Classification: Tonic Herb
For more than six thousand years ashwagandha (an Ayurvedic rasayana) has been treasured for its ability to revitalise and rejuvenate. It helps down-regulate the body's stress response, promote restorative sleep, calm the mind and support healthy ageing.
Ashwagandha has been used in the Ayurvedic medical system for over 3000- 4000 years. This ancient herb was first mentioned in the sacred Ayurvedic texts: the Charaka and the Sushruta Samhitas, where it was favoured as a restorative tonic against emaciation in people of all ages. Ashwagandha is recognised for its ability to promote youthful longevity, enhance the reproductive potency of both men and women and to reduce age related decline.
Ashwagandha holds a similar place in the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia as ginseng does in the Chinese healing system, however it is far less expensive and has a softer energetic. In Ayurvedic medicine ashwagandha is the chief rejuvenative herb, with a special affinity for the muscles, marrow and semen.
Ashwagandha is used in all conditions associated with weakness and tissue deficiency in those suffering from chronic illness, overwork, lack of sleep and nervous exhaustion. Ashwagandha can be used in children, adults and the elderly. Ashwagandha was traditionally used for Parkinson’s Disease, and more recently, Alzheimer’s.
Ashwagandha is sattvic in nature and is considered to have a nurturing and clarifying action on the mind, promoting a calming energetic and encouraging deep, dreamless sleep.
Ashwagandha regenerates the hormonal system, promotes tissue healing and can be used externally as a wound healer. Ashwagandha is the primary herb used to balance vata constitutions.
From a SuperFeast Perspective Ashwagandha Is:
- a potent Jing herb
- a reproductive tonic
- stabilises the HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) axis e.g. our stress response
- can be used to support yoga and meditation
- a calming adaptogen, is not irritating and can be used without overstimulating the system
- can reduce anxiety and depression
- can counter the effects of sleep deprivation
- can reduce inflammation
- a powerful antioxidant
- can encourage the healthy production of thyroid hormone - we recommend ashwagandha for hypothyroidism and healthy thyroid function. It may be contraindicated for hyperthyroidism and is worth avoiding if one has this condition.
Grown in North India