Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has become one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs in use in the Western world. And it is no wonder, with all the benefits that Ashwagandha has to offer! Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurveda for thousands of years as a rasayana (rejuvenative) and an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress.1 The name ashwagandha translates into “smell of a horse”; this is a reference to both the unique smell of the herb, as well as the virility of a horse, an inference to the traditional use of ashwagandha to support a healthy male reproductive system.
How to Use Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is available in powder and tablet forms, and as a liquid extract. The traditional use is as a powder, mixed with warm milk and honey, and taken before bed calming vata and fostering healthy sleep patterns, reproductive system, and strength. A general dose can be 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon once or twice daily. Traditionally ashwagandha is taken with ghee and honey (equal parts) anupans for overall nourishment and rejuvenation. Adding sugar (cane or sugar candy) adds a cooling effect and can even be substituted for the honey, particularly in the summer months. It can also be used with ghee and sugar to support the female reproductive system and joints.