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Uses, Benefits, And Side Effects Of Ashwagandha Leaf


Ashwagandha Leaf

Ashwagandha is an ancient herb filled with medicinal properties. The name Ashwagandha is very popular in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha leaf has been used in the treatment of many diseases for centuries. Ashwagandha is named among the important Ayurvedic herbs which have been in use for over 3,000 years. It works the best to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and in the improvement of concentration.

The Atharvaveda also mentions the use and presence of Ashwagandha.  Ashwagandha is known as a miraculous and anti-stress herb in the Indian traditional medicine system.  Due to this, the name Ashwagandha is also included in the herbs used to treat stress-related symptoms and anxiety disorders.

Ashwagandha is derived from the name Ashwa(Horse) and Gandha(Odour). It is named Ashwagandha due to its smell like horse urine and sweat-like odor from its roots and leaves of Ashwagandha.

Ayurvedic researchers also believe that the use of Ashwagandha leaf gives strength and sexual power like Ashva (horse).

  • Botanical Name: Withania somnifera
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Sanskrit Name: Ashwagandha, Varahakarni and Kamarupini
  • Common Name: Winter Cherry, Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandha, and Poison Gooseberry
  • Useful parts: Mostly the root and leaves of Ashwagandha are used, but its flowers and seeds are also useful.
  • Geographical Details: Ashwagandha is mostly found in Nepal, Africa, and the Middle East besides the dry regions of India (mainly Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan). It has also been found in the United States.

Ashwagandha produces heat in the body. It should be taken in combination with other herbs that balance the heat produced in the body by Ashwagandha leaf, hence at Traya you get a perfect blend of herb mixes to balance the body heat.

According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha leaf increases pitta or bike (body alteration defect) and reduces Kapha dosha (body accumulating defect) and Vata dosha (body flow disorder). Due to any disorder in the body, these three main defects can change.

Ashwagandha should be consumed to cure bile deficiency. However, those who already have a high amount of bile in their body should be careful while taking Ashwagandha because excess bile in the body can cause acidity, stomach blisters, skin rashes, and anxiety.

Ashwagandha grown through farming is of better quality than plants found in the forest. Ashwagandha plant found in forests is considered good for extracting oil. It has two types -

  • Small Ashwagandha 
  • Due to its small shrub, it is called small Ashwagandha, but its root is large. It is found in Nagaur of Rajasthan and it is particularly influential due to the effect of climate there. That is why it is also called Nagauri Asagandh.

  • Big or native Ashwagandha 
  • Its shrub is large, but the roots are small and thin. It is commonly found in gardens, fields, and hilly places. Due to the predominance of constipation qualities and its smell resembling the urine of the horse, it has been named in Sanskrit as Baji or horse.

    Uses Of Ashwagandha Leaves For Health

    Ashwagandha leaf is used for its powder, Ashwagandha leaf Powder. The wonderfully beneficial Ashwagandha is used in many diseases.

    • Ashwagandha Powder In  Prevents Greying Of Hair 
    • Increases Eyesight
    • Ashwagandha is used to Cure Goiter
    • Ashwagandha is used to manage TB Disease.
    • Ashwagandha provides Relief from Cough
    • Ashwagandha Powder Helps in Getting Relief from Chest Pain 
    • Manages stomach disease 
    • Benefits in Fighting with Constipation 
    • Helps in Conceiving 
    • Ashwagandha Root Benefits to Cure Leukorrhea
    • Ashwagandha Powder Uses in Penis Weakness Problem
    •  Ashwagandha is beneficial for the treatment of Arthritis
    • Ashwagandha relieves pain in case of Injuries
    • Ashwagandha Cures Body Weakness
    • Uses of Ashwagandha in Fighting with Fever 
    • Ashwagandha Treats Hypertension
    •  It Helps In Sound Sleep 
    • Lowers cholesterol

    The effectiveness of Ashwagandha can also be seen in-

    • Stress 

    • Anxiety

    • Aging 

    • Metabolic side effects caused by antipsychotic drugs

    • Bipolar disorders

    • Athletic performance

    • Tiredness

    • Diabetes

    • Insomnia

    • Osteoarthritis.

