Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a plant with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha is an example of both a nootropic and an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a supplement which improves the ability of the body to cope with fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

ashwagandha

Benefits:

  • Reduces stress/anxiety and may prevent conditions cause by stress/anxiety including premature aging and depression [1][5][6][7]
  • Repairs damage to brain cells caused by alcohol abuse [1]
  • Enhances communication between nerve cells [1]
  • Enhances memory and general cognitive functions [4][7]
  • Improves the immune system and protects red blood cells [2][7]
  • Has anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties [3][7][1]
  • Has neuroprotective and anti-oxidant properties [7][1]

What Is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Since its introduction to Western Cultures, it has gained popularity as a nootropic supplement and adaptogen. People now use it for benefits ranging from reducing stress and anxiety, to protecting brain cells, all the way to improving memory and cognitive functions.

Medical Uses of Ashwagandha

In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha was used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions and was applied locally to tumors and ulcers. Some research has shown that Ashwagandha can repair brain damage caused by excess alcohol consumption, as well as that it may be an effective treatment for the withdrawal symptoms experienced by alcoholics.

Using Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is sold extremely cheaply in capsules. It is most often taken daily as a dietary supplement for its nootropic effects, or just in times of exceptional stress or fatigue due to its ability to help the body cope with these conditions.

Dosing Ashwagandha

There is little hard information on what is an effective dose of Ashwagandha. However, anecdotal evidence points to anywhere between a 200mg- 1,500mg dose per day. This dose can be spaced out throughout the day or taken all at once. I recommend that people taking Ashwagandha start with a low dose and work their way up as needed.

How Does Ashwagandha Work?

Even though the exact way Ashwagandha works is not fully understood, certain mechanisms of action have been identified:

  • Increases hemolytic antibody response which helps protect red blood cells [2]
  • Acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor cause increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain [4]
  • Inhibits notch-1 signaling
  • Down regulates prosurvival pathways
  • Supports the growth of nerve cell dendrites increasing communication between nerves [1]

Safety and Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Studies have shown that Ashwagandha has little to no toxicity. [7] Common side effects include drowsiness and upset stomach.

Taking Ashwagandha with sedative medications may cause extreme drowsiness. You should not operate machinery until you know how this reaction may affect you.

Ashwagandha may also mitigate the effectiveness of medication that decreases the immune system.

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Ashwagandha FAQ

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Ashwagandha. If you have a question that’s not on this list, send it to us at questions@whatarenootropics.com and we will answer it for you.

Should I Take Ashwagandha?

Does Ashwagandha Have Synergy With Other Nootropics??

How noticeable are the effects of Ashwagandha

Is it possible to overdose on Ashwagandha?

Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Ashwagandha?

Can I take Ashwagandha every day?

What Are Some Noticeable Studies Performed on Ashwagandha?

Cited Studies

1.  http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_report_ashwa_01.htm

2.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8866726

3.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16375880

4.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9017665

5.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10075127

6.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194174

7.http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/5/4/334.pdf

8.http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/systems/nervous-system/10-brain-myths9.htm

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