Ayurveda is the Ancient Indian System of Medicinal Practice and has been in existence since a very long time. Various literature is available on innumerable herbs recommended for treatment conditions of illness and preventing them in long term. Ashwagandha Herb find prime importance in many of these treatments.
Ashwagandha literally means “Smell like Horse” and it gets its name from the horse-smelling roots. The name has special relevance as it claims to impart horse-like vigor and fill one with energy and youthfulness. The plant is a small shrub bearing yellow flowers. Ashwagandha plant is native to India, Nepal and some parts of North Africa. It grows in dry stony soil with sun to partial shade.
All parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine. The roots are the most potent source and known as an adaptogen. The leaves and flowers are used in medicine as well but to a lesser extent than the roots. We discuss here the various medicinal uses of the roots, flowers and leaves of Ashwagandha Plant which is a great source of wellness in people of all ages.
Ashwagandha roots have innumerable health benefits. It’s extracts are the best tonic for children when given along with milk. The roots are a diuretic, astringent, thermogenic and a stimulant. The goodness of Ashwagandha herbs comes mainly from its roots.
Ashwagandha is also known as “Indian Ginseng”. Like Ginseng, it improves vigor, youthfulness and is an aphrodisiac. It enhances the sperm count when taken as tonic regularly. The paste extracted from Ashwagandha roots is used to massage rheumatoid joints for quick relief. Applying externally on painful swelling provides immediate relief. .A concoction of Ashwagandha roots along with other medicines is used to treat snake and scorpion venom.
The best known usage of Ashwagandha Roots is an adaptogen which relieves stress in humans. It increases the plasma corticosterone levels thereby helping in reducing stress-induced gastric ulcers and toxicity levels in human body. Modern day research has proven the Ayurveda prescription of using Ashwagandha for various stress induced illness – premature ageing, arthritis, hypertension and diabetes.
Ashwagandha is known as a “Rasayan” in Ayurveda. “Rasayan” literally means the juice of life. It is considered a rejuvenator and recommended as an everyday tonic to enhance vitality. Moreover, this herb is recommended for enhancing mental health. It has a calming effect besides rejuvenating at the same time. It is a treatment for insomnia and reduces the likeliness of Alzheimer’s Disease in the long run. It is noteworthy that Ayurveda medicines are styled on prevention of illness rather than potions to cure illness immediately.
Roots extract of Ashwagandha are used to enhance memory and brain functioning in young children. It is recommended to use along with honey and clarified butter. It is also recommended in cases of memory loss due to head injury, prolonged illness or old age. It is used as an anti-depressant herbal medication reducing the anxiety levels in both humans and animals.
The evergreen Ashwagandha shrubs bear yellow flowers. The Flowers bear seeds which along with the flowers are used in Ayurveda medications.
Seeds of Ashwagandha herb are used more often than the flowers. Flowers are known to be aphrodisiac promoting sexual health. They are astringent and diuretic like the roots are. Hence, it helps in clearing toxins from our bodies and thereby promoting health and wellness.
Seeds are powdered and used in a number of medications. Combined with astringent and rock salt and taken in a small amount, helps in removing white spots from the cornea. Powder of seeds is used in combination with other herbs to treat anxiety, hysteria and memory loss. This is also a potent aphrodisiac like the rest of the plant parts.
The leaves of Ashwagandha herb are bitter. However, every bitter medication has its own health benefits. The paste extracted from the leaves are recommended in fever. It helps to lower body temperature naturally.
The paste of Ashwagandha leaves is prepared by freshly picked leaves and grinding it in a mortar stone. This paste is applied to swellings of joints for immediate relief. The paste can be either left open or wrapped over by a piece of cloth.
Ashwagandha leaves has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Extract of the leaves are helpful in reducing weight. It boosts the immune system and helps to fight external bacterial onslaughts. The leave extracts are also helpful in reducing weight. It strengthens our internal functioning and optimized metabolism which helps in reducing weight.
It is noteworthy that only the leaves tend to help in weight loss. The roots are helpful in putting on weight in underweight cases and is not helpful in reducing weight in obese cases.
Prepare a paste of Ashwagandha leaves in a mortar by picking 4-5 fresh leaves. Have it with warm water on empty stomach first thing in the morning. This will start showing effect in a few weeks. Regular usage will keep body weight in control.
A number of Ayurveda medicines are available in the market containing Ashwagandha. In most cases, it is the extract for the roots which is sold in the packet. Seeds are also sold in powdered form along with other herbs.
One of the Ayurveda preparations is Ashwagandharishta which is administered for hysteria, anxiety and memory loss. This medicine is prepared from Ashwagandha seeds.
Besides the powder, Ashwagandha juice is available in market and also online. However, care should be taken not to consume such medication if you are suffering from any acute health condition, are pregnant or breast-feeding or planning a surgery or have had a surgery in the past 2-3 weeks. Since Ashwagandha increases the hormonal level, so ones with hyper thyroid activity must avoid it.
Ashwagandha is a native herb originating in India and prescribed in Ayurveda for cure of many diseases. It calms the nerves as well as energizes and gives a youthful outlook. All parts of the plant are useful in medication- the root, flowers and the leaves. The root being the most potent medication and its extract being an excellent tonic in young children.
It is best to grow the shrubs in your own kitchen garden. But, it might be difficult to grow in unfavorable climates. Hence, Ashwagandha powder, juices or preparation made out of a combination of seed powder and other herbs is available online and shipped to almost all parts of the world.
Do make Ashwagandha part of your daily diet to enhance vitality. Please leave your opinion on the subject in the comment box below and keep watching out this space for more articles on health and wellness.