Ashwagandha, the Indian Ginseng.

By Angeliz Venter

If you are anything like me, you have no idea what Ashwagandha is, how to use it or why it would help you. The first time I heard about Ashwagandha, I was scrolling endlessly through Instagram and saw a local vegan restaurant, Lexi’s Eatery, post the benefits of their Moon Milk, which contains Ashwagandha and I immediately went on a research spree to learn more about this foreign ingredient.

Ashwagandha is a plant. More specifically it is an evergreen shrub, commonly known as Indian Ginseng, poison gooseberry or winter cherry. You can find it mostly in India, the Middle East and some parts of Africa. It is an adaptogen herb and an Ayuverdic herb. Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbs have been used in India for more than 5000 years in collaboration with lifestyle practices like yoga, meditation, massages and dietary changes to increase good health and certain illnesses. It helps the body reject physiological stress, psychological stress and adapting your body’s needs. In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha translates to ‘smell of the horse’ which refers to the ability that it has to increase your stamina, while nourishing both the female and male reproductive and nervous systems.

While researching this herb, the following benefits clearly stood out for me and pushed me towards trying it:
• Supports a healthy immune system.
• For your skin it produces natural oils, has astringent properties and moisturizes your skin.
• It calms your mental processes, while giving you a boost of energy.
• Helps you sleep better.
• For your hair it fights dandruff, stimulates your scalp and improves blood circulation.
• Aids in having a healthy reproductive system for both females and males.
• Supports a healthy back and joints.
• Promotes thyroid health and healthy functional adrenals.
• Increases good muscle health

After reviewing all these benefits, I decided I had to try it, because I struggle with anxiety, especially since Covid started and I couldn’t do my usual activities as often to ease my stress and help my mental health. I love warm drinks, so the easiest way for me to consume Ashwagandha was to try and recreate Lexi’s moon milk at home.

Here is my recipe:
• Add 150ml oat milk to a pot on the stove
• Add in a ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Ashwagandha (if it is your first time using it, add ¼ as the effects was quite strong for me)
• Add a heaped teaspoon of Berry Beetroot superfood mix
• Add an organic coconut sugar (the quantity depends on your liking), but I used one teaspoon
• Stir until the mixture comes to a boil and pour it into your glass
• Sprinkle some Berry Beetroot mix on top for the perfect Instagram picture 😉

After drinking 2 big sips, I could definitely feel the effects and I loved it!! Although I felt very relaxed, I also felt very energized. I was a bit hesitant that it would make me sleepy during the day, but as long as you stay active it energizes you and as soon as you lie down, you will most probably go sleep. So, for me it felt like the herb adapted to my mood and what I am doing, which is great!

I got all the ingredients from Faithful to Nature and delivery was so fast! Try my Moon Milk recipe and let me know what the effects was on your body!

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