Ashwagandha root – also known as indian ginseng in the Ayurvedic system of medicine is a powerful rejuvenating herb, adding to life longevity, it is also an immensely powerful adaptogen or rasayana. Ashwagandhas first appearance is in the sacred texts: the Charaka and the Sushruta Samhitas, in fact ashwagandha can be traced back directly to Atreya Punarvasu the esteemed sage who’s teachings founded the six schools of ayurveda.
Ashwagandha translates to “the smell of a horse.”refereing to its pungent odour. Once ground, the herb smells like a stallion and was thought to impart the power of one, too. Ashwagandha is currently one of the most popular herbs in the world due to it being rejuvenating to the whole body, as well as promoting physical and mental health. With over 80 complex phyto-chemicals known from this herb we can comfortably say that this extraordinary root rivals any tonic herb in the world
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress – Cortisol our natural stress hormone is released from the adrenals to mobilize a “fight or flight” response to a perceived imminent danger. Cortisol naturally follows a daily rhythm, rising in the morning to help mobilize the body’s forces for our daily needs and lowering in the evening to allow the body to sleep and perform restorative measures, however the stress of modern human culture chronically activates the cortisol stress response – which can impact delicate glucose and lipid balance as well as vascular integrity, gastrointestinal membrane integrity and nervous system function. Ashwagandha has been shown to promote healthy levels of cortisol and contribute to healthy inflammatory processes, numerous tests prove that this adaptogenic herb can promote the functions of the immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as protect the brain, muscles and joints from long term degeneration.
The main active substances in ashwagandha root are a variety of steroids with ergostane skeletons (also called “withanolides”) withaferin A & withasomnine being superb examples, as well as alkaloids and saponins. Withanolides have been extensively studied for their antibiotic and antioxidant effect. Sedative effects have also been ascribed to the alkaloids and in vivo studies have shown significant adaptogenic activity. This exquisite herb has naturalised in south africa and has been used extensively in our traditional medicine. We supply both ashwagandha root powder as well as a wild harvested tincture. Ashwagandha can also be found in our adaptogenic tincture.