Ashwagandha (Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng; Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha (ashwa- horse, gandha- smell), now commonly called asgandh or asgand, is due to the smell that arises from the fresh root. In Ayurvedic texts, it is mentioned that this herb imparts the power and (sexual) strength of horse to a man. It is also known as Indian ginseng.
Ashwagandha can be used by persons of both sexes, of all ages and at all stages of their lives. In elders it provides energy, relieves inflammations, pains and aches of the back, hand and feet, and in the generative system, nervous debility and diseases due to vata.
Since ancient times ashwagandha has been considered a nervine tonic. It is also having the property of removing obstruction in any system of the human body and a sedative. It has also been used in rheumatism, consumption and in debility.
The easiest way to use the root is to take one teaspoonful of the fine powder with sweetened milk, or can also mix the powder with ghee. Lick the mixture followed by milk sweetened with sugar candy.
Ashwagandha general Benefits
A. Ashwagandha is very useful, and it is prescribed as an anabolic agent, as an adaptogen and analgesic.Therefore given for the treatment of various arthropathies, certain forms of hypertension, insanity, etc.
B. It also imparts resistance to infection and stress.
C. It can also stimulates sexual impulses and increases sperm counts.
D. Ashwagandha is also considered as a Rasayana, for strength, vigour and for rejuvenation.
E. It also helps in sterility, leucorrhoea and inflammation of the vagina.
F. It also helps breast development.
G. Can be applied externally to inflammation, boils, pimples and as an ingredient of massage oil.
H. Promotes sound sleep while being good for overwork, stress, insomnia, anxiety.
I. It can also helps in ADHD, multiple sclerosis, emaciation, skin problems, rheumatism/arthritis, anaemia.
J. Can also cure breathing difficulties, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, convalescence and nervous exhaustion.
K. It also improves greying hair, increases vitamin C and calcium levels, strengthens muscles.
L. It also acts as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory for painful or swollen joints.
M. It is a tonic for the uterine muscles. It also balances: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
N. Ashwagandha also helps in weight management.
Ashwagandha Churn Ingredients and preparation method
Crush 100 g Ashwagandha root & 100 g Argyreia speciosa root.
5 g twice daily with sweet milk or moisten the powder with ghee (butter oil). Chew the mixture and swallow, followed by milk after 20 minutes or so. The powder can also be administered with water but milk is preferred.
A. speciosa fortifies the effect of ashwagandha. It should be drunk with milk. This churn strengthens physical, mental and sexual systems, particularly those of lean and thin persons. It also builds resistance against infection, helps sleeplessness, nervous breakdown, memory, wrinkles on the face and premature ageing.
Asgandh pak Ingredients and preparation method
- 1 kg Aswagandh powder,
- 500 g dry ginger,
- 250 g Piper longum,
- 112 g black pepper,
- 16 litre milk,
- 2 kg ghee (butter oil),
- 10 g each of cinnamon,
- Cinnamomum spp. leaves,
- Mesua ferrea,
- Piper longum root,
- Cyperus scariosus.
- Emblica officinalis,
- Bamboo manna (silicic acid),
- Plumbago zeylanicum root bark,
- Asparagus racemosus and Pavonia odorata powders.
- Syrup from 4 kg icing sugar.
Boil milk until reduced to half, add powders of Withania, ginger, long pepper and black pepper to it. Concentrate further until solid. Roast this condensed milk in ghee and add syrup made from the sugar, heat further and add fine powders of all the remaining items. When still warm, make balls of 10 g each.
10 g twice daily.
A general tonic for all ages.
Ashwagandha Ghrit Ingredients and preparation method
Asgand h root, 500 g coarse powder and 100 g fine powder, 250 g ghee, 1 litre cow’s milk. After that boil coarse asgandha powder in 4 litres of water to obtain 1 litre of decoction. Then separately make a paste of fine powder of aswagandha in water. Add this paste to the filtered decoction, followed by ghee, milk and heat until the fatty matter is free from moisture.
Half to one teaspoon with sugar candy and milk as per the digestive power of an individual.
Ashwagandha Ghrit is very beneficial to infants (dose 3–4 drops with milk) and also to children (dose 3 g to half teaspoon). It is highly nutritious. Ashwagandha also makes the body strong, sturdy and stimulates the nervous system. It gives strength, cures diseases due to vata, arthritis, back pain, weakness in any part of the body, sleeplessness, sexual debility, depression, and nervous tension.
Ashwagandha Therapeutic Benefits
Ashwagandha Psychotropic effects
It showed hypnosis potentiation effect and also a decrease in locomotive activity. Therefore, It reduced the depletion of acetylcholine and catecholmine in the brain.
The total alkaloids exhibited prolonged hypotensive, bradycardia, respiratory stimulation, relaxant and antispasmodic effects, similar to papaverine, on intestinal, uterine, bronchial, and vascular systems. They also increased the levels of serotonin and histamine in brain tissue.
