Ashwagandha Root – (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha has a lengthy history for use in natural medicine, dating back more than a thousand years.  The main part of the plant that’s used is the root.  It’s considered an adaptogen, which basically means it helps the human body deal with stress; some say it has sedative properties.  Additionally, it is known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and rejuvenating properties.

The word “Ashwagandha” is Sanskrit for “smell of the horse,” which has dual meaning.  The root itself has a very pungent smell, almost horse-like and in ancient time, it was purported to increase strength, like a horse.  This root is also known as winter cherry or Indian ginseng.

The natural medicine benefits of this root come from a high presence of withanolides, a group of steroidal lactones. These withanolides include withaferin A, withanolide D and withanone.  Lab tests have shown these can suppress cancer cells in testing and research is on-going as to the effect of regenerating nerve cells as well.

Ashwagandha for Sexual Health

Ashwagandha is also well know for its sexual health benefits for both women and men.  Women have used this root to relieve menopausal symptoms, for female infertility and eliminating leucorrhea.  For men, the benefits of ashwagandha include increasing fertility and sexual drive, improving testosterone levels, helping with erectile dysfunction and increasing low sperm count.

Other Health Benefits

Ashwagandha supports the digestive and immune systems.  It is used to maintain heart health through its regulation of blood circulation.  It helps prevent blood clots, stabilizes blood sugar and controls cholesterol levels.  It also helps to regulate blood pressure levels and treats insomnia.  It also fights off free radicals that cause wrinkles, dark spots and blemishes, and may even help reduce your risk of skin cancer.

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