Ashwagandha (pronounced aash-waa-gone-da) is one of nature's best adaptogenic herbs, helping humans cope with and adapt to the stress of modern living. It is also specific for balancing vata dosha.

Family & Names:

Ashwagandha is in the Solanaceae family (commonly referred to as the Nightshade family). The Latin name is Withania somnifera. The somnifera refers to its ability to assist with sleep. Another common names for it is “Indian Ginseng” and an old fashioned, (likely British) name for it is Winter Cherry. The most common name today; ‘Ashwagandha’, is it’s traditional Sanskrit name. This name gives us clues to this herbs special powers. This was common back in the day. Where prized herbs were concerned, the ancient Rishis of Ayurveda took care to give herbs honorable names that helped trigger an overall understanding of the herb for the common people. Ashwagandha is a perfect example of a helpful and honorable name. “Ashwa” means horse or stallion and “gandha” means smell, fragrance or earthy. Thus, many translate Ashwa-gandha simply as “the smell of a horse”. I greatly prefer this translation by one of my most admired herbalists, and a Sanskrit pro at that; “Ashwagandha means “the rooted power of a horse” or “being strong and valuable like a stallion.” Prashanti De Jager. When the root of the word “gandha” is broken down we see this- “gan” means to value and “dha” means to bestow. Together “gan-dha” means smell or the value bestowed. Sanskrit is neat like this as anyone who looks up the many meanings of the words can essentially come up with a translation. My personal translation is -“this herb will bestow on you the value of a horse” which before machines and cars was a BIG value! Anyway, Ashwagandha’s name, as well as centuries of use, both tell us that it is a prized herb which:  supports endurance, increases strength and stamina, gives enduring vitality and yet promotes a calm, centered and stable nervous system.

Parts Used & Constituents:

The part of the Ashwagandha plant used is the root. Like many roots it stores both energy for the plant and nutrition, and these are available to us when we ingest it. As for constituents, it is a rich source of steroidal lactones and has a variety of alkaloids such as somniferiene and withanine.

When To Use:

In Ayurveda there are two main categories that herbs or treatments can fall into- “brimhana” which are toning and nourishing, and “langhana” which are reducing and detoxifying. Brimhana treatments or herbs are anabolic, they promote growth and utilize earth and water elements to build the body. Langhana treatments reduce and lighten the physiology by using the catabolic elements; ether, air, and fire. Ashwagandha is most defiantly brimhana. It is high in earth and water elements, and thus has a building nature to tissues of the body.

One of Ashwagandha’s most valuable qualities is that it is able to deeply nourish and rebuild the nervous system, giving it the strength it needs to cope with the negative effects of stress. Herbs with such abilities are referred to as “adaptogens”. Adaptogenic herbs help the body “adapt to” stress. A strong, healthy nervous system gives us increased endurance and stamina, and a stable feeling of calm. From this place stresses are manageable. As a culture we Americans tend to look to stimulants such as coffee to give us the strength and energy to cope. Such substances do give us energy but it is by stimulating the nervous system, not by nourishing it. When we come to rely on this type of assistance we are slowly undermining our nervous system and depleting it. At a point we come to rely on the stimulants even to feel awake. This is troublesome and is not sustainable. Furthermore, overuse of stimulants is one of the leading causes of insomnia. So, if you have come to rely on stimulants and/or if you no longer sleep well through the night, Ashwagandha is a wonderful herb. It can break the pattern of dependence on stimulants and actually helps rebuild a frazzled nervous system, helping one to reestablish healthy sleep and awake patterns.

Additionally, because Ashwagandha is such a balm for the nervous system, it not only helps with insomnia but is wonderful for those who suffer from anxiety, nervousness, ticks and tremors and restless leg syndrome. In general it is of use in just about every vata type disorder. Ashwagandha not only rebuilds the nervous system but the entire body and is used for muscle weakness, exhaustion, adrenal fatigue and low libido. As it builds the body and reduces the effects of stress immunity improves. Ashwagandha defines adaptogen for it helps support a healthy immune system, rebuilds the body’s energy reserves, supports kidney function, relieves exhaustion, yet keeps you feeling peaceful and relaxed enough that it allows the body to fall asleep with ease. It is truly a boon for any modern human.

