Ashwaghandha (Withania somnifera) is a herbaceous shrub whose root is widely used in Ayurveda, Indian traditional practice of medicine. Ashwagandha offers support during stressful periods, gives you inner peace and increases your vitality. It is also called ‘Indian ginseng’ because the adaptogenic properties resemble those of the Chinese ginseng. In this article we tell you more about ashwagandha and the powerful effect of this “royal herb”.
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is a plant species of the genus Withania from the Solanaceae family, which grows in India, South Asia, Central Asia and Africa. Within Ayurvedic medicine, the root of ashwagandha has been used for more than 4000 years in the form of tea, syrup, ointment, tincture or powder. The Sanskrit name ashwa (horse) gandha (scent) refers to the typical smell of the fresh root.
Active ingredient: whitanolide
The roots of the bush contain various alkaloids such as anapherin, anahygrine, cuscohygrine, whitaferin A and whitasomniferanolide. They also contain the active ingredients of ashwagandha: withanolides. These components seem to function – they help your body react more resiliently to the effects of stressful periods – on the main component of Panax ginseng from China or Korea. This is why ashwagandha is also called “Indian ginseng.” Withanolide is found in all plants of the nightshade family, but the highest concentrations are found in ashwagandha.
The benefits of ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has strong adaptogenic properties; it increases non-specific resistance to illness and physical and psychological stress, both acute and chronic. But Ashwagandha has a very broad effect. The herb counteracts cell aging, is good for thinking and memory, and has stress-reducing, anxiety-inhibiting, antidepressant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidative, hormone-regulating and muscle-strengthening effects. It helps with recovery from illness, decreased libido and reduced fertility in men. Ashwagandha can be used for Western diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and lowering the high cholesterol levels in the blood. In short, ashwagandha improves the condition of body and mind and contributes to a healthy and long life. Want more information about the benefits of ashwagandha? Read this article.