Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera (Root)
Actions: Adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, immunomodulant, nervine, sedative, thyroid stimulant
Use: Like most adaptogens, Ashwagandha also acts as an immunomodulant and may prevent white blood cell depletion. It also stimulates the thyroid and is rich in iron. Though it is sometimes called “Indian ginseng,” Ashwagandha is less stimulating than Asian ginseng and is therefore safe for children, the elderly, those debilitated by chronic disease, and individuals with a sensitive constitution.
For some, it can be used as a sleep aid. For the “wired and tired” person who feels acutely stressed during the day but can’t sleep at night, Ashwagandha may be an important herbal ally. Although some people may find that it makes them sleepy, and do best taking it at night, others will feel just fine using it during the day, especially those with excess nervous energy or anxiety.
Safety: Ashwagandha should not be used in pregnancy unless under the care of a qualified healthcare professional. Because it can modify blood glucose levels, those with diabetes should be under the care of a qualified healthcare professional when taking it as well.
Dose: Decoction: 2-6g dried root/day divided into 1-3 doses; Tincture: 2-4mL for 3x/day