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I feel much of the alternative and holistic approach to medicine is based on the idea of bringing the body and mind back to a state of balance. In other words, to help it achieve that which it is already striving towards. The various teachings and methods of alternative medical practices (and ancient traditions) are all about that. One of the most promising herbs in this department, and one which has been used for many centuries, is ashwagandha.
What Is Ashwagandha Essential Oil? Where Does It Come From?
Ashwagandha is a shrub which is native to India, although now it is grown in many other locations in the world. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, it is a staple ingredient in many remedies. The root of this herb is fascinating. It is known as an adaptogenic, which means that it will help the body with what it needs, according to what each individual requires. It doesn’t have a specific effect on the body, but rather helps it do its own thing.
The Latin name of the shrub is Withania somnifera and it is part of the nightshade family of plants. The root of the shrub is known by several names, including Indian Ginseng and Winter Cherry. The herb and its fruit are completely non-toxic, and the root is the part which is used for producing its essential oil. The oil is made by steam distillation. Water is boiled, steam is created, and it extracts the ingredients from the plant through evaporation. What you’re left with at the end of the process is the highly concentrated and very potent substance we know as ashwagandha essential oil.
The therapeutic properties of ashwagandha essential oil are many and varied. These include combating stress and depression, rejuvenating the body and mind and fighting against infections, bacteria and disease. It is an all-around great essential oil for daily use, as a preventive and reacting agent of health and physical well-being.
Great though it may be, this is the place to remind you that this is a very powerful substance. If you plan on using it as a long-term treatment, get the okay from your physician or alternative medicine advisor. Take the time to consider the positives and negatives, and it can help to consult with someone like an herbalist who will be able to provide you with suggestions and alternatives if necessary.
Like many other essential oils, this is one which pregnant and nursing women should steer clear of, and the same goes for babies and small children. Again, your doctor (MD or alternative) should be consulted.
Diffusing Ashwagandha Essential Oil
There are several essential oils which can help you achieve a better night’s sleep and happier, healthier days. One of these is ashwagandha. When burned in a diffuser and inhaled, it helps to make the mind and body feel more relaxed, and more at peace. This contributes in a significant way to a positive more restful sleep.
We all know that in many cases, it is the amount and quality of sleep we get at night, which determines our levels of stress and anxiety during the following day. I know that when I get a good night’s sleep, I can handle a lot more of the morning madness without losing my cool or becoming upset over trivial things.
A word about diffusing and safety. It is of vital importance that you don’t leave a candle burning. I cannot stress this enough. I know, it seems preachy and obvious, but believe me when I say that I am not a preacher. Safety comes first, people. Consider why you are burning incense or essential oils to begin with – usually for health of body, peace of mind, harmony, and homeostasis. Well, in order for you to continue your journey in health and happiness, do yourself a favor and blow out that candle before you get into bed, or at least appoint a designated candle extinguisher who will attend to it after you drift off into a blissful slumber.
Can Ashwagandha Essential Oil Combat Free Radicals?
Without getting into the whole biology and sub-structure of the cell, free radicals can be summed up as agents which have the potential to cause disturbances in your body. They are the byproducts of natural occurrences in your system, but when they accumulate and are given free reign, these radicals can mean trouble down the line. So, it is imperative to locate them and bring them back to balance – this is something which ashwagandha can also help out with. It acts as an astringent of sorts, keeping the body’s cells in check.
So, the short answer is yes. This oil can help with free radicals. The root is called Indian Ginseng for a reason. It shares many properties with the original Ginseng root, and one of those is the ability to assist the body in its battle against the formation of free radical compounds. Nipping free radical molecules in the bud is the best way to stop them from forming, and the antioxidant properties of the ashwagandha oil facilitate that perfectly.
Will it stop everything, one-hundred percent, like some miracle cure? No. It requires some effort on your part. It is not enough to simply use an essential oil and expect miracles to occur. You need to put in some time and energy into improving yourself and your life, and then you will find the universe and its elements bending to your will.
Ashwagandha Essential Oil For Arthritis
Joints and muscles tend to swell up in certain situations. Sometimes it happens with age, and sometimes because of a disease or some type of illness. This essential oil can help reduce this condition, and it is beneficial not only for swelling, but also muscle aches, cramps, and tense areas. When you push the muscle to its limits during work or exercise, you could use a boost like ashwagandha oil.
Part of the makeup of this essential oil is analgesic agents. Pain-relieving abilities are part of what makes ashwagandha a go-to choice for many individuals. You get the pain relief without the potentially harmful side effects of commercially available pain medication. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking it is a completely safe pain reliever, and it provides you with results.
If you need a for instance, think of it as a kind of alternative tiger balm.
Ashwagandha Essential Oil For Immunity
An advanced, well-organized, and properly-functioning system of immunity is at the core of health and a healthy lifestyle. If you want your body to retain the ability to protect you and keep you from harm, you need to provide it with the tools to do so. You cannot expect it to do the job without the necessary means to get it done. Ashwagandha oil helps the body rid itself of toxins and harmful bacteria. It flushes out your enemies, and also has a hand in increasing your red and white cell count, making your body that much more resilient.
Again, there is the issue of preventive medicine vs reactive medicine. A healthy immune system is a part of both. It will protect you from harm on a daily basis, and fight intruders who wish to set up camp in your body. Diseases and other medical conditions are common. We all get sick sometimes, but there is a way to be more prepared. So, by using certain oils (ashwagandha being one of them) we can make sure that we are providing our body with the best tool to fight its enemies. Acupuncture treatment also works well as an excellent way to naturally boost your immunity.
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Ashwagandha Essential Oil Scent Described
Funnily enough, this is one essential oil scent which is pretty self-explanatory, since the very name of the oil speaks of its strong scent. In Sanskrit, ashva means horse, and gandha means scent. This oil’s name literally translate into ‘smell of a horse’. This is usually said to refer specifically to the horse’s sweat or urine, since those give off an unmistakable odor, not unlike the root of this herb.
It is also said to refer to the qualities of strength and virility, both of which are associated with horses, and both of which the herb traditionally bestows upon those who use it regularly. This is an herb which has been associated with heightening the libido and increasing the sexual energy, predominantly when pertaining to the male sex drive.
For some, this oil’s scent may take some getting used to.
Ashwagandha is one of the lesser-known essential oils. Even after all these of using and experimenting with essential oils, I still find it interesting how such amazing things can come in such small packages. The Ayurvedic system of health and wellness is one which is worth getting into, if only through use of its recommended “best-selling” remedies. Ashwagandha is one of those plants which serves a higher purpose, and which has a kind of covenant with mankind. I always love discovering new plant medicine, and new ways to connect with nature and feel its power in my system.