Ashwagandha is a powerful medicinal herb. Ayurveda experts have always considered it as one of the most beneficial herbs. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has made Ashwagandha popular among general people, too. Many believe it may help fight off the deadly infection. Just like Tulsi, this powerful herb, too, has many benefits.
We know the benefits of Holy Basil (Tulsi) well. Let’s now find out what makes Ashwagandha one of the most prized herbs.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb derived from the roots of the Ashwagandha bush (Withania somnifera). This bush has yellow flowers and tiny orange-red fruit. It is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is now also grown in some parts of the Middle East, Africa, and the U.S.
The name ‘Ashwagandha’ is a Sanskrit word, which means ‘the smell of a horse.’ The root of this herb smells like a horse. It is also said that the name is appropriate because this herb can give you the strength and vitality of a horse! It is sometimes also called the Indian ginseng or Indian winter cherry.
While almost all parts of this plant have value, the roots are considered most beneficial. Traditionally, these roots were dried, powdered, and consumed with ghee, honey, and milk. But nowadays, it is also taken as tablets, tea, tincture, or extract.
Health Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has numerous health benefits. It can also help you maintain your beautiful looks! Ayurveda practitioners use it to cure stress, anxiety, exhaustion, lack of sleep, and many other health issues. It has an abundance of antioxidants, iron, and amino acids, making it one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It is supposed to promote physical and mental health, restore the body, and increase longevity. Ashwagandha can calm you and make you feel more energetic at the same time.
- This powerful herb has hormone balancing, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It can boost your immunity. That’s why it is being recommended for reducing the risk of COVID-19. Ashwagandha can also reduce aging effects, joint pain, and insomnia.
- This wonder herb enables the body to reserve and sustain energy throughout the day, and it also promotes sound sleep at night.
- Ashwagandha also has excellent wound-healing abilities. Traditionally, this herb’s fresh leaves were applied topically to reduce joint pains, swelling, and heal skin sores.
- In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is also referred to as balya. It gives strength in conditions like general debility. It is said to improve energy and increase stamina and endurance.
- This wonder herb is used as an aphrodisiac as it supports sexual health.
- Ayurvedic experts also use it as a general body tonic. It can make you feel stronger and healthier. It is one of the ingredients of Chyawanprash, the famous concoction which boosts immunity and overall health.
- Ashwagandha also has the potential to be an anti-cancer agent. It may reduce the growth of cancerous tumors.
- Ashwagandha also improves hormonal balance by acting on the endocrine system.
- It may reduce symptoms such as mood swings and hot flashes during menopause.
Ashwagandha for Mental Health
- Just like Holy Basil, Ashwagandha is an “adaptogen.” This means it can help your body cope with daily stress. It helps in managing the levels of cortisol, ‘the stress hormone.’ That is why it is used in tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs. It works excellently in relieving physical and mental stress and can help you overcome depression.
- Ashwagandha may even improve your thinking ability, memory, attention, and concentration. That is why it is considered helpful with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
- Ashwagandha can promote the growth of nerve cells. It can also protect the brain cells from the harmful effects of the environment.
Beauty Benefits of Ashwagandha
- Ashwagandha can help you maintain your youthful looks for longer! It has potent antioxidant properties that may help protect the skin against free radical damage. It also slows the aging process by firming up your skin.
- Ashwagandha stimulates DHEA. This is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen, and it stimulates the production of natural skin oils. It also increases the production of vital proteins and compounds needed for healthy skin. These include hyaluronan for skin hydration, collagen for skin strength, and elastin to keep the skin supple.
- You can use Ashwagandha as a toner as well! Just mix it with dried ginger and lemon and enjoy the benefits of this natural toner.
- Ashwagandha improves scalp circulation and also strengthens the hair.
- It is also beneficial against dandruff.
- It appears to stimulate the production of melanin. This is the pigment that is responsible for the color of your hair. So, Ashwagandha may actually reverse the greying of hair.
- It also helps deal with hair loss.
Ashwagandha is a powerful herb much revered in Ayurveda. The benefits of Ashwagandha are many. It can strengthen and energize your body. It can relax your mind and improve brain function. And it is also great for taking care of your hair and skin. No wonder Ayurveda experts consider it a gift of nature. Just like Holy Basil, Ashwagandha, too, is a wonder herb.