Ashwagandha or popularly known as Indian Ginseng is said to have a lot of health benefits according to Ayurveda. It’s scientific name is Withania somnifera and it is also known by the name Winter cherry and poison gooseberry.
The name ashwagandha is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell, reflecting that the root has a strong horse-like odor. Ashwagandha is a natural herb that is native to India which is also found in Nepal, China and Yemen.
Let’s see few of the benefit of Ashwagandha
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress , as it inhibits high levels of cortisol, 'the stress hormone'. It is in fact used in tranquilizers and antidepressants drugs, since it helps relieve physical and mental stress and overcome depression. A gentle massage with Ashwagandha oil helps relieve stress, reduce the negativeness and relaxes the mind.
2) Heals joint pains and wounds
Ashwagandha has a rich history in Ayurveda for its wound healing abilities. Traditionally, fresh leaves were used topically to heal joint pains, skin sores and to reduce swelling.
3) Increases stamina and Endurance
In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is referred to as balya, which means giving strength in conditions like general debility. It is known to improve energy, increase stamina and endurance.
4. Treatment of Mental degenerative diseases
The exotic herb is a promising alternative treatment for a variety of mental degenerative diseases because it has demonstrated an ability to promote the growth of nerve cells, and protect the brain cells from the harmful effects of the environment.
5. Treats Erectile Dysfunction
Ashwagandha is used as an aphrodisiac , it is good for enhancing the libido in men and is also recommended as a medicine for erectile dysfunction. However, it should be used for ED only under the recommendation of a professional medical practitioner.
6. Supports Muscle Strength
Ashwagandha has been found to be useful in improving the muscular strength of the lower limbs and helping recover weakness. It also has a positive impact on neuro-muscular coordination.
7. Treatment of Anti-inflammatory diseases
Ashwagandha herb is known to act as a cyclooxygenase inhibitor that decreases inflammation and pain and hence used in treating anti-inflammatory diseases like arthritis, spondylitis etc
8. Treating Insomnia
The rejuvenating properties of Ashwagandha make it very effective in treating insomnia. It calms the nervous system, eases stress and gets rid of sleeplessness. Traditionally, it is used as a powder mixed with honey and warm milk for calming vata and regulating your sleep and wake cycles. You can also have a cup of hot milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of powdered Ashwagandha before bedtime.
Disclaimer: Pregnant women are advised to avoid consumption of this herb as it possesses abortifacient properties.