Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, a class of herbs which promote homeostasis and return the body to a state of equilibrium. Ashwagandha and is often referred to as Indian Ginseng for its use in Ayurvedic medicine. It appears to be most effective for improving wellbeing by raising energy levels and calming the mind.
There is strong evidence that ashwagandha has a calming effect on the mind and body, and may be effective for alleviating social anxiety and improving general social functioning as well.19https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2140796020https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1971825521https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2343979823https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23142798
Ashwagandha has been shown to significantly lower cortisol.21https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2343979822https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19789214. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study 64 subjects with chronic stress had their cortisol and stress levels tested. Subjects were given 300mg capsules of the root extract twice daily. After 60 days, the treatment group showed a significant reduction in their stress based on stress-assessment scales, and their cortisol levels were substantially reduced as well.21https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798
Ashwagandha may have potential for improving general wellbeing in different ways. It can enhance mood19https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21407960, raise energy levels20https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1971825523https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23142798, and may even improve motivation.20https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19718255
In terms of the cognitive benefits, ashwagandha has also been noted to provide neuroprotection by inducing antioxidant enzymes in the brain.27https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1113734328https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10816336 Additionally it has been shown to cause neurogenesis, demonstrating regeneration activity in axons and synapses as well as neurite extension in normal and damaged cortical neurons.29https://www.ancbi.nlm.nih.gaov/pubmed/15956813
How Ashwagandha Works
The full extent of ashwagandha’s mechanism of action, at least in regards to the above effects, is not totally understood at this time. However, it is likely that its calming effects primarily come from its GABAergic properties, specifically by enhancing signaling at the the GABAA receptor.24https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2136944925https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/166003426https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18697606 GABA is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that is responsible for feelings of relaxation, euphoria, and mood regulation. By enhancing signalling at the GABAA receptor, this increases the availibility of GABA to be absorbed in the brain, and can promote feelings of relaxation.
Ashwagandha appears to be a very well-rounded substance that provides some real benefit, with nootropic effects being the most promising. Among adaptogens, it may be the most potent of them all, and may be one of the best nootropics for social anxiety.
Ashwagandha Dosage Information
Aswagandha comes in its basic extract form, and in two patented forms, the Sensoril and KSM-66 extracts. People tend to have different results with each, but in general the Sensoril extract is better for relaxation while the KSM-66 extract is better for stress reduction, although both appear to be fairly similar overall.
Sensori doses range typically range from 125-375mg per day, while KSM-66 doses range from 300-900mg per day.
Where to Buy Ashwagandha[Vendor Info]
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