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Ashwagandha | What is Ashwagandha | Indian ginseng | Herbal Remedy | Herb

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herbal remedy and most commonly used in Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is also called 'Indian ginseng' due to its rejuvenating effects. The Ashwagandha plant is a small woody shrub with small flowers and red seeds. The plant can grow upto 200 cm height. Ashwagandha naturally occurs in most areas of South Asia and is widely found in India. It is a member of the Solanaceae family and the plant has a dominant central stem which support radially extending branches. The ashwagandha fruit is a bright red berry. Both the fruit and the roots are used for the medicinal purposes. The roots of Ashwagandha are a long thick structure and the leaves of the plant are simple leaves, generally about 8-12 cm in length. Ashwagandha seeds are small and less than 1 cm in diameter. The plant flowers are small and possess a greenish yellow color. The word Aswhagandha in Sanskrit means 'smell of a horse'; as the ground root has a smell that is reminiscent of a horse.

Ashwagandha as an herbal remedy benefits human health in various ways. The plant helps to improve memory, support the immune system and optimize the physiological functions of the body. Research reports have concluded that Ashwagandha possess significant anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It also possesses anti-stress properties and the compounds present in the herb are anti-oxidants. According to Ayurveda, this herb has been used as a sex-enhancing tonic. It is a powerful aphrodisiac agent. Ashwagandha uses can be traced back since ancient times. It has been traditionally used as an adaptogen for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. The use of Ashwagandha in ayurvedic tonics is generally through the addition of roots or berries. Consumption of Ashwagandha in the form of capsules has become wide spread. It is much common to find a variety of brands of Ashwagandha capsules available in health stores throughout the world.

According to Ayurveda, Ashwaganda is a potent 'rasayana' herb. It literally means that it is a rejuvenator and promotes vitality. If a person has general debility problem, traditional Ayurvedic physicians will always recommend Ashwagandha. The herb helps to rejuvenate all three ayurvedic aspects of the mind i.e. comprehension, memory and recollection. It helps individuals to improve their mental ability and power. 'Rasayana' in Ayurveda means fire and hence increasing the rasayana of an individual means increasing the internal fire. Ashwagandha root is a wonderful herb of all ages. It is regarded as the 'ginseng' of Ayurvedic medicine - the traditional healing system of India. It is considered as an 'adaptogen' and it helps to improve physical energy, athletic ability and increase immunity to infections. It also increases sexual capacity and fertility.

The most important wide reputation of Ashwagandha is its energy-promoting and disease-preventing properties. A number of research studies have shown increases in white blood cell counts and strengthened immunity with the use of Ashwagandha. It is most commonly used to increase body energy and vitality while recovering from chronic illnesses and arthritic conditions. Ashwagandha can regulate blood sugar which aids in suppressing carbohydrate cravings. Researchers have shown that Ashwagandha can be an alternative for prevention and treatment of cancer. It shows positive effects on the endocrine system, cardiovascular system and central nervous system. It is the excellent herb that could help the body to produce its own thyroid hormones.

Ashwagandha is medicinally used to enhance male libido, cure impotence and increase male sperm count. It is widely used as an herbal remedy and a male sexuality tonic. The herb helps to reduce the effects of stress, treat anxiety and insomnia. It also reduces cholesterol in a natural way. Ashwagandha is generally considered a safe herbal remedy and without any side effects. It is a potential source of hypoglycemic and diuretic agents. It helps in the treatment of free-radical damage which is responsible for normal ageing and neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.