Ashwagandha Extract Benefits, Dosage & Side Effects

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Ashwagandha extract is a derivative of the Ashwagandha roots. It is an ayurvedic herbal extract used for the treatment of general debility and stress related psychological diseases.

The exotic India herb, Ashwagandha or ‘Withania Somnifera’ has outstanding stress relieving capability that is comparable to powerful drugs used for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Ayurvedic doctors use Ashwagandha extract to treat a variety of medical conditions such as asthma, tuberculosis, menstrual problems, depression, physical weakness and fatigue. It acts as a protective shield for the nervous system. The antioxidant property can treat disease state related to the process of aging. It is one of Geriatric Medicines used in Ayurveda.

Basic Information

Scientific NameWithania Somnifera
Plant FamilySolanaceae
Hindi NameAsgandh
Sanskrit NameAshwagandha
English NameIndian Winter cherry

Chemical Composition

The main active principle of ashwagandha extract is WITHANOLIDES. Other alkaloids include.

CategoryPhytochemical Name
Steroidal LactonesWITHANOLIDES, WITHAFERINS
AlkaloidsANAFERINE, ANAHYGRINE, CUSEOHYGRINE, ISOPELLETIERINE
OthersACYLSTERYLGLUCOSIDES, SITOINDOSIDES

Action

Phytochemicals Action
ACYLSTERYLGLUCOSIDESAnti-stress
SITOINDOSIDESAnti-stress
WITHAFERINAnti-stress

Medicinal Properties of Ashwagandha Extract

Ashwagandha Extract has following healing properties.

  1. Adaptogenic
  2. Anti-inflammatory
  3. Anti-arthritic
  4. Anti-hypertensive
  5. Antispasmodic
  6. Anti-stress
  7. Aphrodisiac
  8. Lowers cholesterol
  9. Nervine
  10. Mild diuretic
  11. Mild sedative
  12. Galactagogue
  13. Carminative
  14. Immunity booster
  15. Mild Hypnotic
  16. Thyroid stimulant

Ashwagandha Extract Benefits

In ayurveda, Indian Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha) is an important herb due to its medicinal value and adaptogenic action. Ayurvedic physicians deeply rely upon it owing to the great medicinal properties. It is beneficial for debility after fever and other chronic diseases. It relieves stress and revitalizes the body. Due to these actions, it can be used in every disease to speed up healing and recovery time.

Ashwagandha extract for stress and anxiety

Ashwagandha extract has anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. It helps reducing stress and protects the brain from the effects of depression and excessive mental stress. It serves as the promising alternative to several degenerative diseases such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Ashwagandha extracts act as anti-stress agent and stops degeneration of brain cells.

Stress, lack of nutritious diet and environmental toxins all contribute towards casting a detrimental impact upon the nervous system.  Ashwagandha has the great ability of relieving stress and protecting the brain cells from deleterious impacts of modern lifestyle. It performs that same function as antidepressant drug and tranquilizer. If taken orally for five continuous days, ashwagandha extract can show its positive effects.

Anti aging effects of Ashwagandha extract

Its antioxidant properties serve to destroy free radicals, which are responsible in early aging process. Premature aging related to chronic nervous tension is also associated with enhanced oxidative stress.

Insomnia

Ashwagandha extract has influence of sleep hormones and reduces stress hormones. It offers better sleep and enhanced sense of well-being. It also reduces fatigue and provides strength to the brain and other parts of the body.

Anti-cancer activity of Ashwagandha extract

Ashwagandha extract has anti-cancer properties. It might inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. As per the recent studies, ashwagandha inhibited the development of lung, breast and colon cancer cells. This reaction is somewhat similar to reaction cast by chemotherapy drug.

The herb is rich in WITHAFERIN-A, which is even more effective than DOXORUBICIN when it comes to the inhibition of colon and breast cancer. It disrupts the cancer cells ability to reproduce.

The anti-angiogenic activity of ashwagandha can help prevent cancer by preventing the formation of new blood cells needed for cancer tissue’s growth. It has the potentiality of fighting stomach cancer, reducing tumor effect, and combating skin cancer. Recent studies reveal that the ashwagandha herb can improve the life span and help reduce tumor weight in animals. In a way, even if one is suffering from cancer, the life span can be enhanced with the consumption of ashwagandha.

Other benefits of Ashwagandha Extract

  • Ashwagandha has the potential of suppressing joint pain.
  • It offers great results in cases like rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, gout and Sciatica.
  • It promotes calmness and mental satisfaction. Thus, it helps in reducing mental stress.
  • It also improves the retaining capacity of brain and cognitive functions.
  • It helps in building stamina and muscular endurance and improves immunity system.
  • It revitalizes the entire body by helping to eliminate stress, tiredness and removes negative energies.
  • It aids in enhancing physical endurance power by acting as the great strengthening agent.
  • Ashwagandha, the natural healer treats respiratory tract infection along with asthmatic condition.

Ashwagandha Extract Dosage

The dosage of ashwagandha extract dosage is about 250 mg to 1 gram. You should not exceed its dosage from 3 grams per day.

Caution & Side Effects of Ashwagandha Extract

Ashwagandha extract is POSSIBLY SAFE and well tolerated for most people when consume for a few days. The long-term safety of Ashwagandha extract is  not yet fully studied and established. Therefore, you should not take Ashwagandha extract continuously more than a month.

The larger dosage of Ashwagandha extract can cause following side effects.

  1. Diarrhea (common)
  2. Stomach upset
  3. Nausea and vomiting (rare)

Caution

Avoid the intake of Ashwagandha extract along with sedative medicines. It is also mild sedative and may result in excessive sedation.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Pregnant women should avoid using Ashwagandha extract. It might be UNSAFE in pregnancy because a few cases of miscarriage are reported the use of Ashwagandha extract in pregnancy.

In India, Ashwagandha powder is used for increasing breast milk and it might be safe in its crude form. However, Ashwagandha extract is seldom used in lactation, so you should AVOID it during lactation.

Contraindications

The only contraindication known is obesity. Ashwagandha extract can increase body weight significantly, so if you are obese or overweight, you should not take it.

Drug Interactions

Ashwagandha extract can interact with anti-depressant medications. Its interaction with sedative drugs can result in sleepiness, drowsiness and laziness.

It can also decrease the effectiveness of Immunosuppressant drugs because Ashwagandha increases the immunity.

Ashwagandha is thyroid stimulant, so it can interact with thyroid hormones used for the treatment of thyroid diseases. It can increase the thyroid hormones.

Note

Ashwagandha extract are prepared with several methods. The ancient method was water extraction. Nowadays, alcoholic extract is also available and mostly used due to enhanced efficacy.

Further Readings

  1. Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Benefits

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4 Comments

  1. Srinivas says

    Does Ashwagandha help intestines inflammation?

    1. Dr. Jagdev Singh says

      Ashwagandha helps reduce inflammation of all tissues including intestines, but its main effect appears on bones, joints and muscles.

  2. Shubhangi Shrinivas says

    Give name of Ayurvedic medicine with no side effects to bring the high blood pressure which is always above 170/100 down or out of danger level.

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