Ashwagandha - The medicinal plant also known as sleep berry is considered a versatile superfood with numerous positive effects on our health, performance, psyche and sleep. What it really has to do with the sleep berry and how it promotes relaxation and sleep, you will learn here.
Table of Contents
- What is Ashwagandha?
- Ingredients and effects of the Ashwagandha plant
- Positive properties of the Ashwagandha plant
- Ashwagandha & Stress
- Ashwagandha & Sleep
- Use and intake
What is Ashwagandha?
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, the ashwagandha plant has been considered for thousands of years as a versatile natural remedy that is said to not only improve cognitive and physical performance and reduce stress, but also promote better sleep.
The ashawaganda plant(Withania Somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, sleeping berry or winter cherry, belongs to the nightshade family. It is mainly cultivated in the African, Asian and Arabian regions and is known as a medicinal plant in traditional Ayuvedic medicine, especially in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. There, the leaves and roots of the plant are primarily processed, since the highest concentration of the effective ingredients is found in these parts. The bitter tasting berries, seeds and stems of the sleeping berry are rarely used.
Ingredients & 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 and insomnia, anxiety and stress.
Ashwagandha belongs to 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 alleviate the negative effects. The reason for this mode of action lies in the rather unusual composition of the nutrients it contains. Research has shown that the Ashwagandha plant contains hardly any vitamins or minerals. The positive effects are therefore due to the contained "secondary plant substances" such as alkaloids and withanolides, which contribute to numerous important processes in our body. Ashwagandha is considered to be extremely versatile and has not only a calming and balancing effect on body and mind, but also a strengthening and vitalizing effect.
Positive properties of the Ashwagandha plant
Ashwagandha & Stress
Persistently high stress levels 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 the nervous system under tension. As an adaptogenic medicinal plant, Ashwagandha actively lowers cortisol levels. In this way, one's own feeling of stress 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. This helps the body and mind to relax and calm down at different points, promoting a strong nervous system and high resistance to stress.
Ashwagandha & Sleep
Healthy sleep is essential for us. Inner turmoil, stress and excitement can make it difficult for us to fall asleep and affect sleep quality as 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 darkness falls. If cortisol levels are too high in the evening, the important melatonin synthesis is inhibited and the natural sleep rhythm is affected. This makes the process of falling asleep more difficult and reduces the quality of sleep.
The extracts of the Ashwagandha plant lower the cortisol level, reduce stress and also have an anxiety-relieving and calming effect. Thus, body and mind are relaxed and can prepare for the nightly rest and regeneration during sleep. The natural process of falling asleep is thus supported by balancing hormones and promoting inner peace.
Ashwagandha root therefore has a natural sleep-promoting effect and can be used to prevent sleep disorders, especially those caused by stress. Unlike chemical sleep aids, it helps the body optimize its natural function and supports the process of falling asleep without altering natural sleep patterns.
More tips for relaxation before sleep can be found here.
Use and intake
In traditional medicine, it is usually used in paste or powder form, as 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 lesser effect. In Europe, extracts of ashwagandha root are considered a dietary supplement and are increasingly found in various capsule or tea products and as a pure powder.
To improve sleep, it is recommended to take it in the last hours before going to bed. Then the ingredients can slowly unfold their effect and support you and your sleep best.
The ashwagandha plant/sleeping berry/winter cherry is a proven medicinal plant from Ayurvedic medicine against stress, sleep disorders and anxiety.
Especially the roots of the plant contain effective secondary plant compounds such as alkaloids and withanolides and are mostly used as powder or in capsules.
Ashwagandha has a calming as well as stimulating effect and helps especially well against stress and sleep disorders.
Best regards and see you soon!