Ashwagandha, The Queen of the Ayurveda
Ashwagandha is a plant that has been used in Indian medicine for more than 5000 years. It has multiple properties for health: it provides energy and vitality, favors performance, brings peace and serenity, and reduces anxiety. Moreover, Ashwagandha is a natural herb and aphrodisiac element, it rejuvenates the body and mind and favors longevity.
Table of contents
- What is Ashwagandha?
- What are the effects of Ashwagandha (Whitania somnifera)?
- Properties and Benefits of Ashwagandha
- Ashwagandha and the Thyroid gland
- Ashwagandha and the revitalization of suprarenal glands
- Ashwagandha as Antioxidant
- Ashwagandha as an anti-inflammatory agent
- Ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety
- Ashwagandha and the brain: Ashwagandha stimulates the brain functioning
- Ashwagandha is also used to combat infections
- Ashwagandha and cancer
- Ashwagandha increases the energy
- Ashwagandha as a neuroprotector
- Ashwagandha and Alzheimer
- Ashwagandha and Parkinson
- Ashwagandha and Huntington disease
- Ashwagandha and Schizophrenia
- Ashwagandha and cardiovascular health
- Ashwagandha is an anti-diabetic
- Ashwagandha reduces the pain and fever
- The effects of Ashwagandha on women
- Ashwagandha increases fertility
- The effects of Ashwagandha in male infertility
- Ashwagandha reduces the immune system diseases
- Ashwagandha favors bone health
- The hormone effects of Ashwagandha
- Ashwagandha protects the liver
- Ashwagandha is good for the intestine
- Ashwagandha protects the pancreatic cells
- Ashwagandha protects the kidneys
- Ashwagandha prevents respiratory diseases
- Ashwagandha for the skin
- Ashwagandha reduces the addiction to morphine
- Ashwagandha and genetic diseases
- Ashwagandha favors muscle growth
- Ashwagandha favors longevity
- Ashwagandha prevents convulsions
- Ashwagandha reduces the cataracts related to age
- Ashwagandha protects from industrial toxins.
- Ashwagandha has an effect on blood cells
- Ashwagandha is an effective anti-serum
- Ashwagandha Combinations, how can we take Ashwagandha?
- Ashwagandha Components
- How to take Ashwagandha?
- Side effects of Ashwagandha
- Contraindications of Ashwagandha
- Ashwagandha and the brain
- Ashwagandha increases physical resistance: Ashwagandha and sports
- Ashwagandha favors the activity of the telomerase
- Ashwagandha and sexual disorders in women
- Ashwagandha improves the cardio-respiratory resilience
- The relation between stress and weight control
- Ashwagandha, studies and references
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herb from the Ayurveda (traiditional Indian medicine). The plant is also known as dormouse (because it encourages sleep), Indian ginseng, or winter’s cherry. It belongs to the Solanaceae family. 
Ashwagandha is also called Indian ginseng and Chinese traditional medicine use it among other herbs as well to treat a wide range of diseases.
In the Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is regarded as a “Rasayana” herb, which is a remedy that completely favors health and longevity.
The Ashwagandha plant has been traditionally employed in its origin country (India), from the vedic period (5.000 years ago) until now, as Rasayana (rejuvenation and healing), to increase longevity, as Balya (strength) to protect health overall, as well as Vajikarana (aphrodisiac) in order to increase the energy and vitality, which is why it is also known as “Hindi Ginseng”.
It is also considered an “adaptogen”, a natural remedy that normalizes the physiological functions that are caused by chronic stress, and which has the ability to balance the neuro-endocrine and immune system.
The name Ashwagandha means "horse breath", which makes reference to the strong and unique smell of this herb as well as to the virility of a horse, which alludes to its traditional use as a support of the male reproductive system.
Even though Ashwagandha is a millennial plant mostly used by the Ayurveda, or traditional Indian medicine, scientific research has only started to be carried out in laboratories.
If you want to increase your energy, look younger, and take care of your health, Ashwagandha is the medicinal herb that you were looking for. As you may find out in this article, the benefits of Ashwagandha for health are impressive.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic medicinal element, quite popular among the herbs of ayurvedic medicine, which has proven to have positive effects on reducing cholesterol levels and balancing the thyroid hormones.
Ashwagandha is also used to stimulate the immune system after overcoming a disease in India.
Ashwagandha is also known as the Indian ginseng due to the fact that it increases the resistance and energy, and reduces stress.
Among the most important effects of Ashwagandha we highlight:
- It is the most important adaptogen in ayuverdic medicine. Reduces the symptoms of anxiety and strengthens the nerves.
- It fights premature aging, rejuvenates the entire organism and contributes to preserve the youth. Its antioxidant properties help to neutralize the free radicals and to prevent the symptoms of premature aging.
- It increases physical endurance in general and particularly of the muscles.
- It strengthens the immune system and helps the organism to fight against diseases. It is an excellent remedy in order to increase the resistance in those who are physically weak, and in those are recovering from a long disease period.
- It helps to reach mental peace and tranquility.
- It improves intellectual performance and helps to maintain and improve concentration. It is completely compatible with the body, and it helps the brain to work better and more efficiently, which is why it is also called "Hindi Ginseng".
- It invigorates the organism, reduces fatigue, and helps to eliminate the negative energies from the organism.
- It is administered to those who suffer from dizziness, lack of attention, or depression, which helps to fight physical and mental deficiencies.
- It is a powerful aphrodisiac that increases sexual power and resistance. It can also increase the number and quality of the sperm, and the fertility of men and women.
- It is one of the most used herbs to treat hypertension.
- It is an excellent nutritional supplement that helps to strengthen the heart muscles and to maintain their optimal functioning.
- It increases mental performance. Improves the focus, provides more mental clarity and concentration.
Ashwagandha has extraordinary benefits to heal the thyroid and suprarenal glands, it increases the energy and a good mood, it prevents cancer and stimulates the health of the brain.
Ashwagandha has one of the best results on the health of the thyroid gland. Although scientists do not exactly know how adaptogen herbs work, they do know that there are extremely effective to achieve a hormone balance.
