Some of the best things for your hair growth can be quite a bit strange sounding. It is doubtful that you have heard about Ashwagandha, but this is a great plant that can be a huge help if you are trying to encourage your hair to grow.
What Is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a plant that has a few different names. Some of these names include Indian Ginseng, Winter Cherry, and even Poison Gooseberry, not because the berry is actually poisonous but because of the fact that it is in the nightshade family. Its scientific name is Withania Somnifera.
Ashwagandha is a combination of two words from Sanskrit, one of which means horse and the other one which refers to smell. The reason why it is called this is because the root has a strong odor that smells like a horse. The second part of its Latin name, Somnifera, means “sleep-inducing” and it is called this because this plant does have that quality to it.
In size, it is a perennial shrub that grows to around 14” to 30” tall with branches that come out of a central stem. The leaves on it are a dull green color and 4” to 5” in length. This plant has both flowers and fruit with the flowers being small, shaped like bells, and yellowish-green and the fruit being an orangish-red when it is ripe.
The Ashwagandha plant is grown mostly in the drier areas of India, Nepal, and China, though it is sometimes also grown in other places like Yemen. This is because it likes dry, stony soil with very little shade.
Despite the name of Poison Gooseberry, almost all parts of this plant can be used medicinally including the berries, the leaves, and the roots. Most often when you buy it you will get it in either a pill or a powder form which contains the root and maybe some leaves as well, though you can find things that have the berry in them as well.
How Can Ashwagandha Help With My Hair Growth?
Ashwagandha is most often used to generally increase your energy, endurance, and overall health. It has a wide variety of benefits, however, more than one of which is closely related to your hair growth and which can help your hair to be healthier and thicker.
The first thing that you should know about this plant is that it has great antioxidant properties in it. Antioxidants destroy bad things like free radicals in your body and then work to protect it and help it repair itself as well.
Free radicals are one of the things that make you age, including getting grey hairs, so getting rid of these out of your body alone can help your hair grow better and postpone greying hairs. This also reduces stress on your body and frees up your organs to focus on other things such as growing your hair and giving you more energy.
As mentioned, ashwagandha also has some sleep properties to it, helping you to sleep soundly and feel like you are well-rested when you wake up. This helps your body in so many ways, gives you more energy, and helps you to concentrate when you are awake.
The thing that this plant is the best at, however, is helping your scalp by strengthening the roots of your hair and by helping your scalp to hold on to your hair. One of the main causes that can sometimes thin out your hair is stress, and this herb does a great job of combating that in multiple ways too.
Other things that this plant can do are to help stabilize your blood sugar if you have diabetes and that it can also reduce pain and swelling if you suffer from arthritis. While these things might not directly help with your hair growth, you should keep in mind that the less your body has to deal with that the more it can focus on other things like thickening your hair.
How Should You Use It And What Are Some Possible Concerns?
Ashwagandha is most often taken as a supplement, however, it can also be used in hair oils and in herbal shampoos. While this can help with dandruff and increase the circulation to your scalp, it cannot help to get rid of the free radicals in your body unless you take in internally.
There are two ways to take it internally: either you can get it in capsule form and take it as a pill or you can get it in powder form and put it in your smoothie or food, not on an empty stomach. It does have a noticeably bitter taste though, so you may prefer the capsule.
When taking it as a powder you should take ¼ to 1 tsp once or twice a day, starting off with the ¼ tsp and then gradually increasing the amount to the full tsp from there. When taking it as a pill you should start with only one a day and then if you want to you can go up to two a day.
Like other supplements that are made from potent herbs, you should not take Ashwagandha on a continuous basis for more than a few months. It is best to take it daily for 2 to 4 months and then have a gap of a whole month without taking it at all.
On this same note, you should not take Ashwagandha if you are pregnant or if you have any problems with other plants in the nightshade family like tomatoes, pepper, or potatoes. In some cases, this herb can take its hair growing a little too far and lead to overgrowth of your facial hair since it does boost testosterone levels, which is another reason why it is important not to take too much of it.
Finally, if you have any other health issues that you take medication for then you should take this into consideration. As mentioned, one of the things that this plant can do is to stabilize your blood sugar. So, if you are taking medication for this, Ashwagandha supplements may cause problems with your blood sugar.