What Is Ashwagandha and Its Use?

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What is Ashwagandha?

You may have heard of Ashwagandha recently due to the herb’s growing popularity. But you may be wondering what exactly Ashwagandha is, and we will explore that in this post.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha, often known as Indian ginseng, is a traditional Indian plant that is widely utilized in ayurvedic therapy. To be exact, it’s the root of the plant that is ground up and commonly used.

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Ashwagandha Root
Ashwagandha Root

Ashwagandha is a herb that is native to India and Tibet. It has been used for thousands of years, but it has recently witnessed a significant increase in popularity as the understanding of its use and benefits develops. It is known for its medicinal benefits, especially in treating stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, as well as general fatigue.

Ashwagandha is also known for its ability to support your immune system and prevent cancer growth. It also helps reduce inflammation, which can help with arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. It also helps reduce blood sugar levels, which can help with diabetes and obesity.

Ashwagandha is a popular herb that many people use to help them not just with their physical health but also with their mental health as well. It can be taken as an over-the-counter supplement or as part of a healthy diet.

History Of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda has a history that dates back about 3000 to 5000 years.

Ashwagandha root 
Ashwagandha root powder

Although these herbs have been used in India for hundreds of years, the word adaptogen was developed much later, in 1947. The first studies on adaptogens begin in the late 1940s in the Soviet Union. And essentially, a Soviet researcher who was supported by the military was attempting to find a means to develop better soldiers, industry workers, and, eventually, cosmonauts.

What is Ashwagandha Used For?

Herbalists define adaptogens as herbs that assist and increase our body’s ability to respond to stress internally. That is what Ashwagandha does.

Ashwagandha herb
Ashwagandha used as a herb

Ashwagandha is an Adaptogen

Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen. Plants and mushrooms known as adaptogens assist your body in adjusting to stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and general well-being.  They are characterized as having distinct qualities that aid the body’s adaptation to stress.

The answer is in the name, but it applies to any stressor to your body, not simply stress as we usually think of it. These may be biological, chemical, or physical in nature.

Ashwagandha supplement bottle of gummies

And adaptogens are thought to function by restoring the body’s balance. Adaptogens have a broad non-specific effect and affect several physiological systems at the same time.

According to herbalists, Ashwagandha and other adaptogens act by targeting the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis, also known as the HPA. This is our body’s stress management control board.

It basically acts as if you’re going to be stressed, and it’s similar to a stress vaccine. That is exactly what adaptogens do for us. They’re basically saying, “Stress is coming,” so get ready.

So in essence, Ashwagandha as an adaptogen is helping us to deal with stress, and that is its main function.

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