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(Withania somnifera)

What is this supplement traditionally used for?

This traditional herb is use to help the body handle all types of stress. It is also used to improve physical and mental performance as well.

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Evidence of Benefits (Leaf Rating System)

leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Stress / Adaptogen (Anti-stress Benefits)

Animal studies in rats and mice show that taking this supplement helps the animals adapt to stressful situations.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Anti-cancer Benefits

Many studies done in lab settings and in mice show that this supplement can stop the spread of cancer cells.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Antioxidant Benefits

Research done in mice, rats and rabbits seem to show that this supplement has antioxidant properties. Researchers suggest that it may offer oxidative damage protection for our cells. More studies in humans would be required to verify this benefit.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Anti-inflammatory Benefits (Arthritis/Osteoarthritis/ Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Many studies done with rats and mice show that this herb has good anti-inflammatory benefits. The researchers suggest that it may be helpful in treating many inflammatory conditions.

A study showed that it seemed to protect the cartilage of the joints from further damage in 50% of the patient tested.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Infertility in Men

A recently completed clinical study showed that taking ashwagandha seems to improve the sperm count and motility in infertile men.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Diabetes (Type 2, Non-insulin dependent/NIDDM)

One study done in rats shows that ashwagandha was able to lower the blood sugar levels. The researchers believe it was able to do this by making insulin more sensitive.
Helpful Aphrosidiac / Enhance Libido or Sex Drive

Ashwagandha is used in India for over 3,000 years to enhance health. Research shows that ashwagandha has an aphrodisiac effect and improves sexual performance.

Avoid combining this herb with alcohol, prescription sedatives. Use of this herb during pregnancy is not recommended.
leaf logo plant natural remedies herb herbal Enhancing Memory

Because ashwagandha seems to have antioxidant properties, expert believe it may be helpful in treating memory problems, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Research studies will need to be done to support this claim.

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Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

  • Adaptogen (resistance to stress)
  • Anticancer benefits
  • Anti-stress benefits
  • Antifungal effects
  • Antioxidant
  • Anxiety
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Arthritis / osteoarthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Bronchitis
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Diuretic
  • Enhancing memory and mental function
  • Enhancing physical performance
  • Immune system stimulant
  • Infertility (women and men)
  • Liver disease (hepatitis)
  • Pain (general)
  • Parkinson's disease (PD)
  • Protection of the nervous system
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sedative
  • Tuberculosis
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Side Effects, Toxicity, Warnings and Interactions

Side effects are mild and uncommon when taken in the suggested dosage range.

Taking higher dosage may cause the following side effects:
  • stomach upset
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
Safety - This supplement is shown to be safe for short-term use.

Pregnancy and Lactation - As there are no information available for using during pregnancy or during breastfeeding, avoid using if possible.

Interactions - In theory, this herb has a sedative effect. The sedation might be increased when combined with other herbs or prescription drugs that causes sedation. It may also boost the effect of thyroid supplements.

Experts also suspect that this herb might worsen autoimmune diseases by boosting the immune system further. Autoimmune disease includes rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis. Use with caution in this group of individuals.

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Dosage & How to Take It

Dried Roots

People have used doses of 1 to 6 grams of the roots taken daily.

Liquid Extracts

In a liquid formulation, the typical dose used is 2 to 4 mL taken up to three times daily.

Tea Formulation

Boil 1 to 6 grams of the roots in 250 mL of water for 15 minutes and drink three times daily.

Related Articles and Resources

Natural Remedies for Stress

Stress Management Tips

What are the Effects of Stress Health?

Return to Health Conditions List
Selected References for Ashwagandha
Revised: July 12, 2012

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