All About Ashwagandha



For thousands of years, people have used Ashwagandha as a natural remedy in place of pharmaceuticals. Ashwagandha is a shrub native to Asia and Africa, and it is used most commonly for its adaptogenic properties. Believed to aid in stress reduction, adaptogens help the body resist physical and mental stress when consumed. 


As a small shrub that is native to India and North Africa, it belongs to the nightshade family and produces a red fruit that is similar in appearance to a cherry tomato. The root and berries of the plant are used to make medicine. Ashwagandha has been found to improve brain function and increase concentration and focus. One study found that ashwagandha improved reaction time, cognitive abilities, and information processing speed in healthy individuals.


As with all supplements, you must consider how they will interact with the medications you are currently prescribed. Although studies are inconclusive, researchers say that Ashwagandha may not be ideal for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Additionally, it is unclear what percentage per dosage the body is able to absorb fully. Experts say that it is unlikely that all 300 milligrams of ashwagandha are absorbed, meaning that the potency is low and a larger dose may be needed. However, larger doses may trigger less than ideal side effects, such as vomiting and diarrhea. As such, consuming smaller doses more frequently may be the most beneficial. 


Ashwagandha is available in supplement form, as well as in its natural form as a root or powder. It can be taken in a variety of ways, such as in capsule form, as a tea, or added to smoothies and lattes! 

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