Ashwagandha – what is it?

Dr. Shalona and Ashwagandha.

Unlike many trendy herbs and tinctures, ashwagandha (known as Withania somnifera in the science world) actually lives up to the hype. Here is some research:

  • Let it go, let it go: It may help the body cope with stress, boost immunity, and improve focus and mental clarity.
  • Bye bye bye: Studies show ashwaghanda may help reduce the signs of aging.
  • He’s going the distance: When scientists tested the swimming performance of adult rats, the rats who were given ashwagandha swam twice as long as those who weren’t, proving the herb may help increase stamina.
  • Ooo baby baby: Ashwagandha is used to treat fertility problemsin men and to increase sexual desire in women—and may help balance hormones overall.
  • Beat it: It may help treat adrenal fatigue and fight diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension.
  • Hit me with your best shot: Some even use it topically to heal wounds, backaches, and paralysis, while others claim it can reduce depression and brain cell degeneration, stabilize blood sugar, decrease inflammation, lower cholesterol, and help prevent and treat cancer.

The Takeaway

Dr. Shalona wont tell you how to live your life. And definitely not going to tell you to start guzzling horse tonics and trust in a single herb. But saying : Ashwagandha is pretty darn awesome—and lives up to its reputation.

That said, it also lives up to its flavor reputation—and a rather unpleasant one at that. To make it a bit tastier, try adding a teaspoon to morning matchascoffees, or smoothies or nighttime teas. If you’re feeling extra bold and are already on the apple cider vinegar train, try mixing a few droplets of liquid ashwagandha with two tablespoons of ACV and 8 ounces of water. Chug; don’t sip. It may not go down smoothly at first, then it may be worth adapting to its funky flavor.

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