Ashwagandha - what you need to know

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If you haven’t heard of ashwagandha before, your stress levels are in for a treat. Find out what ashwagandha is and how to take it.

Ashwagandha plant

What is ashwagandha?

These days the names of some good-for-your-health herbs have become second nature, things like Echinacea, chamomile and Ginseng. But others are still flying a bit further under the radar, like ashwagandha.

Don’t know much about it? Time for that to change. 

Ashwagandha is a herb but, unlike a lot of other herbs, it’s an adaptogenic herb. These are a select group of herbs which have properties that can help to counteract how stress impacts the body

Also known as Indian ginseng or Withania somnifera, ashwagandha has a central and prominent place in Ayurvedic medicine. 

Visually, it’s a grey-coloured shrub with yellow flowers and small red berries that contain yellow, kidney-shaped seeds. It’s usually the root that’s used medicinally, after it has been dried and processed.  

 

Close-up photo of the Ashwagandha flower

Ashwagandha flower

Where does it come from?

Ayurvedic medicine is the traditional system of medicine in India, which is where ashwagandha is thought to hail from originally, too, even though it can be found growing in other countries, including Sri Lanka and China.

With a history that’s believed to stretch back more than 8,000 years, the name ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words ‘ashwa’, which means horse, and ‘gandha’, which means smell.

Some believe it was named because the herb’s root literally smells like a horse, while others believe that because ashwagandha can help to support energy levels and relieve fatigue and feelings of weakness, giving you the ‘power of a horse’.

What is ashwagandha used for?

Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenating tonic and to:
  • Maintain or support your energy levels
  • Relieve feelings of fatigue, weariness or tiredness
  • Maintain your general health and wellbeing
Traditionally used in Ayurvedic Medicine to:
  • Help your body adapt to stress
  • Support a healthy stress response in the body
  • Help relieve and reduce symptoms of stress
  • Help relieve and reduce nervous tension

 

Dried ashwagandha root

Dried ashwagandha root

How to take it

In India, ashwagandha is commonly available as a finely sieved powder – called a churna – that’s designed to be mixed with water, ghee or honey and consumed as a paste-like substance or drink. In Australia, it’s usually taken as a tablet.

Blackmores Ashwagandha+ is a supplement that also contains B vitamins to support energy levels, relieve fatigue, and traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to decrease nervous tension, symptoms of stress, and support a healthy stress response in the body. The recommended dosage is two tablets a day taken with a meal. 

Blackmores Ashwagandha+ tablets

Blackmores Ashwagandha+ is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve symptoms of stress & help the body to adapt to stress

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Supplements can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate

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