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How to be as healthy as a horse

Ashwagandha can help you cope with everything from cancer to hair loss

brunch Updated: Jul 28, 2018 22:15 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Shrub-like ashwagandha can cope with everything from cancer to hair loss
Shrub-like ashwagandha can cope with everything from cancer to hair loss(Shutterstock)
         

Ashwagandha, also known as the winter cherry and Indian ginseng, is grown in India, the Mediterranean, and western parts of Asia. The Sanskrit name translates roughly to “the smell and strength of a horse,” referring to the plant’s alleged ability to enhance sexual vigour.

Contraindications
  • Berries consumed in large quantities may cause stomach problems.
  • Avoid if you are taking prescription medication for anxiety or insomnia (barbiturates).
  • Not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Always consult your doctor before trying any Ayurvedic treatment.

It is an evergreen shrub-like plant that belongs to the nightshade family.

Therapeutic uses

Ashwagandha contains steroidal compounds such as lactones, withanolides (withaferin A, sitoindoside IX, X) and acyl steryl glycosides, various alkaloids and has high iron content.

Adaptogen properties

Ashwagandha is used to treat fatigue and enhance memory. It also works as an aphrodisiac for both men and women.

Antioxidant properties

Ashwagandha can limit cell damage due to its antioxidant effect. So, it may help in treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases.

Pro-heart properties

The alkaloids in ashwagandha can lower blood pressure and reduce heart rate.

Benefits for menopausal women

It can reduce mood swings, hot flashes, and anxiety.

Hair and skin health

Ashwagandha improves the circulation of blood in the scalp, which leads to the accelerated growth of hair. It also fights scalp infections.

Since it is antioxidant-rich, it fights common ageing signs, and helps keep the skin bright, supple and healthy.

From HT Brunch, July 29, 2018

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First Published: Jul 28, 2018 22:15 IST

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