The history of Ashwagandha and its usage goes way back when Ayurvedic medicine was the only means to treat certain diseases. Ashwagandha is also called Withania somnifera commonly called the “winter cherry”. This is not commonly sourced from India but you can easily find this in China and its neighboring areas.
The berries that are harvested from these shrubs are used in baking and cooking. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This is used to prevent anxiety attacks and to relieve stress. There were research studies done to support the cortisol-reducing effects of this product. This is also used as a very mild sedative to fight insomnia. However, you must remember that these effects will depend on the amount of Ashwagandha that you used.
What Is Ashwagandha Used For?
Since the ancient times, Ashwagandha is known to treat different illnesses. Up to this day, these Nootropics has never stopped providing a remedy to certain diseases. Some of the known health problems that can be treated by Ashwagandha are as follows:
- Decreased cortisol levels
- Prevents anxiety attacks
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces stress and over fatigue
- Can be a treatment for diabetes and cancer
- Stimulates the immune system
- Very low toxicity as long as you are using the root extracts
How to Identify Legit Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is a light to medium brown colored powder. It is soft and very fine and feels fluffy. The molecular weight is high so the dosage of 500mg is possibly in large-sized capsules. The smell is horse-like with a bitter taste. Remember that Ashwagandha has a unique smell. But once you are familiar with it, identifying it from other powders will be easy.
Different Ashwagandha Forms – Which Should You Use?
Ashwagandha can be extracted from the leaves, roots, or maybe both. The concentration of the compounds used in the powdered extract will be determined on its source. The leaf extracts have high levels of Withaferin A. the roots have low levels of Withaferin A. take note that the Withaferin are highly cytotoxic. So it is best to stay away from the leaves extract and use the root extracts only.
Similar to different herbal extracts, the Ashwagandha has to standardize to a certain concentration of glycol withanolides in order to meet the claims of the company. The common extracts strengths are usually between 1% to 10%. But there are also patented forms available.
When choosing Ashwagandha extract, it is still best to source from reputable vendors. This is the most effective way to make sure that the product is legit and effective. Avoid “too good to be true” offers as this is often counterfeit product vendors.