    • Parkinson disease.

    • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

    • Altering immune system function.

    • Fibromyalgia.

    • Inducing vomiting.

    • Liver problems.

    • Tumors.

    • Ulcerations, when applied to the skin.

    Useful Parts Of Ashwagandha

    • Ashwagandha Leaf

    • Ashwagandha Root

    • Ashwagandha Fruit 

    • Ashwagandha Seed

    Uses Of Ashwagandha Leaves For Hair

    Ashwagandha leaf, Ashwagandha leaf juice, or Ashwagandha in other forms are also beneficial for the hair. The antimicrobial nature of the Ashwagandha treats problems related to scalp and hair infections.

    The medicinal plant nourishes the hair follicles and provides essential nutrients to them. It improves blood circulation on the scalp to strengthen the hair strands from the roots. Ashwagandha also stops thinning of hair, hair fall, and breakage as it controls the prime factor i.e stress of hair loss.

    Flavonoid is found in abundance in Ashwagandha leaf powder. It also contains fatty acids, nitrate, glucose, potassium, and tannins. The presence of an amino acid named Tyrosine activates the production of melanin to prevent the loss of melanin.

    Post-pregnancy hair loss can also be avoided by using Ashwagandha. The use of Ashwagandha improves scalp circulation and strengthens the hair.

    There are many ways to use ashwagandha for hair.

    • By consuming it - You can have Ashwagandha as supplements or as ashwagandha leaf tea. Ashwagandha leaf juice benefits are found in Ashwagandha leaf juice. 
    • By Applying it - You can apply it directly to the scalp and hair strands. Make a paste of Ashwagandha powder with warm distilled water and apply it directly to your scalp. Make sections of hair, apply it properly, and massage it. Cover the head with a towel for 30-45 minutes. Then wash it.

    The skin benefits of Ashwagandha:

  • Glowing skin

  • Ashwagandha has antioxidant properties due to which intensifies the circulation of blood and results in vibrant and glowing skin.

  • Anti-aging

  • Ashwagandha is a powerhouse of oxidants. It removes stains, wrinkles, and freckles by eliminating free radicals and reduces the symptoms of aging.

  • Healing Wounds

  • Although it is found in a liquid state, it can also be used as an ointment for skin injuries, swelling, and irritation.

  • Relieve swelling of the skin

  • Its roots and leaves are used for acne and skin inflammation.

    Does Ashwagandha Leaf Help With Weight Loss?

    Ashwagandha leaves for weight loss is very popular. It is rich in antioxidant properties which are necessary for weight loss and maintenance of overall well-being. The antioxidants present in Ashwagandha leaf speed up the metabolism process and decrease inflammation. It ultimately burns the fat stored in the body.

    Ashwagandha has both properties. It can decrease and increase the weight. It is one of the best ways to accelerate the process of weight loss, but only the leaves of the plant do that. The roots of the Ashwagandha plant cause weight gain.

    Ashwagandha fortified capsules are available in the market. But ashwagandha powder is more beneficial for weight loss. It can easily be taken just by mixing a teaspoon of ashwagandha powder with honey in a glass of lukewarm milk. Add this drink to the diet regularly. It improves metabolism and digestion which results in the loss of weight. Cardamom powder can also be added.

    Obesity also increases rapidly by increased stress or increased cortisol hormone. Regular consumption of Ashwagandha powder helps in decreasing this hormone. Due to the increased cortisol hormone, the person also feels hungry which increases obesity. By getting rid of stress, the fat starts burning and the outcome is weight loss.

    How To Use Ashwagandha Leaf?

    How much, in what form, and when to take Ashwagandha leaf for resolving different medical conditions are important to know. The factors depend on the various conditions. There is no fixed way and dosage for the treatment.

