Many Names

Many Properties

Found predominantly throughout both North America and India, the Ashwagandha shrub bears many alternate names. Names such as "winter cherry" relate specifically to its appealling aesthetic properties that are maintained throughout cold months, while "Indian ginseng" relates more to its immune system enhancing medicinal properties that were embraced by traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Derived from Sanskrit, "Ashwagandha" actually translates literally into "horse smell": a name that seems only suiting for the root of the ashwagandha shrub that bears a similar recognizable and pungent smell.

While scientific studies are ongoing, the withanolides that are present within the Ashwagandha shrub, roots, and berries, appear to show mounting evidence of the effectiveness of using Ashwagandha to help support general immune function as well as to combat inflammatory conditions and even cancer. Other uses of Ashwaganda have found traditional application as an aphrodesiac, like pomegranates and dark chocolate, and as a stress reliever, diabetic agent, and epileptic agent. Despite the many positive benefits of using this shrub, maximimum benefit can be incurred along with minimal side effects, just so long as it is prepared with caution. Before proceeding, it is also important to realize that the Food and Drug Association (FDA) has yet to thoroughly analyze the interactions of herbal preparations with other food, drugs and herbs. In this absence of solid research, it is highly advised that you seek the guidance of a medical professional prior to using this herb.

Various Herb Forms

Choose Your Favorite

There are many different forms of the Ashwagandha root that can be consumed by anyone who is hoping to derive a variety of medicinal benefits from it. Among these forms include capsules, tinctures, and root powder that is dried to resemble a tea consistency. While taking this herb in the form of a capsule is easy, efficient, and preferred, some may be unable to swallow a capsule. Tinctures and teas may be a preparation of consideration if you would prefer an alternative to taking a capsule.

Teas and tinctures can be taken at night time in order to help address such conditions as insomnia, or difficulty sleeping. With boiling water on hand, Ashwagandha powder can be added to make tea that can be consumed in the evening on into the night. Dependent upon what medicinal benefits you hope to derive from using this herb, you may consider drinking this tea preparation several times throughout the day (and not just at night).

Monitor Yourself

Seek Medical Attention if Necessary

Side effects of Ashwagandha are rare, however, they do happen. It is important that, while taken this herb, that you remain cognizant of your body and it's temperature. While a tea preparation will naturally be hot to the touch, use of this herb can cause a slight increase in your own body temperature. If this root is taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor, you shouldn't encounter any serious issues or side effects. In the event that you do experience side effects, it is important that you seek medical attention right away.

Pregnancy Considerations

Use with Caution!

While pregnant women may naturally struggle with conditions like insomnia, Ashwagandha root should only be used after a consultation with your physician. This herb, in large doses, can cause abortion to occur, which is why many pregnant women simply choose to not take it. As always, proceed with caution under the guidance of a trained medical professional.

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