Ashwagandha is a shrub that grows easily in a variety of climates or indoors in a pot.  Its name is derived from its smell, which is apparently that of horse sweat.  (I have to take their word for it.  I’ve never really smelled horse sweat.)

It’s known as an adaptogen, which means it adapts to heal whatever ails the body.  In ayurveda, it’s said to lower kapha and vata doshas, while raising pitta, which is to say it raises the fiery aspects of the physical and emotional body while lessening cooler and heavier aspects.  Modern science has found that Ashwagandha lowers cortisol and helps heal the adrenal glands as well as increasing thyroid function.I decided to try ashwagandha after feeling consistently physically and emotionally down.  In short, change is hard.  Big change is really hard.  My daily routines became unhealthy.  I attempted to ameliorate bad feelings with numbing agents like red wine, chocolate and television.  I lost the sense of meaning in my life.  I forgot to listen to my screaming inner voice and heard only the whispers from outside.

I came to ashwagandha by listening to what my body needs.  I could see the cortisol building on my body, I could feel the sadness and sluggishness in my heart.  I knew that I needed to get up and go in order to feel more alive.

For the last week or so, twice daily, I’ve been taking about half a teaspoon of powdered root in a quarter teaspoon of honey, kind of like a honey pill.  I haven’t consciously changed my diet, but I have been craving a ton more vegetables and much less sugar.  I’ve also had an uptick in my dreaming and have been falling asleep earlier.

Those are the immediate effects.  It is an adaptogen, so I’ll have to give it 4 to 8 weeks to see what happens.  Will keep you posted.“Blue”

Banyan Botanicals
Dr. Sara Gottfried