The Ultimate Guide to Using Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a plant that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for 3000 years to promote the body’s self-healing. It is considered one of the most important medicinal herbs in Ayurveda due to being an adaptogen that supports the balance of different systems of the body.
As part of Ayurveda, it has been used to treat stress, anxiety, diabetes, insomnia, arthritis, heart problems, and improve overall health. It’s still used for treating certain health conditions and improve wellbeing. If you consider using this plant, too, here’s how to use it.
Improve Your Health
When we start taking medicine, either a natural remedy or pharmaceutical drug, it’s because of their health benefits. The same is when using Ashwagandha. In order to know how it affects you, you need to know its health benefits. So, let’s quickly look at them.
- Stress and anxiety relief – Ashwagandha can reduce stress and anxiety by lowering the levels of the stress hormone – cortisol.
- May reduce symptoms of depression – Due to its anxiolytic properties, Ashwagandha can help reduce the symptoms of depression.
- Can reduce inflammation – Regardless of what caused the inflammation, Ashwagandha can help reduce it by reducing the levels of C-reactive protein.
- Can improve heart health – By being able to lower cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels, Ashwagandha can promote a healthy heart and protect it from diabetes, heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.
- May improve brain health – Due to its antioxidative properties, Ashwagandha may improve the brain function and the function of the nervous system. It’s because it can prevent nerve cell damage and memory loss, which are caused by neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. It can also improve memory and other cognitive functions in healthy people.
- Can improve your fitness – Ashwagandha can increase muscle mass, make you physically stronger, and support proper body development and weight gain during the growth stage.
- It can boost fertility – Ashwagandha can also improve testosterone levels in men and improve fertility in women.
Choose the Right Product
There are several Ashwagandha products you can choose from, including:
- Fresh root and leaves – You can use its leaves to prepare tinctures. You can also dry and ground the root to make a powder you can mix with milk, ghee, or honey.
- Tinctures – as already mentioned, you can use fresh Ashwagandha leaves and root to make tinctures. You can do this by soaking the parts in alcohol (usually vodka or organic grain alcohol) in a plant to alcohol ratio of 1:1 and up to 1:10.
- Powder – It’s the most common product of all due to its versatility. Namely, you can use Ashwagandha powder in your smoothies, milk, tea, and food. You can also use it as an ingredient in traditional recipes.
- Capsules – They are used as a dietary supplement for treating a certain health condition or to support your wellbeing.
Which one you choose depends on your decision and the doctor’s suggestion. However, before taking this plant, you have to talk to your doctor. It’s because in some situations, such as during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, using it is forbidden. Plus, they will suggest the right dose to need to take.
Choose the Right Dose
Choosing the right dose is of crucial importance so that you can experience its benefits. As a general rule, the optimal dosage is 6000mg per day, taken three times a day per 2000mg. The lowest dose for acute usage is between 300mg and 500mg. However, the dose can alter depending on the purpose of using, so let’s look at the doses per health condition, as suggested by Healthline.
- For stress and anxiety relief – You can take anywhere between 125mg to 5g in a period between 1 and three months to lower cortisol levels. Or, you can take 500-600mg for 6-12 weeks, depending on the severity of your condition.
- For heart health – You should take between 250mg and 3g, two or three times a day. That dose will help you lower your blood sugar levels.
- For brain health, – You should take between 300mg and 500mg. If you take 300mg, you should take it for at least a month. But, if you take 500mg, you should take it for two weeks and then consult with your doctor.
- To reduce inflammation – You should take at least 250mg of Ashwagandha or 12mg of root extract. As it was found, 12mg of root extract helped increase the immune cells’ levels, whereas 250-500mg of Ashwagandha reduced C-reactive protein levels.
- To improve your fitness – You should take 500-600mg for 8 weeks or 750-1250mg for 30 days.
- To improve fertility – You should take 5g of Ashwagandha per day, for at least three months.