Most of us have faced situations when we have burned out and can barely concentrate on the task at hand. You can use Ashwagandha as a healthier alternative to Red Bull in such situations. If the tools necessary for success were to be subjectively discussed, one would conclude that Energy deserves the most important spot on the list. The desire to achieve something is only justified when you have the necessary strength to carry it out. Even the best laid out plans, with the finest individuals would grind to a halt if the Energy to carry it out is lacking.
Ashwagandha derives its name from the Sanskrit words “Ashwa” meaning horse and “Gandha” meaning smell. This is indicative of the natural property of Ashwagandha to impart energy and vitalize the body, thus earning the name “The Smell of Horse”. People commonly refer to it as the Indian Ginseng or the Winter Cherry in English. Withania Somnifera is the scientific name of the herb.
In addition to rejuvenating the mind and body, Ashwagandha also grounds the mind and calms the nerves. This property is particularly useful for balancing the Vata Dosha. Since stress and mental volatility are characteristic symptoms of Vata imbalances, Ashwagandha serves as the perfect cure to it. The herb has also been classified as an Adaptogen i.e. it helps the body to adapt to external stress and changes.
A few major properties of Ashwagandha have been listed down below:
- Bolsters the Immune System
- Helps improve memory retention
- Alleviates stress and symptoms of Depression
- Improves sleep quality and helps with Insomnia
- Strengthens the Mind and Body
- Exerts a calming influence on the nerves
Most people can consume Ashwagandha on a daily basis (barring breastfeeding/pregnant women). It is generally consumed along with other herbs and foods. The simplest way to consume it is by dissolving 1 tbsp of the powder in a cup of lukewarm water/milk. Honey is a great flavor enhancer for the bitter-tasting Ashwagandha. For a more in-depth article on Ashwagandha follow this link.
We have curated a list of recipes that best utilize Ashwagandha to maximize its benefits on the body for you. Like always, most of these recipes are simple to follow and require very little practice in the kitchen to make.
Recipe 1: Ashwagandha Sleep Tonic
The recipe is relatively simple to follow and requires Ashwagandha, Milk, Honey and Almonds. Take 1 cup of Milk and 5-6 Almonds. Blend the two until a uniform consistency is obtained. Take 1 teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder and add it to the mix while it is being heated over a low flame. Heat it for 10-15 minutes. Once the mix has cooled a bit, add a spoonful of Honey to the mix to sweeten it.
How to Use: This hot beverage is intended for use as a sleep tonic and should ideally be consumed one hour before sleep.
Purpose: As the name suggests, this recipe serves to act as a sleep tonic. The rich Almond-Milk base of the drink helps the body to relax and promotes the production of Serotonin. Ashwagandha powder is a natural sleep-inducing herb. The calming influence it has on the nerves helps the body to get some much-needed rest while sleeping.
(Note: tbsp – tablespoon; tsp – teaspoon)
Recipe 2: Ashwagandha-Turmeric Latte
Since the previous recipe was a before-bed-beverage, let’s cover an early-morning drink now! This recipe calls for the use of Almond Milk (1/2 cup), Turmeric Powder (1 tsp), Cinnamon Powder (1/2 tsp), Black Pepper (1/8 tsp), Ashwagandha Powder (1/2 – 1 tsp), Hot Water (1 cup) and Honey or Dates (to taste) as the sweetener. You may switch out the Almond Milk for Cashew or Coconut Milk. To make the Latte, simply take all the ingredients and whisk together well. Alternatively, you may blend all the ingredients before serving them.
How to Use: Pour the freshly whisked/blended Latte into a cup and enjoy the drink!
Purpose: This Golden Latte works well as a morning pick-me-up. It is also a great Coffee replacement. The morning dose of Ashwagandha energizes the mind and body, preparing you for the day ahead. It focuses the mind, grounds the nerves and invigorates you, putting you in the perfect mindset to achieve your goals!
Recipe 3: Ashwagandha Infused Trail Mix
This recipe is more along the lines of a snack. The trail mix has Raisins and Pumpkin Seeds to provide roughage and taste, herbs like Cumin Powder, Cardamom Powder and Ashwagandha Powder to settle the body and Sesame Seeds for additional taste. To make the trail mix, take a small pan, add 1tbsp of coconut oil to it and heat over a medium flame. Once the oil has liquidized completely, add 1 tsp of the Cumin and Cardamom Powder to the pan and heat for 1 minute. Next, add 1 cup Raisins, 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds and 1 tbsp of Seasame Seeds to the pan. Allow the oil to coat the entire mix and heat for 3-5 minutes until seeds start to brown. Transfer the Trail mix to a tray, add 1 tsp of Ashwagandha Powder to it and allow it to cool.
How to Use: The mix can be consumed immediately after it has cooled down a bit or can be stored in an airtight container for future use.
Purpose: Having proper meals throughout the day is key to staying healthy and happy. However, hunger can strike at any time. This delicious Ashwagandha infused Trail Mix is perfect for such situations. It provides the body with enough energy to tide over the hours until the next meal while allowing you to stay focused on your work.
Recipe 4: Ashwagandha Infused Almond Butter
Who doesn’t love a classic PB&J sandwich? For this recipe, we are going to be making homemade, Ashwagandha infused Almond Butter (a twist on the classic Peanut Butter!). The recipe requires 2 cups of raw Almonds, 2 tsp of Ashwagandha Powder and Ghee (as per need). Add the raw Almonds to a food processor or blender and start blending at medium speed. Blend until a thick, creamy consistency is obtained. Add Ghee or Butter while blending if the Almonds feel dry. Once the desired consistency is obtained, add in the Ashwagandha Powder and blend one final time.
How to Use: This Ayurvedic take on Peanut Butter can be used as a spread or topping for any food item. Honey work well in combination with this to make a delicious snack.
Purpose: The Ashwagandha infused Almond Butter is a good source of energy for long days. Additionally, the adaptogenic nature of Ashwagandha shines through in such a simple recipe and prepares the body for any situation.
Amrutam is proud to cater to your every Ayurvedic and Herbal need. For great deals on Ashwagandha and other Churnas, follow the link. If you want the benefits of Ashwagandha without having to go through the hassle of cooking up a dish, check out our store! The Brainkey Gold Malt is an excellent choice. It contains several potent herbs along with Ashwagandha to soothe your mind and calm your nerves.
The renowned Greek philosopher, Aristotle is quoted as having said “The energy of the mind is the essence of life”. The energy we wake up with and perform our tasks with must all come from a calm, collected and focused mind to have any meaningful effect on our life.
Reference 1: Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review