The name ashwagandha roughly translates to the 'smell of a horse' in Sanskrit. But don't let its name turn you away, ashwagandha offers powerful benefits.
The ashwagandha plant itself is short and small, with velvety leaves and bell flowers that contain fruits, similar in appearance to a tomato or grape; the plant also goes by "Indian winter cherry." So by all means, pick another nickname if you can't get the image of a horse out of your head.
Native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa, ashwagandha root has been used in the world of Ayurveda for thousands of years and now grows worldwide.
In the world of Ayurveda, the ashwagandha plant is known as a "Rasayana," or a tonic, used for whole-body rejuvenation.
All plants possess an array of unique compounds known as "phytochemicals." Since plants cannot move about, these phytochemicals exist to perform specific tasks to take care of the plant. Some phytochemicals live to deter insects from eating them; some help the plant to grow fast and healthy, and so on...
What makes ashwagandha so unique is that it has endless phytochemicals, making it extremely beneficial to various systems in our bodies.
In fact, traditional ashwagandha root powder uses are so numerous, and it can be a lot to process! Today, researchers explore ashwagandha supplementation more than ever before, investigating new ways this small herb can impact the body and how to use ashwagandha as medicine. Thanks to its endless list of uses, GEM incorporated ashwagandha into our bites to support all the benefits you're looking for.
Here are some of the ways this ayurvedic herb is used in holistic medicine:
Ashwagandha and Stress
For the human body, stress can be emotional, psychological, or physical. But whichever strain you're thinking of, it involves cortisol or the "stress hormone."
Adaptogens are herbs that help the body manage stress, and stress reduction is still ashwagandha’s best-known application. Ashwagandha tackles the problem at the root by its root and acts directly on the trigger of stress by regulating imbalanced cortisol levels and nourishing adrenal glands.
Adaptogenic supplementation for anxiety or stress may provide an alternative to pharmaceutical treatment. Even in chronic anxiety cases, ashwagandha has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and boost individuals' resistance towards chronic stress.
Ashwagandha and Cognitive Function
Ashwagandha has been categorized as a nootropic herb in Ayurveda that promotes cognition in children with brain deficits and for memory loss in aging adults.
Today, ashwagandha is being studied on how it enhances brain function, response times, memory, concentration capacity, and task performance capability. Those studies have shown that ashwagandha powder may benefit cognitive function by promoting neuronal growth and protecting neurons from damage and oxidative stress.
In addition to that, ashwagandha has also been found to aid in the control of the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and be incredibly effective in improving attention spans in those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Supplementing with ashwagandha can be considered in order to support healthy brain function.
Ashwagandha and Arthritis
Inflammation is the body's natural response to events such as toxins, infection, damage, and trauma. The body will produce an anti-inflammatory response in an attempt to restore its natural balance.
Studies suggest that ashwagandha can help with fighting inflammation, making it a potentially effective treatment for arthritis. Often in ayurvedic medicine, practitioners mash the ashwagandha root extract into a paste and apply it to ulcers and caruncles as a pain reliever and joints to ease inflammation and swollen or painful joints.
Arthritis is a chronic issue, meaning pain medication tends to be taken long term. This can often lead to serious and unwanted side effects, and people who have arthritis often seek holistic solutions (such as plant medicine) for minimum tradeoffs to their health.
Ashwagandha contains steroidal (but safe!) compounds that are beneficial to people with arthritis and - most importantly - can be taken indefinitely without side effects.
Ashwagandha and Immunity
Ashwagandha is one of the potent herbs that has been shown to aid in boosting immunity and improving the body's defense against disease and infection.
Most adaptogenic herbs have a supportive effect on our immune systems, and ashwagandha is no exception. Traditionally used to support a weak immune system, it's now shown to encourage anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting immune cells that help ward off illnesses.
Of course, more research is needed, but early studies are encouraging, showing a significant change in immune cell activation after taking ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha and Energy, Stamina, and Endurance
In our fast-paced modern lives, it's pretty natural to feel drained out and tired. An unhealthy lifestyle and diet can decrease your stamina and make you feel exhausted. If you have trouble coping with your daily tasks or feel like you lack energy, ashwagandha can be an alternative solution.
As a rejuvenating tonic, ashwagandha has been used in Ayurveda for centuries to relieve fatigue and improve general well-being. The plant's benefits of increasing energy, stamina, and endurance are becoming increasingly known. It has been shown to significantly increase athletic performance by improving heart and lung capacity while also increasing energy levels. This makes it an excellent support for those who struggle with energy or have fatigue-related conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
At GEM, we believe in the power of organic ashwagandha and the benefits it has to offer. We go to great lengths to deliver the most potent and carefully extracted ashwagandha supplement on the planet, leaving out any fillers or additives so you can feel good about the purity of what we have to offer.