What is Ashwagandha ?
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb used in Ayurveda medicine. Ashwagandha means ‘Smell of Horse,’ which refers to the fresh root’s distinct horsey smell, and the traditional belief that ingesting the herb will confer the strength and virility of a horse.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It is supplemented primarily for its ability to prevent anxiety. Ashwagandha’s anti-anxiety effect is even synergistic with alcohol. It also shows promise for relieving insomnia and stress-induced depression. Ashwagandha can significantly reduce cortisol concentrations and the immunosuppressive effect of stress.
Beyond reducing stress levels, ashwagandha can improve physical performance in both sedentary people and athletes, as well as reduce Low-density Lipoprotein (LD
More research is needed to determine ashwagandha's main mechanism.
Ashwagandha is traditionally recommended for cancer patients. It is important to note that there is no human evidence for ashwagandha’s ability to treat cancer. It is, however, a great supplement to reduce immunosuppression. It can also ease the pain of chemotherapy treatment by greatly reducing stress and fatigue. Ashwagandha should not be used for cancer treatment, but it makes a great adjuvant therapy, meaning it can and should be taken alongside other treatments.
How to Take?
Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details
The lowest effective dose for acute usage of ashwagandha, and perhaps
the most cost-effective dose, is 300-500mg. The optimal dose is 6,000mg a
day usually divided into three doses (2,000mg) and while 300-500mg is
effective for most situations a lower dose of 50-100mg can be seen as
effective in few instances such as reducing the immunosuppression seen
with stress and augmenting anxiolytic (anxiety reducing agents).
Ashwagandha root extract is the preferred form of ashwagandha, for the purposes of supplementation.
Ashwagandha should be taken with meals. If taken once a day, it should be taken with breakfast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers regarding Ashwagandha
Q: Does ashwagandha increase testosterone?
A: Ashwagandha, an herb from traditional Indian medicine, has a bit of evidence for increasing testosterone but it is not overly convincing at this time.
Read full answer to "Does ashwagandha increase testosterone?"
Q: Does ashwagandha have benefits for men?
A: Ashwagandha does appear to have benefits for men specifically. These tend to centralize around testicular health and fertility while the antistress effects affect both sexes.