Ashwagandha Root

Ashwagandha is a highly revered herb in the Ayurvedic apothecary and is considered the ‘King of Ayurvedic Herbs’. It has been supporting the human body and mind for over 3,000 years. The name ‘ashwagandha’ literally translates to ‘the smell of the horse’ which refers to its unique smell and ability to increase strength and vigor. It has an affinity for supporting vata dosha and just may be the perfect herbal ally for the upcoming winter months. In case you are wondering, although deemed ‘the smell of the horse’ we have not found the smell or taste of ashwagandha to be off-putting in any way!

Let’s take a look at some of the ayurvedic benefits of ashwagandha:

Ashwagandha For Stress Relief & Sustained Energy

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, meaning that it supports the body’s ability to withstand stress and anxiety. In Ayurveda, the Sanskrit term for adaptogen is rasayana. Rasayanas help replenish the tissues of the body and are recommended when one is feeling weak, debilitated, or low in ojas (strength and vigor). Rasayanas, like ashwagandha, also calm the nervous system and ease feelings of anxiousness and overwhelm which can occur when one is feeling an increase in vata dosha. Ashwagandha helps balance cortisol the steroid hormone which can increase to an unhealthy level whenever we become stressed or anxious. Lastly, this powerful herb has the ability to strengthen the muscles, marrow and semen; thus, it is often recommended for males who need a boost in libido and/or overall reproductive system support.

Ashwagandha For Healthy Skin

Have you ever heard the old saying that stress causes wrinkles? Well, it’s actually true! Our adrenal glands produce hormones called catecholamines during times of physical or emotional stress. Catecholamines increase production of oxidant molecules which can lead to cellular breakdown. This is the first step in the aging process. Thankfully, ashwagandha is a nervine tonic that helps the body to withstand stress and is a stabilizing force for the central nervous system. This is great news for the health and vitality of your skin!

Equally important for maintaining beautifully healthy, radiant skin is ashwagandha’s ability to stimulate DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, another hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which is a precursor to testosterone and estrogen. DHEA is an important hormone to keep balanced in order to ensure healthy production of the skin’s sebum, or natural protective skin oils. Finally, ashwagandha promotes the production of vital compounds and proteins for healthy skin such as hyaluronan for skin hydration, elastin to keep the skin supple and collagen for skin strength. In short, ashwagandha is an excellent Ayurvedic skincare anecdote for dry or aging skin. It is also ideal for the cold, dry months of fall and winter, which have the potential to wreak havoc on otherwise balanced skin.

Ashwagandha’s Anti-inflammatory & Antioxidant Properties

Many of ashwagandha’s profound health benefits are due to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to combat inflammation & tumor growth. This potent plant has even been shown to fight cancerous cells and impede the growth of new cancer cells.

Ashwagandha is also packed with antioxidants which allow it to successfully fight free-radical damage caused by the sun. According to Healthline, in one study of ashwagandha, men that took the herb experienced increased antioxidant levels in their blood. This study is an example of western, allopathic medicine scientifically proving what the ancient rishis and Ayurvedic doctors have known for over 3,000 years, that ashwagandha (like so many other medicinal plants) contains the intuitive wisdom to heal and strengthen our physical and emotional bodies.
Ancient Ayurvedic Plant Wisdom for the Modern World

Ashwagandha is a time tested plant with immense wisdom and healing energy to share with humankind. With over 3,000 years of medicinal use, modern science is just beginning to unearth the healing properties and full potential of this sacred root. From glowing skin to healthy cells and a stabilized nervous system, ashwagandha’s applications are abundant and this plant truly evokes beauty from the inside out.