One of the most incredible aspects of this medicinal plant as an adaptogen consists on the fact that it can be a great support for those who suffer hypothyroidism. Clinical studies have proven that it can also help those with thyroiditis, Hashimoto, or Graves diseases, which is an hyperactive thyroid.
The adaptogen herbs work with the organism to reestablish the balance, it does not matter if the imbalance is too high or too low.
Studies with animals have shown how the Ashwagandha restores the balance of thyroid hormones. In a study carried out for 20 days, laboratory mice were given Ashwagandha, and then, their T3 and T4 levels were analyzed along with a lipid peroxidation (antioxidant protection). The result was that they found that the serum T4 increased, which suggests that this plant supports the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Ashwagandha also improves the thyroid function by greatly reducing the lipid peroxidation, by eliminating the free radicals, which are harmful elements for our health that cause cell damage. These results prove that the Ashwagandha is useful for the treatment of hypothyroidism.
Nowadays, there are millions of people who suffer from thyroid problems (many of them do not even know), and Ashwagandha could be the solution they are looking for.
Ashwagandha is quite effective to stimulate the suprarenal function, reducing suprarenal fatigue and chronic stress.
Suprarenal glands are endocrine glands that are in charge of hormone secretion (cortisol and adrenaline) in the body’s response to stress.
If the suprarenal glands are excessively forced due to excessive emotional, physical, or mental stress, this results in suprarenal fatigue, which can affect other hormones, such as progesterone, which causes infertility and low DHEA levels which, at the same time, accelerates the aging process.
Medical studies have proven that Ashwagandha improves the cortisol levels, increases insulin sensitivity and provides hormone balance in a natural way. A clinical study refers to the case of a 57 years old woman with atypical suprarenal hyperplasia. The patient was treated with Ashwagandha for six months, which resulted in improvements in four markers of the suprarenal hormone, including corticosterone and 11-deoxycortisol, which were reduced in a 69 and 55 per cent. While this hormone improvement took place, it was proven that it was accompanied by a remarkable decrease of hair loss.
Chronic stress not only leads to an increase in cortisol levels in the blood, but it also reduces the amount of another corticosteroid, dehydroephiandrosterone (DHEA). DHEA is a hormone that is produced by the suprarenal glands and which is really important to provide energy, fighting against cortisol receptors to balance their effects.
Those that are chronically stressed feel very tired because they have less DHEA. Moreover, the symptoms related to this disorder are multiplied since the receptors can bind to cortisol.
Ashwagandha is involved in the effect of increasing DHEA levels in the organism. The same double blind controlled clinical study with placebo proved that those subjects who were given a recommended dose of Ashwagandha, experienced an increase in the DHEA levels in the blood of a 32.2%.
The combination of an increase in DHEA levels and a decrease of cortisol levels contributed to a decrease of fatigue and other symptoms suffered by the subjects of the clinical study.
Ashwagandha is a very effective antioxidant, it repairs the oxidative damage caused by the streptozotocin in mice.
The chemoprotector effect of the Ashwagandha is due to its purifying and antioxidant properties.
Ashwagandha is an antioxidant herb that relieves renal damage caused by oxidative stress.
Clinical reserach has provided information about how Ashwagandha produces an increase of the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in a study where mice were given a single daily dose of this medicinal plant for 21 days.
Research has been proven that the Ashwagandha stimulates the activity of the immune system and increases the cell activity in mice.
The Ashwagandha helps, among other things, to the bone marrow cells.
Ashwagandha increase the Thl cytokines and stimulated the T cells that have decreased due to stress in mice.
Ashwagandha also acts in the myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and the macrophages associated to tumors (TAM).
The Ashwagandha extract produces an increase in the macrophages activity.
There is scientific information that proves that Ashwagandha helps to treat anxiety and depression. A clinical study proved that its effects are similar to those of common medicines, such as lorazepam and imipramine, with the advantage that Ashwagandha is a natural product that does not produce any side effects.
A controlled clinical study carried out for 12 weeks on 87 subjects with anxiety, they were given 300mg of Ashwagandha extract or two placebo tablets, twice a day. The result was that the group that took the Ashwagandha experienced a great improvement in the symptoms of anxiety, an increase in concentration, as well as less fatigue and stress, than the group that was given the placebo.
One of the greatest advantage of Ashwagandha is that it is a completely natural plant that does not produce any side effects, unlike with the antidepressants and medicines for anxiety that tend to have serious side effects.
Ashwagandha is specifically a toning element that calms the nerves (strengthening of the nerves).
The active ingredients from this herb, specially the withanolides, improve mental performance in many ways:
- When we age or suffer chronic stress, the activity of acetylcholinesterase increases, reducing acetylcholine, which play a crucial role in the communication between neurons in the hippocampus, since they are like a learning and memory center in the brain. Ashwagandha improves mental performance because its bioactive withanolides inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase. This results in a higher amount of acetylcholine in the hippocampus which improves the brain activity.
- The Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera reduces the cortisol levels. A very high cortisol level can hinder mental performance and affect the amount of neuronal connections in the brain, which will result in a degeneration of concentration, attention, and memory.
- Ashwagandha increases the concentrations of antioxidant enzymes in the brain and protects the neurons from the free radicals. The antioxidant properties of Ashwagandha also reduce oxidative damage through the direct neutralization of the free radicals.
- A random, double blind, controlled study with placebo, proved that the intake of Ashwagandha increases the DHEA levels in the blood serum. DHEA is a very important hormone that increases mental performance and protects the brain from the damaging effects of cortisol.
The Ashwagandha extract is very useful for the psychic treatment of anxiety disorders.
The Ashwagandha extract is a concentrated compound that increases, safely and efficiently, resistance to stress, and it improves the quality of life of people at all levels.
In the clinical studies that have been carried out, the Ashwagandha produces a decrease of the cortisol levels and a reduction of stress when compared to a placebo. Cortisol is the stress hormone and it contributes to producing atrophy, muscle weakness, wrinkles, and cognitive disorders.
The research revealed that the Ashwagandha extract also improves the hearing and verbal memory in those who suffer from bipolar disorder.
