Ashwagandha, Say What? What It Is and Why You Need It

ashwagandha smoothie

If you’ve been following the headlines as I’ve been, you’re probably already aware of the madness that has ensued in recent weeks:

I’m not going to let you all in on my business, but trust and believe there are plenty of things going on in my actual life as I’m sure there are in many of yours.

Of course, I strive to juggle all the things with a smile and with as much grace as humanly possible but…WOO SAH. Doing the most is stressful, wears you down, and sometimes grinning and bearing it doesn’t cut it.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with feeling overwhelmed, so here is a quick run-down on one of my favorite go-to herbs to help me maintain my sanity and sexy.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha is a member of the Solanaceae family, is native to India, Africa, and the Mediterranean, and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years. Ashwagandha is classified as an herbal adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt to stress.

When I’m taking my own advice, I use this magic root to help me deal with insomnia associated with an inability to quiet my racing mind. Yes, my mind is on the move, especially at night when I’m free to think in peace. It’s a blessing and a curse….

Luckily, ashwagandha doesn’t leave me feeling drowsy or sluggish the next morning, and I can continue two-stepping through life.


Known as “Indian Ginseng,” I use this herb when I find myself in beast mode, and I’m trying to sustain my momomentum as I like to call it (which is pretty much all of the time)! I like adding a teaspoon of the powdered herb to my morning smoothies along with maca root and cinnamon powder, for a cognitive and physical boost! (Get one of my favorite recipes below.) This is a nice combo for folks who are run-down, sleepless and stressed.

Shine Alert: Ashwagandha will step-up your beauty routine too!

  • Applied topically as a poultice, it heals minor wounds.
  • It protects the body against the effects of aging
  • Increases collagen in the skin
  • Reduces hair loss
  • Reduces premature graying

Recipe: Apple-Banana Ashwagandha Smoothie

1 teaspoon of ashw. (5g)
1/2 Apple and banana
1 stalk of kale leaves
1 teaspoon of chia 1/2 teaspoon cacao
1 tbsp of almond butter
2.5 g (1/2 teaspoon) ginger root
4 oz plain goats milk
Add ice or water to play with consistency
Roughly: 644 calories, 35 g protein, 30 g fat 63 g carbs, 10 g fiber

But wait, there’s more! Visit The The Momo Method to learn more about ashwagandha and other life hacks to improve your world.

Monica McCollin, MS, CNS, RYT, is a licensed nutritionist, clinical herbalist, yogini- RYT and blogger living, loving and working from Barcelona, Spain. This story was previously published on her blog, The Momo Method.


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