Category: Mental Health

Top 10 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha Powder -Withania somnifera

Ashwagandha is considered as the one of most potent herb in Ayurveda. It is comprised of two sanskrit words (Ashwa – horse and Gandha – smell because its roots smell like horse urine). This describes that herb has strength of a stallion and traditionally given to strengthen immune system of people after illness. Ashwagandha is also known as Indian Ginseng because of its rejuvenating properties though there is no co relation between ginseng and Ashwagandha. Benefits of Ashwagandha are countless for human health.

Geographic distribution – This herb is found in all over parts of country.   Ashwagandha is also cultivated in various botanical gardens of India due to its    medical importance

ashwagandha-powder

Morphology:

  1. Size – This herb is small woody shrub which can grow from 150-200 cm in height.
  2. Leaves – Leaves are simple, alternate or sub opposite and ovate, up to 10 cm long.
  3. Flowers – Flowers are greenish- yellow, found in flowered clustered in axils and 4-6mm in diameter.
  4. Fruits – Red berries enclosed in a green enlarged calyx.
  5. Roots – Roots are stout, long tuberous, fleshy, whitish brown and aromatic.

Classification:

  1. Sanskrit names – Ashwagandha, Balada, Kamrupini, Gandhpatri , Vajini
  2. Common names – Winter cherry, Indian ginseng
  3. Scientific name – Withania somnifera
  4. Family – Solanaceae
  5. Plant parts used – Whole plant parts

Ashwaganhda benefits – Ashwaganhda is loaded with amazing properties which are quite useful to treat the various health complication. In ayurveda, Ashwagandha helps to pacify the vata dosha and also considered as the brain tonic. By knowing health benefits of Ashwagandha this herb is used in formulation of Ashwagandha powder. Ashwagandha powder is an amazing formulation of Planet Ayurveda. This herbal powder is completely safe for use and free from any color, preservatives, starch and chemicals.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha Powder

Anti – cancerous properties –  Ashwagandha is considered as the anti-cancer herb. Component present in the Ashwagandha helps to slow down growth of several type of cancer cells. Use of this herb is good in the treatment of   breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia and sarcoma. It is good to reduce the adverse effects of radiation and chemotherapy without interference with tumor cell killing activities. It helps to stop the angiogenesis – in which there is formation of new blood vessels that feed cancer. It also protects the normal cells from damage of conventional cancer therapy.

Anti-stress properties – Aswagandha is considered as   nerve tonic. It helps to maintain the both physical health and mental health. According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha helps to pacify the the vata dosha which is related to brain health. It helps to calm  the nervous system thus provides the relief in anxiety,  stress, depression and various other mental disorders. It is good to treat the insomnia and sleeping disorders in people.

Increases the body’s stamina and strength – Ashwagandha helps to enhance the body’s stamina as it helps to balance the adrenal hormones which are involved in the physical activities. These hormones help to reduce muscles and joints pains while doing physical activities so as it helps to maintain the same energy levels. This is reason use of Ashwagandha is quite good for athletes.

Antimicrobial activities – Ashwagandha is a loaded with antimicrobial activities. It helps to increase the body’s immunity to fight against the foreign bacteria, viruses and fungal infections. It is quite good in the treatment of various infections like respiratory tract infections, skin infections, gastrointestinal and urogenital infections.

Cardio – protective properties – This herb is known to be quite good to support the good heart heath due its cardiovascular properties. It helps to strengthen the heart muscles.   It helps to maintain the healthy blood pressure and good cholesterol levels in body.  Moreover Ashwagandha helps to dilate the vessels and maintain the proper blood flow in body.

Anti-diabetic properties – Ashwagandha also packed the anti-diabetic properties because its helps to maintain the good blood sugar levels. It has been found that regular use of Ashwagandha is quite effective to manage the problem of diabetes.

Anti-inflammatory properties – Ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory properties.It helps to provide the relief in all type of joint, muscles and various other body pains. Ashwagandha is loaded with phytochemical compounds like alkaloids, saponins and steroidal lactones which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Healthy hair – Ashwagandha offers its benefits for good hair health. It provides the strength to hair and also improves the blood circulation in scalp. It helps in production of melanin pigment that is responsible for hair color. Use of this herb is also effective to get rid from dandruff.

Aphrodisiac properties – Aphrodisiac properties of Ashwagandha help to improve the vitality and fertility and. This help is known to be quite beneficial to enhance sexual desire. In the case of men it helps to improve the quality and production of semen. Where as in case of women it helps to balance the hormonal imbalances.

Stimulation of thyroid gland – Benefits of Ashwagandha are also very useful to improve the thyroid health. Being an adptogenic herb it helps to manage the both hypo and hyper thyroid complications. Furthermore it is helpful in the proper functioning of thyroid hormones.

Methods of Diagnosis in Ayurveda

Ayurveda is science of life which is composed of two sanskrit words (“ayur = life and “veda” = knowledge or science). It is a natural healing system which has been originated around 5000 years ago in the Vedic culture of India.

