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Ashwagandha: To Take or Not to Take?

Posted by Smita Kishore on

There is a lot of hype around the beloved adaptogenic and power herb, Ashwagandha. With her numerous benefits, some may ask, why wouldn’t I be taking this herb on the regular?!

We are here to get down to the truth of the matter and answer these two important questions: 

  1. When should you take an herb for support? 
  2. Will Ashwagandha support my imbalance?

    When Should You Take an Herb for Support?

    Our Western culture likes everything fast and easy. We have everything at the tip of our fingers, and an Amazon package after our next breath. Because of this mindset, we treat our diseases and imbalances the same. Headache? Pop two Advil. Anxious? Two drops of CBD. Constipated? 1 cup of detox tea (Oh gosh, if you are reading this, I hope it is not too late!).

    The philosophy of Ayurveda is to always treat the root cause of our disease. For example, the anxiety you are experiencing may not just be from a stressful work day. It can be from the lack of sleep you are experiencing due to improper routine and lifestyle. So taking an herb may help, but it may result in long-term dependency.

    And, we never need long-term dependency on anything except meditation ;), which is why Ayurveda uses herbs in the short-term as part of your environment for healing. But after the body has healed properly, it no longer needs them. For example, as a practitioner, I may recommend an herbal formula that aids with heartburn, along with proper diet and routines. Once my client has created the optimal environment for healing, they will no longer need the herbal formula. This is because we addressed the root problem and her new environment supports optimal digestion. 

    The best way to treat a root cause is first through diet and routine specific to your current imbalance. If you haven’t already, you can take our current imbalance quiz to learn more. Or if you know your current imbalance, download our free Ayurvedic Balancing Method Worksheet to get access to your 4 week Morning Routine Challenge!

    Will Ashwagandha Support My Current Imbalance? 

    The answer is, it truly depends. In terms of doshas, the herb Ashwagandha is best for Vata imbalances and is used to treat a multitude of diseases. However, due to its slightly heating nature, there are other stress-relieving herbs that are better for Pittas. And, due to its tonifying and grounding nature, there are also better herbs for Kaphas.

    However, I would always recommend working with your Ayurvedic practitioner, so he or she can help you get to the root of your imbalance to understand the qualities of your symptoms. Secondly, I would recommend to first start working with your diet and lifestyle routines; because while Ashwagandha, and herbs in general, have many benefits, they should be treated as a bandaid, and not as an entire solution.

    Ayurveda states that all imbalances start in the digestive system. Therefore, diet, routine and lifestyle are paramount in healing digestion. I have helped heal many clients without the use of herbs at all, utilizing, instead, changes of diet and lifestyle alone.

    But, to be clear, Ashwagandha, if sourced and labeled correctly, is not unsafe to take and has many incredible benefits, such as:

      • Relaxes and Tonifies the Nervous System: Optimizes sleep/improves insomnia, brings mental clarity, eases Vata-type headaches, relieves stress
      • Nourishes the Reproductive System: Specializes in building the female reproductive system and boosts sexual vitality
      • Rejuvenates All Tissues of the Body: Lubricates the joints, supports the adrenal glands, aids with multiple sclerosis
      • High in Antioxidants: Great anti-inflammatory and adaptogen

      If you do choose to take Ashwagandha, or are recommended its usage by a practitioner, we recommend Paavani’s Ashwagandha powder as 1/4-1/2 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of tepid water in AM or PM, at least 1-2 hours away from meals. If taken regularly, it is important to have a consistent exercise regime, due to its tonifying effect.

      Remember: You are your best healer, and your body knows how to intuitively heal itself when given the optimal environment, love, and care!

      If you desire support in determining the root cause of your imbalance, we are here to guide you through via:

        Peace, Love and Ashwagandha, 

        ~Angelica 

        ayurvedic_practioner_Chicago_Angelica_Soulful_VedaMy passion for holistic health is rooted in my love for yoga.  I began practicing yoga in 2011, which shed a beacon of light onto my true path. As I continued to further my personal practice, I unveiled the realization that my purpose was to educate others. I received my 200-hr Power Yoga Teacher Training in 2015 and expanded my consciousness even more. A whole new world was presented to me.

        Yoga has given me endless knowledge, compassion, and strength. It serves as a stable home for my well-being. Throughout my continued yoga education, Ayurveda regularly made an appearance in my life. In 2016, I decided to enroll in the Ayurvedic Health Counselor Program at the California College of Ayurveda, and the discovery of Ayurveda has been a pivotal shift in my life. I am a certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor, studying to be an Ayurvedic Health Specialist.
        I fully embrace my unique nature and nourish it with the ancient wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda. My dharma is to share this blissful way to live with others and foster their recognition of the divine power within them. You will find me hosting corporate Ayurveda workshops, working with clients 1:1, teaching yoga and providing Reiki. I am also the Co-founder of Soulfull Veda, an Ayurvedic brand that educates & empowers our world to use Ayurveda for self-healing through luxury retreats, workshops, and community.
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        • Hey, thanks so much for sharing this. Super informative, made me think, made me want to learn more and felt like it was leading with compassion and information, instead of selling.

          Kevin Fox on

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