Ashwagandha can increase body weight and total protein content
A weight promoting effect in young children was also observed, without any toxic effect, even after 8 months of continuous daily administration (Venkatraghavan et al. 1984). This anabolic effect of Withania may be due to the fact that:
1 It also contains steroidal substances, therefore which enhance liver glycogen.
2 It also stimulates the appetite by exhibiting anti-serotonergic activity, like cyproheptidine, with maximum effect in children.
3 It also reduces adenocortical activity and has a sedative effect.
4 The depressant action produced by this herb may also reduce metabolic rate leading to diminished calorie utilization and tendency towards weight gain. Ashwagandha also fed to animals showed a reduction of 1.5°C in body temperature, which signifies lower metabolic rate and under utilization of glycogen.
5 It can also promotes growth by enhancing the growth of tissue components, with and without the release of growth hormones.
6 It also increases liver weight, with no histopathological aberrations of cellular structures.
The important constituents of ashwagandha, withaferin A and withanolide D, induced significant immunosuppressive activity. Therefore, It had the potential to alleviate the adverse effects of morphine and the attendant immunodepression.
Ashwagandha was able to arrest cell division, produce mitotic abnormality in metaphase block and also chromosome breakage in tissue culture of tumours. Cells in the resting stage were undamaged but the active cells degenerated.
It also had antineoplastic activity. It also prevented urethane-induced decreases in body weight, increased mortality and induced lung adenomas in albino mice. Simultaneous oral administration of asgandha in a dose of 200 mg/kg along with urethane can also protected the animals from the tumour inducing effect of this compound.
Ashwagandha improved mental functions by reducing stress due to its mild depressant action on the body. It induced a state of non-specific increase in resistance during stress. This antistress activity is also useful in the prevention of stress-induced gastric ulcer, liver toxicity, leucocytosis, carcinoma, leucopenia, and hypertension, etc.
a geriatric tonic
When studied for its effect on the ageing process in healthy male adults, it showed significant increases in hemoglobin count and hair melanin, with decreases in nail calcium, serum cholesterol and erythrocyte sedimentation.
an anti ulcerogenic agent
It had a significant dose-dependent effect on aspirin-induced gastric ulcers. It also reduced the ulcer index and caused the healing of ulcers.
an Anti inflammatory agent
The role of ashwgandha on various types of arthritis, Immuno electrophoresis studies revealed that this herb also changed the concentration of various serum proteins. A therapeutic dose of 100 mg/kg body weight showed 46 per cent anti-inflammatory activity on paw volumes in rats.Therefore It relieved pain, morning stiffness, and caused a drop in erythrocyte sedimentation.
In skin problems
For keratitis and rough skin prescribed Ashwagandha Rasayana, by concentrating ashwagandha powder seven times with ashwagandha decoction until completely dry and prescribed it in a dose 3 g twice daily. This preparation also stopped female hair loss after childbirth.
In liver diseases
The protective effect of ashwagandha against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity is well known. Some of the modern drugs are also known to cause hepatotoxicity. Ashwagandha also can be an important adjuvant to these types of chemicals.
When taken by mouth: Ashwagandha is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken for up to 3 months. The long-term safety of ashwagandha is not known. Additionally large doses of ashwagandha might cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting.
When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if ashwagandha is safe or what the side effects might be.
Ashwagandha Side effects
Pregnancy and breast feeding: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to utilize ashwagandha when pregnant. There is some proof that ashwagandha may also cause unsuccessful labors. There isn’t sufficient solid data to know whether ashwagandha is sheltered to utilize when bosom taking care of. Remain erring on the side of caution and maintain a strategic distance from use.
Diabetes: Ashwagandha may also bring down glucose levels. This could also meddle with meds utilized for diabetes and cause glucose levels to go to low. In the event that you have diabetes, screen your glucose intently.
High or low pulse: Ashwagandha may diminish blood pressure. This could also cause blood pressure to go to low in individuals with low pulse; or meddle with prescriptions also used to treat hypertension. Ashwagandha ought to be utilized warily in the event that you have low circulatory strain or take meds for your pulse.
Stomach ulcers: Ashwagandha can also aggravate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. So, Try not to utilize ashwagandha on the off chance that you have a stomach ulcer.
Auto-immune diseases: such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could also increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, therefore it’s best to avoid using ashwagandha.
Medical procedure: Ashwagandha may also hinder the central nervous system. Healthcare services suppliers stress that sedation and different drugs during and after medical procedure may build this impact. Quit taking ashwagandha in any event fourteen days before a planned medical procedure.
Thyroid issue: Ashwagandha may also build thyroid hormone levels. Ashwagandha ought to be utilized circumspectly or stayed away from in the event that you have a thyroid condition or take thyroid hormone prescriptions.