What are the health benefits of Ashwagandha Root?

July 29, 2019
Ashwagandha Root

What are the health benefits of Ashwagandha Root? Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that can be found in the nightshade family and is revered in ayurvedic medicine.  The roots and orange-red fruits have been used for over 3,000 years medicinally.  Ashwagandha can be found in South Asia, Middle East, and North Africa.  The plant can grow to a height of 4 feet and contains hermaphroditic flowers.  The herb is also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry.  The name Ashwagandha describes the smell of its root (like a horse).  Ashwa by definition means horse.

Ashwagandha has come to be known as a panacea and adaptogen for many ailments.  The same has been said for nettle for example, though there are limited scientific studies to substantiate such claims.  There have been however, chemicals within the plant that improves memory and brain functions, reduces swelling associated with arthritis and rheumatism, aids in lowering blood sugar and affects the immune system with increased healing of wounds and ulcers.  The adaptogenic aspect of the plant aides the body in coping with stress, defer aging and expedite healing.  The herb has also been used in enhancing sexual desires and fertility for men and women.

 Whenever considering adding Ashwagandha to your line-up of herbs, just remember to take a few precautions.  Women who are pregnant (early delivery) or breastfeeding should not take this herb.  If you suffer from auto-immune diseases, this herb could increase the symptoms of the disease.  Also, if you are about to have a surgical procedure done with anesthesia, this herb should be avoided.  Ashwagandha increases the effects of anesthesia, and may hamper recovery.  Refrain from ingesting ashwagandha for 2 weeks after any surgery.

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