Ashwagandha: Why & How To Use It

Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, derives its name from the Sanskrit language, where it holds a significant place in Ayurvedic herbal medicine. This remarkable herb belongs to the Solanaceae family and thrives in regions spanning from central and Northwest India to various Middle Eastern countries.

Ashwagandha thrives in arid and subtropical climates, making it well-suited for regions with sandy or loamy soil. This hardy plant requires minimal water and maintenance, making it an attractive option for sustainable agriculture. As more people recognise its value, there’s a growing interest in cultivating Ashwagandha as a cash crop.


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Why is Ashwagandha so Popular?

Ashwagandha has gained widespread recognition not only in its native regions but also globally for its potent medicinal properties. This adaptogenic herb has a long history of use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, where it is renowned for its ability to combat stress, promote mental clarity, and enhance overall vitality.

In recent years, Ashwagandha has become increasingly popular in the field of modern holistic health and wellness. Its versatile applications extend beyond stress relief and include immune system support, anti-inflammatory effects, and even potential benefits for cognitive function and athletic performance. As a result, the demand for Ashwagandha supplements and products has surged, making it an essential component of the natural health market.

How to use Ashwagandha

When it comes to making the most of Ashwagandha’s incredible benefits, understanding how to use it effectively is key. Here, we’ll explore various methods of incorporating this Ayurvedic wonder herb into your daily routine.

The recommended daily dosage of Ashwagandha, typically derived from its dried root, falls within the range of 3-6 grams. This flexible dosage can be seamlessly integrated into your daily life, offering a range of possibilities for consumption.

Ashwagandha Tea

One of the most popular and soothing ways to enjoy Ashwagandha is by brewing a nourishing cup of Ashwagandha tea. If you’re working with Ashwagandha powder, follow these steps:

Infusion Method:

  1. Boil 1 cup of water.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons (approximately 3-6 grams) of Ashwagandha root powder to the boiling water.
  3. Cover the vessel and let it infuse for a duration of 5-10 minutes.
  4. Strain the infusion.
  5. Your Ashwagandha tea is ready to enjoy, whether hot or cold. Feel free to also add it to your favourite smoothies or juices.
  6. For extended use, you can store it in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Alternatively, if you have chopped dry Ashwagandha roots at your disposal, you can opt for the hearty Decoction method:

Decoction Method:

  1. Simmer the Ashwagandha root in water for a gentle 20-minute brew.
  2. This will yield a robust Ashwagandha tea, which can also be relished either hot or cold.
  3. Similar to the infusion, you can keep it refrigerated for up to 48 hours.


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Milk Decoction

For a creamy and delightful twist on Ashwagandha, you can prepare a nourishing Ashwagandha milk decoction. Follow these steps:

  1. Begin by gently simmering 1-2 teaspoons of Withania root in 1 cup of water for approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Once the concoction is ready, add 1 cup of milk to the mix. Ensure you heat it gently without reaching a boiling point.
  3. To enhance the flavour and sweetness, incorporate honey and a touch of grated nutmeg according to your taste preferences.

This Ashwagandha-infused milk concoction not only elevates your experience but also introduces the calming properties of Ashwagandha into your daily routine.

Soups and Smoothies

For a hearty and health-conscious twist, add your Ashwagandha-infused water to your favourite soup recipes. The subtle earthy undertones of Ashwagandha complement savoury flavours exceptionally well, providing a unique depth to your soups. Just remember to adjust the quantity to suit your taste preferences.

Ashwagandha can also be seamlessly blended into your daily smoothie routines. Whether you’re a fan of fruit-based or green smoothies, this adaptogenic herb brings an extra layer of vitality to your beverages. Simply add the infused Ashwagandha water to your chosen ingredients before blending for a rejuvenating and nourishing kick.


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Adaptogen Bliss Balls

When it comes to incorporating Ashwagandha into your daily routine, the possibilities are as diverse as they are delicious. One delectable option that stands out is the creation of Ashwagandha Bliss Balls – a delightful and nutritious treat that packs a punch of wellness.

You will need:

  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 cup of cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup of goji berries or dates
  • 2 tablespoons of Ashwagandha powder
  • 2 tablespoons of Chaga powder
  • 2 tablespoons of Maca powder
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of desiccated coconut for rolling the bliss balls

Directions:

  1. Start by placing the almonds and cacao nibs into a food processor or a high-speed blender. Blend until they are finely ground, maintaining some texture for added depth of flavour.
  2. Add the goji berries to the mix and pulse until they break down and integrate seamlessly.
  3. Now, introduce the Chaga mushroom powder, Ashwagandha powder, Maca powder, and the invigorating zest of one orange. Pulse once again until all the ingredients harmonize into a cohesive blend.
  4. It’s time to sweeten the deal – add the raw honey and coconut oil. Continue to pulse until the mixture achieves a delightful stickiness, ensuring all elements are well combined.
  5. With your mixture prepared, scoop up small portions and gently roll them into bliss balls. To add a delightful finishing touch, coat the exterior with desiccated coconut.
  6. Store your Ashwagandha Bliss Balls in a sealed container in your fridge.

