Ashwagandha: A known stress-reliever, ashwagandha improves blood circulation to the female reproductive organs increasing arousal and sensitivity. It also regulates the hormonal balance in the body and is effective in managing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and depression.

Popularly known as winter cherry, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a widely used herb due to its numerous medicinal and restorative properties.

Ashwagandha protects cells from oxidative damage and stress-related diseases such as depression, high blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions. Being an adaptogen, it improves a person’s ability to cope with stress.[1,2,3,4,5,6] It also improves lower limb muscular strength and neuro-muscular co-ordination.[7]

Besides this, ashwagandha’s antimicrobial properties and antibacterial activities protect against potentially dangerous bacteria, including Salmonella—a bacteria that causes food poisoning.[8]

Ashwagandha For Arthritis
Ashwagandha is an analgesic that soothes the nervous system from pain response.[9] The powerful anti-arthritic properties of Ashwagandha are now widely accepted and documented.[10,11]

Ashwagandha increases serotonin (the feel good hormone) levels that help reduce arthritis pain.[12]

How To Take It
Ashwagandha can be taken as a fluid extract or supplement. Talk to a naturopath to determine the correct dosage for you. Drinking a cup of hot milk containing a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha before bedtime is also beneficial in relieving arthritis. You can buy ashwagandha powder here.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Natural Remedies here.

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1. Provino R. The role of adaptogens in stress management. Aust J Med Herbal. 2010;22:41–9.

2. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009;4:198–219.

3. Bhattacharya SK, Muruganandam AV. Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: An experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003;75:547–55.

4. Singh G, Sharma PK, Dudhe R, Singh S. Biological activities of Withania somnifera. Ann Biol Res. 2010;1:56–63.

5. Sharma V, Sharma S, Pracheta, Paliwal R. Withania somnifera: A rejuvenating ayurvedic medicinal herb for the treatment of various human ailments. Int J PharmTech Res. 2011;3:187–92.

6. Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. Withania somnifera: An Indian ginseng. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008;32:1093–05

7. Sandhu JS, Shah B, Shenoy S, Chauhan S, Lavekar GS, Padhi MM. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):144-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-7788.72485.

8. Owais M, Sharad KS, Shehbaz A, Saleemuddin M. Antibacterial efficacy of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) an indigenous medicinal plant against experimental murine salmonellosis. Phytomedicine. 2005 Mar;12(3):229-35.

9. Twaij HAA, Elisha EE, Khalid RM. Analgesic studies on some Iraqi medicinal plants. International Journal of Crude Research. 1989;27:109–112.

10. Singh N, Singh SP, Nath C, Kohli RP, Bhargava KP. 5th Sepal Congress of Rheumatology. Bangkok: 1984. Anti-stress plants as anti-rheumatic agents; p. 37.

11. Singh N. A pharmaco-clinical evaluation of some Ayurvedic crude plant drugs as anti-stress agents and their usefulness in some stress diseases of man. Ann Nat Acad Ind Med. 1986;2(1):14–26.

12. Sakka Mazen E, Pavelescu M, Grigorescu E. Contributions to the pharmacodynamic study of roots of Withania somnifera Dun species of Pakistani origin. Note III:
Testing of analgesic activity of dichlormethanic and methanolic extract from Withania somnifera roots. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 1990 Oct-Dec;94(3-4):603-5. PubMed PMID: 2131560.