Ashwagandha - The medicinal plant, also known as the sleeping berry, is considered a versatile superfood with numerous positive effects on our health, performance, psyche and sleep. You can find out here what sleeping berries are really all about and how they promote relaxation and sleep.
Table of Contents
- What is Ashwagandha?
- Ingredients and effects of the ashwagandha plant
- Positive properties of the Ashwagandha plant
- Ashwagandha & Stress
- Ashwagandha & sleep
- Application and ingestion
What is Ashwagandha?
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, the ashwagandha plant has been considered a versatile natural remedy for thousands of years, which not only improves cognitive and physical performance and reduces stress, but is also said to ensure better sleep.
The Ashawagandha plant (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, sleeping berry or winter cherry, belongs to the nightshade family. It is mainly cultivated in Africa, Asia and the Arab world and is known as a medicinal plant in traditional Ayuvedic medicine, particularly in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The leaves and roots of the plant are primarily processed there, as these parts contain the highest concentration of the active ingredients. The bitter-tasting berries, seeds and stalks of the sleeping berry, on the other hand, are rarely used.
Ingredients and effects of the ashwagandha plant
The ashwagandha plant is said to have numerous positive effects, although the actual effect has not yet been fully scientifically proven. In Ayurvedic medicine, however, the sleeping berry has proven particularly effective as a remedy for sleep disorders and problems falling asleep, anxiety and stress.
Ashwagandha is one of the so-called adaptogens. These are medicinal plants whose mode of action helps to increase our body's ability to adapt to stress and strain and to mitigate the negative effects. The reason for this mode of action lies in the rather unusual composition of the nutrients it contains. Studies have shown that the ashwagandha plant contains hardly any vitamins or minerals. The positive effects are therefore due to the "secondary plant substances" contained, such as alkaloids and withanolides, which contribute to numerous important processes in our body. Ashwagandha is considered extremely versatile and not only has a calming and balancing effect on body and mind, but also strengthens and revitalises.
Positive properties of the Ashwagandha plant
Ashwagandha & Stress
Consistently high levels of stress are detrimental to both mental and physical health.Under heavy strain or stress, the stress hormone cortisol is released in the body, which has an activating effect and puts tension on the nervous system. As an adaptogenic medicinal plant, ashwagandha actively lowers the cortisol level. In this way, one's own stress perception can be reduced and at the same time the general resistance to stress can be strengthened. The Ayurvedic medicinal plant is also rich in so-called antioxidants, which protect our body cells from harmful influences and oxidative stress. The ingredients of the sleeping berry also counteract high blood pressure. In this way, the body and mind are supported at different points in relaxation and calming, and a strong nervous system and high stress resistance are promoted.
Ashwagandha & sleep
Healthy sleep is essential for us. Inner restlessness, stress and excitement can make it difficult for us to fall asleep and impair the quality of our sleep because the body releases more cortisol. Cortisol acts as an antagonist to the famous sleep hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle and makes us tired in the evening as it gets darker. If the cortisol level is too high in the evening, the important melatonin synthesis is inhibited and the natural sleep rhythm is influenced. This makes it difficult to fall asleep and reduces the quality of sleep.
The extracts of the ashwagandha plant lower the cortisol level, reduce stress and also have an anxiolytic and calming effect. In this way, body and mind are relaxed and can prepare for the nocturnal rest phase and regeneration during sleep. The natural process of falling asleep is thus supported by balancing the hormonal balance and promoting inner peace.
Ashwagandha root therefore has a natural sleep-promoting effect and can be used to prevent particularly stress-related sleep disorders. Unlike chemical sleeping pills, it helps the body to optimize its natural function and supports the process of falling asleep without changing the natural sleep pattern.
You can find more tips for relaxing before bed here.
Application and intake
In traditional medicine, it is usually used in paste or powder form because the rich roots are so easy to process. The leaves of the plant can also be brewed as a tea, but this is less common due to the bitter taste and the comparatively lower effectiveness. In Europe, ashwagandha root extracts are considered a dietary supplement and are increasingly found in various capsule or tea products and as a pure powder.
In order to improve sleep, it is recommended to take it in the last few hours before going to bed. Then the ingredients can slowly unfold their effect and best support you and your sleep.
The Ashwagandha plant / sleeping berry / winter cherry is a proven medicinal plant from Ayurvedic medicine against stress, sleep disorders and anxiety.
The roots of the plant in particular contain effective phytochemicals such as alkaloids and withanolides and are usually used as a powder or in capsules.
Ashwagandha has a calming and stimulating effect and is particularly helpful against stress and sleep disorders.
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