In Ayurveda it is believed that good health depends on an appropriate balance between body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda works on this concept that use of herbs, a balanced diet and a good life style can cure ailments.

Concept of Ayurveda

ayurveda-article

According to Ayurveda, everything in the universe either it is living or non living is connected with each other. Good health can be achieved when body, mind and spirit are in equilibrium with universe. Disruption of this equilibrium leads to poor health.

Every individual is having five basic elements as in the universe-

  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth

These elements combine in the body and form the three energies called as doshas. These three energies are responsible to maintain the physical and mental health. Three energies are vata (wind), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth+ water). These energies are important to maintain the good health. Imbalance of any of three energies results in the health complications.

वायु: पित्तं कफश्चेति त्रयो दोषा: समासत: विकृताऽविकृता देहं घ्नन्ति ते वर्त्तयन्ति

The above vedic text explains that vata (vayu), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth) are the three doshas in the body. Appropriate balance of three doshas leads to the health whereas imbalance in tridoshas is responsible for diseases.

Methods of diagnosis in Ayurveda

ayurveda diginosis

Diagnosis is very important aspect of Ayurvedic treatment. Diagnosis means to find out the basic cause of a disease (Nidan). Without the proper diagnosis it is difficult to suggest medicine and cure the diseases.

Causative factors of diseases may be improper eating habits, life style and various other activities. In Ayurveda, treatment is done according to constitution of an individual.

Two Main methods of Diagnosis in Ayurveda:

  • Rog Pariksha ( Diagnosis of a disease)
  • Rogi Pariksha ( Examination of a patient)
  • Rog Pariksha ( Diagnosis of a disease)

It has been mentioned in Charak Samhita  vimaan sthan chapter 4.

Three ayurvedic diagnostic methods are applied for diagnosis of disease :

  • Aaptoupdesh(As is advised by ancient sages)
  • Pratyaksh(Direct observation)
  • Anumaan(Guess worke.g. to know digestive power of patient)
  • Rogi Pariksha ( Examination of a patient) –It is done by three methods of diagnosis in Ayurveda:

!)Tri-fold examination of a patient was given by Maharshi Vagbhata (the author of text book of Ashtanghridayam)

  • Observation (Darshan).
  • Touch, palpation and percussion(Sparshan)
  • Questioning (Prashan).

2) TENFOLD EXAMINATION (DASHVIDHA PAREKSHA) – Tenfold examination was given byAcharya Charaka in Charak Samhita  vimaan sthan chapter 8

Ten-fold examination of a patient has following 10 methods:

  • Prakriti (Body type/ Body constitution)
  • Vikriti (illness)
  • Sara(Outlook of patient)
  • Samhanan, (Type of food consumption like vegetarian and non –vegetarian)
  • Satva (Mental strength of patient)
  • Satmya (What suits to patient)
  • Aaharshakti (Food intake)
  • Vyayam-shakti( Physical fitness )
  • Vaya (Age)

Pramana( The quantitative measures) for examining a patient. Abnormalities related to the Structure and functions of body are observed.

3) EIGHTFOLD EXAMINATION (ASTHAVIDHA) – Eightfold examination as the name suggests that there are eight methods for the diagnosis. These types are more practical and useful.  It helps to get on quick diagnosis of an OPD patient. The Eight-fold examination of a patient has given by Yogratnakara

methods of ayurveda

In above Ayurvedic text it is explained that there are eight things (nadi -pulse, mala- feces, mutra- urine, jihva – tongue, shabda – hoarseness of voice, sparsha – touch, drik – examination of eyes, akruti – shape of body) which are to be examined by ayurvedic physician for making proper diagnosis of a disease.

pulse diagnosis in Ayurveda

  • Pulse examination (Nadi preekshan) – In this examination strength, rhythm and speed of pulse are observed to make a diagnosis.
  • If pulse is felt irregular (missing at intervals) or moving fast it can be compared to moving like a snake (sarpavat) that means vata is dominant in that pulse.
  • If pulse is having good volume with a throb and it can be compared to jumping frog (mandookvat) then pitta is dominant in that pulse.
  • If pulse is heavy or slow and its movement is like moving swan (hansvat) then kapha is dominant in that pulse.
  • Urine examination (Mootra preeksha) – Color and turbidity of urine is observed by naked eyes.
  • Fecal examination (Mala preeksha) –Examination of fecal matter is also done by naked eyes in order to see blood in stool and its floating nature (jalnimajan preeksha).
  • Tongue observation (Jivha preekshan) – Tongue of patient is examined for any discoloration, ulcers and white coating.
  • Examination of the voice and speech of pateint (Swar preekshan) – Hoarseness of voice is observed.
  • Skin and touch examination (Sparash preekshan) – Temperature of body, color and texture of skin is observed by Sparash preeksha.
  • Observation of eyes (Netra preekshan) – Color of iris, sclera and conjunctiva is observed.