IF YOU’VE BEEN DREAMING of an all-natural remedy to help you slow down, calm down, and curb stress, I have good news.
A family of herbs, called adaptogens, was designed by mother nature to do just that. And one, in particular, called ashwaghanda has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 years to reduce cortisol—which is also known as our stress hormone.
Here’s what you need to know about ashwagandha, why we decided to add it to our new hot cacao elixir and how it has made such a huge impact in our stress-fighting wellness routines…
So, What Is Ashwagandha
Traditionally, ashwaghanda (pronounced: ash – wuh – gan – da) has been used as a nervine tonic, which means it was used for its beneficial effects on the nerves. Today it’s also used to calm the nervous system.
Like most herbs, ashwaghanda has more than one name and is also commonly referred to as Indian ginseng, winter cherry, and it’s the scientific name, Withania somnifera.
In the wild, ashwagandha looks like a grey shrub with yellowish flowers and red berries. The roots and leaves are what are typically used medicinally and turned into powders, pills and herbal tinctures.
How Does Ashwagandha Work?
The main action for this herb is combating physical, emotional, and mental stress. It does this by lowering cortisol levels and nourishing the adrenal glands, two small glands on top of the kidneys that produce hormones like adrenaline and help modulate the stress response.
Ashwagandha is also praised for its ability to boost immune function, combat fatigue and enhance brain health—which it appears to do by lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as our “stress” hormone and is produced on a daily cycle that causes a peak in production in the morning to help us get up and out of the house and decreases throughout the day to help us wind down for bed.