Long hailed in both India and Africa as a rasayana (rejuvenating) herb, Ashwagandha has recently gained popularity in Western herbalism for it's adaptogenic qualities.
According to ancient Ayurvedic texts one who regularly takes Ashwagandha "obtains longevity, regains youthfulness, maintains a sharp memory, stays free of disease, has a lustrous complexion and strength of a horse."
Typically you will find Ashwagandha in powder form, made of the dried plant root. The leaves and berries are also used in some cases, but this is far less common.
Combining Ashwagandha with pungent spices and ghee (clarified butter) is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy for those who suffer with anxiety. The spices increase the absorption of the ashwagandha, while the ghee is good source of healthy fat.
Other ways to use Ashwagandha include: adding a scoop of powder into your smoothie, taking it in capsule form, adding it to a glass of warm milk or infusing it in alcohol to create a tincture.
ASHWAGANDHA, Winter Cherry
Botanical Name: Withania somnifera
Part Used: root
Energetics: bitter, astringent, sweet, heating | Pacifies Vata and Kapha, may aggravate Pitta (in excess)
Tissues: muscle, fat, bone, marrow and nerve, reproductive
Systems: nervous, reproductive, respiratory