“In a world where eighty percent of all disease can be attributed to stress it is not surprising that we are attracted to the Ayurvedic herb, Ashwaganda. This amazing herb neither stimulates nor sedates, it offers a deep rejuvenation to the whole body and mind that no herb has yet to match.”
— Dr. John Douillard

When To Use:

In Ayurveda there are two main categories that herbs or treatments can fall into- “brimhana” which are toning and nourishing, and “langhana” which are reducing and detoxifying. Brimhana treatments or herbs are anabolic, they promote growth and utilize earth and water elements to build the body. Langhana treatments reduce and lighten the physiology by using the catabolic elements; ether, air, and fire. Ashwagandha is most defiantly brimhana. It is high in earth and water elements, and thus has a building nature to tissues of the body.

One of Ashwagandha’s most valuable qualities is that it is able to deeply nourish and rebuild the nervous system, giving it the strength it needs to cope with the negative effects of stress. Herbs with such abilities are referred to as “adaptogens”. Adaptogenic herbs help the body “adapt to” stress. A strong, healthy nervous system gives us increased endurance and stamina, and a stable feeling of calm. From this place stresses are manageable. As a culture we Americans tend to look to stimulants such as coffee to give us the strength and energy to cope. Such substances do give us energy but it is by stimulating the nervous system, not by nourishing it. When we come to rely on this type of assistance we are slowly undermining our nervous system and depleting it. At a point we come to rely on the stimulants even to feel awake. This is troublesome and is not sustainable. Furthermore, overuse of stimulants is one of the leading causes of insomnia. So, if you have come to rely on stimulants and/or if you no longer sleep well through the night, Ashwagandha is a wonderful herb. It can break the pattern of dependence on stimulants and actually helps rebuild a frazzled nervous system, helping one to reestablish healthy sleep and awake patterns.

Additionally, because Ashwagandha is such a balm for the nervous system, it not only helps with insomnia but is wonderful for those who suffer from anxiety, nervousness, ticks and tremors and restless leg syndrome. In general it is of use in just about every vata type disorder. Ashwagandha not only rebuilds the nervous system but the entire body and is used for muscle weakness, exhaustion, adrenal fatigue and low libido. As it builds the body and reduces the effects of stress immunity improves. Ashwagandha defines adaptogen for it helps support a healthy immune system, rebuilds the body’s energy reserves, supports kidney function, relieves exhaustion, yet keeps you feeling peaceful and relaxed enough that it allows the body to fall asleep with ease. It is truly a boon for any modern human.

“In a world where eighty percent of all disease can be attributed to stress it is not surprising that we are attracted to the Ayurvedic herb, Ashwaganda. This amazing herb neither stimulates nor sedates, it offers a deep rejuvenation to the whole body and mind that no herb has yet to match.”
— Dr. John Douillard

How To Use:

There are several ways one can take Ashwagadha but the most simple is just to put a 1/2 tsp. of the powder in to warm milk, stir and enjoy. I often add some cardamom and a little sweetener to this beverage and it is very tasty. Another way to have Ashwagandha is stired into honey to make a paste then eat it by the spoonful, one spoonful a day. It is also possible to have it as a liquid extract or tincture but this is not as traditional as taking the powder. It does not matter so much what form you take the herb in, but what does matter with this herb is that you take it for a sufficient length of time. Ashwagandha like most adaptogens needs to build up in your system. As these build up, they offer more and more benefits. It takes roughly two weeks for this to happen, so plan on taking Ashwagandha for quiet a while. Although Ashwagandha is a very safe herb and is even given to small children who are not developing well there are two things to be mindful of. Avoid using this herb if you have hyperthyroidism and if you have hemochromatosis as it is very rich in iron.

Recap:

Ashwagandha root is a premier adaptogen which helps minimize the negative effects of stress and supports a healthy immune system. It also helps build sexual vitality and reproductive health, it promotes relaxation, rejuvenates & nourishes the nervous system, and helps those with insomnia get a better quality rest.

Did you know…Singing Springs offers several products that contain Ashwagandha:

  • It is sold as a simple powder, which can be added to warmed milk, hot cereal or other foods. This is a most affordable way to take it.
  • Ashwagandha is one of the chief herbs in the Ojas Rasayana formula, wonderful for building strength and immunity.
  • The delicious Superhero Honey has Ashwagandha in it, boosting it's adaptogenic power.
  • Ashwagandha is in the Lung Rasayana to assist compromised lungs and improve immunity.
  • It is also in the Sleep Ezzz Elixir to help promote restful and deep sleep.

As with all of our products, the herbs in these products, both chief and supporting, are ALL 100% Certified Organically grown and GMO free. The Ashwagandha root is included in it’s pure, revitalizing, whole form, not as a standardized extract.