Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera winter cherry)
Source: Bazaar of India
Withania somnifera is classified in Ayurveda as a rasayana, a group of plant-derived drugs that promote physical and mental health, augment resistance against disease and diverse adverse environmental factors, revitalise the body in debilitated conditions and increase longevity.
Studies indicate that Withania somnifera possesses anti-inflammatory, antistress, antioxidative and rejuvenating properties.
It also appears to exert a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems.
Study results show that it helps in the maintenance of myocardial (heart muscle) antioxidant status and contributes to the significant restoration of most of the altered haemodynamic parameters in heart disease7.
Ashwagandha and stress
The American heart association classifies “stress” as a “contributing risk factor” for heart disease.
Ashwagandha is an herb that enhances resistance to stress, increases stamina and promotes general wellbeing. It has a rejuvenating effect on the body. It imparts a sense of wellbeing and helps one cope with stress.
According to an Ashwagandha Monograph published in Alternative Medicine Review (2004), clinical trials and animal research support the use of Ashwagandha for treating anxiety, cognitive and neurological disorders.
Other commonly used herbs like Lasuna (garlic) and Haridra (turmeric) are potent vessel relaxants and also reduce the atherogenic (hardening of arteries) properties of cholesterol.
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