Many people may not place the word “Ashwagandha” with the shrub, but as soon as you see the round orange fruit that turns into lanterns and that many people call “Chinese lantern plant,” you’ll know what it is. This herbal plant is made into Ashwagandha powder and has many health benefits. This powdered supplement is right for everything from helping to make your skin look younger, to make you sleep better, and generally feeling healthier and mentally alert.
The word Ashwagandha means “smell of a horse.” This is because it was traditionally believed that the person who consumed it would gain the power and strength of a horse.
The extract that is taken from the Ashwagandha plant to make the Ashwagandha powder is extracted from either the berries of the plant or taken from the roots of the plant. The plant’s Latin name is “Withania Somnifera.” It’s also called Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, and is native to India, North Africa, and the Middle East, though it can grow well in North America too.
Since Ashwagandha has an unpleasant flavor, It’s best to take Ashwagandha in the form of a powder or tablet.
7 Health Benefits to Taking Ashwagandha Powder
1. To minimize the effects of stress on the body.
The natural compounds in this herbal supplement can aid people who are battling stress. When people are fighting off stress in their lives, it can trigger higher levels of cortisol in the brain, also known as the stress hormone.
Over time, cortisol can affect every system and organ in your body, leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other significant diseases. Ashwagandha can help to relieve mental stress and decrease the levels of cortisol in your brain. Ashwagandha is a component of tranquilizers and anti-depressant drugs. Not only does it help to reduce cortisol, but it can also help you to overcome depression too.
2. An essential component of your first aid kit.
In traditional medicine, people used the leaves of the Ashwagandha plant to help heal small cuts, wounds, and scrapes. It was also used to relieve joint pain, any skin sores, and reduce swelling.
Since powdered Ashwagandha is the most accessible form to use, you can mix a bit of the powder with water and directly apply it to your skin. This works to heal up cuts and wounds faster than if you left them alone.
3. It provides energy for tired people.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is called “balya,” which means “giving strength.”
If you find you run out of energy before you run out of working hours in the day, taking Ashwagandha powder can help get you through the day. Since one of the compounds it contains is iron, it will help to improve your energy and increase your stamina and endurance.
4. Prevents degenerative mental conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimers.
Little is unknown why some people get degenerative mental conditions while most don’t, but what we do know is that there are ways to prevent it. From ensuring we lead active lives into our twilight years, and ensuring we have a healthy diet, Ashwagandha is an exotic herb that also promises an effective treatment for preventing these conditions.
Ashwagandha has been proven to have the ability to promote the growth of new nerve cells. It can also protect the brain’s cells from the harmful effects of the environment, such as pollution, or when people have worked in adverse conditions with asbestos or toxic chemicals.
5. Assists women by balancing hormones.
Women can suffer hormonal imbalances at any time in life. Besides suffering from bad cramps, bloating, headaches, and nausea once a month, many women also suffer from PCOS—Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome that leads to benign cysts growing on the ovaries. This condition occurs when estrogen and progesterone levels fall out of balance.
Ashwagandha works on the endocrine system by encouraging a natural hormonal balance. It will help to reduce the symptoms of cramps and excessive bleeding in women and hot flashes and mood swings in women who are going through menopause.
6. Effective insomnia treatment.
Ashwagandha has rejuvenating properties that make it a safe and effective treatment for insomnia. Ashwagandha powder can help calm the nervous system, and since it naturally eases stress, this will assist in helping you to calm your mind at bedtime and get to sleep. You can even mix it with warm milk and honey, which are two other ingredients known to help make people sleepy.
7. Use it for topical skincare treatments.
While orally consuming Ashwagandha powder will help stimulate the production of natural skin oils to aid in healthy skin, you can also use it topically on the surface. Ashwagandha contains many vital compounds, proteins, and amino acids for healthy skin.
To use it for healthy glowing skin, mix a bit of the powder with powdered ginger and lemon juice. Use a cotton swab to clean and apply it to your minor skin injuries.
Are There Any Side Effects to Taking Ashwagandha?
Even though Ashwagandha is naturally sourced, you should still be cautious when taking it. Usually, it’s safe to take in the required quantities, so where you may run into issues is if you consume more than the recommended amount.
If you have any concerns, check with an Ayurvedic practitioner, or a naturopathic doctor first. And if you have any severe health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, be sure to consult with your physician first to avoid drug interactions.
Some people report experiencing diarrhea after taking Ashwagandha powder. Other side effects may be nausea, abdominal pain, drowsiness, and slow pulse. If you experience any of these side effects, try decreasing your dosage. If that doesn’t work, stop taking it.
If you experience any allergic reactions or any other type of health issues that didn’t occur before, stop taking the Ashwagandha powder and consult a physician.