Herb Of The Week - Ashwaganda February 14, 2014 18:52

            This week, we'll be peering into the world of the Ashwaganda. The Latin name for this plant is Withania somnifera. It's other names include: Ajagandha, Asan, Asana, Ayurvedic Ginseng, Indian Ginseng, and Winter Cherry. 

 

            The use of Ashwaganda originated in India over 3,000 years ago, and it remains one of the essential herbs used in Ayuverdic medicine. The name Ashwaganda means “Smell of a Horse”, it is possible it earned this name in two ways. First and most obvious way is that the roots of the plant have been noted to smell like fresh horse urine. Second and more subtlely because of the ashwaganda's restoritive properties, it is said to give you the strength of a horse.             The Ashwaganda is a member of the Solanacaea or nightshade family. It is a short woody shrub with small flowers that have a yellow center and light green-yellow petals that look like miniature leaves. These flowers transform into a bright red berry like fruit that can be used in cooking.

            Ashwaganda grows best in more temperate climates, although it is a naturally hardy plant so it can thrive in places other plants may find too dry or too hot.             It grows naturally all around the Indian subcontinent; but is also native to the Middle East and North Africa. Although not native to North America, because of its medicinal properties, and popularity, ashwadanda has found gardens in Canada, United States, and Mexico to set down roots.

 

            The main effects of Ashwaganda is to restore strength and vigor to body. It also stimulates the immune system, which promotes healthy functioning and helps your body fight off illness. This plant benefits the entire body, and mind, thus it possesses a broad range of uses. It is a powerful regulator, helps with stress relief, combats sleeplessness and enriches sleep while sleeping. Also it helps to prevent cancer, promotes healthy metabolic function, and works as an aphrodisiac.             Ashwaganda is usually taken in two ways, either by capsule, or by tea or infusion. It is usually taken regularly for one month, then allowing your body a month of rest.

 

            Ailments which indicate treatment with Ashwaganda include: liver problems, swelling, ulcers, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, stress, insomnia, lung issues such as coughing or asthma, anxiety, weakness, infertility, arthritis, backache, menstrual issues, hiccups, thyroid problems, lack of sexual appetite. It has also proven to be beneficial in preventing and helping to eradicate tumors.

           

            The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.

            It is not recommended to take ashwaganda if you are pregnant or breast-feeding; if you are taking sedative medications; if you are taking a narcotic; or if you are going into surgery.

 

Fact Breakdown:

 

            Latin Name:  Withania Somnifera

 

            Medicinal Actions: Abortifacient, Adaptogenic, Anodyne, Anti-inflammatory, Ant-Cancer, Anti-Viral, Aphrodisiac, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Hepatic, Hypotensive, Sedative, Tonic

 

            Indications: Anxiety, liver problems, swelling, asthma, ulcers, elevated blood pressure, fibromyalgia, insomnia, stress, bronchitis, weakness, infertility, arthritis, backache, hiccups, menstrual issues, thyroid malfunction, lack of sexual appetite, tumors.

 

            Contraindications:  While pregnant or breast-feeding; concurrently with prescription drugs or psychiatric medications; going into surgery.

 

              

 

Links:

 

 

              http://en.mr-ginseng.com/ashwagandha/

 

 

Life Extension Magazine  – Report On Ashwaganda

 

            http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_report_ashwa_01.htm

 

 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day we give you:

The Sexy Chocolate Recipe -

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut butter

1/2 cup of honey

1/2 cup hemp butter (other nut butters work)

1/4 cup aswhaganda powder

1/4 cup maca

1-2 tbsp raw cocoa powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt

Directions:

  1. 2. Pour into a silicon mini-muffin tray or chocolate mold. Place in the freezer to set. Store in a cool place.