Ashwagandha is arguably the wellness world’s favorite adaptogen. It’s been hailed to boost energy, promote calm clarity, strengthen immunity, and may even inhibit cancer. And while many claims of Ashwagandha seem exaggerated to out of this world, let us help you clear up some information and let you know what this potent ancient root can really potentially do for you and your health.
What is an Ashwagandha and why is it an adaptogen?
Known and used in Ayurvedic medicine dating back over 2500 years ago, Ashwagandha is an ancient root originally found in India and North Africa, it is fondly called ‘Indian Ginseng’.
Ashwagandha takes rank as an adaptogen, a classification of various herbs, plants, roots etc., that have the unique ability to promote our overall health by bringing balance to a variety of ailments. The ancient root does this by helping our physiological systems (Thyroid, Adrenals, Nerves etc.) better adapt and respond to external stressors.
For example, adaptogens are often incorporated as part of a healthy lifestyle to promote sleep for those who have insomnia, to help with regularity for those with hormonal imbalances, to encourage mental clarity for those with brain fog, and to induce a sense of calm for those with anxiety.
Depending on an individual’s health issue, adaptogens can help restore the body into equilibrium and alleviate any health issues associated. Research on the different kinds of adaptogens to find what could benefit you. The more well-known adaptogens include Maca, Ginseng, Cordyceps, Rhodiola, and our favorite, Ashwagandha.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, in particular, is most famous for its ability to manage stress and counteract its negative effects.
Studies have shown that taking Ashwagandha lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, as well as helped to manage and get past feelings of depression. Take note while this root, nor any single ingredient, can’t fix an inherently stressful lifestyle (you’ll need to make healthy lifestyle adjustments for overall wellbeing), here’s exactly how this ancient root helps you combat stress.
1. Stress reliever
While stress is a normal part of life, always feeling stressed can easily go from a temporary state of mind, to a chronic state of being. Ashwagandha helps to soothe stress in its various forms such as insomnia and anxiety by suppressing hormones that get released when you’re stressed such as cortisol and adrenaline along with prompting your body into a more calm and relaxed state.
2. Thyroid and Hormone Balance
Ashwagandha helps to balance our hormones and thyroid function, both of which when out of balance, make our bodies feel stressed. Stress-induced mood swings, headaches, and lethargy are all indications of a hormone imbalance. Taking Ashwagandha can help to balance your hormones and relieve any negative bodily responses from it.
3. Boosts Energy
Ashwagandha has the wonderful ability to keep you feeling calm without feeling sleepy, and to give you a boost in physical energy and mental clarity without feeling jittery or wired. This is thanks to the roots ability to rejuvenate a tired body, stabilize blood sugar levels, and soothe overly active adrenals. As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha nourishes our body accordingly and helps our body to send itself the correct signals for an energy boosting or relaxation response.
How to take Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has a strong flavor reminiscent of an earthy, almost animal-like musk. Ashwagandha, technically means ‘horse smell’ in Sanskrit. Whether you like the taste of this ancient root or not, ingesting it in a way that suits your lifestyle and palette is all completely up to you. Here are a few ways you can incorporate Ashwagandha into your wellness routine:
1. Adaptogenic Hot chocolate
The bitterness of the Ashwagandha compliment the bitter-sweetness of cacao powder.
Mix the ingredients in a pot over gentle heat:
- 1/2 teaspoon Ashwagandha Powder
- 1 Tablespoon cacao powder
- 1 cup milk of choice (dairy or plant-based)
- ½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice, we recommend honey or maple syrup
- 1 small pinch of salt
- A splash of vanilla extract
- Steep Ashwagandha powder into freshly boiled filtered water and steep for 5-7 minutes. Enjoy with a splash of dairy or plant-based milk of your choice and a swirl of honey.
3. Ashwagandha Supplement:
Get all the stress-relieving benefits of Ashwagandha by finding a quality Ashwagandha supplement and simply take the required amount according to the bottle indication or as suggested by your healthcare provider.