Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The root can be used to treat anxiety and reduce stress. Use ashwagandha to treat anxiety in daily doses, taking especially at bedtime. Ashwagandha also reduces inflammation but it’s mainly used to lower levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for the “fight of flight” reaction. Cortisol is steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Over 200 studies have shown ashwagandha benefits in memory, immunity, insomnia, blood sugar stabilization, lowering cholesterol, increased libido as well as stress reduction.
Ashwagandha is a member of the Solanaceae family of plants, which also contains tomatoes and Deadly Nightshade. The Latin name is Withania somnifera. The name of the plant translates to “smell of a horse” because the Ayurvedic herb has been used to restore health after the flu or an illness. The root is the part of the plant used in medicine. To be effective, be sure to use a standardized extract of ashwagandha. The extract should have at least 8% withanolide gylcosides and 32% oligosaccarides to be most effective. Ashwagandha is one of a group of herbs called adaptogens because of their ability to help create changes in the human body. Another adaptogenic herb is ginseng, and in fact, Ashwagandha has been called Indian ginseng because of its ability to lower stress and lower serum cortisol levels.
Dosage of Ashwagandha
Research shows that doses of 600 mg a day of ashwagandha can lower serum cortisol. Doses from 150 to 1000 have been shown to be beneficial. When taking ashwagandha for insomnia, the best time of day to take a dose is before bedtime. Take 1000 mg before retiring for a restful nights sleep. As with any new herbal product, consult with your health advisor before adding a new protocol.
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About the author
Melanie Grimes is a writer, medical editor and health educator. A classically trained homeopath, she has lectured internationally and been on faculty at Bastyr University, American Medical College of Homeopathy, and Seattle School of Homeopathy. She has been the editor of Simillimum, Journal of the Homeopathic Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and The American Homeopath, Journal of the North American Society of Homeopaths. An award-winning screenwriter, Melanie has taught creative writing, and authored medical textbooks. You can follow her blog at http://melaniegrimes.com. Buy high quality healthy chocolate online at: http://mxi.myvoffice.com/chocolatefountain
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