!

Maximizing the benefits of ashwagandha

While ashwagandha has a rich profile of therapeutic benefits, one can see better results if it is taken in conjunction with other stress-reduction techniques. This includes mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga, hiking in forests, journaling, staying hydrated, or listening to music that helps you release and relax. For help with developing a comprehensive routine that promotes your happiness and wellbeing, check out our downloadable guide to self-care.