Stress is an imbalance produced by the response of the organism to physical or emotional threats. It has many triggers, from relatively harmless reasons, like doing habitual tasks, to serious problems, like losing a job, facing a divorce or economical problems.
Regardless of the situation, the organism reacts to stress in a similar way, the body undergoes a series of physiological changes that prepare it to face an stressful factor, either if it is by facing it or escaping from it. Afterwards, the body returns to its previous balance.
In the short term, this response is a positive factor that increases someone’s ability to face life-changing circumstances. But if the person is exposed to stressful situations for a long time, the body gradually loses its ability to deal with it. This leads to a collapse of vital signs and a deterioration of health and wellbeing. Chronic stress triggers or worsens diseases in a 90%.
This has been confirmed in a double, blind, controlled clinical study with placebo which proven that those subjects that were given the recommended daily dose of Ashwagandha reduce the symptoms related to stress in a 69.9%.
When they took this plant, the subjects also experienced a significant reduction of the following symptoms: irritability, anxiety, insomnia, lack of focus, fatigue, sweating, headaches, muscle soreness, and palpitations.
On the contrary, the group that took the placebo did not experience any improvement nor change in the stress levels. Those who consumed Ashwagandha underwent a strong pressure before beginning to study. After the treatment with Ashwagandha, their mood have significantly improved.
The Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera) also reduces the markers related to stress through the decrease of cortisol levels in the blood, which allows the body to go back to a state of auto-regulation and balance.
The multi-functional and adaptogenic properties of Ashwagandha allow the organism to achieve a state of auto-regulation and to establish a normal daily rhythm.
As a result, the body will have energy, since the DHEA levels increase in the blood serum. This also improves the sleep quality, since a normal daily rhythm helps melatonin to produce drowsiness at night.
It has also been observed how it reduces obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) in mice.
After being treated with Ashwagandha, the animals showed a reduction a tolerance to stress.
Ashwagandha also reduces chronic gastric ulcer related to stress in those clinical trials that have been carried out with mice. It was more effective than raniditine, increased their sexual desire, and reduced cognitive deterioration.
It was also observed that Ashwagandha double the swimming performance in mice and it prevented the reduction of adrenal cortisol and ascorbic acid during swimming.
Ashwagandha is a safe and natural product. The clinical studies that have been carried out prove that it can increase the memory and improve the ability to think clearly.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that has been employed in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years in order to combat the negative effects of stress and aging, since it allows the body to go back a state of auto-regulation and balance.
Recent research has provided information about how the consumption of Ashwagandha in the recommended dose reduces concentration problems in a 75.8% and the memory ones in a 57.1%.
Ashwagandha belongs to the subgroup of the “Rasayanas” (or Elixir) known as “Medhya-Rasayanas” in India (the Medhya is related to the mental and intellectual capacity).
The Ashwagandha has cognitive properties, it helps children with memory problems and prevents memory loss in old people.
Ashwagandha also reduces stress and encourages relaxation, which also improves the memory in the short-term.
It was discovered that the Withania somnifera glycoprotein from Ashwagandha is effective to fight against most of phytopathogen fungi and bacteria. This is due to the fact to the following benefits.
- Ashwagandha has an effective anti-fungal activity which inhibits the growth of fungi and prevents the formation of spores and hypha.
- Ashwagandha is an effective treatment for tuberculosis.
- Ashwagandha has shown anti-bacterial effects against Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis.
- Ashwagandha is also useful for the treatment of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) resistant to methicillin (SARM).
- The Ashwagandha extract inhibits the growth of Neisseria gonorrea Gram-negative.
- The oral administration of Ashwagandha extract has managed to cure salmonella infections in mice.
The clinical research has proven that the Ashwagandha extract has very promising effects to prevent and treat cancer. Certain studies have made possible to confirm that the Ashwagandha extract has a very effective tumor-inhibiting effect.
Ashwagandha is one of the herbs that is capable of helping to suppress the propagation of cancer cells, specially breast cancer cells, lungs, stomach, colon, that are found in the most common types of cancer in the world.
It is believed that Ashwagandha prevents the growth of cancer cells due to its antioxidant properties and its ability to stimulate the immune system. The Ashwagandha supplements produce an increase of white cells, which is why the immune system is in better conditions of protecting the body from harmful diseases.
Moreover, Ashwagandha prevents the blood vessels that surround cancerous cells from favoring the growth of tumors.
Clinical studies have also proven that apart from their ability inhibit the growth of cancerous cells, the Ashwagandha, when combined with chemotherapy, is very useful in treatment against cancer.
The intake of Ashwagandha extract guarantees that the immune system keeps working in spite of chemotherapy. In this way, Ashwagandha solves one of the biggest problems of chemotherapy, the decrease of white cells, which leads to a higher risk of infection in cancer patients.
Many cancer experts advise taking the Ashwagandha extract both to prevent the onset of cancer as well as to help with the treatment of this disease. In fact, research studies have provided hopeful information about how, in some patients, the cancer symptoms only disappear with just taking Ashwagandha extract.
Ashwagandha helps to treat the fatigue caused by cancer and contributes to improving the quality of our health and life. It is an effective radiosensitizer and a relatively safe chemotherapeutic agent. It increases the amount of white blood cells (WBC) which tend to diminish with chemotherapy.
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) inhibits the growth and migration of breast cancer cells.
- The Ashwagandha extract significantly reduces the number of cell divisions produced by breast cancer.
- Ashwagandha (Whitaferin A) inhibits the activation of STAT3 in cancer cells.
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) is effective when it comes to fighting colon cancer (suppresses Notch-1).
- The Ashwagandha leaves inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells (HCT-15) in a 98 per cent.
- Ashwagandha leaves (Withaferin A, Withanon, Withanolide A) inhibit the growth of tumor cells in the brain and help to treat glioblastoma.
- Ashwagandha has an anti-cancer effect on the neuroblastoma cells (IMR-32).
- Ashwagandha root (withanolide sulfoxide) prevents the growth of gastric cancer cells.
- Ashwagandha has anti-cancer effect in the prostate cancer cell line.
