Taste (Rasa): Sweet, Bitter, Astringent
Energetics (Virya): Heating
Doshic Effects: Decreases Vata and Kapha

Benefits & Use: Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda and has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels and improve concentration. In Sanskrit Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness. It has been revered over time for its dual capacity to simultaneously energize and calm. Stress can cause fatigue, often manifesting as “hyper” signs like agitation and difficulty sleeping. By providing a nourishing, energizing effect, Ashwagandha supports a healthy nervous system reducing cortisol levels and allowing for a calming effect.

Additional Uses: Aphrodisiac; joint health; blood sugar; increased libido; memory

In the Kitchen: Ashwagandha is typically ingested in capsule or powder form. The typical recommended dose for capsules is 600 to 1,000 mg. twice daily. For people who suffer from insomnia and anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that contains a teaspoon of powdered Ashwagandha before bedtime is beneficial (see recipe below).

Recipe: Botanical Bedtime Milk


  • 2 tb chamomile flowers
  • 2 tb skullcap
  • 2 ts lemon balm
  • 1 tsp rose petals
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1 quart herbal tea
  • 1 tb ashwagandha powder
  • ⅛ tsp cardamom powder
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • - ⅛ tsp ginger powder
  • 1-2 tsp raw honey
  • ½ tb ghee (optional)


  1. Soak ¼ cup of almonds in water overnight or for several hours.

  2. Infuse the chamomile, skullcap, lemon balm and rose petals into a quart of hot water, allowing it to steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain and let cool.

  3. Strain and rinse the almonds and blend them, with skins on, in a high speed blender with the quart of herbal tea.

  4. Blend until smooth and strain milk using a sieve or nut milk bag.

  5. Blend the milk with ashwagandha, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and raw honey

  6. Warm the milk to desired temperature on a low flame.

  7. Add in ghee (optional).

  8. Serve in your favorite mug and enjoy 2-3 hours before bed.


Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.