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What is Ashwagandha?

The Incredible Herb From Ancient India

By Emily Marie ConcannonPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 5 min read
What is Ashwagandha?
Photo by Daniel Öberg on Unsplash

“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.”

Terrence McKenna

What Are Ashwagandha and Ayurveda?

Ashwagandha is a species of flowering plant that primarily grows in Southern Asia. It's popular in Ayurvedic medicine in India and neighboring countries. Its use dates back over 5,000 years and has a long history of medicinal uses.

Ashwagandha loosely translates as "horse smell" or "smells like a horse." This is because the plant's roots smell very similar to a horse or horse stall.

Its name doesn't do its uses and healing properties justice.

Ashwagandha has been used in traditional Indian medicine for over 5,000 years. It was described in Vedic writings as a vital part of Ayurvedic medicine and treatment methods.

Ayurvedic medicine is a holistic medicinal system dating back at least 3,000 years. Ayurveda is a system established to promote all-body healing and internal and external well-being. The beauty of Ayurveda is it sees the body as a unified system.

Traditionally, people in the west saw their minds, bodies, and spirits as separate entities. In some teachings in western religions like Islam and Christianity, the body held the spirit back. The body was seen as preventing the spirit from attaining purity and truth.

Ayurveda teaches that a healthy mind leads to a healthy body and spirit. It also teaches that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind and spirit. The body was a unit bound together. When one system suffers, the whole unit suffers.

This medicinal system includes spiritual healing through Chakra alignment, herbal treatments, dietary restrictions, and exercises. Ashwagandha is one of the main herbal treatments for those needing ayurvedic treatments.

But what are the benefits of Ashwagandha, and how can you use it in your daily life? I'll dive into these topics below!

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What Are the Benefits of Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herbal remedy. This means it helps the body adjust to aging and other life-altering events. It helps balance the hormones and return the body and mind to a state of balance and alignment.

Ashwagandha is one of the most potent adaptogenic herbs in nature. Adaptogens are a group of healing herbal remedies that include:

  • Mushrooms (lion's mane, maitake, etc.)
  • Rhodolia
  • Ashwagandha

Each of these herbal remedies helps the body adjust to different stressors and life-changing events. However, they don't all do the same things. For example, adaptogenic mushrooms usually provide the body with energy and keep the mind sharp.

Ashwagandha primarily assists the body with stress management and aging. Some of the main benefits of Ashwagandha include:

  • Blood sugar management
  • Lowering (managing) blood pressure
  • Stress relief or management
  • Increases sexual energy and improves performance
  • Focus
  • Improves exercise performance

Ashwagandha is rich in several minerals, alkaloids, flavonoids, and fatty acids. Each of these compounds improves your health and helps bring the body and mind to a state of peace. This prevents the body from breaking down under pressure and stress.

By Supliful - Supplements On Demand on Unsplash

How is Ashwagandha Used?

Ashwagandha can be consumed as tea, powder, or as a pill. Some people have made tinctures by soaking the roots in oil or alcohol. It's important to understand dosage since you should avoid consuming excessive amounts of this herb.

In the past, ashwagandha was typically consumed as a tea or by pulverizing the root and adding it to food. Today people usually take this herb as a pill, but you can also take it as a tincture.

Tinctures and pills are probably the easiest way to consume this herb. Unfortunately, it really doesn't taste very good, and while you can eat it as a powder or tea, I don't personally recommend it.

Tinctures are usually absorbed faster by the body than powders or teas. This means you can start to feel the benefits quicker than when you consume it as food.

Although, there's nothing wrong with adding a scoop to your smoothies or coffee. It's not my preferred method, but you can usually cover the taste with berries, protein powder, and bananas.

By Sara Julie on Unsplash

Are There Any Health Concerns With Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a very safe herb to consume; however, you should avoid overdosing. While this herb is not the same thing as your average pharmaceutical, you can take too much. Follow the directions on the bottle and consult your doctor before consuming.

Sometimes people find that an herb can cause serious health risks while surfing the web. They may hear a story about how someone died from kidney failure while using a specific herb, and you swear you'll never give them a try!

That's an unfortunate decision. The truth is we consume foods every day that could kill us if we eat too many at once. The best example is spinach. Spinach contains an acid that can overburden your liver if you eat too much of it in one sitting.

