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)
Soak ¼ cup of almonds in water overnight or for several hours.
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.
Strain and rinse the almonds and blend them, with skins on, in a high speed blender with the quart of herbal tea.
Blend until smooth and strain milk using a sieve or nut milk bag.
Blend the milk with ashwagandha, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and raw honey
Warm the milk to desired temperature on a low flame.
Add in ghee (optional).
Serve in your favorite mug and enjoy 2-3 hours before bed.