Ashwagandha an aphrodisiac

1 comment
ashwagandha aphrodisiac

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in Solanaceae or nightshade family. It grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170cm. Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, ashwagandha bears yellow flowers and red fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape. Ashwagandha grows prolifically in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

“Ashwagandha”, in Sanskrit, means "horse's smell", probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of sweaty horse. The species name somnifera means "sleep-bearing" in Latin, indicating it was considered a sedative, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as “Indian ginseng”, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

In Ayurveda ashwagandha is considered a “rasayana” herb, an herb that works on a nonspecific basis to increase health and longevity. This herb is also considered an adaptogen which is a nontoxic herb that works on a nonspecific basis to normalize physiological function, working on the HPA axis and the neuroendocrine system. The roots and berries of the plant are used in herbal medicine. In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents.

The plant has been widely used as far back as 3,000 years ago. It is used equally by men and women, and is widely prescribed by physicians to adults with low libido, and to improve sexual function. The dried roots and berries of the Ashwagandha are known to have a very slight effect on the gastrointestinal tract and the stomach. Usually, the herb’s roots are used in tea forming a liquid herbal extract, while it can be taken directly or as herbal capsules, powdered roots, or dried and crushed which can be mixed with food. The root of the herb itself is used to treat infertility in India. In China, it has been used as an astringent, sedative, a “yang” tonic, and for back and joint pains, nerve pains, arthritis, insomnia, neurasthenia, during recuperation, children with slow growth, aging, and an aphrodisiac. It is also used for its sexual relief and for treating infertility and impotence.

Considered as an adaptogen, ashwagandha is useful for relieving fatigue, nervous exhaustion, and memory loss. It also reduces mental chatter, promotes calm sleep and tissue regeneration, and slows the aging process. It is excellent for use in bodybuilding and for any type of physical sport, as it gives an instant charge of long-lasting energy without the use of stimulants.

The plant contains alkaloids such as ashwagandhine, withanine and somniferiene. The plant is rich in potent alkaloids, among which are withamosine, visamine, cuscohygrine, anahygrine, tropine, pseudotropine, anaferine, isopelletierine, and withaferin A; which accounts for its seemingly remarkable versatility as a beneficial healer. The plant contains a large number of novel compounds known as withanolides, which are novel to the plant and are typically; used to standardize the potency of extracts.; Whether one or two of these compounds are responsible for the plant’s remarkable health-imbuing versatility, or whether ashwagandha’s value is due to an incredibly complex synergy of all its natural constituents, is a matter which may take a long time to solve by scientific means. Some research suggest that chemical components found in ashwagandha possess tonic, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, immune enhancing, anxiety-relieving and nerve sedative properties.

Traditional Ayurvedic Uses:

  • Ashwaganda has many significant benefits, but is best known for its powerful adaptogenic properties, meaning that it helps mind and body adapt better to stress. It nourishes the nerves and improves nerve function to help you maintain calm during stressful situations. It is also good for people who do physical labor or exercise a lot, to help the body adapt to physical stress. It is a powerful Rasayana, meaning that it acts as an overall tonic for greater vitality and longevity.
  • It nourishes all the bodily tissues (Dhatus), including the joints and nerves.
  • It is also a powerful Medhya Rasayana, which means that it enhances all three aspects of mind power (Dhi -- comprehension; Dhriti -- memory; and Smriti -- recollection).
  • Ashwagandha nourishes the crucial mind-body connection and psychoneuro immune response (called PNI). It helps coordinate the mind and senses, as well, which is essential for good quality sleep.
  • It balances the mind (Prana Vata). This is essential for happiness in the face of mental or emotional stress.
  • It increases the quality and quantity of Ojas, the master coordinator between the body and consciousness.
  • It helps pure consciousness slide into the physiology. It has a Sothara effect -- which means it helps clear impurities (Ama) from the various channels of the body.
  • Ashwagandha enhances virility and has aphrodisiac properties, especially for men.
  • It is also well known for its powerful immune enhancing benefits. It is considered among the best of all substances for balancing Vata. It also pacifies Kapha at the same time, which is a rare combination.
  • As with almost all single all herbs, there is one small caution.
  • Ashwagandha should always be used with other herbs such as licorice to balance out possible heating effects, especially for the heart.

Some specific health conditions can benefit from ashwagandha such as:

  • Alzheimer's disease and memory problems. Ashwaganda helps correct memory loss by modifying the way in which the brain uses acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits messages from nerve cell to nerve cell. If oxygen levels are low, the brain acquires acetylcholine by destroying its own cells. The cell remnants form neurofibrillary tangles, blocking the transmission of nerve signals and resulting in Alzheimer's-like symptoms. Ashwaganda decreases the likelihood that the brain will cannibalize its own cells. This action reduces cognitive deficit and memory loss in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
  • Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Animal studies have found that naturally occurring steroids in ashwaganda are more potent than treatment with the synthetic steroid hydrocortisone for controlling inflammation. These natural steroidal compounds also reduce the pain of arthritis as effectively as aspirin and phenylbutazone when given in the same amount, but without the immune-depressing side effects those drugs cause.
  • Autoimmune disorders. Ashwaganda increases red and white blood cell counts after treatment with azathioprine (lmuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar), or prednisone for autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
  • Cancer. Ashwaganda extracts increase platelet counts, red blood cell counts, and white blood cell counts during cancer chemotherapy treatment with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar). Animal studies in India also have found that ashwaganda sensitizes cancer cells to radiation treatment, making treatments approximately 50 percent more effective. Studies have shown that ashwaganda is helpful in putting cancer tumors into regression.
  • Diminished sex drive. Ashwaganda is a sexual "grounding" herb that reduces the frequency of premature ejaculation and increases sexual stamina. Ashwaganda's active principles, alkaloids and withanoloids, have longevity enhancing and sexually stimulating properties.
  • Stress. Ayurvedic medicine has used ashwaganda as a general tonic for centuries to stimulate long-term endurance. Ashwaganda contains steroid like compounds that may increase resistance to stress.

1 comment :

  1. Hi,

    You've got a really nice blog. Most of the people tend not to realize what mind power can do to one's good results Start directing the brilliant power of one's mind and subconscious mind to build the life you need with our Mind Power training process. Get the Free Mp3, E-Course and CD today and start directing the power of your respective mind and subconscious mind to create the living you desire - in 7-simple methods.