Ashwagandha is a traditional herb that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also known as Indian ginseng or Withania somnifera. The root extract of this herb has gained popularity in recent years as a dietary supplement due to its numerous health benefits. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of ashwagandha root extract and the scientific evidence supporting its use.
- Stress and Anxiety Relief
One of the most significant benefits of ashwagandha root extract is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties, which means that it can help the body adapt to stressors and reduce the negative effects of stress. Several studies have shown that ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels, which is the hormone produced in response to stress. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that supplementing with ashwagandha for six weeks reduced stress and anxiety levels in individuals with moderate to severe anxiety (1).
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Ashwagandha also has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to a range of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help reduce markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) (2).
- Cognitive Function
Ashwagandha may also have a positive effect on cognitive function. Several studies have shown that ashwagandha can help improve memory and attention span. A study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements found that supplementing with ashwagandha for eight weeks improved cognitive function in healthy individuals (3).
- Sexual Health
Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac. Several studies have shown that ashwagandha can help improve sexual function in both men and women. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that supplementing with ashwagandha for eight weeks improved sexual function in women with sexual dysfunction (4).
- Muscle Strength and Endurance
Ashwagandha may also help improve muscle strength and endurance. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that supplementing with ashwagandha for eight weeks improved muscle strength and endurance in healthy adults (5).
- Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 18(12), 1-9.
- Khan, B., Ahmad, S., Bani, S., & Kaul, A. (2006). Saffron (Crocus sativus) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 4(4), 1-9.
- Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 14(6), 599-612.
- Dongre, S., Langade, D., & Bhattacharyya, S. (2015). Efficacy