To take care of our bodies and to achieve optimal health, we seek different medicines prescribed by doctors. But we all know allopathy has its own side effects that might cause other problems in the future.
But did you know Ayurveda is an alternate option to achieve optimal health?
It has minimal side effects because it uses natural ingredients. Ashwagandha, one of the magical herbs in Ayurveda, can be helpful to you in achieving optimal health.
Before discussing how you can incorporate Ashwagandha into your diet, let’s first learn about Ashwagandha.
Table of Contents
- 1 Ashwagandha in Ayurveda: A Detailed Overview
- 2 Benefits and Doses of Ashwagandha in Your Diet
- 3 How and When to Take Ashwagandha?
- 4 Three Most Preferable Ways to Incorporate Ashwagandha into Your Diet
- 5 Modern Recipes of Ashwagandha
- 6 The Right Amount is the Key to Optimal Health
- 7 Who Should Take Precautions for Ashwagandha Use?
- 8 Final Thoughts
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions
Ashwagandha in Ayurveda: A Detailed Overview
Ayurveda is an Indian-originated conventional system of medicine that is widely used in today’s world. The term Ayurveda consists of two words ‘Ayur’, which means life, and ‘Veda’, which means knowledge or science; hence, Ayurveda simply means ‘knowledge of life’.
The Ashwagandha word came into existence with its meaning. Ashwagandha’s roots smell like a horse’s sweat, hence its name, Ashwa (horse) Gandha (smell). Ashwagandha, also known as ‘Indian Winter Cherry’ or ‘Indian Ginseng’, is one of the most vital herbs in Ayurveda.
Based on natural methods, Ayurveda consists of many medicinal herbs and tonics (Rasayana).
In simple words, the term Ashwagandha, as we said earlier, is an integral part of Ayurveda and helps with many medical conditions, including stress and sleep disorders such as insomnia. India has been using Ashwagandha for a very long time, and so much research and study have been done since then.
It has been found through studies that Ashwagandha has a significant effect on memory, making it beneficial for children and older adults to improve memory and brain functions. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, and other issues that can be seen in people of all age groups.
Definitely, Ayurveda is one of the best ancient medical systems through which you can gain health benefits, but it is also essential to keep in mind how to incorporate herbs into your diet.
Ashwagandha can be consumed by people in many ways. Ashwagandha no doubt improves your health, but there are some points that are discussed in this article that you should take into consideration. This article will cover several of the best ways to incorporate Ashwagandha into your diet for optimal health.
Benefits and Doses of Ashwagandha in Your Diet
Now let’s talk about the benefits of Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha has many proven benefits that can help you improve your overall health. We have made a list down below for you so that you can know and identify the reason you should include Ashwagandha in your diet plan.
Some Ashwagandha benefits include:
1. Enhancing and improving athletic performance
In studies, it has been seen that Ashwagandha improves and enhances athletic performance. A healthy adult can take 300 mg of Ashwagandha twice a day for eight weeks. 1
2. Reduction in stress and anxiety
During stress, the level of the cortisol hormone increases in our body. Ashwagandha helps to reduce cortisol and hence reduces stress. An adult can consume 225-500 mg for 1 to 2 months for better results. 2
3. Boost memory
When we are in a rush, we tend to forget essential tasks in our life. Be it studies or work. Ashwagandha helps boost memory. A healthy adult can take 300 mg of Ashwagandha root extract per day per dose. 3
4. Reduction in pain and inflammation
You can consume 250 mg or 12 ml of Ashwagandha root extract for pain relief. Pain that keeps rising at regular intervals or body inflammation may be cured from the given doses. 4
5. Help to increase fertility in men
Ashwagandha helps rebalance the reproductive hormones in men and increase sperm quality. It helps increase testosterone, one of the hormones responsible for fertility. As a result, men with fertility issues can have improvement and benefit from their infertility. The suggested dose is 5 gm ashwagandha per day for 3 months can help increase fertility in men. 5
6. Helps with insomnia
It is known that using Ashwagandha for a certain period of time helps people improve their sleep issues. Ashwagandha root extract is known to be helpful in sleep-inducing potential and narcotic, and taking 300 mg daily two times a day can benefit sleep quality. 6
7. Decrease blood sugar
Diabetic patients can grab the benefits of Ashwagandha as it helps lower their blood sugar level. Along with the prescribed medicine, you can take 250 mg to 3 gm of Ashwagandha, equally divided doses in a day for 4 weeks. 7
8. Enhances cognitive function
By increasing age, people can notice the slowing down of cognitive functions, vision, etc. For those, taking 225 or 400 mg of Ashwagandha for 30 days can help regain cognitive functions. People with ADHD have also been seen to complete tasks faster after incorporating Ashwagandha into their diet. 8
9. Muscle growth and strength
If you are lean and are tired of other people’s comments on your weight. You may find Ashwagandha helpful to gain weight. You can try 500 mg of Ashwagandha per day for 8 weeks. It will help you in muscle growth and strength building. 9
As we have seen, there are many benefits and doses that you can incorporate into your diet for optimal health. It can also be beneficial for improving cardiac health, lowering blood pressure, regulating the menstrual cycle, fighting cancer, etc. It also boosts energy, supports immunity, detoxifies the body, and helps with mental health improvement.