- Ashwagandha also suppresses the tumorous proteasomes in prostate cancer cell cultures.
- It has been proven that the Ashwagandha is effective to treat bronchial adenoma caused by urethane.
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) prevented the growth and cytotoxic activity of lung cancer cells. (NCI-H460)
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) also prevents the growth of cancer cell in the kidney.
- Ashwagandha is effective for the treatment of carcinoma scaly cells in the head and neck.
- The long term treatment with Ashwagandha controls the dermatofibrosarcoma.
- Ashwagandha has proven to be efficient to prevent skin cancer in animals exposed to UVB radiation.
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) prevents the activation of the cancer gene and the mitochondrial dysfunction of epidermic cells.
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) has anti-cancer effects on the pancreas (the objective is Hsp90).
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) is effective for the treatment and prevention of cervical cancer.
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) reduces the efficacy of HPV cancer genes, by eliminated cancer cells from the cervix.
- Ashwagandha has a protecting effect against the Daltom Lymphoma.
- Ashwagandha has an inhibiting effect on the ovary cells carcinoma.
Ashwagandha reduces the Nf-kB, suppresses the TNF, and enhances the reduction of the cells, it slows down the tumor growth, and increases the chances to survive. Moreover, it also stimulates the formation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and it inhibits tumor growth.
Ashwagandha leaf extract (withanone) destroys cancer cells through the ROS (reactive oxygen species).
Each time, there are more men and women who consume energy drinks, caffeine capsules, and other energy products in order to obtain more energy throughout the day.
However, these stimulants are only a short-term energy source.
Moreover, in the long term, they end up forcing the suprarenal glands that produce the necessary hormones to balance the organism. The result is that these hormones run out, which causes chronic fatigue.
Due to its adaptogenic properties, Ashwagandha is capable of increasing the energy, since it provides long-term resistance and strength, while reducing the negative effects of stress in the organism, which improves health overall.
A recent study which was random, double blind, and controlled with placebo proved that Ashwagandha has the ability to increase the energy and improve health overall, without the side effects of the stimulants.
The study showed how the subjects that were given recommended doses of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) experienced an energy increase of a 79% (it has a similar effect to ginseng), when compared to the group who took the placebo.
In the same way, the group that consumed Ashwagandha experienced a remarkable decrease of the side effects of stimulants, including: hot flushes, sweating, headaches, palpitations, insomnia, irritability, and a lack of concentration. On the contrary, the group that took the placebo developed these symptoms during the time of the study.
Ashwagandha favors the functioning of the nervous system when it is taken for seven days. Moreover, it encourages the formation of dendrites and neuromuscular coordination.
Research studies have proven that the Ashwagandha plays a role as a neuroprotector in acute stress in mice.
The Ashwagandha extract protects human cells from the excitotoxicity caused by glutamate.
The Ashwagandha root helps to treat dyskinesia caused by medicines (abnormal or altered movements).
Ashwagandha stimulates the repair of damaged cortical neurons.
In experiments with brain cell cultures carried out on mice, Ashwagandha is effective for the amnesia caused by scopolamine.
Moreover, Ashwagandha is very effective for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, like Parkinson, Huntington, and Alzheimer.
Several clinical studies have proven that Ashwagandha prevents, reverts, or eliminates neuritic atrophy and the loss of synapse.
The clinical tests carried out on Alzheimer have proven that Ashwagandha reverts the behavioral deficits and the pathology of this disease. Moreover, Ashwagandha (withanolide IV) reduces neuronal dysfunction when it is administered orally.
In these studies, Ashwagandha has proven to significantly revert the cognitive deterioration caused by ibotenic acid.
The clinical studies carried out on mice have shown that Ashwagandha improves the catecholamines, oxidative damage, and physiological anomalies related to Parkinson.
These studies proved that the Ashwagandha extract improves the behavior and anatomical and biochemical abnormalities caused by Parkinson.
It was observed in a clinical study on mice that the Ashwagandha has a neuroprotective effect regarding the biochemical and mitochondrial dysfunctions of this pathology.
Ashwagandha is very effective for the treatment of schizophrenic patients, or patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Dietary Ashwagandha supplement stimulate the attention and impulse control in children with ADHD, even though its effects are not clearly outlined.
The elements that make up Ashwagandha have a beneficial and “stimulating” effect on the heart.
The treatment with Ashwagandha increases the heart rate and favors the contraction and relaxation.
Ashwagandha decreases the blood pressure (through automatically blocking the nodes), reduces cholesterol levels, and prevents from the hardening of the arteries.
It has been proven that the Ashwagandha powder reduces high cholesterol in mice (from a 31.25% to 44.85%) with a dose of 0.75 to 1.5 grams daily.
- Ashwagandha improves the cardio-respiratory resistance in sportspeople and elite athletes.
- Ashwagandha protects from oxidative damage caused by heart attacks induced by isoprenaline in mice (ISO).
- The Ashwagandha extract protects the heart from the toxicity produced by doxorubicin.
- Ashwagandha has a protective effect in cases of ischemic cerebrovascular attack in mice.
- Ashwagandha has a protective effect in cases of cerebrovascular accidents induced by isoprelanine in mice.
- The highest benefit of Ashwagandha that has been proven in mice, is the functional recovery of the heart with a 50mg/kg dose.
- Ashwagandha supplements with milk are advised to treat hypertension oriented to stress problems
Studies on diabetic mice have proven that Ashwagandha improves their glucose levels in the blood, urine, glycohemoglobin (HbA1C), and hepatic enzymes.
The Ashwagandha root helps to regulate the sugar levels in the blood in people with type II diabetes.
Ashwagandha also reduces the glucose levels in the blood in cases of diabetes induced by alloxan and, moreover, it normalizes the increased glucose levels in the blood in mice with type II diabetes (improving their insulin sensitivity).
Ashwagandha, along with the “shilajit” extract, reduces the symptoms related to diabetes, glucose levels in the blood, on an empty stomach, and cholesterol levels in all the subjects studied with this purpose.
