Even though I prefer to get most of my vitamins and minerals from the foods I eat, I also like to incorporate herbal supplements into my diet, trying out a new one every 6 months or so. When choosing a supplement I tend to gravitate toward the immune boosting types especially to help with my sinuses and maintain energy levels.
While reading an article about Ashwghanda last summer, I put it on my “to try” list and finally got the chance to buy it. I’ve been working long hours at my new job, my sinuses have been flaring much more than usual and my sleeping pattern has been rather sketchy. So I decided to pick Aswaghanda up to help with all the changes my body seems to be experiencing.
My research into Aswaghanda led me to adaptogens and the supplements that fall into that category. There are several different types of herbs with adaptogenic qualities, some I’ve been familiar with (Ginseng) and others I’ve never heard of like Ashwaghanda, which is why Ashawaghanda is the herb to know of the moment.
A very popular herb throughout India and the ancient medical system of Ayurveda, Ashwaghanda has many qualities essential for those of us who tend to live a rather fast paced, stress filled lifestyle.
So What Are Adptogens?
Very simply put, adaptogens are basically different types of herbs known to help the body resist and combat stress. Ashwaghanda is one of them. Just like the term Adaptogen implies it helps you adapt to changes while helping your body become balanced and healthy. Adaptogens are known to also help rejuvenate and restore the mind and body overall. Not only does it aid the body with all types of stress be it environmental, emotional or social, adaptogens also posses the ability to help protect against cancer, memory loss, cell degeneration as well as lower stress hormones.
What can Ashwaghanda be used for?
Ashwaghanda is an adaptogen known to help subside the damaging effects stress has over the body and mind in general. Constant stress, malnutrition and an overall fast paced life style can take a toll on the many systems in our bodies. The immune system, nervous system are all susceptible to weakness due to the amount of stress we tend to expose ourselves to. Which leads the body into over drive trying to constantly protect the body while attempting to achieve balance.
Ashwaghanda calms and protects the nervous system benefiting those who deal with depression and anxiety all related to stress. Ashwaghanda also lowers stress hormones which suppresses the immune system especially when the body is under excessive stress. Ashwaghanda has the ability to also encourage the brain to regenerate new brain cells which makes it a great preventative treatment to help prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
Aswaghanda is also:
Supports Adrenal Function
Treats reproductive issues in both men and women (infertility; impotence)
Rich in Antioxidants, protecting cells from free radical damage
Helps maintain a clear and focused mind.
As with everything, keeping track of your dosage is important. I pay a lot of attention to my body and try to take notice of any changes when trying out new supplements. On Sept 5 (when I started taking this supplement) I started with 2 capsules for 5 days for two weeks, taking a two day break on the weekends.
Then I cut down to one every other day for another 2 weeks up until Sept 30. Throughout that time I noticed I was much calm and able to concentrate throughout the day. My energy levels were adequate enough to get me through the day and falling asleep was much easier.
Unlike spirulina which gave me marathon like energy (which I liked but was not letting me sleep), Aswaghanda provided me with gradual energy. I was able to get enough energy to get through my 10 hour work day without it interfering with my sleep.
I noticed how calm I felt overall but by week 4 Sept 30 that Friday, I stopped taking Aswaghanda. The reason being that by week 3 I was getting flu like symptoms of getting a cold or getting sick but never quite did. I’ve read that adaptogens can give make you feel that way, which is basically the body cleansing itself. So I gave it another 3 days then stopped. I’ll go back on Monday Oct 10 ending my 10 day rest. I’ll be on it for the rest of the month until further notice.
Overall Aswaghanda helped me take things easier and provided me with a lot of restful nights. Before trying any supplement make sure to consult with your doctor to avoid complications. As always do you research and find what works best for you as an individual.
There are many type of brands that sell Ashwaghanda. I got mine from my local natural health store for $22.00. Organic and all natural. So make sure to purchase your from a trusted vendor.
~Power of Your Metabolism By Frank Suárez
~Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief By David Winston, Steven Maimes
~The Essential Guide to More Than 125 of Nature’s Most … By Michael Castleman