You should keep in mind that there are proper ways to consume Ashwagandha. One should not take it carelessly or in excessive amounts.
How and When to Take Ashwagandha?
Incorporating Ashwagandha into your diet could benefit you in many ways, but before that, you must know how and when to include Ashwagandha in your daily diet.
Many shops sell Ashwagandha in many forms in the market, such as Ashwagandha powder, Ashwagandha tablets, and Ashwagandha churna. You may opt for any of them according to your convenience.
Some of the best times to take Ashwagandha
1. Ashwagandha in the morning
If you want to have a day full of energy. Try to take Ashwagandha first thing in the morning. You can either have an Ashwagandha churna ball or Ashwagandha tea after waking up.
2. Ashwagandha at night
Using Ashwagandha at night has its own benefits, as they help with fatigue, relaxes the body and reduces stress. You may take Ashwagandha powder with milk right before going to bed or Ashwagandha churna after dinner. You can also make small Ashwagandha churna ball and keep them in containers to keep them at ease for daily use.
Ways of taking or Consuming Ashwagandha
1. Ashwagandha churna
It is made of Ashwagandha roots, which is the most beneficial part of Ashwagandha. The roots are dried and powdered to make churna (powder). You can consume it with milk or honey.
2. Ashwagandha chocolate
You can get Ashwagandha chocolates from the market. They are dark chocolates with Ashwagandha in them. They might help you consume it tastefully. They help in maintaining and enduring libido.
3. Ashwagandha tablets
One of the easiest ways to consume Ashwagandha is in the form of Ashwagandha tablets. Tablets of different strength are available, and you can take them with your doctor’s prescription. You can use water or milk to take the tablet.
4. Ashwagandha Tea
It has great benefits in sound sleep. You can drink it before going to bed or in the morning. It is very easy to make Ashwagandha tea. All you need to do is to boil 1 to 2 teaspoons of Ashwagandha power in 2 to 3 cups of water. Boil it until it gets half the initial quantity and pours milk into it.
Add milk and honey, according to your preferences. Honey boosts the taste and makes it sweet to tolerate the Ashwagandha smell. Drink it daily, either in the morning or at night, for better results.
5. Ashwagandha Capsule
Take one capsule a day with water after your meals to see the benefits. It will keep you energised and help you enhance your daily activities and work.
Three Most Preferable Ways to Incorporate Ashwagandha into Your Diet
Do you know there are other ways to consume Ashwagandha and get the same benefits along with some taste? Using the given ways, you would not have to think twice before eating it.
1. Ashwagandha Ladoo
We all love ladoos. Here, you can eat one ladoo daily and get the same benefits.
The ingredients you will need are Ashwagandha powder (2 tablespoons), jaggery powder (1 tablespoon), black salt, black pepper, and a container to store them in.
Method to Prepare
- Take two tablespoons of Ashwagandha powder and add one tablespoon of jaggery powder.
- Add a pinch of pepper and black salt to it and knead the mixture properly.
- Make small, round balls using your palms (rolling in a circular motion between your palms).
- Store them in the container in the refrigerator.
- Use within 5-6 days.
2. Ashwagandha Milkshake
Milkshakes are now everybody’s favourite.
The ingredients needed for the Ashwagandha milkshake are Ashwagandha powder (4 tablespoons), ghee (½-1 cup), honey (1-2 tablespoons), and cold milk (1 glass).
Note: Do not use honey in the case of a diabetic person.
Method to Prepare
- Take a pan and roast Ashwagandha in ghee for about one minute.
- Now take a glass, add honey, and add this roasted Ashwagandha to it.
- Pour one glass of milk into it, and here we go—our Ashwagandha milkshake is ready.
- For better taste, drink immediately.
3. Ashwagandha Shrikhand
Shrikhands are quite beneficial for our bodies.