Ashwagandha reduces the glucose levels in the blood, prevents excessive insulin levels, and improves glucose tolerance in clinical studies carried out on mice with type II diabetes.
Moreover, Ashwagandha also improves the testicular dysfunction caused by diabetes in prepubescent mice and prevents diabetes induced by glycation.
The consumption of Ashwagandha for two months prevents the painful diabetic neuropathy. On the other hand, Ashwagandha neutralizes the free radicals and helps to improve the antioxidant state in mice with type II diabetes.
The compound Withaferin A from Ashwagandha is the one responsible for its activity against diabetes.
Ashwagandha is an analgesic element that has a calming effect on the nervous system when reacting to pain.
It was proven in clinical studies on mice that the intake of Ashwagandha (1000mg/kg/oral) produces a remarkable ease of the pain. Moreover, it was also tested that it reduced the fever.
Ashwagandha has many beneficial effects on women, it relieves the symptoms of climacteric, stimulates the endocrine glands, and helps to regulate the hormone release during menopause. Moreover, it is also effective to reduce the symptoms associated to menopause, as well as hot flushes, mood swings, and anxiety.
The Ashwagandha extract stimulates the thyroid activity and favors the anti-peroxidation of the hepatic tissue.
Its consumption benefits women who suffer from behavioral disorders or mood swings during menopause.
Ashwagandha is one of the components of a multipurpose ayurvedic preparation called “Testo” (a concentration of 25mg) which proved that it produced a remarkable relief in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Ashwagandha is the best treatment against amenorrhea (the abnormal absence of menstruation).
The long-term treatment with Ashwagandha regulates the uterine fibromas (benign elements that grow in the uterine walls).
The Ayurveda uses Ashwagandha to treat oligospermia which causes infertility in male mice.
Ashwagandha helps to reestablish the hormone balance and increases fertility through relaxation and the reduction of stress.
Ashwagandha contributes to regulate the lutropin hormone (LH) to its normal levels in men with fertility problems. Moreover, in this cases, it also increases testosterone levels (T).
Ashwagandha improves the thyroid function, it regulates the reproductive hormones. Ashwagandha is also effective to treat men with hypogonadism.
Ashwagandha improves fertility, the quality of the sperm and sexual hormones in men with fertility problems.
In a clinical study carried out with male mice, it was proven that the consumption of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) for 60 days significantly improved the weight of the testicles and sexual organs. Moreover, Ashwagandha also improved the amount of spermatozoa.
It has been shown that Ashwagandha reduces the formation of ROS (a type of reactive oxygen) in infertile men.
The Ashwagandha extract is also effective to increase sexual performance in mice.
Ashwagandha is one of the best antidotes for reproductive toxicity induced by arsenic in mice due to its medicinal properties.
Ashwagandha also improves the semen metabolites in infertile men.
However, Ashwagandha does not improve erectile dysfunction related to psychological problems.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal) has been traditional used in ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac element to treat male sexual dysfunction and infertility.
The clinical studies that have been carried out on this issue back up the fact that Ashwagandha increases testosterone levels in humans, and it produces spermatogenesis in mice.
Human infertility affects both men and women. However, approximately half of the etiology in infertile men is unknown, even though the main cause of reduced fertility is oligospermia.
Many men with sexual dysfunctions undergo alternative therapies apart from using medicines. Ashwagandha, with its positive effects on stress and mental health, apart from helping with some basic problems regarding male infertility, have a beneficial effect on couples that suffer from infertility.
A pilot study was carried out in Mumbai, India, for 90 days with 46 men aged 22 to 40 that suffered oligospermia (20 million spermatozoa per sperm millimeter).
All the men had a history of frequent sexual relations with a healthy partner that did not suffer from infertility. Men were randomly assigned a treatment with the whole range of Ashwagandha extract and were given a dose of 225mg three times a day, while the control group was given placebo capsules three time a day.
At the end of the treatment, the sperm parameters were measured, as well as the hormone serum levels.
- 167% increase in the spermatozoa from the group that was given Ashwagandha
- 53% increase in the spermatozoa from the control group
- 57% increase in the motility of the spermatozoa in the group that was given Ashwagandha
- 17% increase in testosterone serum levels from the control group
The improvement in the Ashwagandha group was remarkable when compared to the minimum values of the placebo group. The 70% of the group that was given Ashwagandha rated the treatment as “excellent”, when compared to the 12% of the placebo group.
The researchers stated:
“The results of this study back up the safety, efficacy, and tolerance of the treatment with Ashwagandha extract”.
Ashwagandha powder has a preventive effect in mice with systemic lupus erythematosus (LES).
Ashwagandha powder reduces the inflammation in systemic lupus erythematosus induced by pristan.
Ashwagandha stimulates the formation and building of bones
Ashwagandha helps with calcium retention and with the building of the bones.
In clinical studies, Ashwagandha had a positive effect on the content of tibial calcium and phosphorus in laying hens.
Ashwagandha prevents bone loss in mice (due to the inhibition of the absorption as well as to the stimulation of the formation of new bone just before the beginning of osteoporosis.) and it has a protective effect on arthritis induced by adjuvant in mice.
Ashwagandha also improves bone calcification in mice with a calcium deficit and suppresses gouty arthritis.
The Ashwagandha root extract has protective effects for the bones from osteoarthritis.
The clinical studies have tested the following effects:
- Testosterone (T) levels in infertile individuals increased after being treated with Ashwagandha
- Ashwagandha works as an anti-estrogen in breast cancer cells in humans, but not in normal cells.
- Ashwagandha increased the luteinizing hormone (LH) to normal levels in infertile men.
- The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) values increased in infertile men after being treated with Ashwagandha.
- Ashwagandha stimulates the thyroid hormone function in female mice.
- Ashwagandha can only increase the concentration of T4 (thyroxine) in female mice.
- The Ashwagandha extract stimulated the thyroid activity in male adult mice.
- Ashwagandha improved hypothyroidism induced by metformin in mice with type II diabetes.
- Ashwagandha is an effective treatment for hypothyroidism when it is consumed for 20 days.
- Ashwagandha also prevents the onset of goiter (enlarged thyroid gland).
