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Adaptogens in Focus: Ashwagandha

Adaptogens in Focus: Ashwagandha

Monday, 11th June 2018

As part of Adapto-June we are going to focus on several adaptogens that are of particular interest for those of us who live in hectic cities such as London. This week: Ashwagandha Unwrapped, with a little help from our friends at Wunder Workshop!
As part of Adapto-June we are going to focus on several adaptogens that are of particular interest for those of us who live in hectic cities such as London. Adaptogens are organic plants, roots and mushrooms that quite literally help the body to adapt to physical, environmental and emotional stress - all of which, most of us can certainly identify with. This is not some faddy new concept either, but rather, as is usually the case with health, an old concept based on traditional medicines with Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, South American and Russian roots. Whereas the Western world’s approach to medicine is centred on curing disease, the ancient medicine from the aforementioned cultures focuses far more on identifying your personal constituency and using herbs and food to increase longevity, boost health and enhance your mood, to prevent diseases and support overall wellbeing.
 
Ashwagandha root (also known as Indian Ginseng) is one of these ancient roots that is categorised as an adaptogen. It is popularly known as the ‘king of Ayurvedic herbs’ and is classified as a rasayana (life extender). In Ayurvedic medicine it is commonly prescribed to lower stress, anxiety, for its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic compounds, which was found useful in clinical cases of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis, especially in combination with turmeric. One of the most relevant studies is on its ability to reduce adrenal fatigue and stabilise thyroid hormones by lowering cortisol levels (the hormone released in stressful situations). When our cortisol is increased on a chronic basis, aka we are constantly stressed, it can lead to a variety of other issues such as depression, high blood sugar, suppressed immunity, low libido, hypertension and weight gain just to name a few. Introducing some of these adaptogens into your daily routine, can be a small investment towards supporting your overall wellbeing in the long run.  
 
When it comes to taking Ayurvedic herbs, and in this case Ashwagandha, make sure you take it in a polyherbal combination with synergizing herbs and spices, and prepare it with a healthy fat (such as coconut milk) which will help to increase its bioavailability. The Golden Balance blend, for example, is a unique blend of organic Ayurvedic herbs and spices designed to support us in our stressful modern lifestyles, manage cortisol levels and balance hormones. As well as containing Ashwagandha it also benefits from turmeric, liquorice and ginger which have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and digestive properties, whilst cayenne pepper stimulates metabolism and circulation, revitalising and rejuvenating the body. In our society’s hectic lifestyle where our bodies and hormones are constantly put to the test, Golden Balance helps to maintain your balance day in day out.
 



· Chandrasekhar K1, Kapoor J, Anishetty S., 2012, “A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798
· Biswajit Auddy, PhD1*; Jayaram Hazra, PhD2; Achintya Mitra, MD2; Bruce Abedon, PhD3; Shibnath Ghosal, PhD1, 2008. “A Standardized Withania Somnifera Extract Significantly Reduces Stress-Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study”.
· Narendra Singh, Mohit Bhalla, Prashanti de Jager,* and Marilena Gilca, 2011, “An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/ 


Written by Zoe Lind van’t Hof – Wunder Workshop 

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