This is the perfect herb to help with the crazy stresses that we've all been through the last few years: Ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is referred to as the Queen of the Herbs in Ayurvedic medicine and it definitely lives up to its name. Its super power is that is helps you adapt more effectively to stress. It's delicious as a latte and can be taken daily as a tonic to help you become more resilient to stress and have more grounded, calm energy. A perfect herb for our times! (Withania somnifera)
Why We Love It
Here are some of the reasons why we love Ashwagandha...
1) LOWERS ANXIETY - Ashwagandha is an amazing herb that is classically used in Ayurvedic medicine. Its super power is that it helps lower anxiety and brings about calming to your nervous system. Here's the research.
2) ADAPTOGENIC - Ashwagandha is one of only a handful of herbs in the world that is an adaptogenic herb. This means that it literally helps your body better adapt to stress. Here's the research.
3) BI-DIRECTIONAL - The beauty of an adaptogenic herb like ashwagandha is that it works in both directions; it gives you more energy when you need it, and also helps you to relax and fall asleep. The best way to describe it is that it gives you grounded, calm energy. Who couldn't use more of that? :)
How to Grow It
Here's how to grow Ashwagandha:
|MOISTURE||WELL DRAINING SOIL, WATER WHEN SOIL HAS DRIED DOWN SOME, DROUGHT TOLERANT ONCE ESTABLISHED|
|GROWING ZONES||PERENNIAL IN USDA ZONES 8-12 OR GROWN AS ANNUAL IN COLDER CLIMATES (Not sure? Find your growing zone here)|
|SIZE||1-3 FEET TALL & 1-2 FEET WIDE|
Ashwagandha loves the heat, so best to start indoors and plant out after your last frost date.
Add a small handful of limestone to the planting hole when you transplant out your ashwagandha for a super happy plant.
How to Harvest & Use It
The roots contain the most powerful medicine and are best harvested in winter once the top of the plant has died back. In zones 8 and above, you can mulch heavily to protect the plant from hard freezes, and let it grow another season to have even larger roots. Leave a few root fragments in the ground when harvesting to keep your ashwagandha patch going strong.
Here's a brilliant video worth watching by Rosemary Gladstar on the power of adaptogenics and Ashwagandha: