What Is Ashwagandha, Anyway?

You may not know what it is or certainly how to spell it, but ashwagandha seems to be taking over the health supplement aisle. (We use it in our +Relax Sparkling Beverage and our Salmon Dog Chews.) So what is this mysterious and foreign-sounding herb, and what does it do for you?

Ashwagandha is a small shrub with yellow flowers that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Its roots have been used for 3,000 years in traditional Indian medicine, or Ayurveda—mostly as a fine powder that was mixed with water, ghee, or honey. The name comes from “ashwa,” Sanskrit for “horse,” because of both its smell and its reputed ability to increase strength. In Ayurveda, it has been used as an aphrodisiac, narcotic, diuretic, anthelmintic, astringent, thermogenic, and stimulant, among other uses.

Today, Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, which means it is a plant that helps the body combat both physical and emotional stress. The root also contains powerful antioxidants, which help protect against cellular damage by free radicals. 

In one study done on participants with anxiety, ashwagandha significantly improved mental health, concentration, energy levels, social functioning, vitality, and overall quality of life, with no serious adverse reactions. Another 2012 study followed 64 people with chronic stress over 60 days. Those who supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group. 

Other studies have shown that ashwagandha may be promising for lowering blood sugar levels, helping treat several types of cancer, improving muscle mass, lower cholesterol, reducing inflammation, improving brain function and memory, lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and improving quality of sleep. 

If you’d like to try ashwagandha and see what it can do for you, our +Relax Sparkling Beverage is a great place to start. We combine 35 mg of full-spectrum organic CBD with ashwagandha root in a delicious Yuzu Chamomile flavor. (Yuzu is like a Japanese lemon—it pairs well with the soothing and sweet chamomile.) The beverage also contains GABA and L-theanine, which have also been shown to bring on the calm. 

Cheers to your delicious daily chill!

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