WHAT IS ASHWAGANDHA?
Withania somnifera, often known as Ashwagandha, is a robust evergreen shrub that is indigenous to parts of Asia and Africa. It is frequently linked to adaptogenic qualities, albeit there is currently little scientific proof to back up this categorisation. Rich in bioactive components, this adaptable plant may help lower blood pressure, relaxes the brain, reduce inflammation, and alter the immune system. Ashwagandha has long been used to treat a range of stress-related ailments, including anxiety, sleeplessness, and age-related issues. Though it has a long history of usage in traditional medicine, it is important to understand that many of these applications currently lack strong scientific support. Notably, Ashwagandha shouldn’t be mistaken for other herbs like Physalis or considered a COVID-19 treatment.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ASHWAGANDHA?
Withania somnifera, the scientific name for Ashwagandha, is a well-known herb with a rich traditional history of use. Its ability to improve mental health, lessen stress and anxiety, and improve physical performance is becoming more widely acknowledged. Let’s explore these key benefits and its supporting data.
- Stress and Anxiety Reduction: Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, a medication that helps the body manage with stress, which explains why it is useful in lowering stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha has been found to have an impact on a number of stress mediators. For instance, it has been observed to lessen the activity of the system that controls the body’s stress response, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Additionally, Ashwagandha helps reduce cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can relax the body. Participants in a study with 64 chronically stressed adults reported significant reductions in stress and anxiety when taking Ashwagandha root extract as opposed to a placebo group. This study demonstrated Ashwagandha’s ability to reduce the physiological and psychological effects of stress, providing a natural approach to stress management.
- May Enhance Athletic Performance: Ashwagandha is becoming more and more popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to its ability to improve physical performance. Studies indicate that the plant could improve strength and oxygen uptake when working out. In one study, for example, supplementing with Ashwagandha increased maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and delayed time to exhaustion during physical activity in expert cyclists (40 participants). An important indicator of aerobic endurance and fitness is VO2 max. For athletes, an increased VO2 max might result in improved overall physical performance.
- Mental Health Support: The ability of Ashwagandha to alleviate symptoms of a variety of mental health problems, including sadness and anxiety, is gaining attention. In a trial with people with schizophrenia who were depressed and anxious, those who took Ashwagandha extract saw higher drops in depression and anxiety than a group given a placebo. This finding implies that Ashwagandha might be a helpful adjunctive treatment for people with these ailments. Furthermore, research conducted in 2021 found that Ashwagandha may be able to treat a variety of neurological and mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and more. Even if the preliminary results are encouraging, more investigation is necessary to fully comprehend the potential benefits of Ashwagandha for supporting mental health and to establish the right dosages for various ailments.
Even though these studies show some possible health advantages, it’s crucial to remember that more research is needed to determine the best dosages and forms of Ashwagandha for health issues. Furthermore, since each person’s reaction to Ashwagandha might differ, it is essential to speak with a healthcare provider before beginning any new supplement regimen, particularly for those who are on medication or have pre-existing medical conditions.
HOW DOES ASHWAGANDHA WORK IN HUMAN BODY?
The effects of Ashwagandha on the body when consumed have several different methods. Its ability to function as an adaptogen—a chemical that aids the body in adjusting to stressors—is the fundamental component of its efficacy. It is believed to have an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a vital mechanism in charge of controlling the body’s reaction to stress. Withanolides, one of the bioactive components of Ashwagandha, is thought to inhibit this axis’s function, which in turn lowers the release of stress-related hormones like cortisol. Its ability to modulate the HPA axis may be one of its stress-reduction properties, lessening the negative effects of stress and anxiety on the body and mind.
Additionally, because it can inhibit chemicals that promote inflammation, Ashwagandha has been shown to have anti-inflammatory qualities. Because of its antioxidant content, which shields cells from oxidative damage, it may help lower inflammation all over the body. Ashwagandha may improve general wellbeing by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, which may help with illnesses linked to chronic inflammation. Furthermore, because Ashwagandha affects physiological processes associated to energy metabolism and muscular function, it may also improve oxygen utilisation, strength, and endurance, all of which may contribute to greater athletic performance. Ashwagandha’s adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and performance-enhancing qualities together make it a noteworthy natural supplement with a plethora of potential health advantages, even though the precise processes are still being studied.
HOW MUCH ASHWAGANDHA CAN A PERSON TAKE?
The optimal dosage of Ashwagandha can be a difficult undertaking because it is dependent on the specific health condition being addressed. Actually, based on contemporary scientific investigations, there isn’t a single standard dosage that is accepted by everybody. Because many dosages have been utilised in Ashwagandha research, it is difficult to determine a precise suggested amount for all purposes. Studies have shown that doses between 250 and 600 mg daily can be useful in lowering stress and anxiety. It is noteworthy that other studies have utilised larger dosages, and the mode of Ashwagandha consumption—capsule, powder, or liquid extract—can significantly impact the supplement’s overall effectiveness and absorption.
However, it is critical for individuals to exercise caution when considering Ashwagandha supplementation, especially at larger doses, as this can result in significant negative effects. To guarantee safety and identify an appropriate dosage based on individual needs and health circumstances, it is advisable to see a healthcare expert before introducing Ashwagandha into one’s regimen. If a set dosage is not available, tailored advice is essential to maximising the advantages of this adaptable plant.
WHAT ARE THE VARIATIONS OF ASHWAGANDHA?
Ashwagandha is also available as:
- Ashwagandha Herb Extract 5% Withanolides (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 1% Withanolides (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 1.5% Withanolides 10:1 (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 1.5% Withanolides 4:1 Water Soluble (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 1.5% Withanolides 5:1 Water Soluble (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 1.5% Withanolides Water Soluble (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 10% Withanolides (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 10:1 (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 12:1 (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 2.5% – 1.5% Withanolides + 1% Alkaloids (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 2.5% Withanolides (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 20:1 (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 4:1 (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 4:1 (Withania somnifera) Organic
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 5% Withanolides (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 5% Withanolides (Withania somnifera) Organic
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 5% Withanolides 10:1 (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 5:1 (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Extract 7% Withanolides (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Powder (Withania somnifera)
- Ashwagandha Root Powder (Withania somnifera) Organic
- Ashwagandha Root+Leaf Extract 10% Withanolides (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is commonly available in:
- Ashwagandha capsules
- Ashwagandha tablets
- Ashwagandha powder
- Ashwagandha liquid extract
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