Ashwagandha benefits: All in one herb for immunity, body, mind and soul.

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‘Ashwagandha’ – The plant which was not renowned, but is now added in everyone’s routine during this disastrous pandemic COVID-19.With the increasing popularity of this herb, it needs no introduction. This article is focused about ashwagandha benefits.

Besides increasing immunity it also has some magical effects on the body.

  • Ashwagandha is commonly known as Winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng. It is one of the most essential herbs in Ayurveda since time immemorial. It is widespread throughout India and world.
  • Scientific nameWithania somnifera
  • Where, somnifera indicate sleep-inducive. This suggests that this drug is a potent sedative.
  • Family – Solanaceae 
  • This herb gets its name from its root and leaves. When you rub the leaves they emit a horse like odour which the root also emits.
  • Pertaining to its smell it is also mentioned (in Bhavprakash nighantu -an ayurvedic book)- 
  • अश्वस्थेवगन्धंउत्याहयेन।” 

This means that consuming Ashwagandha provides stamina as that of a horse. Apart from these benefits, it also has a tremendous effect on the body, mind and soul. 

1Ashwagandha’s (Queen of herbs) health Properties:

Ashwagandha benefits on Health:

Ashwagandha acts as a cure for maladies such as asthma,cold ,cough, epilepsy,leprosy and many more. So, it is an energy booster and also shows immunostimulatory effect. Along with drugs such as amla (Emblica officinalis ),tulsi(Ocimum tenuiflorum) gilyoy(Tinospora Cordifolia)

(refer for further information) 

Effect on Skin:

  1. Ashwagandha stimulates DHEA, which is a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen. 
  2. It stimulates the production of skin oils.
  3. When used with neem and turmeric,it nourishes the skin.

Ashwagandha benefits on body and healing properties:

Ashwagandha is considered an excellent rejuvenator, and also acts as an adaptogen.  It enhances the body’s resilience to stress by improving the body’s defence against the disease through self-mediated immunity.

Ashwagandha benefits on brain and soul:

Ashwagandha helps us to battle chronic stress and depression.It also acts as nervine tonic. (Read more here)

Pharmacodynamic properties and effect on doshas:

  • As holistic science of Ayurveda is based in doshas; ashwagandha pacifies (air)Vata and Khapha (earth and water) doshas. It aggravates Pitta (digestion or heat) dosha.
  • It characterises three different tastes namely bitter (Tikta),pungent (katu),sweet(madhu).
  • It is blessed with hot potency (ushna) and has madhura vipaka.

2Benefits of various parts of Ashwagandha plant:

Leaves 

Ashwagandha leaves have analgesic and antioxidant properties. They use it for treating viral infection, cough and cold symptoms, fever, chronic pain.

Flowers and seeds:

Ashwagandha flowers and seeds

(Source:wikipedia)

Ashwagandha flowershave aphrodisiac properties which are used for improving fertility and kidney. Ashwagandha seeds helps in preventing and treating infectious diseases and parasite invasions.

Ashwagandha Roots

ashwagandha roots

Ashwagandha roots are the most significant part and are widely used in various formulations. Its root have antidepressant, anti-diuretic properties. It is useful in treatment of neural problems, diabetes, constipation,skin infections and many more diseases (Refrence)

Note that Most Commonly used Part of Ashwagandha herb is root.

3Most abundantly available formulations: 

  1. Ashwagandha rasayan
  2. Ashwagandha churana
  3. Ashwagandha arishtam
  4. Ashwagandha taila
  5. Ashwagandha ghrit 

Let’s discuss about these ashwagandha medicines.

Ashwagandha Churna 

[ Ref: Chakradutta Samhita {Urah ksata} and Shadangdhar Samhita {Vagikaran}]

About:

It is a fine sieved powder that you can mix with ghee,water, clarified butter,or honey depending upon diseases or usages.

Benefits

  1. Powerful spermatogenic properties.
  2. Improves the production of male hormones like testosterone due to its natural antioxidant property. 
  3. Treats conditions of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
  4. In females it acts as a powerful uterine tonic and helps in treatment of endometriosis.
  5. It also enhances the female reproductive organs and enhances maturation of eggs into follicles.

Ashwagandha Arishtam 

About: It is a liquid preparation of herb for general feasibility and improving immunity. Ashwagandha along with other medicinal drugs is used to prepare the arishtam.

Benefits

  1. In treating psychotic problems like depression,dementia.
  2. Reducing alarming symptoms like anxiety, restlessness and uneasiness.

Ashwagandha Leham 

[Reference: A.S.U 2/49]

About :

It is prepared along with jaggery or sugar by boiling in a specific liquid till the correct consistency is achieved

Benefits

  1. Improving immunity
  2. curing different breathing problems
  3. reducing body pains
  4. improving underweight conditions

Ashwagandha Taila 

[Reference: Bhaishajya Ratnavali 78/355]


About :

It is a formulation of Ashwagandha extract and oil base (generally sesame oil)

Benefits

Apply locally to suppress the pain such as back pain or joint pain.

4Ashwagandha Side effects and safety:

  1. Pregnancy and breastfeeding – There are some evidence that suggests ashwagandha might lead to miscarriage. We advise to avoid its intake if one is breast feeding a baby.
  2. Blood pressure- Ashwagandha may decrease blood pressure levels. You should take with precautions in this case.
  3. Diabetes – It might decrease blood sugar levels. Hence diabetic patients should avoid.
  4. Stomach ulcers –It can irritate GIT( gastrointestinal tract) IDon’t use it, if you are having stomach ulcer.
  5. Auto immunity diseases –Not prescribed along with diseases such as SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus),RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) and many other as it boosts up the immune system to become more active and this in turn can increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases.
  6. Thyroid disorders- It also boosts thyroid hormone level, so one should take cautiously.
  7. Along with sedative medication- Drugs that induce sleep are known as sedatives. Ashwagandha,might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Thus taking it along with sedative is harmful.

Though the effect of long term consumption of Ashwagandha is not known, it should be consumed in right way. Inadequate amount of Ashwagandha might cause diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach upset. It’s side effect differ from one person to another. So it is better to take advice from doctor before consuming it.

5Why to use Ashwagandha ?

  • Ashwagandha is also known as queen of herbs is extremely effective on a variety of diseases.  It is a remedy for all systemic diseases be it immune, digestive reproductive, nervous or skin disease.
  • Have you ever asked why diseases occur?
    Probably the answer is NO! This happens when our immune system fails to produce enough antibodies in response to foreign bodies. Ashwagandha helps in increasing the capacity of our bodies to produce antibodies. Thus, it helps in building a sound immune system.
  • Everyone wants their reproductive system to perform well and stay healthy. Again Ashwagandha serves this purpose.
  • Ayurveda is the purest pathy having its roots that are more than 4000 years old. It is known to formulate drugs using the herbs straight from the lap of our Mother Earth.
  • Unlike other pathies it does not aggravate other diseases while suppressing one.It follows the principle that focuses not only curing disease but also for ensuring the person’s wellbeing.

Well, Ayurveda is surely a benison to mankind. This indeed is the golden bird of India which people and natural healthcare companies are praising and using worldwide now.

Please share what you think about this article and herb through your comments.

Also Read :

9 Comments

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