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Ashwagandha - Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Apr 24, 2008
Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera or has a long medicinal history dating back 5000 years. It is a very significant herbal drug in Ayurveda or Indian System of medication. This meticulous herb was used to treat a variety of infectious diseases as well as tremors and inflammation especially arthritis.

It is a stunning delicate plant inhabitant to Indian subcontinent. Defined by green leaves, branched limbs, and topped by seeded yellow flowers. It is an eye-catching in look and of very importance in Ayurveda or Indian System of Medication. It has a vast history, about 5000 years, as a holistic herb used to treat a variety of ailments.

Historically these Diseases include:
1. Tremors
2. Inflammation
3. Infectious Diseases
4. Longevity
5. Sexual Enhancing

The shoots of the Ashwagandha shrub are used in food and in India seeds of the this herb are used to thicken milk. African tribes also use this to treat fevers, and other inflammations.

It is usually crushed and used in a traditional Ayurvedic formula called Shilajit or shilajatu. It has comparable properties as Chinese ginseng. It is heat neutral which means it has no warming or cooling properties. Unlike ginseng which is a warming herb.

The active components in Ashwagandha are alkaloids and withanoloids which provides it with the properties it possesses. Withanoloids within it provides it all its medicinal character. Withanoloids consist of steroidal molecules which act to fight inflammation.

It is frequently compared to Chinese ginsengs which contain molecules like withanoloids called ginsenosides. For this reason Ashwagandha is frequently called Indian ginseng. Therefore, both ginseng and Ashwagandha kindle the immune system, stop inflammation, increase memory, and helps maintain general healthy and wellness. Also it is known to augment the production of bone marrow, semen, and inhibits the aging process.

The modern medical uses of this herb are diverse. One area in which it has been helpful is in the treatment of mental health issues. One study in particular gave thirty anxiety sufferers forty ml doses two times a day of a solution with its major ingredient of Withania Somnifera. After one month, all anxiety symptoms including panic attacks and paranoia had virtually disappeared. American counselors have also found the herb useful in treating depression, alcohol addiction and schizophrenia. Also, when it is taken frequently memory and learning skills augment noticeably.

A lot of studies have been conducted to see the effects of Ashwagandha on tumors, arthritis, and other forms of inflammation. The studies proved that it acts as an anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory agent. It's naturally occurring steroidal content is much higher than that of hydrocortisone which is a common treatment in cancer cases.

When taking Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera, like any other medicine one has to be careful. Overuse and abuse of an herbal medication can be equally as dangerous and deadly as with any traditional medicine.
About the Author
For more information read about Ashwagandha at http://www.herbalcureindia.com. Also read about Constipation Treatment
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