Do you feel an inner restlessness often? Are you stressed or nervous? Then it's time to get to know Ashwagandha better. This Ayurvedic medicinal plant will provide more balance in your life. Find out everything you need to know about Ashwagandha in this article.
What is Ashwagandha?
The unusual name hides a medicinal plant that probably comes from Africa. In the meantime, however, it is widespread and known worldwide. The plant is most prevalent in India. It is where its present name Ashwagandha comes from. In ancient Indian (Sanskrit), it means "smell of the horse."
Ashwagandha is also known as sleeping berry, winter cherry, or Indian ginseng. Botanically, the plant is also called Withania somnifera and belongs to the nightshade family. Their appearance is comparable to that of physalis.
When is Ashwagandha Used?
The sleeping berry is trendy in traditional medicine, Ayurvedic treatments, and biohacking. As its name suggests, it is said to promote and calm sleep. At the same time, it is energizing. Together, this results in an effect that creates more balance in your life.
Ashwagandha is said to have the following qualities:
- improves sleep
- relaxed and leads to inner peace
- increases stress resilience
- prevents anxiety
- lowers cholesterol levels
- anti-inflammatory effects
- increases strength and endurance
- increases libido and potency
- keeps young
- improves memory performance
- relieves pain
Although Ashwagandha has been used for a long time, few scientific studies confirm the plant's effectiveness. The previous findings on the sleeping berry come mainly from India and Asia. The Western research situation, on the other hand, is still thin. Therefore, more studies are needed to validate the effects of the root.
Previous studies have come to the following conclusions:
- Improved athletic performance (endurance) after eight weeks of Ashwagandha.
- Increased muscle mass and strength combined with training while taking Ashwagandha for eight weeks.
- Antidepressant effect and reduction of anxiety.
- Extracts of the sleeping berry can rebuild neural networks, so they are helpful for memory deficits. They could have application in neurodegenerative diseases (so far, only shown in an animal model study).
- Improved memory and cognitive ability after eight weeks of using Ashwagandha extract.
- Decreased cortisol levels (a stress parameter) after 60 days of treatment with Ashwagandha.
- The medicinal plant can improve stress-related infertility in men. After three months of use, the subjects showed fewer signs of stress, more antioxidants, and improved sperm quality.
- Falling asleep faster and sleeping more efficiently after eight weeks of Ashwagandha intake.
- It is assumed that the various effects of the root can be attributed to the ingredients it contains, such as alkaloids and withanolides.
Trying Ashwagandha: How It Can Benefit Your Health?
The positive effects have convinced you, and you want to buy Ashwagandha? Then it would help if you considered a few things:
The medicinal plant is usually well tolerated. However, at high doses, stomach pain or diarrhea may occur.
For Whom is the Sleeping Berry Not Suitable?
Ashwagandha should not be taken by children or during pregnancy. If you are unsure about existing illnesses or taking medication, you should discuss whether Ashwagandha is suitable for you with your doctor in advance.
Powder, capsules, and tablets are the common forms you can buy Ashwagandha. Occasionally, dried berries or roots are offered as tea. Because the root and powder made from it have a bitter taste, swallowable capsules are the easiest to use.
You can see from the packaging how much Ashwagandha is contained in the products you want to purchase. You will also find information on the products, such as vegan and recommendations for consumption.
Ashwagandha has long been known in Ayurvedic medicine. It is used for sleep disorders, restlessness, fears, and stress and is also said to provide more energy— an ideal combination for inner balance.
The medicinal plant has found little use in Western medicine, as further research is required. So far, however, some studies confirm the effects of Ashwagandha and admit that it is well tolerated.
You can buy Ashwagandha products as dietary supplements in the form of capsules or powder. For a better effect, Ashwagandha is combined with other ingredients that support inner balance, such as Siberian ginseng.
Disclaimer: This article is a collaborative effort of the CLAV editorial team, created on the current literature base. All our publications are supplemented with passion and expertise for naturopathy and a healthy lifestyle. Our medical experts approve all texts before publication. Please Note: Dietary supplements are no substitute for a balanced, healthy diet or medical advice.