- Ashwagandha significantly increases the bile acid in the liver of mice with high cholesterol levels.
- Ashwagandha reduces the hepatic enzymes in the metabolism (glucose-6-phosphatase), and regulates it to its normal levels in mice with diabetes induced by alloxan.
- Ashwagandha prevents the hepatic toxicity induced in mice by ionizing radiation.
- Ashwagandha protects the liver of rat against heavy metals.
- Enemas with Ashwagandha extract are prescribed to treat intestinal ulcers, irritable intestine, and rectal bleeding.
- The Ashwagandha root extract restores the mucosa in mice with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Ashwagandha prevents constipation
- Ashwagandha prevents and treats hemorrhoids (swelled veins around the anus).
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) can work as support to improve the result of a pancreas transplant.
- Ashwagandha protects the pancreatic cells of mice with type II diabetes.
- The Ashwagandha extract protects the kidneys from the toxicity induced by gentamicin.
- Ashwagandha cures the renal corpuscle in injuries caused by carbendazim.
- It has been tested that purified Ashwagandha polysaccharides reduce coughing in guinea pigs.
- Two spoonfuls of Ashwagandha three times a day provide a quick recovery from bronchitis.
- Ashwagandha (as a paste elaborated with its boiled leaves) is frequently administered to heal wounds, mange, tinea, leucoderma, leprosy, and acne.
- Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) prevents the onset of white patches on the skin (avoiding the risk of hypopigmentation of the skin).
- The Ashwagandha extract produces the darkening of the skin in the melanophores of common lizards.
- Ashwagandha helps to reduce the addiction to morphine.
- Ashwagandha suppressed the rifts of the abstinence syndrome to morphine, a sign of the development of the addiction to morphine.
- Ashwagandha has been effective for the treatment of the genetic disease “adrenogenital syndrome” in a 57 years old woman.
- Ashwagandha is also effective for the treatment of the symptoms of Down syndrome.
- A significant increase in the weight of rats treated with Ashwagandha was observed when compared to a control group in a experiment carried out with mice.
- Ashwagandha supplements produce a significant increase in the weight of young men and it also increases muscle strength in endurance training.
- Ashwagandha is effective to treat patients with sarcopenia (muscle mass and strength loss caused by aging).
- Ashwagandha enhances the muscle activity without any kind of side effects nor risks.
- The Ashwagandha leaves extract has anti-aging properties.
- Ashwagandha also has strong aphrodisiac, rejuvenating, and life-prolonging properties.
- Ashwagandha has been used to treat convulsions for centuries.
- Ashwagandha suppressed the PTZ (pantoprazole) convulsions in animals in the extraction of ethanol.
- Ashwagandha is also a component of the granule “Siotone” that protects from the convulsions caused by pantoprazole, severe electric shocks, and strychnine.
- Ashwagandha slows down the formation of cataracts in the cells.
- The Ashwagandha plant extract also prevents the “diabetic cataracts” caused by high chronic levels of glucose in the blood.
- Ashwagandha protects the lens from oxidative damaged caused by selenite.
- Ashwagandha has been employed to treat conjunctivitis for a very long time.
- The Ashwagandha leaf extract protects human cells from the toxicity of methyl acetic acid (an important industrial metabolite).
- Ashwagandha is also effective to protect from the toxins that come from diesel gases, heavy metals, and pesticides that damage several organic system of the organism.
- Ashwagandha (the leaves) can cure anemia, a common disease among Indian women from rural areas.
- Ashwagandha increases the red blood cells.
- It has been proven that the Ashwagandha extract increases the amount of white cells. An injection of Ashwagandha with milk produced an increase in white cells in a study carried out with animals.
- The Ashwagandha plant extract has been used as an antidote against snake bites in rural areas from India.
- The purified Ashwagandha glycoprotein inhibits the hyaluronidase from the poison of the cobra (Naja Naja) and the viper (Daboi russelii).
- The Ashwagandha root, combined with other remedies, is prescribed to treat snake poison the scorpion stings.
- Ashwagandha along with aloe vera reduces the sugar levels in the blood in mice with diabetes caused by streptozotocin (STZ).
- Ashwagandha acts synergistically with diazepam in mice to protect from the behavior induced by the isolation.
- Ashwagandha works with vitamin D (1.25 (OH) 2 D3) to favor calcium retention and bone calcification.
- The combination of glucan and Ashwagandha extract derive from the maitake mushrooms have favorable biological effects to keep a healthy immune system and to reduce stress.
- Ashwagandha and chyawanprash (a herbal supplement with many natural ingredients) is effective for the treatment of lung tuberculosis.
- The Ashwagandha root is regarded as a toning, aphrodisiac, narcotic, and diuretic ingredient. It has anti-parasitic, astringent, thermogenic, and stimulating properties. It is an important element in more than 200 formulas from traditional Indian medicine, like the Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani.
- The Ashwagandha plant leaves have a bitter taste and a characteristic smell. It is advised to combat fever and painful swelling.
- The flowers have an astringent, cleansing, diuretic, and aphrodisiac effect.
- The seeds have an anti-parasitic agent.
- The Ayurveda prescribes the delicate berries and leaves that are externally applied to tumors, tuberculous glands, anthrax, and ulcers.
- Other beneficial ingredients are the stems, the fruits, and the bark.
- The biologically active chemical components are alkaloids (isopelletierine, anaferin), steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferin).
- Other components are saponins (sitoindoside VII and VIII) and withanolides (sitoindoside IX and X).
- It is also known that the Ashwagandha has a wide range of secondary metabolites with a low molecular weight, like the terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, phenols, and resins.
- The Ashwagandha leaf extract has carbohydrates, sugar glycosides, proteins, and amino acids. It is also a rich source of iron.
- The typical dose of Ashwagandha consists on taking between 3-6 grams of dry root or 300-500mg of plant extract daily. It is advisable to use it regularly for several months in order to achieve the best results.
- It can also be taken as an infusion or mixed with butter fat, honey, or oil.
- The Ashwagandha extract has no side effects. Scientists have given mice a dose of even 1.500mg per kilogram for 6 months without any kind of risk.
