A plant native to India, Ashwagandha has been in use as a restorative ingredient and tonic for centuries. Based on its ability to boost strength, and its unique aroma, it has been called “smell of the horse” in Sanskrit. It also goes by the names winter cherry, and Indian ginseng. It has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine to increase sexual function, promote longevity, and bolster mental and physical recovery.
Today, many modern day nootropic users have rediscovered this age-old herb as a possible mood enhancer and stress reliever, and it has become one of the most popular, and potent adaptogens on the market.
Comprehensive research studies have proven that Ashwagandha carries many of the benefits of many adaptogens, including the ability to help restore functions of the endocrine, and adrenal systems, back to normal levels.
Other benefits include relief of insomnia, mood improvement, and reduction in anxiety. Many users report that Ashwagandha creates a sense of tranquility, without the drowsiness, or other side-effects of common anti-depressants.
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How Does Ashwagandha Work?
Ashwagandha’s exact mechanisms of action are not known, however it is believed that the active properties are steroidal lactones and alkaloids, that when combined, are referred to as withanolides, which are thought to be the basis for Ashwagandha’s physiological makeup.
An established mechanism of withanolides is that they regulate the levels of monoamine oxidase and GABA circulating in the brain. An amino acid, GABA, acts as a natural tranquilizer to counter effects of neurotransmitters, that may make you over-excited.
It is also believed that Ashwagandha promotes the creation of dendrites, which are nerve cell extensions that receive other neuron signals. As the formation of dendrite increases, there is a boost in brain connectivity, that leads to better cognition.
Thanks to those withanolides, Ashwagandha is also thought to have considerable antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are characterized as chemical molecules that help counter harmful oxidizing agents from targeting cells, in the body and brain. Oxidation of the cells can turn them into free radicals, which are particles that spread and damage surrounding cells. Free radicals can bring about a cellular destruction that greatly correlates to an assortment of diseases, which may include everything from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is an effective and safe supplement that has the potential to protect and boost cognitive function, in addition to improving general well-being, and health. Some of the major benefits of this amazing adaptogen include:
It May Decrease Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
Many users and popular adaptogen influencers, love Ashwagandha for its well-known ability to combat anxiety and stress.
As confirmed in clinical studies, Ashwagandha has the ability to reduce both social and general anxiety, in people suffering from anxiety disorders. It is especially effective for most forms of chronic stress, and has also shown that it could be a potential treatment for panic disorder, and depression.
By reducing the levels of cortisol in the body, Ashwagandha has the ability to promote and protect well being, and overall health. Health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and impaired immune function are associated with high levels of cortisol. All of these can be aided with continuous consumption of Ashwagandha.
It May Indirectly Boost Cognition
Although there are few studies on Ashwagandha’s direct impact on improved memory, or cognitive capabilities, it is believed that its potent adaptogen characteristics may indirectly result in improved cognition.
Research has proven, again and again, that anxiety is a leading cause of a decline in cognition, as well as reduction in memory, focus, and concentration. As shown in this study performed on 20 healthy adult males, Ashwagandha has demonstrated an ability to improve both psychomotor performance, and cognition.
It May Help with a Variety of Health Issues
Ashwagandha may also be a potential treatment for an array of health issues, including: blood pressure, weight management, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Chemotherapy-induced fatigue, and overall improved health.
Ashwagandha Negative Effects
When taken in moderate doses, Ashwagandha seems to be well-tolerated, and especially safe. However, more rare side effects have been attributed to larger doses.
Side effects that have been reported include drowsiness, indigestion, abdominal discomfort, and diarrhea. Be aware that while it’s not considered a side effect, Ashwagandha may increase the effects of anti-anxiety, and other sedative medications. It may also interact with prescribed medicines and supplements.
Because of limited available information on its safety, it is not recommend for use in infants and children. As always, consult with your doctor before taking ashwagandha, or any other supplement.
What is KSM-66 Ashwagandha?
The KSM-66 Ashwagandha extract is derived from the root of the Ashwagandha plant. The root is believed to contain multiple adoptogenic benefits, and its leaves are mainly used as a topical treatment for burns, rather than for internal consumption.
Through a process that took 14 years to develop, KSM-66 has the highest concentrated extract on the world market today. KSM-66 is considered a “full-spectrum” extract since it maintains the original herb’s chemical balance without watering down or corrupting. It is created through a proprietary extraction process that uses no chemical solvents or alcohol.
Because milk is used in the pre-treatment of the Ashwagandha roots, much like in traditional Ayurveda texts, it is considered to be part of the composition of KSM-66. The milk pre-treatment helps to maintain much of the hydrophilic and lipophilic components of the root, which then contributes to it being a full-spectrum, highly potent extract.
KSM-66 Ashwagandha Benefits
Many of the benefits of KSM-66 have been proven through clinical studies based on the root of the plant, but not the leaves. Some of KSM-66 benefits include:
- It bolsters physical strength and muscle recovery.
- It enhances stamina and energy.
- It helps with better memory and cognition.
- It encourages a reduction in anxiety, stress, cortisol levels, and food cravings often associated with stress.
KSM-66 Side Effects
As with any Ashwagandha supplement, KSM-66 may cause nausea, abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. It may also interact with prescription medications, so it is best to consult your doctor before taking KSM-66. It is also not recommended for pregnant, or nursing women.
Originally used in traditional medicines as a tonic and restorative, the Ashwagandha herb has been rediscovered in our modern day, as a stress reliever, and a natural alternative to prescription anti-depressants.
The most well-known Ashwagandha supplement on the market is called KSM-66, which uses only the potent root of the plant. Through a process that took 14 years to develop, KSM-66 is the best Ashwagandha supplement available on the market today.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.