The ingredients for Ashwagandha shrikhand are thick curd (250-300 g), Ashwagandha powder (4 tablespoons), dry fruits, and cardamom powder.
Method to Prepare
- Take a muslin cloth and 250 g of curd.
- Drain out all the water from the curd to get hung curd. Keep the hung curd in the refrigerator (in a bowl or container).
- Now, divide the hung curd into four parts, add one tablespoon of Ashwagandha powder to each part, and put sugar or honey in it (according to your preference).
- To enhance the taste and look, sprinkle dried fruits and cardamom powder over it.
- Now put them in the refrigerator.
- Wait for about half an hour or one hour, and your Ashwagandha shrinkhand is now ready to use.
Modern Recipes of Ashwagandha
Here we have mentioned some modern recipes of Ashwagandha for your delightful experience in achieving optimal health.
1. Ashwagandha banana smoothie
Blend a banana with a glass of milk, Ashwagandha powder, honey, cinnamon powder and dry fruits in a blender and enjoy your Ashwagandha banana smoothie.
2. Ashwagandha apricot almond chia porridge
It is made of Ashwagandha powder, lucuma, apricot, maca, almond, and coconut milk. It helps you with sugar cravings and can use as a dessert or snack.
3. Ashwagandha muffins
Delightful muffin bites with additional vanilla extract, coconut oil, and blueberries make Ashwagandha more delicious. It can be served as a stress-busting, mood-lifting dessert.
4. Ashwagandha energy bars
Best for after a workout. Ashwagandha energy bars can be consumed as muscle-building food.
The Right Amount is the Key to Optimal Health
Whenever you take any kind of medication, doctors always give the appropriate dose. Just like that, it is also important to keep track of the Ashwagandha doses you intake. Everything in excess is bad.
If you consume Ashwagandha in excess amounts, you might suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting, or indigestion. Hence, always prescribe the right dose before using Ashwagandha from your doctor.
Who Should Take Precautions for Ashwagandha Use?
Even though Ashwagandha is a natural herb, there are limitations in some cases. People should avoid, or we can say, should not consume Ashwagandha if they are already on medication.
They might develop some other complications in the future as Ashwagandha might make potential changes in hormones in the body. Along with them, pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid Ashwagandha consumption.
The Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha is useful to boost your immune system, provide stress and anxiety relief, and treat many other health conditions. Incorporating Ashwagandha into your diet can be beneficial to achieving optimal health.
The doses and ways to consume Ashwagandha play a key role. However, you should avoid consuming it in excess and consult your doctor before consuming it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I incorporate Ashwagandha into my diet?
Add a teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder to your smoothies, tea, or yogurt for an easy and convenient way to enjoy its benefits.
Can I cook with Ashwagandha?
Yes, you can! Sprinkle Ashwagandha powder onto roasted vegetables, soups, or stir-fries to enhance flavours and boost nutritional value.
What is the recommended dosage of Ashwagandha for optimal health?
The typical dosage ranges from 250 to 500 mg per day. However, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
- Sandhu, J. S., Shah, B., Shenoy, S., Chauhan, S., Lavekar, G. S., & Padhi, M. M. (2010). Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. International journal of Ayurveda research, 1(3), 144-149.
- Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 34(3), 255-262.
- Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) root extract in improving memory and cognitive functions. Journal of dietary supplements, 14(6), 599-612.
- Ramakanth, G. S., Uday Kumar, C., Kishan, P. V., & Usharani, P. (2016). A randomized, double blind placebo controlled study of efficacy and tolerability of Withaina somnifera extracts in knee joint pain. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 7(3), 151-157.
- Ahmad, M. K., Mahdi, A. A., Shukla, K. K., Islam, N., Rajender, S., Madhukar, D., … & Sharma, V. K. (2010). Withania somnifera improves semen quality by regulating reproductive hormone levels and oxidative stress in seminal plasma of infertile males. Fertility and sterility, 94(3), 989-996.
- Langade, D., Kanchi, S., Salve, J., Debnath, K., & Ambegaokar, D. (2019). Efficacy and safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) root extract in insomnia and anxiety: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Cureus, 11(9), e5797.
- Andallu, B., & Radhika, B. (2000). Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Indian journal of experimental biology, 38(6), 607-609.
- Pingali, U., Pilli, R., & Fatima, N. (2014). Effect of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera on tests of cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy human participants. Pharmacognosy research, 6(1), 12-18.
- Wankhede, S., Langade, D., Joshi, K., Sinha, S. R., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 43.