- A daily dose of 2mg per kilo of weight of the Ashwagandha extract did not show any negative effect on mice, which means that it can classified as non-toxic.
- Ashwagandha is safe in general and it has no side effects when it is taken following the recommended dose.
- Consuming great amounts of Ashwagandha powder can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea.
- Ashwagandha must not be taken in great amounts during pregnancy since it can cause a spontaneous abortion.
- Ashwagandha has a soft sedative effect on the brain, which means that it is advisable to avoid consuming alcohol, sedatives, and other anxiolytic medicines while taking Ashwagandha.
- It must not be consumed by those with hyperthyroidism because Ashwagandha can increase the thyroid hormone levels.
- Emotional stress can damage the brain and the nervous system. Recent research has proven that the Ashwagandha is much more than a remedy in this sense, since it also protects the brain from degenerating and it mitigates the symptoms of Alzheimer, depression, and anxiety.
- One of the main reasons why Ashwagandha is so effective on the brain lies on its powerful antioxidant elements that destroy all the free radicals that are responsible for the aging process. A study published in the scientific journal “Phytotherapy Research” explains these benefits:
- “Several studies have proven that the natural antioxidant elements, like vitamin E, vitamin C, and the beta-carotene help to destroy the free radicals that are responsible for the onset and progression of Alzheimer. But we discovered that the inhibiting effect on lipid peroxidation is more effective than other commercial antioxidant products”.
- The scientists at the National Brain Research Center discovered that mice with Alzheimer could not retain what the have learned, but after a 20 days treatment with the Ashwagandha supplement, they experienced a significant improvement. The results of this study showed a decrease of amyloid plaques (that cause brain degeneration).
The Ashwagandha root is a unique adaptogen since it provides a constant energy supply for a long time without any side effects if it is taken daily. It also has many other properties, which makes it an ideal product for sportspeople who want to increase their performance, their strength, or just to be in perfect physical shape.
On the one hand, Ashwagandha increases the energy that is needed for muscle performance. On the other hand, Ashwagandha supplies oxygen to the tissues that can increase the synthesis and activity of the nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme that catalyzes and produces nitric oxide in the organism.
The cells that cover the internal wall of blood vessels use nitrogen oxide in order to signal the relaxation of the surrounding muscle. The vasodilation results in an improvement of the blood flow and oxygenation of the tissues, which increases the energy in the body.
Even if physical exercise has many positive effects, it can also produce a great amount of stress, which unbalances the body due to an increase of cortisol in the blood. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle proteins.
Cortisol is also the opposite to DHEA, another hormone that is a precursor form of testosterone. Several scientific studies have proven that both DHEA and testosterone are essential to preserve physical energy.
Testosterone is an important androgen that is necessary to increase muscle mass, bone density, and resistance. All these elements are necessary for sportspeople who want to achieve a high level of performance.
Ashwagandha reduces the cortisol levels and increases the DHEA ones, which produces an increase in testosterone.
Ashwagandha also enhances the ATP synthesis, which is in charge of producing energy in the organism through glucose, lipids, and other energy sources.
Ashwagandha exceptionally improves performance due to its unique ability to increase the energy and help the body to recover from stress through the activity of the hormone in charge of reducing its levels.
This was proven in a double blind clinical study, controlled with placebo, in which the participants who were given the recommended dose of Ashwagandha (300mg daily), experienced a decrease of cortisol levels in the blood of a 24.2% and an increase in DHEA levels of a 32.2%.
An excessive workout also represents a stressful situation for the body, which can trigger an increase in cortisol levels. Ashwagandha can relieve the symptoms of an excessive workout since it can reduce cortisol.
- The clinical studies have proven that Ashwagandha increases the resistance to physical activity, since it reduces the pain and stimulates the functioning of the brain.
- It has been also observed in clinical essays that Ashwagandha increases the concentration, motivation, and resistance thanks to its positive and calming effect that enhances the brain energy and reduces the stress hormones.
- A special study carried out with laboratory mice proved that those that were given Ashwagandha swam two times more than those that were not given this supplement. The scientists believe that it could have similar effects on human beings due to the ability of the Ashwagandha extract balance the suprarenal hormones which play an essential role in physical activity.
- The Ashwagandha extract also has an analgesic effect on the muscles and joints, which keeps the energy level balance. Due to this, it is believed that the Ashwagandha is a promising supplement for athletes or those who have problems to be physically active due to pain.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal) has been used for thousands of years in the Ayurveda as a “Rasayana” or “life extending element”. The scientists are exploring the ways to prolong a healthy life, by studying physiological factors like the aging process, specially focusing in the telomere breakdown.
- It is believed that the Ashwagandha can prolong the lifespan, but there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim, yet. Could the effectiveness of Ashwagandha to slow down the aging process be related to its ability to stimulate the activity of telomerase?
- The shortening of telomeres is a fact that affects aging. Telomerase is necessary to preserve the length of the telomeres and it plays a vital role in a healthy lifestyle. Several factors, such as stress, accelerate the aging process by cutting the telomeres.
- The ability of Ashwagandha to stimulate telomerase suggests that it can work as a “life-prolonging agent”, which will help the body to develop its natural processes.
- HeLa human cells were stored halfway through the growth of DMEM and they were supplemented with fetal calf serum at a 10% in a humidified incubator. The cells (40%-60% of confluence) were treated with several concentrations of Ashwagandha extract: 10 μg, 50 μg, 100 μg, 500 μg, 5 mg. The cells were taken, centrifuged, and analyzed to determine the activity of telomerase by using the quantitative determination based on the polymerase chain reaction and the activity of the telomerase enzyme (TRAP method).
- The Ashwagandha extract in low concentrations, from 10 μg to 50 μg, increased the activity of the telomerase in a 45% after 72h.
- An increase was observed, depending on the dose, in the activity of the telomerase enzyme of a 50 μg / ml, after which the activity began to decrease.
- The telomerase activity was higher with 50ng to 5 μg of cell extract of protein overall, with 2 μg that represent the ideal concentration of protein.
