Today, I want to talk about the one of the most balancing herbs you can take for your body: Ashwaganda! I’ve been taking Ashwaganda for the past 7 months and lets just say it’s a staple in my supplement dispensary.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. That means that it ‘s going to increase the body’s ability to fight the damaging effects of stress and restore normal body functioning. In today’s world we battle so many stressors that makes us more inclined to adrenal fatigue, heart and kidney problems. Thats where this magical herb comes into play it helps to effectively deal with those stressors. It is also used to enhance fertility, stamina, and immune support.
They work by way of the HPA axis (how your brain and adrenals talk) and can help balance your cortisol output. Cortisol is what supplies your body with the “fight or flight” response controlling your mood, motivation, and fear. It’s responsible for regulating a part of your hormones, blood sugar, controls your sleeping and waking cycle just to name a few.
When the levels of cortisol crashes it can lead to adrenal exhaustion. For my ladies, this looks like:
- Tired (which may flip come bedtime and you’ll feel wired)
- Trouble sleeping
- Diminished or missing libido
- Inflamed – stiff or painful joints, rashes, brain fog
- Light headed when changing positions too quickly
- Cravings for salt or sugar
- Heavy, painful, or otherwise difficult periods
- Feeling like you get every cold or flu
- And it can affect your skin from premature aging to acne!
- Hair loss
Ashwaghanda has been supportive in helping me maintain a sense of feeling calm, has improved hair shedding, and eradicated PMS symptoms like sore boobs. I’ve put my friends on to this herb and heres what one had to say about it:
While I would love to give ashwaghanda full credit for helping my adrenals there are a few steps you need to take to help heal yourself naturally.
#1 Find the Root Cause
If your adrenals are out of whack you’ve only solved one piece of the problem. You must find out whats causing your adrenals to go into overdrive. The herb is not a cure all. I would suggest starting with the gut–since thats where most diseases start, you want to make sure your gut flora is balanced, and your are rid of any bacterial or viral infections. If you have sibo, thyroid problems, gut inflammation begin tackling that to aid in ashwaghanda helping you. I would suggest looking into a parasite cleanse to start on your track to gut healing.
Some parasite cleanses to look into:
Ashwaganda can also help to restore hair health due to its antioxidant and hormone balancing effects. Often times when people are stressed or producing too much cortisol it can cause hair fall. Some people have reported that ashwaghanda was supportive in restoring their hair and retaining their natural hair color.
#2 You are what you repeatedly do
you can’t out supplement a bad diet and unhealthy life style practices.
Not sleeping, working over 8 hours per day, engaging in toxic relationships, and skipping meals are all examples of poor lifestyle practices that no amount of herbs, supplements or medications can overcome.
The same is true if you aren’t being mindful about the foods you know you are sensitive too, indulging in processed foods and high amounts of sugar or gluten. These are all inflammatory and there is only so much your adrenals can do to keep inflammation down before they call it quits.
#3 Give the herbs time to work
Don’t expect for herbs to work after 2 days of taking them, for some people this holds true, but it usually takes about 2-3 months for you to start seeing the benefits of herbal medicine. These adaptogens are doing the dirty work of realigning your body back to optimal health– and that my friends, takes TIME!
Of course, if you find they are too stimulating (as some can be) or that they aren’t working with you then you’ll want to stop. This is why it is often best to work with a doctor who is an expert in this arena before getting started.
I purchase my Ashwaganda here
Other therapeutic techniques to incorporate with Ashwahganda
- 3 minutes meditation at the beginning and end of your day
- Sleeping in a dark room for 8-10 hours nightly
- Morning dew walking
- B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium
- Alternating nostril breathing to start your day
Read more about the seven adaptogenic herbs here