Now available from Au Naturel, Irishtown, Athlone, Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb often referred to as Indian ginseng. Ayurveda is the traditional system of healing in India. Ashwagandha is one of the most highly prized plants for rejuvenating and strengthening mind and body.
It has been used as a nutritional tonic for thousands of years and has wide-ranging health benefits, acting as a tonic for children, and to increase vitality and health in middle age and the elderly. It is especially valued as a nerve tonic, to reduce stress, and as a memory enhancer. Modern research confirms this age-old use.
It has anti-anxiety, anti-depressive and neuro-protective effects, its most valued properties due to its effects on the brain and nervous system as it helps restore neurological networks and has been shown to protect against the destructive effects of amyloid, one of the primary mediators of age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
Of five clinical studies done in 2014 to explore the anti-anxiety effects of Ashwagandha, all showed a reduction in anxiety, depression and stress related symptoms. It was found that 300mg taken twice daily significantly reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety and reduced blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol after just eight weeks of daily use. Ashwagandha has also been shown in studies to improve symptoms of chronic fatigue by 45 per cent.
Other promising studies from 2011 are showing this herb’s use to reduce stress-related infertility and erectile dysfunction in men, showing a 57 per cent increase in sperm mobility, 167 per cent increase in sperm count and 53 per cent increase in semen volume, when taken for 90 days consistently.
Ashwagandha is available in capsules from Viridian nutrition, and is also available in powder, both of which are organically grown.