Withania Somnifera History:
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, Indian winter cherry, or by its Latin name, withania somnifera, is a highly esteemed herb from India. It comes from a small evergreen plant that is short and stout and grown in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The plant produces tan roots that are the main portion used for consumption.
The herb has been used in classical Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4000 years. Ashwagandha was long known as a Rasayana, or a technique thought to promote longevity and vitality. It was used as to assist in debility caused by old age, insomnia, and inflammation of the joints. Ashwagandha was thought to have numerous skin benefits. It was used over skin ulcers and areas of swelling, believed to improve pimples and boils. Perceived digestive benefits ranged from improvement of colic to a decrease in flatulence. It was used to cure hysteria, anxiety, and aid in memory loss.
Withania Somnifera Uses:
In modern day, Ashwagandha has been touted to reduce stress and anxiety and bring balance to the body. It is considered an adaptogen. Adaptogens are usually herbs that are non-toxic, and help the body resist, or adapt, to stressors that may be physical or chemical in nature. Recent clinical research has shown promising results. One study using aging adults with mild cognitive impairment demonstrated improved performance on cognitive tasks as well as attention and reaction time. Other studies have demonstrated successful resistance against stress when using concentrated Ashwagandha. More research suggests that taking Ashwagandha regularly can enhance cardiorespiratory endurance and healthy adult athletes. Further, the herb may help regulate blood sugar, have cancer-fighting properties, reduce inflammation, and more.