Ashwagandha is a fascinating herb that, believe it or not, has been around for a very long time. Growing in India, Africa, and some parts of the Middle East,¹ ashwagandha is good for many things, so it’s worth learning a little bit more about it.
Now you may have not heard of Ashwagandha before, but don’t worry, a lot of people haven’t, so you’re in good company. However, with Western societies shifting their interest more and more to traditional alternatives from the East, it’s drawn a lot of attention in recent years.
The word ashwagandha describes the smell of the root which means “smell like a horse”.²
The word Ashwagandha is derived from the Sanskrit word ashvaganda, where “ashwa” means horse and “gandha” means smell. Ashwagandha is therefore a combination of these two words and stands for “smell of a horse” due to its similar smell.²
Before we learn about why you should consider taking Ashwagandha and what it’s good for, let’s find out a little bit more about how it all began, what type of plant ashwagandha is, and how its uses evolved over the years.
A Little Bit of History: Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has been an important herb for thousands of years, playing a tremendous role in Indian Ayurveda – which refers to India’s traditional medicine system.²
But before we dive into the fascinating topic of Ayurveda, let’s find out a little bit more in-depth about the ashwagandha plant itself.
What is Ashwagandha Botanically?
Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub that typically doesn’t grow any bigger than 2 to 3 feet in height. It has long leaves and grows flowers varying from green to yellow in color. It also grows a red raisin-like fruit with seeds inside.²
Botanically speaking, Ashwagandha is nothing else but “Withania somnifera,” also known as Winter Cherry.²
Ashwagandha has become a more well-known name though and has been adopted from Sanskrit due to the plant’s prevalence in India. It’s also known as “Indian Ginseng”.²
Growing both in the wild and commercially, it’s the root of the Ashwagandha plant that’s harvested at the beginning of each year and that attracts a wide range of attention.
How It All Began: Ashwagandha Through the Years
Ashwagandha has been used for more than 3,000 years as part of the Ayurvedic system, where it mainly functioned as Rasayana – referring to an herb that, in traditional use, supported longevity.³
Ayurveda, the traditional medicinal system in India, is to this day, considered a type of traditional medical care in the country. The term “ayur” is the Sanskrit word for life, and “veda” is the Sanskrit word for science or knowledge.⁴
Ayurveda is therefore the “knowledge of life,” and the practice is based on the idea that there is an imbalance in a person’s consciousness and with Ayurvedic practices, it should bring a balance back to the body, mind, spirit and environment.⁴
Viewed as one of the most sacred herbs in India, Ashwagandha dates back multiple millennia and has been mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature.
What is Ashwagandha Good For?
There are many reasons why you should try an Ashwagandha supplement – it’s good for various aspects that can contribute to good health.*
Here are just a few things Ashwagandha is good for:
Providing Cellular Defense*
Ashwagandha provides support, similar to antioxidants like vitamins C or E, to help promote cellular defense, and is good for helping to maintain cell integrity.*5 Why is that important? Ashwagandha can help to scavenge free radicals,* which contain unpaired electrons and are highly unstable.
Supporting a Healthy Immune System*
Something else that ashwagandha is good for is immune system support, which is one of the cornerstones of good health.* In fact, preliminary data suggest that ashwagandha supports a healthy immune system.*6
Ashwagandha is hence good for immune support and able to contribute to our well-being.*
Traditionally Used as an Ayurvedic Adaptogen*
But there’s more ashwagandha is good for. Traditionally, ashwagandha has been used as an Ayurvedic adaptogen stemming from the historical beginnings of ashwagandha.*5
Increased Bioavailability of Ashwagandha
Most supplements strive for perfection and want to provide you with ideal absorption, so you can reap as many benefits as possible.* After all, it wouldn’t help if ashwagandha was good for a long list of things if you were unable to absorb as much of the supplement as possible.*
What does that mean? It means that some manufacturers may add an ingredient that enhances the bioavailability of another.
As a matter of fact, black pepper has a history of use in Ayurveda7 and is known to increase the bioavailability of Ashwagandha which is why it can be found in some ashwagandha supplements.
Organic Ashwagandha Supplements for Everyday
Since Ashwagandha is used for immune support and antioxidant-like activities among other things,* it comes as no surprise that it has been made into a supplement, so more people can enjoy it. It’s available in numerous shapes and sizes, varying from capsules to tablets to gummies.
Using ashwagandha root powder, supplements can then be compressed into a convenient tablet format.
Because we want you to get as much as possible out of taking an Ashwagandha supplement, organic black pepper extract was added to help with the bioavailability of the ashwagandha.
Our Organic Ashwagandha supplement contains:
- 2,250 mg of organic ashwagandha root powder per serving
- 15 mg of organic black pepper fruit extract per serving
Remember before starting any new dietary supplement, be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner to make sure this supplement is a good fit for you.
Ashwagandha carries some additional cautions over typical dietary supplements including those with specific medical conditions, taking other medications because black pepper can alter their effectiveness and ashwagandha may also cause drowsiness. Caution should be exercised if operating heavy machinery, driving a motor vehicle or you’re involved in activities that require alertness.
Ready to Try Ashwagandha?
Intrigued? While Ashwagandha is not as well-known as other herbal supplements yet, it’s slowly but surely becoming a household name.
Because we at Viva Naturals believe in the power of Ashwagandha, we’ve gone above and beyond to make a quality supplement that checks additional boxes. Our Ashwagandha supplement is:
- USDA Certified Organic
- Third-party tested
- Dairy and Gluten-Free
We suggest a serving size of 3 tablets daily with a meal. For your convenience, bottles come with a one-month supply, holding 90 tablets total.
We can all agree that Ashwagandha most definitely is a fascinating herb and supplement that has many unique properties. And let’s face it, there must be a reason it has been around for millennia. So, are you ready to try India’s super-herb?
- What is Ashwagandha? Retrieved August 10, 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-is-ashwagandha/
- Ashwagandha. September 8, 2022. https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ashwaganda
- Singh N., et al. (2011). Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 8(S): 208–213.
- Ayurveda. Retrieved August 11, 2022. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/ayurveda
- Mishra L., et al. (2000). Altern Med Rev. 5(4): 334-346.
- Tharakan A., et al. (2021). J Clin Med. 10(16): 3644.
- Srinivasan K. (2007). Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 47(8): 735-748.