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Ashwagandha plant youth tonic, health and healthy longevity

Ashwagandha plant, what is it?

The Ashwaganda plant is a member of the solanaceae and is commonly known as Indian ginseng or by its scientific name Withania somnifera. The most utilised parts of this plant, those with beneficial and medicinal effects, are the roots and fruits. In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is considered Rasayana. That is, a youth tonic, which helps you maintain mental and physical well-being.

The name ‘ashwagandha’ comes from the characteristic odour of the roots, which is reminiscent of the strong, musky smell of a horse. The word ‘ashva’ in fact comes from Sanskrit and means ‘horse’. Ashwagandha can therefore be translated as ‘like a horse’. Some clinical studies suggest that the plant may have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. As we know, chronic inflammation of tissues is at the root of many problems. So reducing the onset of inflammatory states can help you prevent conditions that are potentially harmful to your health.

Ashwagandha plant

Ashwagandha plant, use

As we have mentioned, the Ashwagandha plant is important in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is one of the oldest natural medicines in the world and is officially approved in the Indian health system. Some of the conditions for which Ashwagandha is used are stress, anxiety states, fatigue, chronic pain, skin inflammation, diabetes and hyperglycaemia, arthritis, and some forms of epilepsy. Some of these disorders and conditions require the specific use of plant parts such as leaves, seeds, roots and fruits.

One of the most common uses, especially by athletes, is to use this plant for cardiovascular health. In fact, the Ashwagandha plant may also have beneficial effects in this regard, including regulating high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, relieving angina and abdominal pain, and preventing certain heart diseases.

Ashwagandha plant

Ashwagandha plant, side effects and contraindications

The Ashwaganda plant, in high doses, can increase the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that can lengthen reflex time and temporarily decrease motor and intellectual faculties. It can make driving a motor vehicle unsafe.

At recommended doses, ashwagandha has very few side effects, with the exception of mild digestive disorders in some cases.

Ashwagandha is not recommended for people suffering from hyperthyroidism, autoimmune diseases, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or children under 16 years of age.

Choosing supplements containing Ashwagandha to take as part of a healthy, balanced diet is therefore an effective prevention strategy to ensure healthy longevity by improving your cognitive function and mental health.

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