In the fast-paced world of health, wellness and wellbeing, there’s always a new supplement to learn about. A new superfood. A “ brand new” root or herb that people in Asia have actually been using for centuries, thank you very much. And it looks like the questions on everyone’s lips for 2023 are this. What is ashwagandha? And what does ashwagandha do?
Let’s find out.
Ashwagandha - or winter cherry - is an evergreen shrub that grows across India and Southeast Asia. People have used it for thousands and thousands of years as part of traditional medicine, and like many herbal supplements before it, western scientists are starting to carry out research to prove what people in Asia have known for centuries.
That this plant can be used to treat a variety of ailments, illnesses or conditions.
What is ashwagandha used for?
In traditional Indian medicine, ashwagandha was used to increase strength - its name is literally Sanskrit for ‘the smell of the horse.’ But despite the poetic moniker, there’s not much evidence that taking this supplement will make you as strong as a wild stallion.
Luckily though, there’s evidence that some traditional uses for ashwagandha are backed by science.
Calmness and stress relief
The main use in Indian medicine for ashwagandha wasn’t actually strength potions. Instead, it was to promote a feeling of calmness, and relieve stress. Many herbs do help to calm the mind - think St John’s Wort or Rosehip - and ashwagandha is filled with compounds proven to reduce stress.
And as we all know, less stress means happier moods and better sleep - all of which contribute to a happier life and a real sense of wellbeing.
In traditional Indian medicine, ashwagandha would also be offered to newlyweds for very predictable reasons. And it turns out this has a basis in science too. While an ashwagandha supplement won’t supercharge date night, it can help to balance your hormones, normalising blood levels of cortisol and thyroid hormones, and slightly promoting testosterone production.
Try ashwagandha today
If you’d like to try ashwagandha for yourself and follow in the footsteps of traditional medicine practitioners down the centuries, you could trek out to India, find the wisest person you can, and ask them how they process the roots of this evergreen shrub into a powder…
Or you could head to the Sealions online store and pick up a pack of our new ashwagandha gummies. All the benefits, with none of the air miles, and a delicious berry flavour. They’re even packed with B vitamins, and are entirely vegan.We know which we’d prefer!