Handling two kids and my own business brings about a plethora of challenges on a daily basis. Whether it is stock related crisis in the office or my daughter’s meltdown at 10pm regarding an unfinished project that needs to be submitted the next day.
These are definitely not life and death problems and I have now come to realise that stressing over the little things is the cause of my perennial headaches and fatigue.
Ashwagandha, is one of the few gems, that has helped me to be a little more zen about my life.
Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb and a multipurpose star. It has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to target everything from insomnia to easing your thyroid problems, boosting immunity.
The word Ashwagandha, in sanskrit, means the ‘smell of horses’. This not only refers to the earthy smell of the plant which is similar to that of a horse but also that it can impart the strength and vigour of the majestic animal. It has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.
Most notably, Ashwaganda has calming properties that help you manage stress and anxiety. Stress, not only makes us feel awful emotionally but also wreaks havoc on our health. It is the root cause of various ailments.
Studies have shown that stress seems to worsen or increase the risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, and asthma.
Ashwagandha works as an adaptogen i.e it helps us to deal with stress in an effective way.
It tackles all three phases of a stress response, lets go through each one of them.
PHASE 1 – The Alarm phase
As soon as the body perceives an imminent danger, it gets into the fight or flight mode. There is a burst of stress hormones and the body diverts all the energy resources to tackle the enemy. The heart beating faster, stomach doing flips etc are basically the alarm bells ringing to get you ready.
Ashwagandha, as an adaptogen, increases your threshold as far as what will trigger the stress response.
This helps save the alarm phase for times you actually need it. It also helps the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands to communicate effectively during the production of stress hormones. When the three aren’t working in sync, your stress response can become trigger-happy or your body could respond with intensity that doesn’t match the situation.
This basically means that you will not get stressed out at every trivial issue (at least a dozen everyday in our life) and resolve them calmly when you consume Ashwagandha regularly.
PHASE 2 – The state of resistance
The threat is no longer there but the body is still on high alert. It is gradually trying to recover and get back to balance.
In this phase, Ashwagandha helps the body to metabolize and excrete the stress hormones that it no longer needs.
PHASE 3 – The exhaustion phase
This is the last stage of a stress response when you feel extreme exhaustion and fatigue. Emotionally, you may feel hopeless, anxious, or depressed.
In this phase, ashwagandha helps with your energy to bring your systems out of exhaustion to keep you functioning as you should.
It helps those suffering from insomnia to sleep better at night. It also balances out the constant mood swings and increases mental alertness, focus and concentration.
Now that we have seen how Ashwagandha helps us beat stress, let us now look at a simple recipe to use this amazing herb in our day to day life.
How to use Ashwagandha powder?
Taking a warm cup of ashwagandha milk just before bedtime is beneficial for promoting spermatogenesis and as an aphrodisiac. With a pinch of nutmeg, Ashwagandha milk can aid in insomnia by inducing natural sleep.
- Boil a glass of milk.
- Add about 1/2 tsp of ashwagandha powder to it and simmer for a few minutes.
- Sweeteners like honey and spices like cinnamon and cardamom can also be added for taste.
So do include this wonder herb in your diet and be sure to take advantage of this miracle of nature, as even Ayurveda swears by it.
Hope you found this article use and stress busting. Do let me know in the comments below how do you use Ashwagandha.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With over 10 years of experience in the organic industry, Priya is a strong believer in using healthy and easy to use alternatives in daily life. She passionately advises her friends, family and customers by sharing with them practical and easy ways to include healthy alternatives in their daily life.