- The scientists concluded: “The Ashwagandha extract can promote the activity of the telomerase!, and they propose an evaluation of several states of incipient disease in adults to analyze the holistic protective effect of this plant.
- Many women suffer from sexual dysfunction problems related to the orgasm during sexual relations.
- Could a high concentration of Ashwagandha extract relieve female sexual dysfunction (FSD) by reducing stress or by eliminating the androgen deficiency syndrome?
- It is believed that two thirds of women are affected by sexual dysfunction (FSD), and this pathology mainly affects women with emotional or stress-related problems.
- There is still little information about what causes female sexual dysfunction and the treatment options are insufficient. A more versatile choice could be to combine Ashwagandha with conventional treatments. However, the researchers warn that this plant must not be regarded as an aphrodisiac element because the supplement does not affect sexual desire.
- A random pilot double blind study was carried out with a control group with placebo in the Trupti Hospital and in the Fertility Center Santati, Thane, Maharashtra, India. The participants were 50 women aged between 21 and 50 who had a stable and heterosexual relationship for more than a year and who had been diagnosed with female sexual dysfunction (FSD). They were giving a dose of 300mg of Ashwagandha for eight weeks, twice a day, and the control group was given a placebo.
- The sexual function was evaluated through two psychometric scales: the “Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI)” - Questionnaire and the “Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS)”, as well as the number of sexual relationships and the number of satisfactory sexual relationships of the participants.
After eight weeks, the women who were given Ashwagandha experienced:
- an increase in the FSFI on average, which pointed to a significant improvement of the sexual dysfunction (FSD)
- the average rates of excitation and lubrication of the FSFI increased significantly when compared to the placebo group
- a significant improvement of the orgasm and sexual satisfaction
- There was no difference between the sexual activity of both groups, but there was a significant improvement of the sexual relations in the group treated with Ashwagandha.
- The researchers concluded that “the Ashwagandha extract can be useful for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction (FSD). Moreover, the extract can be taken with confidence, since it does not produce side effects.”
- Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that is mainly known for its ability to increase the vitality, energy, resistance, and physical performance. Now, the question is if a high concentration of Ashwagandha extract can favor cardio-respiratory resilience and improve the quality of life (QOL) of healthy and athletic adults.
- Normally, adults would like to obtain better results in their sport activities, so improving the VO2max or the maximum oxygen absorption by the organism that is used during a workout can provide a better effectiveness and muscle performance. Moreover, exercise is vital for a good quality of life, since it improves the organism both at a physical and mental level.
- Ayurvedic formulas, also known as Rasayana, have used Ashwagandha as a remedy to treat general weakness and to improve the vitality and resistance.
- The clinical studies that have been carried out to this date have proven that the Ashwagandha plant increases the cardio-respiratory resilience and the quality of life in healthy and athletic adults.
- In a double blind randomized prospective essay with a control group with placebo in Hyderabad Spine Clinics, Secunderabad, India, the body mass index (BMI) was measured in 50 healthy adults between 20 and 45 years, after being given 300mg of Ashwagandha or a placebo twice a day for 12 weeks.
- The efficacy was measured with an exercise of 20 minutes from which the consumption of oxygen was measured, the highest physical power (VO2 max) and through the auto-evaluation of the quality of life carried out through the questionnaire “quality of life, from the World Health Organization”.
- At the end of the study, the results in those adults who were given Ashwagandha were the following:
- The VO2max had increased in a 4.91% after 8 weeks and a 5.67% after 12 weeks.
- The measures of the quality of life (QOL) also had a positive impact of a 9.46%, a 7.6% in the baseline and the physical wellness from the beginning.
- The environmental impact on the quality of life was also significantly higher at the end of the study.
- There were no changes in the basal parameters, such as the heart rate, blood pressure, or breathing at rest.
- All the changes were statistically better when compared to the placebo group.
- The researchers concluded: “The wide spectrum Ashwagandha extract, highly concentrated, improves the resistance to stress and the quality of life”.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal) has been used as an adaptogen for a long time, and it has helped to combat the negative effects of stress on the body. During pre-clinical studies, it was proven that this plant has bioactive substances that affect the cortisol levels and that have anxiolytic properties.
Since previous studies have proven the relation between stress, anxiety, and weight increase, scientists asked the question if the Ashwagandha extract could improve wellness overall and the physiological stress markers, thus, reducing obesity and the nutritional habits related to this disorder, in order to reduce weight and increase overall wellness.
A third of adults claims to live under extreme stressful circumstances and almost half of the adults acknowledges that this situation has only worsened during the last years. Chronic stress causes problems related to the heart, brain, the immune system and, more recently, it is known that it increases weight.
The results of a study published in February 2017, with more than 2.500 men and women, proved that those people with higher cortisol levels presented a longer hip circumference and a higher BMI. Obese people showed a particularly high cortisol level.
The use of a completely natural remedy, like the Ashwagandha extract, in order to control the balance between stress and weight through the control of cortisol levels could have a significant impact on healthcare costs and personal happiness.
A prospective clinical essay carried out in the Pune Studies Center, India, evaluated 52 men and women between 18 and 60 years of age, with the “Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)” over 20, chronic symptoms, and body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 39.9.
A double blind randomized study was carried out in which the control group was given a placebo. The subjects were given 300mg of Ashwagandha extract or placebo tablets twice a day.
The main results were measured with the PSS and the “Food Craving Questionnaire (FCQ)” and secondary results related to weight, the BMI, the serum cortisol levels and happiness.
At the end of the eight weeks, those who were given Ashwagandha had the following results:
- 22% decrease of the average serum cortisol level
- 3% weight loss vs. 1.4% of the placebo group
- In the main scores and PSS, the subjects that were given Ashwagandha showed a noticeable reduction of the average, that decreased from a 20.3 to a 13.6, and much better improvement than the placebo group.
- The FCQ average for the planning, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, lack of control, the emotion, and the environment of the Ashwagandha group significantly decreased statistically, which means that the subjects avoided food as a way to relieve stress.
The researchers reached the following conclusion:
“The Ashwagandha extract helps to control weight in those patients that suffer chronic stress”.
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