The Medical Sanctuary Holistic Medical Centre
Withania has been used for some 4000 years in traditional Indian medicine and is commonly referred to as the “Ginseng of India”. This is very appropriate as the variety of uses this herb is put to in Indian medicine is as great if not greater than the use of ginseng in the traditional Chinese medicine.
The chemical components in withania are remarkably similar to those found in ginseng, and yet studies have demonstrated its superiority in stress-relieving abilities when compared to its Chinese cousin. A double-blind study found that withania prevented stress-related ulcers and vitamin C deficiency, and increased energy and endurance when under stress.
Also known as Winter cherry or by its Hindi name Ashwagandha, which in Sanskrit means “horse’s smell”, probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of sweaty horse. The Hindi word not only reflects the idea of the smell of a horse exuded by the plant, but also connotes the properties of the plant to the strength of a horse.
The role of the herbal withania preparation in traditional herbal medical systems has been as a “vitalizer” or energizer of the human body and scientific research has recently confirmed this role. These days, this herbal remedy is placed in the category of remedies known as the adaptogens which are substances that can assist our bodies to beneficially adjust to physiological and psychological strain, thereby enhancing resistance to factors related to stress.
Adaptogenic botanicals are turning out to be more and more crucial in contemporary society, where excessive strain levels adversely affect several disparate body systems. A number of health experts opine that adaptogens are in the same way vital to our health as well known nutrients and botanicals, such as antioxidants. To date, investigations have found withania to be a herb with few toxic effects.
Withania has a mild sedative activity and may prove beneficial for people who are feeling anxious and stressed. The herb has powers of rejuvenating the body; it can help in balancing and strengthening the body, and aids in calming the nervous system. The herbal remedies made from withania are also very useful in bringing effective relief from physical fatigue; it can aid in alleviating nervous exhaustion. The herbal remedies made from withania also act to reduce mental turmoil and promote a calm sleep in a person with an agitated or stressed mind. It is useful in cases of debility, convalescence after an illness and nervous exhaustion due to stress.
At the same time, the remedial properties attributed to the herb also include an aphrodisiac action; it has a great reputation in this regard and is believe to be capable of preventing the onset of sterility in males and also possibly aiding in the treatment of various sexual ailments.
Withania is also believed to promote rapid tissue regeneration and is believed to slow down the aging process in individuals using the remedy for long periods of time. It is also considered to be an excellent aid in bodybuilding and for enhancing performance in all types of sports which are physically challenging. This is because withania gives the user an instant charge of very long lasting energy, precluding the need to use other chemical stimulants by the athlete.
Always consult your Health Care Professional to advise you on dosages and any possible medical interactions. Herbal supplements can alter the effects of certain drugs, including prescription medications. Always tell your Doctor about any prescription medications, non-prescription medications, herbs or other dietary supplements you are taking.