Ashwagandha – A Natural Adaptogen
Ashwagandha - Withania somnifera
Withania somnifera L.Dunal aka Ashwagandha holds a special place in the Indian traditional system of healing as important as ginseng in Chinese medicine. The very popular name “Indian ginseng” came from this comparison. It is reputed to be capable of imparting longevity, youthful vigour and intellectual prowess which made the miracle herb a most popular one in western countries.
Uses of Ashwagandha
The use of Ashwagandha as a medicinal herb dates back to the ancient period. For hundreds of years, people have used the roots and their orange-red fruits for healing purposes. The Sanskrit word Ashwagandha implies the smell of horses due to the peculiar smell emitted from the roots of the plant. The botanical suffix somnifera comes from the somniferine, a bitter alkaloid presents in the roots which is showing a hypnotic activity. It also possesses Sanskrit names like balada (which imparts strenghth), putrada (which increases valor and vigour), vrushya (aphrodisiac) and maruthaghni (alleviates nervous system disorders and musculoskeletal diseases). These synonyms indirectly light up the therapeutic action of the powerful herb. It has been recorded in the classics as a cardiac tonic and is also useful for various respiratory ailments. For insomnia, the roots are administrated along with milk. Other pharmacological actions are varied from anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-diabetic, anxiolytic, nootropic and anti-cancerous agents etc.
The active molecule in ashwagandha
The major biomolecules are steroid lactones like Withanolides A-Y, dehydrowithanolide-R, withasomniferrin-A etc. Within the steroid lactones, withanolides are considered the main secondary metabolite which is responsible for the multiple biological functions that have been attributed to Ashwagandha. Other than this, Ashwagandha also contains phytosterols like sitoindosides and alkaloids like ashwagandhine, cusohygrine, somniferine etc.
Ashwagandha – A Natural Adaptogen
Ashwagandha is considered a natural adaptogen, which is believed to help the body to resist physical and mental stress. In a randomised, double-blinded clinical study involving sixty adults, Withania somnifera has been demonstrated to reduce stress significantly without any adverse events as compared to the placebo group. The stress-relieving effects were partly due to effects on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. There are shreds of evidence showing the role of Ashwagandha in suppressing stress-induced increase of dopamine receptors in the corpus striatum of the brain, plasma corticosterone and blood lactic acid.
Effects of Ashwagandha
A PubMed published review article (2020) documented that various preclinical and clinical studies highlighted the neuroprotective role of Ashwagandha against many neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease. The protective effects of Ashwagandha were accomplished by restoring mitochondrial and endothelial function, mitigating of apoptosis, inflammation and oxidative stress mechanisms. It is also seen to facilitate choline production in the body, which in turn influences key memory processes. As a GABA-mimetic agent, Ashwagandha can decrease the over-firing of neurons and increase the ability of the body to ignore distracting stimuli and improve executive function.
Ashwagandha’s scope in Nutraceuticals
- Memory and cognition
- Stress, anxiety and sleep
- Sport function and endurance
- Sexual performance
- Women Health
- Weight management
Proprietary ingredient using Ashwagandha
AshwaBEST - 100% Natural and Clean label, standardised by validated USP method and clinically validated. Thanks to our R&D and proprietary technology. A green full-spectrum extract with no toxic solvents. The low dosage makes it wonderful! AshwaBEST is suitable for a wide range of food-delivery forms; nutritional drinks, candies, jellies, biscuits, breakfast bars etc. Instant solubility, stability, compatible taste, clean label status, 100% natural & food-grade status, Full-spectrum extract, USP standardisation and Clinical studies make AshwaBEST the best Ashwagandha in today’s marketplace!
Bonilla, Diego A et al. 2021 “Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis.” Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology vol. 6,1 20.
Dar, N. J., & MuzamilAhmad 2020. Neurodegenerative diseases and Withania somnifera (L.): An update. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 256, 112769.
Keywords: Natural Adaptogen, Ashwagandha, Uses of Ashwagandha, Natural Withanolides, Effects of Ashwagandha, Proprietary ingredient using Ashwagandha, Active molecule in ashwagandha
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