Ashwagandha is Indian ginseng, which is used in Ayurveda as an adaptogen that helps fight stress and the health problems it causes.
Ashwagandha – Ayurvedic plant from India
For several thousand years, this plant is very much appreciated for its unique properties. The followers of Ayurvedic teachings have long realized that ashwagandha is a natural source of strength, energy, vigor, youth and excellent health . Therefore, on the basis of this plant, therapeutic and prophylactic drugs are prepared that help men and women improve their physical, mental and emotional state.
The Indian plant has a powerful effect, because of what you can not treat him carelessly. You should know the peculiarities of its use and contraindications, so as not to harm yourself.
Ashwagandha – what is this plant?
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a perennial forked shrub that fruits red berries. In height, it reaches an average length of up to 1 meter. On the planet there are not so many places where it grows: the eastern part of Asia, some areas of India, the north of Africa (in the Mediterranean region).
For therapeutic purposes, the root of the plant is mainly used. Fruits can also be used.
Ashwagandha in its properties can be correlated with Chinese ginseng. But, there is one important difference – price. The Indian version is much cheaper, so it is much more affordable and can be more widely used for the preparation of various means.
The word “ashwagandha” is of Sanskrit origin. In turn, it consists of two words: “ashva” – a horse, “gundha” – a smell. Therefore, the translation is as follows: “the smell of a horse”. This name was given to the herb grass, not in vain. Everyone knows that horses are strong and hardy animals. Once upon a time mentioning the amazing properties of a plant to give a person health, strength, vigor and sexual energy, people correlated them with the unique physical abilities of horses. Even after thousands of years, this ayurvedic remedy does not cease to amaze.
What is included in the plant
Its right to be used in Ayurveda as a therapeutic and prophylactic means ashwagandha deserved due to its composition, which influences the unique properties of the plant.
Among the components of ashwagandha – alkaloids, phytosterols, saponins, phenolic acids. Lipids, peptides, various macro- and microelements are also present in the composition in sufficient quantities. Coumarins, steroid lactones are no less essential components of the Indian plant. Due to the presence of plant antibiotics, this herb is able to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms, up to such dangerous species as staphylococci, streptococci, gonococci.
When ingested in the digestive system, plant components begin to be assimilated actively. They penetrate into the blood, spreading through the body and filling all the tissues, and reach their therapeutic goal.
Healing properties of Ashwagandha
The list of medicinal properties is quite impressive. The spectrum of action is wide :
- For many women, this plant is a valuable find. It will help to ease menstrual pains, adjust the menstrual cycle. High chances are much quicker to heal from mastopathy, fibromyoma, and other benign formations. A long course of taking the drug is able to cope with serious hormonal disorders and infertility. It will help a woman after childbirth to restore health quickly, establish full-fledged lactation, prevent the development of postpartum depression and other complications.
- For men, the plant is not less valuable. It can be used as an aid to the basic treatment of inflammation of the prostate gland. “Indian ginseng” skillfully fights with spermatherapy (frequent or continuous isolation of sperm from the urethra), impotence and other disorders of the sexual sphere. Means will help improve the quality and quantity of seminal fluid. Improving the endurance, strength, and volume of muscles,working capacity – no less important properties of the plant.
- Can be rightly considered an aphrodisiac, able to strengthen the sexual desire.
- It prevents the appearance of tumors of a different nature. There is also an opinion that
- Ashwagandha helps to stop the progression of certain types of cancer.
- Reduces the level of the hormone cortisol – the main culprit of stress in a person, insomnia, excessive visceral fat deposits.
- Normalizes the level of glucose in the blood.
- Has a sedative effect, is considered a natural antidepressant. Soothes normalizes the emotional balance, returns a normal schedule of sleep and wakefulness.
- It does not increase blood pressure so that the drug can take even hypertensive drugs.
Effectively affects the cognitive and thought processes. Stabilizes the cerebral blood circulation, due to what the quality of attention and memory greatly improve.
- Helps reduce cravings for sweets and flour, so it is an excellent tool for those who adhere to a low-carb diet or have an excessive desire for alcohol.
- Acts as a means of rejuvenation slow prematurely aging.
Increases hemoglobin, lowers cholesterol, normalizes biochemical processes in the body.
- Destroys the microflora pathogenic and helps to restore the beneficial. Due to this, it can stop inflammation, regenerate the damaged cells of the body.
- Promotes accelerated healing of wounds. To do this, you can apply the paste directly to the wound or drink the drug.
- Strengthens bone tissue, joints, ligaments, muscles.
- Stimulates immune forces, makes the body more resistant to bacterial, fungal and viral infections.
