Ashwagandha is one of the most valuable and effective herb from the land of India. Also known as Winter Cherry in English or Withania somnifera (botanical name), it is among the most trusted herbs in Ayurveda. Its root tastes about 90% sweet and 10% bitter (this can vary depending upon the environment, maturity of plant, etc.) and is used in various types of treatments.
This herb is grown in India as a crop and it can also be grown in a kitchen-garden. The plant grows about 170 cm high and it looks like any other common plant. The leaves of the plant are oval shaped, and the plant bears small but beautiful-looking flowers which are yellowish or greenish in color containing orange-reddish small berries, which are the fruits, and that are small in size.
For thousands of years, Ayurveda has been using ashwagandha roots as one of the most powerful remedies and as a tonic for vitality and long life. This herb is very helpful in various chronic illnesses, acts as a rejuvenator, and reduces the vata dosha. Furthermore, it has been used as a tonic to restore the energy level in the body. If one is having an illness which has brought down their energy and made them weak, then in that case a tonic made from its roots and few more herbs can be of a great help. It also relieves stress and if taken in the right dosage, it works as a natural anti-stress agent, due to which it is also known as 'adaptogen'. If one is among the people who do physical work and need lot of energy to complete their day-to-day activities, then it is one of the most valuable energy sources and might prove beneficial. It also helps in fighting fatigue and in stimulation of the nerves.
Besides its usage as a tonic, it finds its best use in medicines that are meant to build/rejuvenate and nourish reproductive organs in men and women because of its aphrodisiac properties. It helps in rebuilding the sexual energy level and also boosts sexual performance. From ancient times, it has been used as a powerful sedative and a performance enhancer for men, and it also helps in improving libido, stamina, and staying ability. It helps in improving semen quality and also in increasing the sperm count. No wonder if it is considered as mini-Viagra. Because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, this herb also helps in fighting inflammation of internal body parts and especially genital organs.
Furthermore, it is often used in combination with other herbs to increase their power and effect. Generally, herbs like ginger are given along with ashwagandha in form of a paste or soup. It is a very good memory tonic and works magic, when given in combination with other memory tonics. It helps in improving concentration and alertness. It induces the acetylcholine receptor ability of the brain and acts as cognition enhancer. It is also used to treat the people affected by mental illnesses such as amnesia and people having old age memory loss. As it is a very good stress reliever, it can be effectively used in conditions such as hypertension, stress, and chronic painful diseases. It also exhibits anti-carcinogen qualities and can be used in combination with other herbs to fight cancer.
Although it is a natural herb and safe to use with no side effects, one should consult their physician/doctor before opting it for any purpose. It is proven that herbs do not harm human body in any way as they are not synthetic or man-made, however, it still stands chances that if one is already undergoing any type of medication or taking drugs, it might react with these herbs. Hence, it is very important that one should consider this fact and then only try out any herb. Moreover, one should also understand that anything consumed in excess is not good for health and they should abstain from using this herb more than it is required by their body.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.