Monday, May 4, 2015

Helpful Healing Herbals - Vol 1 - Ashwagandha

For a number of months now, I have been looking for an herb that could help with the daily stress and anxiety I feel.  I was also looking for something to help me get more rest, since off and on, I have trouble sleeping at night - either falling asleep is the problem, or staying asleep. I have tried a number of different approaches - using lavender oil before bed, using it in a diffuser, which is wonderfully beneficial, however the diffuser kept me us with it's tiny green light. After doing some research, I found an Indian Ayurvedic herb called Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

It is indigenous to India, and has been used for thousands of years and has a number of health benefits. Here is a partial list of all of the great things Ashwagandha can do for you:
- lessen anxiety
- reduce insomnia
- curb arthritis
- increase virility
- increase energy
- reduce inflammation
- eliminate backache
- stabilizes blood sugar
- asthma support
- decrease swelling
- reduce stress (how your body reacts)
- degenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's)
- Antioxidant
- protects from brain loss

Personally, I began taking it nightly with my other vitamins, and noticed within a few days, I slept better than I had in months - and, as someone who loves taking an afternoon nap, I did not need one! Also, reading more about it, I have learned that Ashwagandha has a number of powerful protective effects on the nervous system. 
"For example, in validated models of anxiety and depression, ashwagandha has been demonstrated to be as effective as some tranquilizers and antidepressant drugs. Specifically, oral administration of ashwagandha for five days suggested anxiety-relieving effects similar to those achieved by the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan®), and antidepressant effects similar to those of the prescription antidepressant drug imipramine (Tofranil®)."
 What a great and powerful gift from Mother Nature - "Indian Ginseng" as it is often called (it is not related botanically to ginseng), has been quite a blessing for our family, I am sure it can help yours too!  
I purchased my Ashwagandha online at Amazon. Here is the one I purchased. 

As always, check with your doctor before taking any supplements or herbal remedies.

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