Ashwagandha: What Is It and How to Use It?

Alternative medicine has become very popular in the last several years. A lot of people turned to herbs and plants as natural remedies. Many of them accepted eastern medicine as a solution to their health issues. While some started following Chinese traditional medicine, others decided to follow Ayurveda, a medicine based on the principle that the human body can heal itself by using the gifts from nature. It includes plants, herbs, and spices such as ashwagandha, turmeric, holy basil, garlic, peppermint, and so on. All of them have proven benefits on the human body and support its self-healing process, but the ashwagandha wirkung (eng. benefits, effect) made this plant one of the most used ones.

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3 millennia. It is an adaptogen – a plant with medicinal properties that helps the body cope with various health issues. Throughout the years, it has been used for numerous health issues, including inflammation, fever, snake bites, infertility, immunity, memory loss, and so on. However, modern medicine has confirmed only part of its benefits. So, let’s briefly check them out.

Health Benefits

  • Can reduce stress – Research has found that it can reduce stress, anxiety, and anxiety disorders. It does that by reducing the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and the symptoms, such as increased heart rate and high blood pressure.

  • Can improve heart health – Ashwagandha can reduce LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels. In that way, it reduces the risk of heart-related diseases and conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Moreover, by reducing the blood sugar levels, it helps regulate diabetes and prevents the unwanted consequences of this condition.

  • Can reduce inflammation – Ashwagandha can help fight infections and reduce inflammation caused by a certain health condition, bacteria, or virus. According to findings, it reduces the inflammation markers, such as C-reactive protein. Moreover, it improves the activity of the T-cells, also known as killer cells, because they are the ones fighting the infections.

  • Can help with infertility – Ashwagandha can improve fertility in men and women. As it’s known, it has been found that it can increase the testosterone levels, sperm count, and their motility.

  • Can protect your brain – Ashwagandha has been long used for treating memory loss. Several studies found that it can improve the memory and the other cognitive functions in people who had a recent injury or suffer from a neurodegenerative disease. It’s suggested that it promotes the antioxidant activity of cells thus protecting the nerve cells from the free radicals’ damage.

  • Can make you stronger – Although it can’t make you a Hercules, ashwagandha can increase your physical strength. Findings show that it increases the muscle size and mass and body composition and reduces body fat.

How to Use Ashwagandha?

There are several ways to use this plant: fresh, as powder, as tinctures, and as capsules. In the past, it was used only fresh. In fact, people in India and some other countries from the Middle East still use it fresh to prepare a natural remedy for a certain health problem.

If you want to use ashwagandha fresh, you should be aware that it has a bit unpleasant smell and bitter taste. As described since ancient times, it smells like a horse. That’s why it’s called ashwagandha, which in Sanskrit means “odor of the horse”. If using it fresh, you should mainly use its roots, but also the leaves and the berries, depending on the remedy’s recipe.

If you want to use it as supplements, you can choose between tinctures, capsules, and powder. Although all of them can help you, it’s best to use it as a powder because in that way you can use it in numerous different ways. Namely, you can use it to make cookies and ghee or add it to your favorite smoothie, tea, milk, or even water. Indeed, there are many ways to use ashwagandha powder to make it part of your everyday life. Here are several recipes you can use for different purposes:

  • Ashwagandha banana smoothie – boost your energy and libido

  • Moon milk – to reduce stress and anxiety

  • Ashwagandha tea – to sleep better

  • Ashwagandha with honey – aphrodisiac

  • Ashwagandha sweets (Laddus) – for vitality, headache, anemia, infections, energy, back pain, and acts as an aphrodisiac.

  • Ashwagandha ghee/ghrita – to help with infertility, increase children’s immune system, lung capacity, muscle strength and toning, and overall body development.

  • Ashwagandha tincture – although you can find it in the form of tinctures, you can also make it at home. It’s highly effective for anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation.

  • Ashwagandha tonic, creams, and cleansers – for facial skin problems and prolonging skin’s aging.