This is a writing sample from Scripted writer Hannah Kincannon
Ashwagandha is a small evergreen shrub that grows in the Middle East, India, and parts of Africa. It produces bright orange berries that spring out of pale yellow flowers, surrounded by simple light green leaves. Though this plant may seem humble and unassuming at first glance, withania somnifera is an herb that has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Today, more and more people are discovering the benefits of ashwagandha, and women especially should take note of the benefits of this herb.
Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are non toxic plants that help the body resist and adapt to stress, whether that stress is external, such as a difficult and sudden change in the environment, or internal, such as anxiety disorders. Adaptogens work to regulate the bodys reaction to stress on a molecular level, helping to increase our attention and endurance while also fighting stress-induced fatigue.¹
For this reason, ashwagandha is often used as a remedy for stress. According to a 2013 study from the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, patients who were given a 300 mg dose of full spectrum ashwaganda root over a period of sixty days showed a significant decrease in their levels of cortisol, a hormone often attributed with stress, as compared to patients who were given a placebo.²
The ability of ashwagandha and other adaptogens to regulate hormones such as cortisol is an especially valuable benefit for women. During menopause, a woman experiences many hormonal imbalances that can cause more than simply stress. Hot flashes, insomnia and other sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, and fatigue are all symptoms of the hormonal imbalances that are brought on by menopause. Ashwagandha helps the endocrine system in our bodies to regulate these hormones, which may help relieve the symptoms of menopause.³
There is another major benefit for women to be found in the humble ashwagandha plant. It has long been used as an aphrodesiac in traditional Indian medicine, and modern studies are now showing that there is some truth to those traditions. Many women experience what is known as female sexual dysfunction (FSD). A study published in 2015 showed the effects of ashwagandha root on women suffering from some form or another of FSD. The results concluded that ashwagandha was effective in improving the sexual experiences of women over an eight week period, thanks to the herbs ability to not only reduce stress, which can have a negative impact on sexual function, but also to regulate the hormones responsible for sexual desire, arousal and satisfaction.⁴
This amazing herb has touted many other health benefits as well, including anti-inflammatory properties, treatment of sleep disorders, and antioxidant properties, which are valuable in fighting free-radical in the body that may be responsible for disease.⁵ However, as with any supplement, it is advised to speak to your doctor before adding ashwaganda to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
I am a freelance writer, content creator, and digital illustrator. I have over a decade of experience in writing, both professionally and for various personal projects. I have written for published online articles, email marketing, and small business advertising.
I have also written prose and short fiction for personal and collaborative projects.
I currently live and work in Orlando, Florida.