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Ancient Ally : Ashwagandha

By Erin Stokes, ND

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an ancient ally that has been utilized and revered in India for thousands of years. In the traditional Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, this humble looking plant is considered a rasayana, a restorative tonic that increases health and longevity.[1] Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word, literally means the “science of life” (Ayur = life, Veda= science or knowledge). The highly developed traditional system of medicine is centered around establishing balance in different systems of the body. Ashwagandha is the best known and also the most widely investigated plant in Ayurvedic medicine.[2] Today, it sits at the top of many holistic practitioners’ list of adaptogens, along with Rhodiola, Holy Basil and Schisandra.

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