Basics of Botanicals: Ashwagandha
In a world as complex as ours, stressors seem to pop up around every corner. Whether it’s political conflict, global pandemics, supply chain issues, rising inflation, or alien attacks (okay, not this one…yet), there’s no shortage of potential triggers that can send you spiraling into existential angst.
And while some people are able to lean on practices like meditation and breathwork to take the edge off, the effectiveness of these techniques is often dependent upon experience level and can vary from person to person.
So where’s a good place to turn when you need to dial in, and no amount of mindfulness seems to do the trick?
As usual, nature provides us with solutions… and in this case, one potential solution comes to us in the form of the adaptogen ashwagandha.
In this article, we’ll dive into the basics of this powerful plant and show you why it may be helpful in your quest to manage your stress.
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (aash·wuh·gaan·duh), also known as “Indian ginseng” and “Indian winter cherry,” is an evergreen shrub with greenish, oval leaves. When it blooms, it produces small, bell-shaped flowers with bright red berries in the middle.
Ashwagandha is primarily found in India, the Mediterranean, and parts of the Middle East, where it has a long history of usage in the traditional medicine of those regions.
In recent years, it’s gained popularity amongst wellness circles…Which makes sense, considering its wide range of benefits and safety.
Speaking of the benefits of ashwagandha, let’s take a look at those now.
What are the benefits of ashwagandha?
Like many of the adaptogens, ashwagandha’s versatility really sticks out.
It’s been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to promote overall wellbeing, including supporting a healthy response to stress and a healthy immune system.†
When active compounds in the root and leaf of the ashwagandha plant are combined, it can create a more potent extract than the root alone. Many users of this plant enjoy less daytime fatigue, emotional wellbeing, and mental stamina.† However, it's always important to note that effects will vary from person to person, and you should speak with your doctor to understand if ashwagandha is a good option for you.
Now that you know what ashwagandha is and what it can do, you might be wondering how you can implement it into your wellness routine.
How do you use ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha’s effectiveness and growing popularity have gone a long way in making it much more commercially available.
Products featuring the herb can be found all over the internet, health food stores, and even prepared at home if you’re the adventurous type… But remember to always buy from sources you trust to be pure and effective.
Like many adaptogens, ashwagandha is most effective when taken regularly and in tandem with a comprehensive wellness routine. Good nutrition, hydration, physical activity, and sleep will help you set the foundation for handling whatever life throws your way.
For help with developing a routine that promotes your happiness and wellbeing, check out our downloadable guide to self-care.
Remeber, your individual biochemistry can differ greatly from another person’s, so start slow and always consult your doctor when introducing new supplements into your daily routine.