Ashwagandha


Background

Ashwagandha (also known as Indian Ginseng) is one of the worlds most potent and powerful adaptogens and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Ashwagandha is a small, delicate shrub with small green leaves. However the roots of the plant, when ground into a powder, are what is most commonly used as an herbal supplement. 

Ashwagandha is most commonly known for its restorative benefits. When translated from Sanskrit, the word Ashwagandha means “smell of a horse,” and implies that the herb imparts the vitality and strength of a stallion. The herb is native to dry regions of India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East, though today is grown in more mild climates in the United States.

The use of Ashwagandha as an adaptogen has been known to alleviate the symptoms of stress, fatigue, and lack of focus or concentration. The herb also instills an energetic and rejuvenating sense of wellbeing and happiness. Ashwagandha may be a promising alternative treatment for a variety of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. [1]

Ashwagandha and Your Body

This adaptogen contains several crucial chemicals that your body and mind depend on for optimal cognitive and athletic function, including withanolides, alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, and amino acids. [1]

More than 200 studies have been done on the healing benefits of Ashwagandha. These studies have proven the herb to have anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. Similarly, Ashwagandha has been used successfully as a general tonic to increase energy and prevent disease due to its effect on the immune system. Further studies have proven Ashwagandha to increase the body’s production of stem cells and hemoglobin resulting in a noticeable rejuvenating effect. [2]

Not only has Ashwagandha been proven as a total body adaptogen, but the herb also has certain Nootropic effects. A study utilizing Ashwagandha extract showed a marked increase in cortical muscarinic acetylcholine receptor capacity create a cognition and memory enhancing effect.

Ashwagandha's power as a neuroprotectant has also been proven. In a remarkable animal study, examination of the brains of sacrificed animals showed that 85% of the brain cells observed in animals exposed to chronic stress showed signs of degeneration. It is this type of cellular degeneration that can lead to long-term cognitive difficulties. Amazingly, when Ashwagandha was administered to chronically stressed animals, the number of degenerating brain cells was reduced by 80%! [5]

Many of the adverse effects of stress are thought to be related to elevated levels of cortisol. The participants of a study of the effects of a standardized extract of ashwagandha on the negative effects of stress subjectively reported increased energy, reduced fatigue, better sleep, and an enhanced sense of well-being. The participants showed several measurable improvements, including a reduction of cortisol levels up to 26%. [6]

How Much Should I Take? Is It Safe?

The recommended dosage for Ashwagandha is between 300-500mg daily. Our daily nootropic formula contains 500mg of the herb. We've included Ashwagandha in the daily formula because of its adaptogenic effects on stress, fatigue and cognition.

Ashwagandha is known to be safe and non-reactive. Adverse reactions to taking Ashwagandha are quite rare though some users have noted slight gastrointestinal distress.

Ashwagandha is available in our FLOW Daily Nootropic which is sold both individually and at a discount when purchased as part of our Full Stack

Questions? Feel free to email us with any questions you may have about Ashwagandha or any other ingredients in our products!

References

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1. Scientific Basis for the Therapeutic Use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review. Lakshmi-Chandra Mishra, MD (Ayur), PhD, Betsy B. Singh, PhD, Simon Dagenais, BA

2. Kuppurajan K, et al. J Res Ayu Sid 1, 247,1980. As cited in Bone K. Clinical Applications of Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbs. Monographs for the Western Herbal Practitioner. Australia: Phytotherapy Press; 1996:137-141.

3. Schliebs R, Liebmann A, Bhattacharya SK, et al. Systemic administration of defined extracts from Withania somnifera (Indian Ginseng) and Shilajit differentially affects cholinergic but not glutamatergic and GABAergic markers in rat brain. Neurochem Int 1997;30:181-190.

4. Jesberger JA, Richardson JS. Oxygen free radicals and brain dysfunction. Int J Neurosci 1991;57:1-17.

5. Jain S, Shukla SD, Sharma K, Bhatnagar M. Neuroprotective effects of Withania somnifera Dunn. in hippocampal sub-regions of female albino rat. Phytother Res. 2001 Sep;15(6):544-8.

6. Tohda C, Kuboyama T, Komatsu K. Dendrite extension by methanol extract of Ashwagandha (roots of Withania somnifera) in SK-N-SH cells. Neuroreport. 2000 Jun 26;11(9):1981-5.