This article contains sponsored links from my favorite brand Mountain Rose Herbs. I love their high quality organic/fair trade products, and am blown away by their commitment to zero waste.
Lately I’ve been focusing extensively on superfoods and herbs. At least with superfoods and herbs, I feel like I have a better understanding about what I’m actually taking to support good health. There’s a new herb that I’ve been taking and seeing great benefits from called ashwagandha.
Ashwagandha also called “Indian Ginseng” and “ Indian Winter Cherry“ is a small scrub with yellow flowers and red fruit. It is a member of the Solanaceae family and native to Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Mediterranean. The roots, berries, and leaves are all used for their medicinal properties. The roots and berries are used in tinctures, and the leaves are eaten as well as used for poultices. The roots are also used for herbal tea blends and in powder form.
Ashwagandha root is most known for its adaptogenic properties.
Adaptogens correlate to stress hormones and creating balance with adrenaline and cortisol levels. Stress sets your body up to take emergency action by increasing heart rate, tightening muscles, raising blood pressure, quickening the breath, and sharpening your senses. This fight or flight response is extremely helpful as a natural defense, but not as much on a long term basis. Extensive stress over long periods of time exhausts your adrenal glands. Ashwagandha supports stress levels as well as the brain and cognitive thinking, energy, the immune system, and sleep.
Ashwagandha has a wide range of health benefits aside from being an adaptogen because it is neuroprotective, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory.
I started taking ashwagandha root to support the toll of long term stress on my body. The whole herb can be used to create an herbal tea. Ashwagandha root powder can be added to smoothies or any beverage of your choice. I’ve experienced more even energy levels since taking ashwagandha, and hope to see other benefits over time.
(Please note that ashwagandha is not recommended for those who are pregnant or nursing. If you have any medical conditions please consult with a physician prior to taking.)
You can purchase both organic ashwagandha root and organic ashwaganda root powder from Mountain Rose Herbs. Have you ever tried ashwagandha?
(Image by Dawn Michelle)