Ashwagandha, The New Superfood

You’ve cherished, enjoyed and even referred it to your friends. I’m talking about Haldi (turmeric) grown on our farm. Now we offer you a medicinal herb which promotes sleep, balances the nervous system, restores energy and strength and helps delay premature ageing. We bring you Ashwagandha, also called the Indian ginseng grown on our farm in soil rich in organic matter alongside Barvi, a perennial river, located in village Chon, Badlapur (Maharashtra).

 In the US, Ashwagandha sales grew impressively in 2020, with chronic stress and sleeplessness on the rise, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts discuss how ashwagandha is poised to lead the adaptogens category into the mainstream.

Ashwagandha is propagated from seeds; planted in August-September. The crop is ready for harvest in January-March at 150 to 180 days after sowing. The maturity of the crop is judged by drying out of leaves and yellow-red berries. The entire plant is uprooted for roots which are separated from aerial parts by cutting the stem 1-2 cm above the crown. The roots are split and dried for a fortnight in shade and pulverised to make powder.

As ashwagandha gains a profile among new consumers who are educating themselves on natural options that support stress and sleep, the ingredient also serves as a leader in a burgeoning category of ingredients called adaptogens.

Though commonly used for stress, Ashwagandha is also used as an “adaptogen”. Meaning it may help your body adapt to short and long-term physical, mental, and emotional stressors. Tulsi, turmeric ginseng and liquorice are other examples of adaptogens. Research shows adaptogens can combat fatigue, enhance mental performance, ease depression and anxiety, and help you thrive rather than just muddle through.

When we can adapt to stress, we perform better and feel better despite what’s stressing us out. And with that, we can also improve our health and well-being. When you’re stressed, your adrenal gland releases the stress hormone cortisol, which then energises you to tackle an emergency. But too much too often is usually bad for our bodies.

Stress is a major factor leading to lifestyle diseases. Ashwagandha acts as an effective stress buster and boosts mental performance. Hence, this supplement helps to manage your day-to-day life effectively and naturally. It reduces levels of fat and sugar in the blood in people using these medications. Regular consumption can reduce cortisol levels and improve immunity. This supplement also helps to relieve fatigue and weakness by restoring your natural body strength.

 Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling (inflammation), lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system. In its purest form, it keeps inflammatory diseases away from harming the body, building a strong immunity system within you.

It has an earthy and bitter flavour. Take ¼ or 1/2 teaspoon of Ashwagandha root powder along with ghee, sugar and honey daily morning for a month.  You can also take in a glass of warm milk at bedtime. You can add it to your desserts, beverages and smoothies.

 You can apply Aswagandha powder topically to inflamed joints or as part of an Ayurvedic skincare routine. Ashwagandha can take anywhere from 2-3 days to several weeks to work. Current research suggests it may take ten or more weeks to achieve maximum benefits related to stress and anxiety reduction 

 Ashwagandha is considered safe for most people. However,  pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, may need to avoid it. Better consult your physician to know whether you should go for it.

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