Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)

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Reduced Stress and Anxiety

  • In 2012 the Indian Journal of Psychology Medicine published a double-blind clinical trial in which 64 adults with chronic stress were given either a placebo or 300 mg of high concentration ashwagandha root extract twice daily for 60 days. At the end of the study period the ashwagandha group showed a significant reduction in cortisol levels (stress hormone) and stress assessment scores compared to the placebo group.
  • In 2014 the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a review of five studies – all of which found ashwagandha root was more effective than a placebo in reducing anxiety. However, the authors note that all studies exhibited a high risk of bias.

Improved Cardiovascular endurance

  • In 2012 the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine published a study in which 40 elite cyclists received either 500 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo twice daily for 8 weeks. The results showed that ashwagandha increased the maximum amount of oxygen utilized (VO2 max), the maximal exercise intensity (METS) and the time to exhaustion, whereas no change was seen with the placebo group.
  • In 2015 AYU published a double-blind study involving 50 athletic adults which found that 12 weeks of supplementation with ashwagandha root extract helped improve VO2 max (maximum oxygen utilization) as well as quality of life scores when compared to a placebo.

Increased Muscle Mass and Strength

  • In 2015 the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which 57 males with little resistance training experience received either 300 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo twice daily. After 8-weeks of resistance training the ashwagandha group had significantly greater strength increases in bench-press and leg extension as well as greater increases in muscle size and testosterone levels and greater reductions in exercise-induced muscle damage.

Muscle strength and cardio vascular endurance

  • In 2010 the International Journal of Ayurveda Research published a placebo-controlled study involving 40 subjects in which ashwagandhaat a dose of 500 mg/day taken for 8 weeks, was effective in increasing velocity, power and VO2 max in college aged subjects.

Rheumatoid arthritis and reduced inflammation

  • In 2015 the Journal of complementary Medicine published an animal study in which arthritis-induced rats treated with ashwagandha exhibited a reduction in arthritis biomarkers comparable to rats treated with the rheumatoid arthritis-drug, methotrexate.

Improved Immune Function

  • In 2009 the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study in which 6 mL ashwagandha root extract was consumed twice daily by 5 participants for 4 consecutive days. Blood samples showed a significant increase in immune cell activation.

Improved Male Infertility

  • In 2013 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study in which 46 males with low sperm count (oligospermia) received either 675 mg/day ashwagandha extract or a placebo for 90 days. At the end of the treatment period the ashwagandha group had a 167 percent increase in sperm count, a 53 percent increase in semen volume and a 57 percent increase in sperm motility while the placebo group showed minimal improvement.

Body-weight management for adults under stress

  • In 2017 the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine published a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which 52 subjects under chronic stress received either a 300 mg ashwagandha or a placebo twice daily for 8 weeks. The researchers found that compared to a placebo, ashwagandha reduced stress, reduced food cravings, increased happiness and helped manage body weight.

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