We understood that the spectrum of the Ashwagandha action is huge. It is not surprising that there are also many indications for use :
- fibrosis and other benign neoplasms;
- chronic fatigue, weakness, apathy;
- adnexitis, prostatitis, prostate adenoma and other problems of the genitourinary system;
- decreased libido, impotence;
- panic attacks, anxiety, suspiciousness and other psychosomatic symptoms;
- deterioration of the quality of seminal fluid;
- gynecological diseases of various types;
- the period after childbirth and after completion of breastfeeding;
- hormonal problems, endocrine diseases, metabolic disorders; diabetes mellitus of any type;
- genital herpes;
- oncological diseases, the period after the patient’s passage of chemotherapy, radiation
- exposure and other “aggressive” methods of treatment;
- Candidiasis, dysentery, dysbacteriosis, chronic diarrhea, hemorrhoids, bloating, flatulence;
- helminthic invasions (colonization of the body by parasites of any species);
the weakening of immunity, provoking ARVI, frequent colds and other infectious diseases;
- pathology, one of the manifestations of which are strong swelling;
- psychoemotional and psychoneurological disorders that provoke aggression, increased excitability and nervousness, obsessive thoughts, insomnia;
- lag in development in children;
- oxygen starvation, anemia, lack of useful macro- and microelements;
deterioration of concentration, memory functions.
Ashwagandha as a biologically active additive is indispensable in the rehabilitation period after serious injuries, surgeries and acute illnesses (for example, heart attack or stroke), recovery from neuropsychological and physical exhaustion, with chronic diseases.
Ashwagandha is able to support the body of people who are forced to live or work in a tense rhythm. Ayurvedic medicine will also be useful to students during the session and to athletes training for practical wear and tear. For example, bodybuilders such an additive to the basic diet will help to withstand serious stress and increase muscle mass more efficiently.
Instructions for use
Ashwagandha is available in different dosage forms: powder (churna), paste (most often prepared from powder or sold already ready), butter, tincture, decoction. The most simple variant is offered by modern manufacturers of ayurvedic preparations – capsules. How much and how often to take the remedy, will depend on the constitution of a person, his age and disease. Usually, for preventive purposes or to improve overall health and strengthen immunity, 1-2 capsules per day are sufficient. If the drug is planned due to the presence of some disease and there is a need to exceed the indicated dosage, you should consult a specialist.
On average, the preventive course lasts 14 days (in the first month). In the next five months, the ashwagandha is taken for seven days.
The advantage of ashwagandha is that it can be used in many ways. For internal use, you need 3-5 grams of powder to drink twice a day for 20-30 minutes before eating with warm water or milk. It is possible to take and another scheme, appointed by a specialist. Some producers suggest that tea should be made from powder, which must be drunk on an empty stomach.
Churn is also used as compresses or masks. To do this, dilute the powder with warm water, ghee oil (preferably for dry and sensitive skin) or base oil. It should look like a paste. After that, apply the mixture to the part of the body that needs it – face, neck, decollete zone, scalp, hair, hands, etc. Ashwagandha helps to clear pores, get rid of acne and other skin defects, strengthen hair follicles, smooth wrinkles, and nourish the skin with useful ingredients.
When purchasing a drug, read the instructions before using it. The dosage of the agent (for example, if it is a capsule) may depend on the concentration of the active substance.
If you take “Indian ginseng” together with some ayurvedic drugs, then you can expect a more powerful effect. For example, brahmi and ashwagandha will act as a powerful tonic and rejuvenating agent, actively stimulating and strengthening the cells of the nervous system. In combination with Arjuna and melted butter (ghee), ashwagandha will be a good tool for the prevention and treatment of heart disease, with Gokshuradi guggul or Chandraprabha bati – to prevent inflammation of the urinary tract.
Contraindications for use
Ashwagandha cannot be considered an innocuous means. In the root and fruits of the plant contains a huge number of active substances that can seriously affect the composition of blood and other physiological fluids, homeostasis, the condition of tissues of internal organs. Any, even natural remedy, has contraindications to the use. And ashwagandha is no exception. The reception of “Indian ginseng” should be minimized or eliminated in such cases:
- The onset of an allergic reaction to one of the components of the agent.
- It is undesirable to take the remedy for women during pregnancy and lactation. But, this is not an absolute contraindication. You can take the supplement if the doctor allows.
With stomach ulcers, excessive thyroid function and some serious diseases of internal organs, the drug are not recommended.
- Do not give the supplement to very young children.
- Caution should be taken for those who are already taking any medications. Care must be taken to ensure that there are no undesirable reactions when combining drugs, or even better – it is worth consulting with the doctor before the reception.
- In case of drug overdose, side effects may occur vomiting, hallucinations, toxic brain damage. Such unpleasant phenomena as retardation of reactions, lowering of pressure, irritable stomach syndrome can also develop. With the uncontrolled admission of the drug, there may be a decline in strength, a state of apathy and depression (due to increased sedation), drowsiness, sluggishness.
To avoid these problems with the state of health, you must strictly follow the recommended dosage. And even better, if there is such an opportunity, it is worth consulting with a specialist. In general, ashwagandha with proper reception is tolerated by the body well and rarely causes side effects.