Last week, we discussed adaptogens and how they help your body respond to stress. We got a lot of questions about ashwagandha, a specific type of adaptogen that’s been getting a lot of press recently; so we wanted to dive in a little deeper and give you more information about this important herb.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a traditional herb that has been used in Ayurvedic, Indian, and African medicine for centuries. In Sanskrit, the name ashwagandha translates to “the smell of a horse”. Many do say that the herb smells “horse-like”, but don’t let that scare you away. Some refer to Ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, but it doesn’t really belong to the ginseng family; it’s part of the tomato family. The herb is native to Africa, India, and the Middle East, but farmers now also grow it in United States.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha’s major claim to fame is its ability to help the body cope with stress, but the benefits reach much further than that. Ashwagandha may also:
- Boost the immune system*
- Improve learning and memory*
- Reduce anxiety and depression*
- Stabilize blood sugar*
- Lower cholesterol*
- Improve energy and decrease fatigue*
- Improve concentration*
- Decrease pain, swelling, and inflammation*
How to Include Ashwagandha in Your Diet
The most common way to consume ashwagandha is in capsule form, but it’s also often available as part of multi-vitamin nutritional supplements or protein powders or as a tea. Typically, the recommended dose is 600 to 1,000 milligrams twice per day. The adaptogenic herb is readily available at most health food and supplement stores.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to prevent, cure, treat, or diagnose any medical condition.