Ashwagandha (Also Known As; Withania Somniferum, Indian Ginseng, and Winter Cherry) is a very useful plant from India used to coagulate milk, (in order to make cheese,) and is also used in Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine used in India which is believed to have started in the 1500’s. Ayurveda is still used as a popular form of traditional medicine today, due to its many, many, positive testimonials that continue to boggle scientist minds.
Although there has been very little research done on Ashwagandha, it has been traditionally used to treat: Chronic fatigue, Dehydration, Bone weakness, Muscle weakness, Muscle tension, Loose teeth, Thirst, Impotency, Premature aging, Emaciation, Debility, Constipation, Senility, Rheumatism, Nervous exhaustion, Memory loss, and Spermatorrhoea.
Keep up I’m on a roll here!
As you can see, Ashwagandha got the nick name “Indian ginseng,” because of the many therapeutic benefits it may offer. Traditionally, Ashwagandha has been used for almost everything with only a few minor side effect, which I have yet to find named in the studies that I read through.
While there are precious few studies done to further our knowledge on Ashwagandha their findings show that Ashwagandha could be useful in natural treatments of; Easing drug withdrawal symptoms, Reducing anxiety and Reducing certain arthritic pains.
It’s a start.
Happily, (for nerds such as myself) there are other registered trials that are in progress to determine if Ashwagandha is a viable treatment of Tuberculosis, Parkinson’s disease, Bone cancer, Bipolar disorder, Diabetes, and to see if Ashwagandha can improve the Well-Being of the Elderly, as well as people who are undergoing Chemotherapy for Brest Cancer.
While all this is exciting, try not to get your hopes up too much since the trials that have been submitted so far are miniscule compared to Pharmaceutical medications which have not been used since the 1500’s with a list of side effect that would make my voluptuous arm look scrawny.
Until more studies are completed, most scientists believe it is safe to use Ashwagandha as a mild anti anxiety remedy; not to be confused with a chronic depression. Be sure that you speak with your doctor before taking Ashwagandha if you are on any medication, or if you are pregnant.
Now just imagine if more research was done on Ashwagandha. If Indian Ginseng helped with muscle tension and chronic fatigue, like the ancients believed, it could be used as therapy for people with depression and Fibromyalgia. If Ashwagandha helps with memory loss, then we could find another element to fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
So how do we get more research done on these herbs?
Honestly, I only know of one way to make more studies to happen and that’s by making researchers interested. If we all work together to get the word out on herbs like this one, then more researchers will become interested, and more studies will happen. We have to get the word out first.