These delectable balls of wellness offer more than just a delightful taste. Depending on the size you craft, they can serve as a convenient daily supplement.

  • If you create larger bliss balls and yield around 24 from your mixture, enjoy two per day.
  • If you opt for smaller bliss balls and manage to craft around 35 of them, savour three per day.


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Embracing Wellness with Confidence

Ashwagandha is generally well-tolerated with no known side effects. However, a word of caution: Ashwagandha may potentiate the effects of the drug thyroxine, so it’s advisable to monitor your intake if you are on this medication.

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This is awesome, @starborn! :heart_eyes: I’ve been seeing Ashwagandha pop up quite a lot recently, but I don’t have any on the shelf. It might be in some tea blends, though, I know Tazo likes to throw everything all in one mix… I’ll have to double check :eyes:

Considering all of its amazing benefits and uses, I hope it becomes more popular around here! I’d also love to try and grow some in the garden, although when I looked at growing guides, it says that it might be too cold where I am.

Frost is not tolerated by this plant. In USDA zones 7 to 12, you can grow it as a perennial, while in zones 4 to 8, you can grow it as a summer annual. If you reside in a lower climate, start Ashwagandha seeds indoors, then when the temperature reliably rises over 59°F, transplant the plant to your garden.

From How to Grow Ashwaghanha

A really lovely herb that I’d love to work with more! Thank you for sharing the information and recipes :pray: :green_heart: :blush:

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My go-to[1] elixir maker based in Toronto, Starborndreamer[2], makes some Ashwagandha elixirs. Everything I’ve tried from her has been great and she’s given me some wonderful recommendations as well. :black_heart:

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/Starborndreamer

But she’s recently had to move some items to custom orders as they keep getting taken down.

[1] when I can afford her products, anyway. :sweat_smile:
[2] no relation – coincidence in name that I delightedly shared with her. :black_heart:

I wonder if there’s a way to keep them indoors permanently. I mean, without a greenhouse. :thinking:

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I use Ashwagandha in my moon milk night time drink. It has been helpfulnrecently in reducing my stress levels and helping to tackle insomnia ive been experiencing.

Here us a walkthrough of how to make it

Blessed be

Alan

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Ohhhh checking her shop out now- the items are beautiful, and I love seeing the art too! :heart_eyes:

Thank you for the recommendation, Starborn! :pray:

I’ve never sold on Etsy, but I keep hearing about how they are becoming less seller-friendly these days. I know quite a few folks are moving to other/personal sites- hopefully Starborndreamer will find something that works for her! Her shop is really lovely :heart:

Would be worth experimenting! I’ll see if I can get some Ashwagandha- I haven’t seen it in plant form at the local nurserys (probably because it doesn’t like the climate here), but I’ll keep an eye out for seeds :seedling:

I am constantly waiting for the day when we’ll be able to download food and drink from over the internet. I would love a cup of this divine tastiness right now :drooling_face: :coffee: :two_hearts:

Your moon milk recipe is beautiful, Alan! :orange_heart: :herb:

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Wow, that’s so lovely. :black_heart: I will have to try this.

Oh, you reminded me that I asked her about still stocking these. :sweat_smile: I forgot to share…

She said:

I do have he ashwagandha, I have a few formulas with ashwanghanda and other plants that balance the biochemistry in the brain, the mind nectar we have had alot of very good feedback from patients who had suffered from bi polar, adhd, depression and anxiety, we also have a neuro mushroom formula which has a number of mushroom like lions mane, reishi chaga etc, and that has worked really well in those instances.

Anything that has been removed by etsy due to their new regulations, I do still have in stock and can make a unique custom listing for those, just send me a message and am happy to do that!

I do also offer free consultations as to give more specific recommendations for formulas best suited for any symptoms being experienced that would take care of the issues on all levels (emotional, mental and physical)

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Oh wow, this is so much information to read! I’ve been thinking about getting some ashwagandha ever since @Amaris_Bane talked about how she uses it for ADHD. I think this would be a good way to incorporate it into my day. :clap: Thanks!

For the bliss balls, is this your own recipe? It looks like it will taste really good :yum: :heart:

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:laughing: :kissing_heart: :kissing_heart: :sparkling_heart:

@starborn this is just… fabulous!
:heart: :heart: :heart:

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I can also recommend it. Initially, I bought it for COVID-19 brain fog, so if you ever get that, it’s worth a try for that reason, too. :sweat_smile:

It’s adapted from a recipe I got in a newsletter from a place all about growing one’s own herbs and stuff. But knowing me, I like to mess with everything a bit. :sweat_smile:

I tried to find the recipe on their site, and they seem to just not share the recipes there, so maybe they found it somewhere else, too?

