Ashwagandha (Withania) is one of the most valuable herbs in the Ayurvedic medical system. It is not just a herb for stress relief; it is also beneficial in helping to keep one healthy, young and mentally sound. Those who take Ashwagandha, even after just a few days, become aware of increased energy, a feeling of internal warmth, wellbeing and overall balance.
The therapeutic qualities of Ashwagandha are well recognised in Ayurvedic traditional Indian medicine. Dating back an estimated 5,000-10,000 years, Ayurveda is widely believed to be the oldest known system of health care. Buddha (born c. 550 bc) was a devotee of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic practitioners value Ashwagandha as an important medicinal plant. They regard it as a rasayana herb … indicating that it strengthens, rejuvenates and invigorates. It is an adaptogen that works to normalise physiological function by acting on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the neuroendocrine system to control stress and regulate body processes. Ashwagandha has “middle note” or neutral action, which means it can be warming as well as cooling, depending on the condition. According to Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha simultaneously balances the nervous system (vata = air) and the musculoskeletal system (kapha = earth, water) while it increases heat (pitta) in the body. As a result, it improves memory, counteracts the effects of stress and calms the mind. (See the Information and Reference Guide in Nature’s Creation book for a more in-depth explanation of Ayurveda.)
Ayurveda is India’s 5000-year old medical science of life, health, and longevity. According to Ayurveda, there is no separation between body, mind, and consciousness. Therefore, the concepts of health and disease must address all of these aspects.