Sunday, November 27, 2011

One (Beautiful) Word for Jetlag = Ashwagandha

Say that word 3 times. Isn't it so pretty?! I am not one for supplements, but this one stole my heart as soon as I heard it's lovely name. I'm lucky it did, because it's brought me a host of benefits, including jet lag relief on my recent trip to California.

About Ashwagandha: Ashawagandha, also known as the Indian ginseng, originated in India and Northern America. When I mentioned this name to one of my yoga students about how it helped me with my jet lag, she emailed me the next day saying that she was trying to google whatever she remembered of the name but all that came up was an African Prince-HAHA! The name was actually derived from Withania somnifera which is a Sanskrit name.

Ashawagandha is a shrub that has yellowish -green flowers. It is regarded as an adaptogen (a type of herb said to strengthen your resistance to stress while enhancing your energy). Often used to boost the immune system after an illness, ashwagandha is also included in formulations that aim to treat these conditions:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • inflammation
  • fatigue
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • skin infections
  • insomnia and other sleeping disorders
  • anxiety, depression (nervous system ailments)
  • epilepsy
  • ...and supposedly it helps with jet lag! At least it helped me. I made sure to take it 2-3 times throughout the day before I left, during my traveling, and throughout the 1st day at my destination. Then, I did the same on my last day of my trip, traveling back, and 1st day back at home. It worked wonders! Now keep in mind, when I travel on planes I make sure that I pack healthy food and snacks (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, apples, trail mixes, lara bars, etc.) and stay VERY well hydrated. Herbal teas in the airport terminal, a glass of water every time the drink cart strolls by me, and a comfy neck pillow to doze off so that I'm not skipping much sleep is also part of my travel plan. Once I arrive at my destination I make sure to bask in the sunlight (when applicable) to help allow my body to adjust and recharge. This is always a great opportunity for me to sit in the sun, drink some more water, and journal about my travels. Also, ashwagandha is a great supplement to take during the winter months since it helps keep our immune system strong. This is also helpful when traveling because we all know how yucky that germ infested dry air is on a long flight! Yick-

    How to take it: Ashwagandha can be taken in powdered form, dried root, capsules or tablets. Recommended dose is between 1 to 2 capsules everyday, available mostly in health drugstores. There’s no side effects reported in taking ashwagandha in various forms as pills, tablets, or capsules. Although large doses might result in irritation to the mucus walls or perhaps gastrointestinal problems. Make sure to take it with food. This herb should not be used with any other medicinal sedatives. Pregnant, breastfeeding or nursing moms should not take this herb as well with children.

    Although ashwagandha is an all-natural supplement that includes lots of possible advantages to one’s over-all health and wellbeing, it is advised to consult a doctor prior to taking it or ANY other herbal supplements.

    5 comments:

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