What you need to understand is the importance of dosage. You should follow the directions on the container and read the instructions closely before taking your first dose. If you buy ashwagandha as a tincture and the bottle instructs you to take 3 droppers per day, follow these directions.

Finally, some people with certain medical conditions should avoid ashwagandha. These include:

  • hypotension
  • Low blood sugar
  • Auto-immune disease
  • Sleep issues
  • Thyroid disorders

These are just general guidelines, and just because you have one of these conditions, it doesn't mean you can't take this herb. For example, I knew someone who suffered from hypothyroidism, and they took ashwagandha every day, following very specific dosing directions.

You should understand your condition and discover the best and safest way to take ashwagandha. If you're unsure, speak with your doctor and discuss its use with a trained herbalist.

By Bankim Desai on Unsplash


Thank you so much for reading this piece! I decided to write it because I used ashwagandha for over a year, and it significantly improved my health. It's important to note that I am not a doctor or a trained herbalist. Before taking this herb, you should speak with your medical professional and take their advice.

I personally started using this herb after a year of using hormonal birth control. While I know people say these medications are safe, I personally gained a significant amount of weight while on the pill. I used rhodiola and ashwagandha to help balance my hormones once more after I decided to stop taking the pill.

So far, it's been helping! I hope maybe this herb can help you get in shape and achieve your own personal health goals! LOTS OF LOVE!!! :) :)


About the Creator

Emily Marie Concannon

I am a world nomad with a passion for vegan food, history, coffee, and equality.

You can find my first novel on Kindle Vella here: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B09V4S7T4N :) I appreciate all your support and engagement! :)

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Comments (33)

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  • Rasheek Rasool10 days ago

    Great Information

  • Míriam Guasch18 days ago

    Thanks for the info.

  • MANOJ KUMAR18 days ago

    Good Information. I am a regular user of this herb. Really its works without any side effects.

  • Winner grace!!26 days ago


  • JBaz27 days ago

    So interesting, knowledgeable. Thank you and congratulations

  • Laura Hoover27 days ago

    Not bad at all.

  • Innominaire27 days ago

    Great read! I liked how you structured this post, keep it up!

  • Martin Thomas27 days ago

    Great post, didn't know what it was.

  • Starlite28 days ago

    Very interesting.

  • Paul Stewart28 days ago

    Emily well done on a very well researched and informative piece. I liked that you included your own experience but kept it fact-based! congrats on TS!

  • Loved this! I love ashwagandha (and lion's mane too) and have it often, but I always enjoy reading more about it and learning more about its uses and benefits. Thanks for the great read!

  • Em Starrrrr29 days ago

    Such a well-written and informative article, Emily. Mind-body-soul connection and balance is so important. Congrats on your well-deserved Top Story.

  • Dana Crandell29 days ago

    A very informative, well-structured piece. Thanks for sharing the information and congratulations on the Top Story placement! Well done!

  • Loryne Andawey29 days ago

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and congratulations on your Top Story! ❤️'d and subscribed :)

  • Babs Iverson29 days ago

    Wonderful article!!! This is all new information. As I wasn't aware of the ashwagandha plant, I want to thank you for sharing this information. Left some love!!!💖💖💕

  • Francis Katiku29 days ago

    Well researched

  • Caroline Jane29 days ago

    Thoroughly educational! Congratulations on your top story. 🥰

  • Burn Book29 days ago

    Everything we need is in nature

  • Jay Prajapati29 days ago

    Great. Very Informative

  • Laura29 days ago

    Thank you for sharing this informative story about Ashwagandha! As someone who is interested in natural remedies and alternative medicine, I found it fascinating to learn about the benefits and uses of this herb. It's great to know that there are natural options available for managing stress, anxiety, and other health concerns. I appreciate the detailed explanation of the history and traditional uses of Ashwagandha, as well as the scientific research that supports its effectiveness.

  • Iman Faith29 days ago

    This is not working for me

  • Timely and informative as my teens have just started asking to take it! Thank you.

  • Cathy holmes29 days ago

    Good article. Thanks for sharing.

  • I've known Ashwagandha for quite long but never knew most of the things you've written here. This was a very informative article!

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