I’m so intrigued by this herb Ashwagandha that I decided to do some research on it and find out what is ashwagandha for. Pronounced ash-wa-gand-ha. It’s considered the King of Ayurvedic Herbs. Withania somnifera is the official name of this plant that is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry. It’s a small evergreen shrub plant in the Solanacease or nightshade family. It’s grown in India, parts of Africa and the Middle East. The root is used to make the substance that is crushed into a powder that makes up the medicinal properties. The berry doesn’t taste very good but is used to propagate for future planting.
The long history of usage dates back over 4000 years in India. In India, its traditionally used for conditions of emciation, debility, and premature aging. The translation of Ashwagandha is roughly, “the smell and strength of a horse”, alluding to its aphrodisiac properties. This plant is a Tonic and an Adaptogen. In the Middle East it is used to help promote normal sleep patterns and encourage a healthy inflammatory response.
What is Ashwagandha for
Another of the adaptogens it can help the body manage stress and help improve sleep. It also has other benefits like lower blood sugar, lower cortisol levels, boost brain function and help with mood. I found it as an ingredient in Magic Mushroom that you can learn about here in one of my reviews. The roots can also be added to tea or made into a tincture. When the roots are made into a tea, it will have an earthy, malty flavor.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Treat type 2 diabetes
- Treat rheumatoid arthritis
- Reduce fatigue
- Help with sleep
- Calm mind
- Eliminate pathogens from the body
- Support immune system
- Increase energy
Find Ashwagandha in organic products from YourSuperfoods. Get more info here.
What are the side effects of Ashwagandha?
It’s first of all, only recommended to take this herb for up to 3 months. Large doses can cause mild to moderate drowsiness, loose stools and upper GI discomfort. Be sure to check with your doctor or a holistic doctor If you have any of the following conditions: thyroid disorder, stomach ulcers, diabetes, low or high blood pressure, pregnant or breastfeeding, auto immune diseases or having surgery.
The recommended dosage of the root is 300mg twice daily after eating food.
How long does it take for Ashwagandha to take effect
It can take about 2 weeks to see results. Be sure the product you are using is high quality and that you are practicing a healthy lifestyle. A full spectrum extract with a high concentration is recommended to make the best impact on the body.
Facts about Growing Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is mostly known for being grown in warm tropical and subtropical dry areas. Native to India, northern Africa and the Middle East they now can even be grown in other areas around the world. If you have had an interest in planting a food garden, you may have researched the plant hardiness zone map. It’s important for knowing what will grow and in what extreme temperatures. The US Dept of Agriculture rates the Withania somnifera plant as hardy from zones 2-9.
Some tips for growing Ashwagandha
- Could start growing indoors and transplant when they reach 4 inches
- Direct sunlight
- Wind sheltered site
- Soil with dry and stony qualities
- Well drained sandy or loamy area
- Acidic or neutral pH level
- Keep moist during germination period (2-3 weeks)
- After germination allow soil to dry between waterings
- Water during shady time of day
Check out this interesting video below on harvesting Ashwagandha.
The more pungent the smell of the roots the more potent are the medicinal qualities
If you want to purchase Ashwagandha, it is available from health stores and Thrive Market in capsules and liquid form.
Ashwagandha can interfere with prescription medicines so always check with your doctor
Do not take if you are pregnant
Learning about the facts of growing Ashwagandha has reminded me of the concept of growing your own food and starting a food garden. Seeing the leaves blossom into flowers and then into a fruit is amazing. Be sure to check out my article here on starting a food garden. It was amazing seeing the progression and harvesting of the fruit. Now I hope you have a clearer understanding of what Ashwagandha is for and the health benefits. I’ve been using it in Magic Mushroom and I have experienced mild stomach discomfort so I recommend to start using it in small dosages.
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