Ashwangandha Tea as an Adaptogen

Ashwagandha is a leafy green plant found growing in the drier climates of India. For more than 3000 years, ashwagandha has been a staple of Indian society. This shrub-like member of the nightshade family has become an invaluable commodity in India because of its importance in Ayurvedic medicine. It is known to offer many medicinal benefits, and its diversity has given rise to its nickname, ‘Indian Ginseng’. Though botanically unrelated to ginseng, this name does illustrate its similarities to ginseng, especially since, like ginseng, ashwagandha is a known adaptogen.

Pouring Tea

What is an Adaptogen?

An adaptogen is a plant, usually an herb, that has the ability to improve health and resistance to stress not through a concentrated action, but a nonspecific one. This means that instead of working on a single organ or system in the body, such as the heart or metabolism, it offers a positive effect on the body as a whole. This makes adaptogens one of the most important and valuable classes of herbs in herbalism. In order to be considered an adaptogen, applicable herbs must meet a predetermined set of conditions. Russian scientist N.V. Lazarev, who first coined the term in 1947, explained that for an herb to be considered an adaptogen, it “must be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism, it must have a nonspecific action, and it usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathological state.” According to this description, there are three simple but important criteria an adaptogen must possess.

Safe: For an herb to be considered an adaptogen, it must have few minor side effects, if any, and certainly no dangerous side effects.

Nonspecific: An adaptogenic herb must work for the body as a whole, not an isolated part of it.

Normalizing: An adaptogenic herb must help to normalize body function from its current state. This means not only will it help to relax a system that is under tension from anxiety, but it will also energize and revitalize a system that is weary with fatigue.

Only once an herb has been identified to possess all of these qualities can it be officially given the label of an adaptogen.

Steeping Tea

Ashwagandha Tea’s Adaptogenic Benefits

As an adaptogen, ashwagandha tea offers many positive qualities for promoting good health. Ashwagandha tea works on the nervous system to relax hyperactive nerves. This has a significant effect on stress levels and tension, as it calms tense muscles and allows for better calm and focus. It also helps to ease feelings of fatigue, as it stimulates the metabolism and promotes blood flow, providing energy to both the body and mind. This relaxing and revitalizing effect makes ashwagandha beneficial for nearly any situation, and its mild nature makes it accessible to people of nearly all standards of age and health.