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What is Ashwagandha?

what is Ashwagandha?Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. It is mainly grown in India and is sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng. Winter cherry is another common name for the plant. The species is a short shrub growing just 35 to 75 centimeters tall, with small green flowers and fruit that is orange-red in color when ripe.

Health use of ashwagandha dates back thousands of years. In fact, it was first described in sacred texts of Ayurveda, the medicinal tradition originating in present-day India that is older than even Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). 

First recommended as a rejuvenating tonic to help promote energy and longevity, the discovery of additional, widespread healing properties resulted in ashwagandha becoming the backbone of many multi-ingredient Ayurvedic formulations that have been used traditionally for a wide assortment of health conditions, including stress relief and cognitive function. 

Ashwagandha’s health benefits stem from its adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens are a small group of botanical and mushroom species that help your body adapt better to stress. It’s interesting to note that while the term “adaptogen” was coined by Russian researchers in the 1940’s, the concept of that term was actually described thousands of years before as a “rasayana” in Ayurvedic texts. Rasayana (which means “essence” in Sanskrit) refers to a botanical that promotes longevity and overall health. 

Many experts believe that ashwagandha’s many health benefits result from powerful bioactive compounds called glycowithanolides that help support healthy cortisol levels in the body. When the body is stressed, the adrenal glands increase secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone associated with the “fight or flight” response. The glycowithanolides help promote feelings of relaxation so that the body is able to get back to a more balanced state. 

Ashwagandha While the plant’s berries and leaves of the plant have been used externally for their healing powers, it’s typically the roots that are used to make powders and extracts that are consumed. You can mix the powder directly into liquids like milk and drink it. But if you don’t particularly like the taste of the powder, ashwagandha supplements are an option. 

One patented, standardized extract of ashwagandha called Sensoril® has been studied extensively for its health benefits and is available in supplement form. Researchers have found that Sensoril helps to overcome the inability to concentrate. It has also been shown to support restful sleep, reduce fatigue and ease irritability. 

Our Memoril Memory and Mood includes 250 mg of Sensoril ashwagandha to help ease stress and nervousness so that you’re better able to concentrate and focus.