Article courtesy of Dr. Claire Morris, ND. Visit her at ClaireMorrisND.com.
Ashwangandha, an Indian ayurvedic herb, has been garnering a lot of media attention lately. A shrub which is classified in the nightshade plant family, it has been used for generations in India, and is now being tauted in our country as part of the answer to multiple health concerns and symptoms.
All parts of the Aswagandha plant, including the root, flowers, and fruit, are used medicinally, and are known as “vitalizers”, being used for inflammation, colds, asthma, and multiple other disorders. It is reported in scientific studies to have an anti-cancer effect. In fact, one Indian study found that not only did it help shrink tumors and put them into regression, ashwagandha sensitized cancer cells to radiation treatment, making said treatments approximately 50% more effective.
Here are some more interesting facts about ashwagandha:
- It has long been used to treat low sex drive and to increase sexual stamina
- The oil of ashwagandha is an effective facial toner
- In Indian medicine, ashwagandha is used to restore vitality in cases of chronic inflammation and immune system deficiency
- It is also an adaptagenic, lending extra energy, and is sometimes referred to as the “Indian ginseng”
- Ashwagandha helps restore they body’s ability to rest effectively – being used both in cases of insomnia and over-exhaustion
- A University of Texas lab study found that ashwagandha works on the number of nerve cells firing in the brain, resulting in an anti-anxiety and mood-enhancing effect
- People who are physically spent and exhausted report increased energy and body temperature after taking ashwagandha for just one week – some studies even report a double in strength and endurance
- It supports the thyroid’s production of essential hormones, and can therefore be helpful to people with over or under-active thyroids
- Ashwagandha has also been used to treat malnutrition and is an excellent digestive enhancer
While the wide variety of suggested uses for this herb can be somewhat overwhelming, it is certainly classified as an adaptagenic, which puts it in the same category as superfruits like acai and goji berries, which have seen so much popularity in recent years.
This being said, even if a person is not suffering from cancer or chronic inflammation, ashwagandha is a good herb to add into the daily regimen for anyone wishing to increase their energy and vitality.