Ashwagandha: Properties, Benefits, Side-effects?


Ashwagandha: Properties, Benefits, Side-effects?

Withania somnifera, better known as Ashwagandha or "Indian ginseng", has been essential in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3000 years. The herb has a wide range of action that stimulates physical and mental health, body rejuvenation and longevity. It is known that this herb inhibits anxiety and improves energy. In some cases, this herb can also stimulate fertility.

Ashwagandha To Get Energy

The long distance cycling is an endurance sport that requires energy and aerobic fitness. They have developed many products to provide energy quickly and easily: gel packs, energy bars, sports drinks and more. Usually these products only provide extra calories, which are necessary if you are wasting energy, but do not stimulate physical skill actually.

In 2012, the Faculty of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy Guru Nanak Dev University, India, conducted a study of eight weeks in which forty elite cyclists received ashwagandha. At study found significant improvements in cardiovascular and respiratory endurance.

Perhaps more importantly, the information provided by a study conducted in Malaysia, which explains that when the root of ashwagandha is supplied regularly to the people who were undergoing chemotherapy, it had the potential to relieve fatigue associated with treatment and improve quality of life of patients.

Cognitive Benefits of Ashwagandha

One of the main uses of ashwagandha root extract in Ayurvedic medicine is to improve memory and brain function. One of the mechanisms responsible for this effect is the antioxidant property of Ashwagandha. As increased oxidizing contributes to the onset of neurodegenerative disorders, reducing oxidative damage can offer any neuroprotection.
There have been many studies examining the neuroprotective properties of ashwagandha root extract in rats and found to help prevent some cases of mental deficiency and increased oxidative brain.

Ashwagandha for Stress Relief

Stress affects the mind and body, and can be a factor that may lead to poor performance. Most people also say that stress reduces the quality of life. The anti stress herb ashwagandha properties have been observed by the Ayurvedic medicine and Greek medicine.

The Department of Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry Asha Hospital in India, prepared a double-blind, placebo-controlled, with the participation of sixty-four people with a history of chronic stress. After the participants were divided into control group and study, researchers started to supply ashwagandha root extract broad spectrum of high concentration. After two months, the study group reported improvement in the appearance of the stress indicators and quality of life without the occurrence of serious side effects.

Stress and Male Fertility

We also know that stress is an incident in male fertility factor. Ashwagandha, like tribulus terrestris, is known for its stimulating effects on fertility. The Department of Biochemistry at the CSM Medical University, conducted a study in which sixty infertile men, however, had normal sperm production involved. Participants were given five grams of ashwagandha root powder daily for three months. At the end of the study, stress reduction and improved semen quality in most of the participants, and 14% of these could conceive was observed.

Consuming Ashwagandha Supplements

Ashwagandha may cause drowsiness, so if you are taking any medications that could interact with this effect, it is best to consult your doctor before consuming any nutritional supplement program, which unfortunately are not of importance for various professionals health. Will there come a day when medical authorities accept and promote the consumption of ashwagandha root extract to treat stress and infertility? Only time will tell.


Historically, ashwagandha has been used to help stimulate the immune system function, reduce inflammation and treat fever. Ashwagandha herb contains withanolides, which mimic the action of steroids in the body, says Memorial Sloan-Kettering, MSKCC. Although more research is needed to validate the claimed benefits of ashwagandha health, this supplement may be beneficial in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, allergies and stress.

Recommended dosage

Health professionals with the Health System of the University of Michigan say the ashwagandha recommended daily dose is 3-6 grams. This herbal supplement can be provided as an oral supplement or tea. You can also take 2 to 3 milliliters of tincture three times daily ashwagandha. The recommended dose may vary depending on your age, weight or health condition, so be sure to consult your doctor before taking ashwagandha.

Side Effects

As of 2011, there are no known side effects associated with ashwagandha. The long-term or excessive can cause toxicity, although other studies in humans are needed to further examine the side effects, according to MSKCC. Seek help from your doctor if you show any unusual health problem after taking a dose of this herbal supplement.

Drug Interactions

Discuss all medicines you are taking with your doctor before starting treatment with ashwagandha. Use this herbal supplement with concomitant medications and barbiturates may potentiate the sedative effect of these drugs.


Tell your doctor about any health problems you may have before you start taking ashwagandha. Women who are pregnant should not take this herbal supplement as a treatment during pregnancy because it can lead to fetal death, warns MSKCC. Safety of treatment in nursing women has not been thoroughly examined. Consequently, those who are breastfeeding should not take this herb unless so directed by a medical professional.

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asked Jun 10, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)