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I think I might order some today! I need to order myself a new travel coffee cup, too. The one I have doesn’t have a lid anymore because it melted in the dishwasher… :sob: I’m glad to hear that it’s helped with the Covid brain fog. I think that might be part of my problem, too. I’ve had Covid at least once in May of this year, I believe. :sweat_smile: Or it’s just leftover pregnancy brain from being a mom. Gods know that’s something that lasts a long time - being a mom is hard work :joy:

Oh, cool! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: I’ve got it saved so I can try it sometime. Well, it’ll have to be after we move because I’m trying not to buy ingredients I won’t use very often :sweat_smile:

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Just reporting in with these two elixirs here:

The first is from https://wanderlust.com.au/, an Australian website which sells these kinds of things. I have a few things from them, and they’ve been helpful, I think. Their range is huge and a little pricey, but it takes quite a while to get through a bottle. Especially for my forgetful self who doesn’t take them regularly. :sweat_smile:

The second is from Starborndreamer - Etsy Australia, whose products I love. :black_heart: I’m pretty sure I already mentioned her store here, but now that I’ve run out of everything, have moved, and had a chance to breathe, I’m definitely going back to get some more goodies. :grin: I think that’s a pretty decent stamp of approval.

Between the two, I’m not sure what it is, but I do find Starborndreamer’s to be more… something. I’m not sure what word to even use. But you can like, feel the love and care that goes into what you’re taking when you take it, if that makes sense. :thinking: I very much so look forward to taking her things more than the other. Not that the other is bad, but it just feels like taking a supplement. Whereas hers feel like connecting to something greater.

Just my thoughts/opinion. :smile:

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I use Ashwagandha for the anxiety relief benefits. I would prefer not to go on medication, helps curb my anxious feelings. Doesn’t make me feel weird, not to mention it’s all natural!:smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Oh, you reminded me that I got some Ashwagandha gummies from the store when we went a few weeks ago. I’ve taken them a few times and haven’t noticed too much difference, but I’m also very bad about taking them regularly :joy: and I’m hesitant when taking new supplements and herbs because of how they may make me feel.

I’ve been trying to find information on taking ashwagandha long-term for anxiety and ADHD benefits, but everything I’ve read so far says it shouldn’t be taken for more than three months at a time. I’m curious as to why that is, though I’m sure it has to do with it not being studied nor regulated by the FDA (at least for us in the US). I’m gonna do some more digging, though!

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Ohh, good to know!

Fortunately for both of us, we’re too terrible at taking it regularly to worry. :laughing: “Failing” to success. :raised_hands:

Good point, though. :face_exhaling:

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Does anyone else who use it experience a tangy/bitter aftertaste? (forgive me if I’ve already asked in this post :laughing: I’m scattered and all over today)

Like biting into a persimmon that isn’t ripe? I want to be able to use this more routinely but adding it to tea or my oatmeal aren’t super palatable to me. Maybe I should put it in a gelatin capsule? :thinking:

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It’s not just you. :laughing: None of my elixirs/tinctures taste nice. I just have them with a little bit of water to get it over with quickly.

Or, if I only have one or two I’m taking, I drop them under my tongue as I’m instructed to do by the seller. But when it’s five or six, I’m too lazy for that, so a little glass of water (~100-200ml) it is.

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Yeah, not just you @Artemisia – I don’t have tinctures but I have gummies instead. They’re not the best tasting, but I have definitely tasted worse things :joy:

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Good to know, I really would like it to be more a part of my herbal support but I was being a bit wimpy about it :laughing: I’ll try again and maybe I’ll get more used to it. Some things are worth the inconvenience.

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I’ve heard “If it tastes bad, you know it’s healthy.” :doughnut:

Not always true, but a funny idea nevertheless. :laughing:

My personal experience has been weird. :laughing: I’ve had to get used to so many different tastes growing up, from onions to being able to handle really spicy food to alcohol (although I still don’t like it). I’m a bit competitive when it comes to personal things (between me and myself, not me and other people), and I’ve decided no food will “defeat” me, so I’ve eaten certain things I dislike until I get used to them. The last thing on my list for now is coriander/cilantro/xiangcai. I have that genetic thing that makes it taste like soap to me, but I think I can overcome it eventually. If I can overcome that, I can overcome anything! :muscle:

It’s all of matter of whether you decide it’s worth it or not. :smile: If it’s not, no harm done in dropping it. But if you’re a stubborn one like me, maybe it will be. :crazy_face:

Oh gosh, I really am a Taurus sometimes, aren’t I… :laughing:

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Yep we are very similar.:laughing: Into my morning steel cuts oats it will go tomorrow. I will give this a real go and dang it I will keep it up if it helps!

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