OMG WTF is Ashwagandha asdfghjkl ICYMI TBH NSFW

No I didn’t just speak a whole lot of gibberish… Well maybe just a half lot of gibberish – The “Ashwagandha” part was a real word. And I know what you’re thinking “OMG WTF is Ashwagandha?” Well, I first heard of Ashwagandha when I was on prep for my second bikini competition (Want to know more about that experience? Click here: How Completing my First Prep Made me Strong…. And Not Completing my Second Prep Made me Even Stronger: Part 2 – WBFF NYC). My coach, George, had prescribed it to me (in liquid form) to take every morning, straight from a dropper bottle. Down the hatch! This Ashwagandha looked and smelled exactly the way you would expect. It was dark, syrupy, and natural-smelling, and it basically tasted like dirt. The absolute definition of what I didn’t want to be ingesting every day for 12-16 weeks straight.

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Well, about three weeks ago, while cleaning out the kitchen cabinets, I came across my trusty old dropper bottle of Ashwagandha. And, TBH (to be honest) I just couldn’t bear to throw it out. Why you ask? Well, for the same reasons my coach wanted me to take it last year around this time. Let’s start at the beginning:

  • Ashwagandha is a combination of the Sanskrit words ashva (meaning “horse”) and gandha (meaning “smell”). Which means it literally translates to “the smell of a horse.” (Remember that “natural” smell I mentioned before??) But beyond it’s O-So fragrant smell, it’s named for imparting the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.
  • Ashwagandha is frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties. (Even though botanically, they are completely unrelated.) It is believed to promote physical and emotional well-being. (Hence why it was prescribed during the stressful time of competition prep.)

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  • Ashwagandha (which is related to the tomato) is a plump shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers. It bears red fruit about the size of a raisin. Though the herb is native to India, northern Africa, and the Middle East, today it is grown in many more places, including the United States.
  • Ashwagandha is an “adaptogen”. An adaptogen is believed to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect on bodily processes. (Also why it was prescribed during the stressful time of competition prep.)

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Sooooooo… Why take Ashwagandha?? Why is it different than any other supplement out there?? I’ll tell you why! Unlike many herbs on the market, Ashwagandha actually lives up to the hype! Medical researchers have been studying Ashwagandha for years and have completed more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of it. Some key examples of the healing effects of Ashwagandha are:

  • Protects the immune system
  • Helps combat the effects of stress
  • Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
  • Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
  • Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Reduces the signs of aging
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • Offers anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Contains anti-malarial properties
  • Increases stamina
  • Enhances sexual potency for both men and women

So next time you hear or a bunch of random syllables strung together, think twice. It may just be your new herbal best friend.

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