There are a multitude of herbs that have reportedly numerous healing properties and can be effective for treatment in a wide array of conditions. Ashwagandha is one of these herbs. Ayurvedic practitioners in India have been utilizing this ancient herb for many issues, especially for conditions that have root in the brain, including memory, cognitive functions in general, the regulation of neurotransmitters and insomnia. The healing benefits of Ashwagandha reach far beyond the brain into all areas of the body, for if one does not have health in the brain, one is sure to falter in the “lower” body systems. Let us take a closer look at this herb and its multidimensional components.
Through the regulation of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, Ashwagandha helps the body find greater peace of mind as well as effectively bringing down the production of cortisol, which, when consistently produced, contributes to a perpetual state of stress. Studies have actually shown that the use of Ashwagandha was, in many cases, more effective than anti-depressants in balancing out brain chemistry.
When looking at the overall profile of this herb, I am led to the conclusion that Ayurvedic medicine found value in it because of its ability to address a patient as a whole being – including and acknowledging the mind, body, spirit connection as equal portions of a whole. What begins in the head continues to the feet. The ingestion of Ashwagandha cannot only affect the brain, in other words - if benefiting a person with imbalances in the head, it is inevitable that balancing the brain chemistry would domino into an array of body-adjustments proving helpful to the entire person as a whole.
Today's world is kept high-paced, emphasizing value in the enormous amount of stress that is both generated and recycled throughout the system and within man. The constant expectation kept on “fast” and “instant” has created people who are constantly running from one thing to another, jumping from thought to thought and carrying stress along as if it was a cherished passenger from the past – into an unknown future they most surely must include.
Stress is not a friend, however, except when consulted in small doses, and on the occasion where lives are being saved and quick-turn decisions are needed. But in the way that this world has employed stress and anxiety to “take care” of time and deadlines, to inform the heart and the mind of the value of things...this stress has become a tyrant which eventually transforms into the grim-reaper for many.
Ashwagandha has a way of soothing the soul, calming the mind, nourishing the body. It is a well-known adaptogen in India, which means it is able to bring the body back into a state of balance where stresses are handled with ease and without harm to the system. Basically, this herb makes you more resilient in a world where much is expected of you, even when you don't feel able to fully deliver.
Self-Judgment and Anxiety
Some of the biggest stresses in the body result from the way in which we conduct our self-talk. Societal expectations then become judgmental mind chatter, which berates the self for not being able to keep up, make do or “make ends meet.” The constant need to “keep up with the Jones's” has created a perpetual anxiety in humanity which cannot help but create illness in both body and mind. This self-deprecating stress is also the biggest killer of spiritual connectedness. When one feels “less than” those around him or her, he or she often cannot find the inner fortitude and strength to care for oneself and the psyche of the mind, which includes spirituality.
If the body is in constant stress, thinking only of what must be accomplished, or reflecting obsessively over that which has already passed, it goes into a certain state of “basic survival.” The functions of each body system are compromised and ill-health is most definitely an eventual result.
Diabetes is one of the fastest growing dis-eases in the United States currently. Recently, when taking my son to the hospital where he received a type 1 diabetes diagnosis, we were informed that a new child is diagnosed EVERY DAY with diabetes just in that one hospital alone. This is an epidemic, and though type 1 is thought to generally be caused by genetics or autoimmunity, there have been a wide array of both studies and cases where type 1 is reversed through lifestyle alterations, supplementation and nutrition.
Ashwagandha is one of the foremost herbs (along with Shilajit) in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment and even reversal of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It does this largely by nourishing and balancing the endocrine glands as well as regulating insulin and even helping to regenerate the pancreas. Beyond these specifics, Ashwagandha assists the body in becoming more aware of itself and its needs. It reboots the system, regulates what has run amok and reminds the body of health and a state of well-being by touching on all the main systems.
Cancer is another biggie for this amazing herb. Both in the prevention of and in the healing and recovery process, Ashwagandha shows the body how to stay in balance and also how to return to it. It is one of the best herbs to take to prevent damage to the blood cells from radiation and is therefore recommended prior to chemotherapy and radiation treatment to help a patient keep their hair and maintain a healthier immune system after such violent attacks.
The list for health benefits for Ashwagandha goes on and on, including, but not limited to:
Body and cell rejuvenation
Improved quality of life
Blood sugar metabolism
Increased peace and joy
If you are looking for a holistic herb that can treat and support your entire mind-body-spirit complex, you may need to look no further than Ashwagandha. Revered for thousands of years in India, this ancient herb is showing how it can nourish, heal and rejuvenate not only the body, but direct energy towards the health of the mind and spirit as well. This herb may truly be a godsend, or perhaps a goddess disguised as an herb.