Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is often used in the Ayurvedic system for stress, strain, fatigue, skin diseases, gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and epilepsy. It is also used as a general tonic, to increase energy and improve health. Ashwagandha is rich in iron. Human studies suggested that it may improve hemoglobin level and red blood cell count in children. Natives have also used Ashwagandha to improve general immunity. The active constituents include alkaloids, steroidal lactones, saponins, and withanolides. Recently Ashwagandha has been found to kill the cancer cells by virtue of its antioxidant properties.
As mentioned above Ashwagandha is rich in iron and that it has been consumed by natives to improve hemoglobin level and red blood cell count in children. Besides, natives have also used Ashwagandha to improve general immunity to fight cough, cold, and recurrent fever in children and adults. It is often a key ingredient in Ayurvedic immune-modulatory preparation. Indeed, an herbal tea containing ashwagandha was shown to increase natural killer cell activity in healthy volunteers with recurrent coughs and colds. Ashwagandha may also be useful in treating male infertility as suggested by some studies. For example, in infertile males, treatment (5 g/day orally for 3 months with milk) with Ashwagandha effectively reduced oxidative stress, and reversed the levels of Testosterone, Luteinizing Hormone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Prolactin (good indicators of semen quality). Several other animal and human studies have indicated that Ashwagandha may be useful in the treatment of anxiety, osteoarthritis, degenerative cereberral ataxias and several kinds of cancers perhaps due to the virtue of reducing oxidative stress and increasing immunity. In a small study of breast cancer patients, Ashwagandha alleviated chemo-induced fatigue and improved the quality of life. Similarly, in one randomized controlled clinical trial the effect of naturopathic care (dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multi-vitamin, and Ashwagandha) on releiving anxiety was studied. Eighty-one participants with moderate to severe anxiety lasting longer than 6 weeks were randomized to receive naturopathic care (NC) or standardized psychotherapy intervention (PT) for 12 weeks. As mentioned above the NC group received dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multi-vitamin, and Ashwagandha (300 mg twice a day standardized to 1.5% with anolides, prepared from root). Those in the PT group received psychotherapy, and matched deep breathing relaxation techniques, and placebo. The primary outcome measure was the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and secondary outcome measures included the Short Form 36 (SF-36), Fatigue Symptom Inventory (FSI), and Measure Yourself Medical Outcomes Profile (MY-MOP) to measure anxiety, mental health, and quality of life respectively. Significant reduction in the BAI scores in NC group compared to those in PT group (p = 0.003) was observed. NC group also showed significant differences in mental health, concentration, fatigue, social functioning, vitality, and overall quality of life. However, it is not clear if Ashwagandha alone would yield similiar benefit. Limitations of this study include small sample size, absence of a control group, and data based on patient reported symptoms.
Some of recent studies have shown that Ashwagandha reduced the growth of breast, central nervous system, colon, and lung cancer cells without affecting normal cells. Although the studies in humans are still needed the studies in cultured cancer cells or in animals show that withaferin A and withanone (two of the key chemicals in Ashwagandha) induce apoptosis in cancer cells and reduce the tumor growth. Withaferin A also enhances oxaliplatin (a chemotherapeutic drug) effects in human pancreatic cancer cells. Ashwagandha was also shown to prevent chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in mice. In a small study of breast cancer patients, ashwagandha alleviated chemotherapy-induced fatigue and improved quality of life. Overall, a large number of studies are ongoing and are coming with encouraging results; however, large-scale studies are warranted to conclude anything.
Ashwagandha supplement is safe to consume as supplement in suggested serving amounts. However, lack of studies caution that Ashwagandha should not be consumed by pregnant women without consultations by a healthcare provider. Ashwagandha may also increase the levels of certain medications and thus people who are taking such medications as digitoxin, warfarin, and certain sleep medications should consult a healthcare provider. Minor adverse reactions as rash and itching might occur to some people who are allergic to the plant.
Inconnate Healthcare manufactures according to GMP guidelines using finest quality raw material available. Inconnate's Ashwagandha has been evaluated through stringent quality control tests as prescribed by WHO and EMA standard. You will enjoy our rich knowledge base and excellent customer service. Despite all of these, Inconnate's moringa capsules are affordable.
There is no stipulated therapeutic regimen for Ashwagandha how continuous consumption as a supplement is supposed to provide benefits. It is suggested that you consult your physician before and during consumption of ashwagandha and do to stop any other anticancer or any medication prescribed.
Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, et al. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 31;4(8):e6628.
Mishra LC, Singh BB, Dagenais S. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Altern Med Rev. Aug 2000;5(4):334-346.
Kulkarni RR, Patki PS, Jog VP, et al. Treatment of osteoarthritis with a herbomineral formulation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. J Ethnopharmacol. May-Jun 1991;33(1-2):91-95.