Ashwaganda - The Rebuilder
I think of ashwaganda for rebuilding, warming, restoring - someone to light your fire, bar the doors to keep the demons out for a little bit.
The Sanskirt name for 'ashwgandha' means 'smell of a horse' or 'essence of a horse' - strength and grace. My experience with ashwaganda has been one that gives me the will and the capacity to carry on, especially as an ally for mental health.
Ashwaganda is an adaptogen that is both energizing and calming. She helps relax and restore an exhausted nervous system. She increases capacity to deal with stressful situations by strengthening the stress, immune and reproductive responses in the body. This includes improving memory and sleep patterns, balancing body sugar levels and increasing energy levels, muscle tissue and fertility. A total superstar, right?
Let's start with the nervous system. Ashwaganda is a beautiful ally for burnout, fried nerves & stress. She is a nourishing nervine rather than a sedative can has been used for anxiety, insomnia & ADHD. Studies have also shown that ashwaganda protects the brain from neurodegeneration through its ability to support stress. She has even been used to improve memory, mood swings and energy levels. She is a brain warrior, for sure.
Next, the immune system. Ashwaganda can improve white blood cell count and treat inflammatory or painful conditions, including auto-immune disorders, arthritis, cancer & connective tissue disorders. Ashwaganda can also be an ally for the respiratory system in low immunity conditions, including asthama, coughs & allergies.
She is a reproductive system rejuvenator & stimulant. She increases sperm motility & sperm count and has been used to increase sexual potency & performance. She is also a tonic to the uterine muscles and provides menopausal support through hormone balancing.
I have used this herb to manage my anxiety, and its impact is immediate and powerful. Anna uses it every day as one of her closest allies. However, my personal experience with this beautiful herb is that acute use is best for me. Once she has built me back up, ashwaganda is kind enough to let me know that I don't need her support on the regular anymore. It was my first experience with an herb in which I got a clear message - "you've got this!" - that generosity of spirit from Ashwaganda stays with me.