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Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurveda for thousands of years as a rasāyana (rejuvenative) and an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress.1 The name ashwagandha translates into “smell of a horse”; this is a reference to both the unique smell of the herb, as well as the virility of a horse, an inference to the traditional use of ashwagandha to support a healthy male reproductive system.
In addition to its dual energizing/calming effect, ashwagandha offers a number of benefits:
• Supports a healthy immune system
• Calms mental processes
• Fosters healthy sleep patterns
• Benefits a healthy reproductive system in both males and females
• Supports sustainedÂ energy levels, strength, and vitality, including with physical activity
• Supports healthy back and joints
The traditional use is as a powder, mixed with warm milk and honey, and taken before bed, calming vata and fostering healthy sleep patterns, reproductive system, and strength. A general dose can be 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon once or twice daily. Traditionally ashwagandha is taken with ghee and honey (equal parts) anupans for overall nourishment and rejuvenation. Adding sugar (cane or sugar candy) adds a cooling effect and can even be substituted for the honey, particularly in the summer months. It can also be used with ghee and sugar to support the female reproductive system and joints.
Caution: It is recommended that ashwagandha be avoided in pregnancy in the West; this is because of its spasmolytic activity on the uterus. When used with other respiratory depressants, ashwagandha can be problematic.
Disclaimer: This "HOW to USE" guide is for suggestive purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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