What is it? And why is it everywhere?
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Ashwagandha has been used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. You may not be able to pronounce it but you’ve likely seen it everywhere lately. It’s often referred to as ‘Indian ginseng’ because of its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits.
This ancient herb falls under the umbrella category of adaptogens. Adaptogens are tonic herbs that help your body normalize its responses to changes. Think of adaptogens as a natural equalizer. They help your body “adapt” to internal (fatigue) or external stressors (cold). They work differently with everyone because each person is different. For example, if you’re normally used to a warmer climate, adaptogens can help you respond and recover if you suddenly travel somewhere cold. Similarly, if you’re feeling stressed, ashwagandha would work better for you than for someone more relaxed.
What is ashwagandha?
There are many different types of adaptogens, each with specific benefits. Ashwagandha is among the more well-known ones because of its ability to help the body cope with stress. It’s most lauded benefits are to boost energy and reduce fatigue.
What does ashwagandha do for the body?
While adaptogens have tremendous benefits, they are not one size fits all. Each has different benefits and uses. Ashwagandha is one of the more calming adaptogens, making it ideal if you’re stressed out and amped up. However, for someone who has low energy, it would not be as beneficial.
Besides its main claim to fame of helping to reduce stress, ashwagandha can also help with:
- Adrenal glands
- Chronic fatigue
- Mild obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Restless leg syndrome
- Thyroid imbalance
- Stamina and endurance
- Blood sugar levels
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia
- Immune system
- Red blood cell counts
- Improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, and dark spots
- Stimulate collagen in the skin
- Condition the scalp
- Increase hair strength and reduce breakage
- Reduce dandruff, psoriasis, and eczema on the scalp
- Soothe and protect dry, rough skin
- Treat cuts, bruises, and skin inflammation
How to take ashwagandha?
You can consume ashwagandha as a tincture, capsule, or in powder form. We’re warning you right now though: ashwagandha has a strong flavor and can taste slightly bitter, which is why many people like to mix it into a smoothie, coffee, or tea.
If you’re not a fan of the taste, there are other ways to reap the benefits. You can apply the tincture directly to your skin or you can choose one of the many beauty products that have incorporated adaptogens like ashwagandha. We’ve rounded up our favorite ashwaganda products below.
G.Day Ginger + Ashwagandha Energy Body Wash: An invigorating plant-based body cleanser that leaves your skin feeling refreshed and helps clear your mind.
MOON JUICE’s Ashwagandha: Perfect for mixing into smoothies, coffee, teas, and tonic.
YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE’s Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream with Ashwagandha + Reishi: Deeply moisturizing for both dry and sensitive skin.
Sun Potion’s Ashwagandha Transcendent Elixir: A potent tincture that may support mood, creativity, immunity, hormone imbalance, sex drive, and of course stress relief.
Wylde One’s Yoga in a Cup: A powder mixture that helps reduce stress and anxiety, calm the mind and body, and promote an overall sense of inner zen.
Herbivore’s Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil: A facial oil that helps soothe stressed-out skin in need of calm and relief from redness, irritation, and environmental stressors.
Four Sigmatic’s Ground Adaptogen Coffee: Medium-roasted Fair-Trade Colombian coffee with organic ashwagandha and tulsi extract to help you manage stress.
How much ashwagandha is recommended?
For powdered ashwagandha, the recommended ashwagandha dosage is generally half a teaspoon daily. But please note that not all ashwagandha are made the same - some are more concentrated than others. For adaptogenic beauty products, follow the directions recommended for each product. Ashwagandha and other types of adaptogens are meant to be taken or used routinely over long periods for the best results.
What are the side effect of ashwagandha?
While there has yet to be in-depth research into the effects of adaptogens on the body, ashwagandha is overall thought to be safe to take for the majority of people. Side effects may include an upset stomach or nausea. You should also avoid ashwagandha if you have IBS, diabetes, a heart condition or are pregnant or breastfeeding. The efficacy of ashwagandha varies from person to person because it also depends on your lifestyle habits as well as the potency of the ashwagandha. However, if you’re ever unsure, please consult your doctor.
How long should you take ashwagandha?
While adaptogens like ashwagandha are meant to be taken over extended periods, try taking a break from ashwagandha once you’ve been taking the herb regularly for some time to see how your body is doing. The goal of adaptogenic medicine is to help get your body to a place where it’s self-sustaining and balancing.
As with all medicine, if you're unsure please consult a licensed professional to make sure it’s safe for you.
Stay safe. Stay strong. Muff love ❤️