Meet your new best friend: Ashwaganda.
Ashwaganda, also known as Indian Ginseng, is an adaptogenic herb and a nervine tonic, which means it lowers anxiety, cortisol (stress hormones), and relaxes muscles. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it is known as a Rasayana or rejuvenator herb for youthful physical and mental benefits and increased happiness. Ashwaganda has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory qualities for reduced pain.
Stay with me through the health blurb details because you’re going to want to know this.
As a dancer, ashwaganda provides dual-support for both body and mind recovery. While anti-inflammatory zappers ease your muscles after a long day, the cortisol-reducing effects help your mind return to center for better memory of those earlier three rehearsal (increased cortisol has been shown to inhibit the hippocampus, which is involved with long term memory processing). So recover faster AND actually remember those steps the next day.
Ashwaganda is part fat-soluble and part water-soluble, which means it is best to take with a combination of water and good fats. Moon Milk, a traditional Ayurvedic drink for rest and increased health, is a self-generous and delicious way to enjoy to enjoy the full health benefits of ashwaganda for your best dance recovery. Find powdered ashwaganda in your local health store or online.
- 1 tsp ashwaganda
- 1 tbsp. grass-fed organic butter
- 12 oz. grass-fed milk
- 1 tsp. tumeric
- Sprinkle of each: Himalayan pink salt; cinnamon; cardamom; nutmeg; ginger.
- Optional: pinch of cloves or black pepper.
Gently warm milk in pot over low heat. Add butter, ashwaganda, and tumeric; add Himalayan pink salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg; and ginger. Stir and simmer for 3 - 5 minutes. Optional: add cloves and/or black pepper for further anti-inflammatory benefits. Drink warm in the evening for a refreshing sleep.
Singh N, Bhalla M, de Jager P, Gilca M. An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. ;8(5 Suppl):208–213. doi:10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9
"Ashwagandha". Drugs.com. 2009.
Kim EJ, Pellman B, Kim JJ. Stress effects on the hippocampus: a critical review. Learn Mem. 2015;22(9):411–416. Published 2015 Sep. doi:10.1101/lm.037291.114