Also known as Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, Ashwagandha is native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. The root has been prized within the Indian Ayurveda medical system for its various health benefits, most notably for promoting longevity and its rejuvenating properties.
Ashwagandha has been cultivated throughout the far east for thousands of years, growing well in tough, dry conditions and poor-quality soils where few other plant species can survive. The name ‘ashwagandha’ comes from the Sanskrit language meaning “the smell of a horse” referring to its odour and association with stamina and strength.
As an adaptogen, the powerful root is known to combat stress lowering cortisol levels in the body and is also associated with neuroprotective, aphrodisiac, and diuretic benefits. Added to this, ashwagandha is believed to have antioxidant properties protecting cells from oxidative stress, supporting the immune system, and also increasing energy levels.
Traditionally, ashwagandha powder is mixed with milk, honey, or water to make a tonic drink or applied externally to the skin to soothe inflammation. Alternatively, add 1-2 spoonful’s to hot drinks and smoothies, or use it in baking and desserts.