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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21 thoughts on “What Is Ashwagandha For?”
Thank you for another informative and interesting article on Ashwagandha.
I will check with my doctor to see if I can take it.
Great information about ashwagandha. I have only heard about ashwagandha recently and it seems that it’s becoming more well known. I have recently started drinking golden milk every evening made with warm oat milk and mellow yellow mix from Your Super. It contains ashwagandha and I have noticed I’ve been sleeping better!
It’s very interesting learning more about ashwagandha and all the benefits it provides. Thank you!
@Lori thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you are feeling results from the mellow yellow. Best wishes for good health.
Thank you for writing this article. I’ve heard good things about ashwagandha, but never tried it.
You certainly have given us a lot of options when it comes to different products we can buy.
Amazon seems to have a lot of this stuff!
Is there any one product you prefer? Why?
@Michael thanks for asking. I really prefer the products from Thrive market like the one I suggested in the article. The products at Thrive are very good quality and usually organic.
Great article Alyse. It looks like something called “omulondo” (Bantu language) in Uganda. A very famous herb among polygamous guys!
I had no idea it received the industrial touch and is being consumed as plush powders, liquids and capsules. The guys in Africa don’t weigh it in grams though, most times the fresh tuber is chewed raw (I guess our people here are over dosing). Some go a step further to use it as a spice in teas and foods. I have a conviction to propagate the thing.
The seeds talked of in the video are used by little children to add decoration to pieces of art & craft.
@Francis thanks for sharing all this! It’s so interesting!
Another herbal remedy with wonderful results. I might try it for my sleeping problems. Do you know why is it only recommended up to three months?
@Olga with these types of supplements they recommend and ON then OFF approach to give the body a chance to adjust. Thanks for visiting today.
Really interesting name and article about Ashwagandha. From reading your research it seems like this supplement may be good for me because I am a person who can get stressed pretty easily. Then when I am stressed I find it very difficult to sleep. So, I need to relieve this and maybe Ashwagandha could be thing that helps me.
I will let you know if I get them and if they are working for me or not.
Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.
All the best,
@Tom please keep me posted how you like it. Best wishes for less stress and better sleep.
Very interesting article on Ashwagandha. This is the first time I have heard of it however, the benefits you have highlighted and the reviews I have seen on Amazon on this product indicates that one cannot go wrong with it. I am surely trying one of these.
Thanks a lot Alyse.
@Ekufaa thanks for visiting today and leaving a comment. Best wishes for good health.
I had never heard of this plant before. Thank you so much for sharing. Can you eat it raw?
@Catherine this is a great question! The root should be crushed into powder to consume.
I must say I’m not new to the ashwagandha as I have been taking it on and off for the last few years. It has an amazing results for anxiety and sleep. But as I feel better I somehow come off it. So, it surely works but you can carry on taking it. May I ask if it has any side affects for long terms usage?
You’ve highlighted all aspects of ashwagandha in your review and I learnt so much from it. I shall buy your buy the organic ashwagandha in future.
@Habib it is only recommended to take for up to 3 months. Best wishes and please keep me posted how you like it.
I’ve never heard of ashwagandha before reading this article. Thanks for sharing. It’s always good to learn that there’s another plant out there that can help various conditions.
@Ivan I’m so glad that you learned about what is ashwagandha for. Best wishes for good health.
I agree completely with what you said about Ashwaganda. I have taken it in the past. It’s wonderful, especially for reducing stress and anxiety.
@Monique It’s great that you have had a good experience with Ashwagandha. Thanks for visiting my website today.