    As per studies, different dosages are advised as per requirement. A few types of research suggest that the dose of 250–600 mg every day can help in reducing stress. While other studies recommend higher dosages.

    One can take capsule dosages of about 250 to 1,500 mg of ashwagandha herb medicine. This herb is available in a capsule, powder, and liquid form as Ashwagandha leaf juice.

    High dosage can result in unpleasant side effects to the person. So before taking dosages, consult with a healthcare professional.

    Ashwagandha leaf benefits can be taken in tablets, liquid, or powder form. Ashwagandha tablets can be taken like any other capsules and ashwagandha powder and roots can be added to the daily diet. Ashwagandha leaf powder is taken by mixing it in honey or cow's ghee.

    Following are the other ways by which ashwagandha powder can be consumed:

    Take about an ounce of Ashwagandha powder and roast in ghee. Then mix 1 tablespoon of date sugar. Add it to your daily diet 20 minutes before having breakfast with a cup of milk.

    The combination of Ashwagandha powder with ghee, honey, or sugar effectively works to treat erectile dysfunction.

    Ashwagandha leaf tea is very beneficial to treat many medical and psychological issues. To prepare Ashwagandha leaf tea, boil the Ashwagandha powder in milk. Continue boiling until it reduces to half then add sugar for better taste. 

    Side Effects Of Ashwagandha Leaf

    Ashwagandha is a powerful ayurvedic herb that is used to cure many diseases. Ashwagandha is a shrubby plant that acts as a lifesaving herb for many diseases. We have studied the benefits of ashwagandha leaves. But everything has two sides. So it is also important to know that Ashwagandha has side effects too.

    Firstly, using Ashwagandha in limited quantities is advised. Excessive intake results in vomiting, causing stomach pain and other things. People with low blood pressure should avoid it. The regular intake of it can prove to be harmful to sleep-related problems.

    If Ashwagandha is not consumed in the right quantity and in the right way, it causes harm to the body. The first question is what is the nature of Ashwagandha. It is hot. Therefore, it results in problems like gas, chaos, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sleep, etc.

    • Sleep and Ashwagandha -

    The compound present in Ashwagandha makes the brain active. So in such a situation, if you have trouble sleeping, or are troubled by insomnia, then you should not eat ashwagandha.

    • Ability to fight diseases - 

    Ashwagandha leaves are used for protection against many diseases. But, excessive use of Ashwagandha can also take away the ability to fight against diseases. 

    • Low BP, Sugar, and Ashwagandha - 

    People who have issues of low BP should avoid taking Ashwagandha. Because Ashwagandha reduces blood pressure further.

    • Diabetes and Ashwagandha-

    Ashwagandha is very beneficial for diabetic patients, but only when you are not taking medicines for Diabetes. If you keep using Ashwagandha leaf powder with medicines then it can be very harmful to you. At the same time, people who have low sugar levels should avoid taking Ashwagandha.

    • Stomach ache -

    Excessive use of Ashwagandha leaf powder can be harmful to your stomach.  This may cause problems in your stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach gas.

    • Body temperature-

    Ashwagandha reacts in some people's bodies upside down. This increases the body temperature, due to which fever can occur and you will suffer body pain. If you are having such problems, then you should stop using Ashwagandha and consume it.

    • Thyroid and Ashwagandha

    Thyroid has become a common problem. Ashwagandha can increase thyroid hormone levels. 

    • Garbhastha and Ashwagandha -

    Pregnancy is a time when you need to be very careful while adding anything to your diet. It is better to avoid the consumption of Ashwagandha during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman takes ashwagandha, estrogen hormone levels may increase, which can cause problems such as bleeding or headache.

    Ashwagandha works as a miraculous medicine to remove many problems of the human body. Apart from protecting the body from diseases, it also keeps the mind healthy and relieves stress. Ashwagandha leaf contains antioxidants, liver tonics, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial as well as many nutrients that help the body to stay healthy.

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    Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS

    Ayurveda Practioner

    A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.

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