What is ashwagandha?
These days the names of some good-for-your-health herbs have become second nature, things like Echinacea, chamomile and Ginseng. But others are still flying a bit further under the radar, like ashwagandha.
Don’t know much about it? Time for that to change.
Ashwagandha is a herb but, unlike a lot of other herbs, it’s an adaptogenic herb. These are a select group of herbs which have properties that can support the body with adapting to stress.
Also known as Indian ginseng or Withania somnifera, ashwagandha has a central and prominent place in Ayurvedic practice.
Visually, it’s a grey-coloured shrub with yellow flowers and small red berries that contain yellow, kidney-shaped seeds. It’s usually the root that’s used, after it has been dried and processed.
Where does it come from?
Traditional Ayurvedic practice originates in India, which is where ashwagandha is thought to hail from originally, too, even though it can be found growing in other countries, including Sri Lanka and China.
With a history that’s believed to stretch back more than 8,000 years, the name ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words ‘ashwa’, which means horse, and ‘gandha’, which means smell.
Some believe it was named because the herb’s root literally smells like a horse, while others believe that because ashwagandha can help to support energy levels when you feel fatigued and weak, giving you the ‘power of a horse’.
What is ashwagandha used for?
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic practice medicine as a rejuvenating tonic and to:
Support your energy levels
Provide support for feelings of fatigue, weariness or tiredness
Support your general health and wellbeing
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic Practice to:
Help your body adapt to stress
Support a healthy stress response in the body
Support relaxation and feelings of calm for stress and nervous tension
Help reduce feelings of nervous tension and unrest
Dried ashwagandha root
How to take it
In India, ashwagandha is commonly available as a finely sieved powder – called a churna – that’s designed to be mixed with water, ghee or honey and consumed as a paste-like substance or drink. In New Zealand, it’s usually taken as a tablet.
Blackmores Ashwagandha+ is a supplement that also contains B vitamins to support energy levels, and feelings of fatigue, and is traditionally used in Ayurvedic practice to support feelings of calm for stress and nervous tension and support a healthy stress response in the body. The recommended dosage is two tablets a day taken with a meal.
Blackmores Ashwagandha+ is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve symptoms of stress & help the body to adapt to stress
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Supplements can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.