Ashwagandha - The medicinal plant, also known as the sleep berry, is considered a versatile superfood with numerous positive effects on our health, performance, psyche and sleep. You can find out here what the sleep berry is really all about and how it promotes relaxation and sleep.
Table of Contents
- What is Ashwagandha?
- Ingredients and effects of the ashwagandha plant
- Positive properties of the ashwagandha plant
- Ashwagandha & Stress
- Ashwagandha & Sleep
- Application and intake
1. What is Ashwagandha?
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, the ashwagandha plant has been considered a versatile natural remedy for thousands of years, which is said to not only improve cognitive and physical performance and reduce stress, but also ensure better sleep.
The Ashawagandha plant (Withania Somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, sleepberry or winter cherry, belongs to the nightshade family. It is mainly grown in Africa, Asia and Arabia and is known as a medicinal plant in traditional Ayuvedic medicine, particularly in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The leaves and roots of the plant are primarily processed there, as these parts contain the highest concentration of the effective ingredients. The bitter-tasting berries, seeds and stems of the sleeping berry, on the other hand, are rarely used.
2. Ingredients & effects of the ashwagandha plant
The ashwagandha plant is said to have numerous positive effects, although the actual effect has not yet been fully scientifically proven. In Ayurvedic medicine, the sleeping berry has proven particularly useful as a remedy for sleeping and falling asleep disorders, anxiety and stress.
Ashwagandha is one of the so-called adaptogens. These are medicinal plants whose mode of action helps to increase our body's ability to adapt to stress and strain and to mitigate the negative effects. The reason for this effect lies in the rather unusual composition of the nutrients it contains. Studies have shown that the ashwagandha plant hardly contains any vitamins or minerals. The positive effects can therefore be attributed to the “secondary plant substances” it contains, such as alkaloids and withanolides, which contribute to numerous important processes in our body. Ashwagandha is considered extremely versatile and not only has a calming and balancing effect on the body and mind, but also strengthens and revitalizes.
3. Positive properties of the ashwagandha plant
Increases stress resistance and reduces the feeling of stress
Promotes falling asleep and sleeping
Has a calming and anti-anxiety effect
Strengthens memory performance
Lowers blood pressure & cholesterol levels
Protects and supports the regeneration of nerve cells
Strengthens the immune and nervous system
4. Ashwagandha & Stress
A persistently high level of stress is harmful to both mental and physical health. Under heavy strain or stress, the stress hormone cortisol is released in the body, which has an activating effect and puts the nervous system under tension. As an adaptogenic medicinal plant, ashwagandha actively lowers cortisol levels. In this way, your own feeling of stress can be reduced and at the same time your general resistance to stress can be strengthened. The Ayurvedic medicinal plant is also rich in so-called antioxidants, which protect our body cells from harmful influences and oxidative stress. The ingredients in the sleeping berry also counteract high blood pressure. In this way, the body and mind are supported in different areas to relax and calm down and a strong nervous system and high stress resistance are promoted.
5. Ashwagandha & Sleep
Healthy sleep is essential for us. Inner restlessness, stress and excitement can make it difficult for us to fall asleep and affect the quality of sleep because the body releases increased amounts of cortisol. Cortisol acts as an antagonist of the famous sleep hormone melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake rhythm and makes us tired in the evening as it gets darker. If the cortisol level is too high in the evening, the important synthesis of melatonin is inhibited and the natural sleep rhythm is affected. This makes it more difficult to fall asleep and reduces the quality of sleep.
The extracts of the ashwagandha plant lower cortisol levels, reduce stress and also have an anti-anxiety and calming effect. In this way, the body and mind are relaxed and can prepare for the nightly rest phase and regeneration during sleep. The natural process of falling asleep is supported by balancing the hormonal balance and promoting inner peace.
The ashwagandha root has a natural sleep-promoting effect and can be used to prevent particularly stress-related sleep disorders. Unlike chemical sleeping pills, it helps the body to optimize its natural function and supports the process of falling asleep without changing natural sleep behavior.
You can find more tips for relaxing before sleep here.
6. Application and intake
In traditional medicine, it is usually used in paste or powder form because the rich roots are so easy to process. The leaves of the plant can also be brewed as tea, although this is less common due to its bitter taste and comparatively less effective effect. In Europe, ashwagandha root extracts are considered dietary supplements and are increasingly found in various capsule or tea products and as pure powder.
To improve sleep, it is recommended to take it in the last few hours before going to bed. Then the ingredients can slowly develop their effect and best support you and your sleep.
The ashwagandha plant/sleepberry/winter cherry is a proven medicinal plant from Ayurvedic medicine against stress, sleep disorders and anxiety.
The roots of the plant in particular contain effective secondary plant substances such as alkaloids and withanolides and are usually used as powder or in capsules.
Ashwagandha has a calming and stimulating effect and is particularly effective against stress and sleep disorders.
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