Have you ever heard of Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry? Did you know it is a powerful plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years? In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means the odor of a horse. It is named so because the roots seem to smell like a horse. So we know it smells pretty awful just from the name. However, the health benefits far outweigh the less than desirable aroma (that’s what capsules are for).
Ashwagandha has powerful anti-inflammatory powers. It has been found to be especially useful in treating rheumatologic problems because it decreases inflammation and pain.
It has also been identified as a possible anti-carcinogen, being used in the field of oncology because of its cancer killing properties, in addition to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It has also been said to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy without interfering with the tumor cell-killing activity.
According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is also effective in managing bacterial infections in humans because of its antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that Ashwagandha was effective in urinogenital, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tract infections when consumed orally.
This powerful plant has also been used as a remedy for diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine. Experiments showed that blood sugar levels during fasting and post-meal decreased significantly when Ashwagandha was comsumed for a period of four weeks.
One of my personal favorite uses for Ashwagandha is to reduce stress. It can be used to create a soothing and calming effect on a person. In our modern world where stress is causing all sorts of health issues, it’s nice to know there are natural alternatives to medication that can help to keep us balanced.
As I mentioned earlier, Ashwagandha root doesn’t have the nicest smell. That’s why I like that it is available in various forms so you can take it whatever way best fits your personal lifestyle. It is available in powdered form, dried form, or fresh root form. I personally like to buy it in capsules that can be easily taken without having to taste the root. As with anything you ingest, I recommend purchasing organic whenever possible.
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