Do you have health-focused resolutions for the New Year? Maybe you want to cut down on caffeine, or maybe you want to be more conscious about the foods and drinks you put in your body. Perhaps you’re interested in exploring natural and alternative health supplements, or maybe you’re just looking for new ways to support your health.
Even if you aren’t the sort to make resolutions, if any of those apply to you, then you might want to consider Ashwagandha tea. Ashwagandha is a plant with a variety of potential health benefits, and when it’s combined with the benefits of herbal tea, then it’s a win-win.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, which is also known as Indian Ginseng, is a “well-known Indian medicinal plant due to its antioxidative, antistress, antigenotoxic, and immunomodulatory properties.” In traditional Indian medicine, ashwagandha is classified as one of the “brain tonics or rejuvenators.” In traditional Indian medicine, rejuvenators, or rasayana, are “expected to “promote physical and mental health, rejuvenate the body in debilitated conditions and increase longevity.”
Ashwagandha the Adaptogen
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants or herbs that are non-toxic, help the body fight various forms of stress by producing a non-specific biological response and help bring the body back into a state of balance or homeostasis.
When the body is stressed, it releases cortisol. Adaptogens are believed to work by both normalizing cortisol levels and supporting the adrenal glands (the glands that go to work when the body experiences stress). Of all the adaptogens, Ashwagandha is believed to have the “strongest effect on cortisol.”
Ashwagandha and the Brain
Scientists have found that alcoholic and water extracts of ashwagandha leaves demonstrate support for cellular development and healthy tissue growth. This was due, in part, to its ability to suppress “oxidative stress in cells.” Because of this, researchers also examined ashwagandha’s ability to protect against oxidative stress in general. The research found that ashwagandha has “neuroprotective potential” and may supplement brain health.
Supporting brain health goes a long way. Researchers have found that ashwagandha is used to support a healthy brain during normal aging.
Ashwagandha and Sleep
Ashwagandha is one of the adaptogens often used to help support healthy sleep. The work it does in protecting from stress – balancing cortisol and supporting adrenal glands – may make it ideal for supporting feelings of calm that sleep requires. Everyone knows what it feels like to be under-rested after a bad night of sleep, but a bad mood and dark circles under the eyes aren’t the only symptoms. According to the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine, effects of severe sleep deprivation may include “chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and that these conditions may lead to a shortened life expectancy.” For most people though, this deprivation may manifest itself in smaller ways, like a lack of focus and productivity at work.”
Taking Ashwagandha in any form is already one way to support healthy sleep. But if you want to make your experience even more calming and more restful, then brewing a pot of ashwagandha tea is the perfect solution. Herbal teas are simple to make and allow you to access the potential benefits of a variety of herbs and plants. All it requires is steeping the dried herb or flower of your choice (in our case, ashwagandha) in boiling water, and then, optionally adding the sweetener of your choice. You can be pre-made ashwagandha tea, or you can crush the leaves yourself and steep them in the boiling water. Using fresh water will help guarantee the freshest tasting tea.
Will you be adding ashwagandha tea to your morning or evening rotation? Let us know how it goes!