Effects of Ashwagandha

What is ashwagandha

 Ashwagandha is a common medicinal plant used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for three thousand years. It is used as a tonic “rasayana” in Ayurvedic medicine.

 Ashwagandha means “horse smell” in Sanskrit, possibly derived from the smell of its roots. The species name somnifera means “sleep inducing” in Latin

 Ashwagandha/Indian ginseng contains a variety of plant active ingredients, including withanolides, saponins, alkaloids and amino acids. Its potential pharmacological effects include: anti-anxiety, lowering blood pressure, sedation, immune regulation, analgesia, and anti-inflammatory. , anti-tumor and antioxidant…etc.

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, Withania somnifera, and winter cherry, is an adaptogen. The term adaptogen is applied to herbs containing phytonutrients. When the human body is disturbed by physical or mental stress, it can regulate metabolism and regulate metabolism. Normalizes system functions, develops resistance to such stress, and raises body functions to a higher level, similar plants include: maca, ginseng, eleuthero, rhodiola, schisandra…etc.

What are the recommended practical effects of Ashwagandha?

Relieve stress

 Stress is a general term defined as the body’s non-specific response to any change. It can cause a person to feel nervous, anxious, or unable to respond fully and normally to environmental demands.

 Long-term stress can cause mental and physical imbalances, leading to other diseases such as depression, high blood pressure, heart disease and metabolic disorders.

 A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (including 12 randomized controlled trials with a total of 1002 participants) found that ashwagandha/ashwagandha extract supplements significantly reduced anxiety and stress levels compared with placebo.

Ashwagandha/Indian ginseng may have a positive effect on relieving stress, but it is limited by the low quality of the existing evidence and still needs further verification.

Good for sleep problems

 In recent years, insomnia has become a common disease affecting a large number of people and damaging their health. Clinical features are difficulty falling asleep or maintaining sleep, or both, and resulting impairment in daily functioning.

 The clinical criteria for insomnia are an average sleep latency of more than 30 minutes, awakening after falling asleep for more than 30 minutes, sleep efficiency less than 85%, and a total sleep time of less than 6.5 hours, which can lead to fatigue, energy exhaustion, inattention, and irritability.

 A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (Meta-Analysis, including 5 randomized controlled trials with a total of 400 participants) indicated that ashwagandha/Indian ginseng extract has a clinical benefit in improving sleep compared with placebo Evidence of effect (as measured by sleep quality scale, sleep onset latency, total sleep time, wake time after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency).

In addition, subgroup analysis showed that the relevant improvement effect was more significant in adults diagnosed with insomnia, with a daily treatment dose of ≥600 mg and a treatment duration of ≥8 weeks.

 Ashwagandha/Ashwagandha extract may be helpful in improving sleep problems, but due to the small sample size of the included trials, more research is needed to confirm the safety and effectiveness of long-term use.

Beneficial for male infertility

 Infertility, defined as a couple’s inability to conceive after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse, affects an estimated 10 to 15 percent of couples. Almost half of these cases are related to male factors, but 15% to 24% have unexplained causes.

 The cause of most male infertility is low sperm concentration and motility, and altered spermatogenesis events may lead to the release of immature or abnormal sperm during ejaculation. Although the total sperm count is within normal limits, these individuals may be infertile due to a large number of unsuitable sperm.

 A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (Meta-Analysis, including 4 observational trials and 1 randomized controlled trial) pointed out that compared with placebo, ashwagandha/Indian ginseng extract can significantly improve semen parameters (sperm concentration, semen volume, sperm motility), hormonal profiles, seminal plasma oxidative biomarkers and antioxidant vitamins, semen metal ion concentrations and other biochemical measurements.

 Data assessment of the use of Ashwagandha/Ashwagandha extract for male infertility, although encouraging, is limited by the small number of eligible studies and requires further validation.

Improve physical performance

 Physical performance tests that assess physical performance can be classified into one of two categories: basic ability tests and work simulations.

 Basic Ability Tests assess an individual’s physical abilities, including muscle strength and flexibility. Tests such as sit-ups (muscular endurance), step tests (aerobic capacity), arm dynamometers (muscular endurance), and seated stretches (flexibility) are basic ability tests.

A job simulation requires an individual to perform simulated job tasks or components and may require equipment or tools used on the job

 A systematic literature review and meta-analysis (Meta-Analysis, including 12 studies with a total of 615 healthy adults) pointed out that compared with placebo, ashwagandha/ashwagandha supplements helped improve strength/power, cardiopulmonary function Health and fatigue/recovery related variables.

 Ashwagandha/Indian ginseng may have a positive effect on improving physical performance, but due to the small sample size, more research is needed for further verification.

Beneficial for obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disturbing mental symptom that affects about 1% to 3% of the population. The average age of onset is about 19.5 years old. It is among the top ten causes of disability.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder mainly manifests itself as periodic and intrusive thoughts or repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, which often leads to reduced work efficiency and seriously affects concentration and execution.

 A double-blind controlled study (a 6-week study of 30 obsessive-compulsive disorder patients receiving SSRIs) showed that ashwagandha/ashwagandha combined with medication could further improve obsessive-compulsive disorder scale scores compared with medication alone. , may become an option for adjuvant therapy.

 The mechanism behind it is related to Ashwagandha’s ability to increase serotonin synthesis and regulate synaptic transmission receptors.

Ashwagandha/Indian ginseng combined with conventional therapy may improve the treatment effect of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it is limited by the scale of the study and remains to be confirmed by large-scale studies

Improve female sexual dysfunction

 Sexual satisfaction is an important part of a healthy partnership, and female sexual dysfunction is often related to psychosexual manifestations, hormones and neurovascular function. Common symptoms include lack of sexual desire (77%), loss of clitoral sensation (62.5%), and vaginal dryness. (37.5%), vaginal discomfort (41.6%) and orgasmic disorder (49%).

 A preliminary double-blind controlled study (8 weeks of 50 healthy women with sexual dysfunction) found that ashwagandha helped improve scores on psychometric scales including orgasm, satisfaction, vaginal moistening, sexual arousal) and number of successful sexual encounters.

 The underlying mechanism may be related to reducing patient stress and increasing testosterone (androgen deficiency in women is also a factor in sexual dysfunction)

Ashwagandha/Indian ginseng may have an improvement effect on some women’s sexual dysfunction, but it is limited by the scale of the study and still needs to be confirmed by large studies.

Beneficial for anxiety disorders

 Anxiety disorders are mainly defined as excessive worry, aversion, and fear of things in the environment. It is estimated that the prevalence rate is about 19.2% among men and 30.5% among women. Common types of anxiety include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, social phobia, and agoraphobia. syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.

 Animal experiments have found that ashwagandha and drugs have similar anti-anxiety and mood-stabilizing effects.

 A systematic review of the literature found that ashwagandha significantly improved anxiety and stress scales compared with various control groups, including placebo and psychotherapy.

 For anxiety disorders, Ashwagandha/Indian ginseng may bring positive help, but because some literature is full of potential errors and heterogeneity, the results are still reserved and need to be further verified by more large-scale experiments.