Ayurveda mentions many plants and herbs as medicines. However, out of all these herbs, Ashwagandha is the most popular one. It is often referred to as the king of herbs, owing to its numerous therapeutic uses and benefits. In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha has been described as a Rasayana. This means that it can help to promote longevity. It also helps to balance Tridoshas in the body, especially Vata and Kapha Dosha.
Ashwagandha, in Sanskrit, means the smell of the horse, referring to its unique smell and strength-giving properties. It is also known by many other names such as Withania somnifera, Indian ginseng and Indian winter cherry.
What are the Benefits of Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is regarded as the king of herbs because of its many benefits and uses. Some of these benefits are:
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels:
Ashwagandha can help stimulate insulin secretion and improve insulin sensitivity in the body, helping to control blood sugar levels. It also helps reduce the level of cortisol or the stress hormone in the body, which may also lead to high blood sugar levels. Therefore, Ashwagandha is widely used in the treatment of diabetes.
- Helps in Cancer Treatment:
Ashwagandha has anti-cancer properties. Withaferin, a compound found in Ashwagandha, can help to induce apoptosis, which helps to kill cancerous cells in the body.
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety:
The most popular use of Ashwagandha is in alleviating stress. It has adaptogenic activity and can significantly lower stress and stress-related disorders such as anxiety, insomnia, etc. It also helps to fight depression.
- Increases Fertility in Males:
Ashwagandha can help to increase testosterone levels in males and boost their overall reproductive health. It also helps to balance hormones in men, which is often a leading cause of infertility.
- Increases Body Strength:
Ashwagandha is one of the best herbs to improve body composition, increase muscle strength, reduce body fat percentage and increase muscle mass. Therefore, it is very popular among bodybuilders.
- Reduces Inflammation:
Inflammation may lead to many diseases such as gastrointestinal problems, metabolic disorders, varicose veins, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
- Improves Heart Health:
Ashwagandha helps to lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. It also helps to control blood pressure levels and ease chest pain. Therefore, it is considered one of the best herbs to prevent cardiovascular diseases and boost heart health.
- Boosts Memory:
The antioxidants present in Ashwagandha helps to prevent free radical damage to the nerve cells and improve brain functions. It also helps to boost memory, making it a potent herb to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
- Prevents and Heals Acne:
The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of Ashwagandha help to fight skin infections and acne. It also helps to boost collagen in the skin and prevent ageing.
- Boosts Immunity:
Ashwagandha is most known for its ability to boost immunity. It helps increase the body’s ability to fight viral infections, fever, infections related to the respiratory tract and build immunity.
- Aids in Weight Loss:
Ashwagandha is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps to improve metabolic and digestive functions in the body, thereby aiding in weight loss.
How to Use Ashwagandha?
You may make Ashwagandha tea by boiling Ashwagandha root powder into water for 2-3 minutes. Alternatively, you may also use Ashwagandha in the form of capsules, tablets or powder. It can be mixed with ghee, milk, water or honey, depending on your medical condition. However, it is always advised to consult an Ayurvedic doctor before consuming Ashwagandha, as it is a medicinal herb and the right method and dosage are necessary for effective results.
Ashwagandha is one of the most popularly used and highly effective Ayurvedic herbs. It has numerous medicinal properties and can vastly help in the treatment of many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, anxiety, heart diseases, infertility, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic Rasayana that helps to expand happiness and promote longevity.