Benefits & Side effects of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an effective medicine used in Ayurveda since ancient times. Over the years, it has been used for many diseases. According to Ayurveda experts, its use helps to overcome many problems. It contains several properties for maintaining good health. Its benefits include lowering blood sugar levels, fighting cancer, reducing stress and anxiety, increasing sexual stamina in men, preventing arthritis and asthma. Apart from this, Ashwagandha supplies antioxidants to the body and strengthens the immune system. It also has antibacterial and anticonvulsant properties which provide many benefits for the body and the mind.
Ashwagandha is a shrub plant, seeds, fruits, roots and leaves of which are used for making medicines. It is also known as Baraharkarni (perennial) plant and Asgandh. It is commonly known as Indian ginseng. There are many types of Ashwagandha in different countries, but real Ashwagandha smells like horse. Its fresh roots smell stronger which is used to increase virility. The quality of Ashwagandha grown in agriculture is better as compared to Ashwagandha found in forests but the plant found in forests is considered good for extracting oil.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
In India, it has been used as an Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times. Its leaves and powder are helpful in curing many diseases in Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is mainly beneficial in the following-
Mixing the powder of Ashwagandha with Giloy juice and taking it with lukewarm water or honey provide relief in fever.
For Bacterial infection-
Ashwagandha controls bacterial infection as it has antibacterial properties, which reduce respiratory tract, gastrointestinal, and urogenital disorders.
For Swelling and joint pain-
Ashwagandha has properties such as alkaloids, suppositories and steroidal lactones, which work to relieve inflammation and joint pain.
For Stress, anxiety and depression-
Ashwagandha contains enzymes that help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Its use has a pleasant and calming effect on health.
Ashwagandha inhibits the growth of tumor cells and reduces the side effects of chemotherapy used for cancer.
Antioxidants found in Ashwagandha are beneficial for heart health as well as reducing stress and inflammation. It makes the heart muscles strong. Its consumption also reduces the amount of cholesterol and triglyceride, which reduces the risk of diseases like heart attack.
For Blood disorders and physical weakness-
Mixing the powder of Ashwagandha and Chirata and taking it in the morning and evening cures blood disorders. Apart from this, taking this powder with lukewarm milk in the morning and evening ends weakness.
For Semen production-
It is a panacea for a person's sexually transmitted diseases. It helps in increasing sperm count in men. Semen becomes thick with its consumption.
The antioxidants present in Ashwagandha reduce the signs of aging such as dark spots and wrinkles etc. It also reduces the risk of skin cancer.
For Wound healing-
Applying a paste of the roots of Ashwagandha on the wound helps in quick healing and the injury heals faster.
Ashwagandha reduces the problem of hair fall by reducing the level of cortisol in the body. Using it strengthens the hair roots.
The cryoprotective and antioxidant properties present in it reduce cataract and other eye related problems.
For Constipation and chest pain-
Consumption of Ashwagandha powder provides benefits in stomach related diseases. Mixing Ashwagandha and Baheda powder and taking it with jaggery ends stomach worms. Taking its powder with lukewarm water provides relief in constipation and chest pain.
Ashwagandha has special benefit in the problem of whooping cough or phlegm caused by vata. Consuming a decoction made from its leaves, fenugreek powder, catechu powder, black pepper and rock salt, etc., provides relief in chronic cough. It is also particularly beneficial in coughs caused by TB.
For Throat diseases-
Mixing equal quantities of Ashwagandha powder and jaggery and taking it with water kept overnight in the morning is beneficial in throat diseases or goiter.
For Sensory weakness-
- After filtering the powder of Ashwagandha with a cloth, mixing equal quantities of molasses in it with fresh cow's milk and taking it three hours before the morning meal reduces sensory weakness.
- Mixing the powder of its roots with jasmine oil and applying it on the penis ends sensory weakness.
Side effects of Ashwagandha
Consuming Ashwagandha in excess or in an inappropriate way is harmful for the body. Let us know about some of the side effect associated with it-
- Ashwagandha is generally considered very good for sleep but consuming it for a long time can cause several problems like nausea, fatigue, fever, pain and vomiting.
- Excessive use of Ashwagandha can prove to be harmful for the stomach. If not taken properly, diarrhea can arise. Therefore, before consuming it, be sure to consult a doctor.
- People suffering from the problem of blood pressure should never take Ashwagandha without consulting a doctor. People with low BP should not consume it.
Where is Ashwagandha found?
The Ashwagandha plant is found especially in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh up to an altitude of 5000 feet. It is cultivated on a large scale in Manasa tehsil of Mandsaur, northwestern district of Madhya Pradesh, the commercial supply of Ashwagandha all over India comes from this place. Earlier it was found in Nagaur (Rajasthan) and exported everywhere from there. For this reason was also known as "Nagori Asgandha".