Ashwagandha: An Adaptogenic Herb to Improve Vigor
BySarah Axtell, ND •May 12, 2023
Ashwagandha is one of the most common herbs we recommend here at Lakeside. It is one of my favorite adaptogenic herbs. In layman’s terms, adaptogens, such as Ashwagandha, make everyone in your life become less annoying!
Here are some clinical applications of this rejuvenating herb:
- Improves anxiety and sleep. It is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it helps the body adapt by normalizing physiological processes in times of high stress.
- Modulates the immune system. The withanolides in Ashwagandha demonstrates significant immunomodulatory effects on Th cells and inflammatory cytokines giving potential therapeutic development for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Improves sexual function in women (improved sexual desire, arousal, lubrication, satisfaction). It primarily does this by increasing testosterone.
- Supports the thyroid and metabolism. Ashwagandha has been shown to improve thyroid hormones (TSH, Free T3, and Free T4), thereby improving the metabolism.
- Enhances cognition. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that a single dose of Ashwagandha resulted in sustained attention, prevention of mental fatigue, and increased short-term/working memory. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the effects of Ashwagandha supplementation for improving cognition, cortisol, mood, and food cravings.
SAFETY: Ashwagandha is very safe. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study (80 participants over 8 weeks), no adverse events were reported and labs/vitals were not negatively affected.
DOSE: A general dose is 500 mg in the morning and 500 mg in the evening. Discuss with your naturopathic doctor whether or not this would be a good herb for you!
For more info on Ashwagandha, see this previous post on Ashwaganda and the brain.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.