All you have to know about ashwagandha: the off-road supplement
Ashwagandha is a highly revered herb within Indian Ayurveda medicine. In this medicine ashwagandha has been traditionally used in various disease processes and especially as a tonic with anxiolytic effects.
He is also credited with the ability to increase energy levels and improve mitochondrial health not to mention the effects on cognition and its help against neurodegenerative diseases.
These are some of the effects attributable to this plant, but not the only ones, although it is true that many of the qualities observed in various studies still require much more research to be able to firmly define its clinical efficacy in different disorders and pathologies.
What is ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, that is, a compound that modulates our response to different stressors through its performance on the HHA axis (Pituitary-Hypothalamic-Adrenal), which is an essential part of our endocrine system.
In 1990, a group of scientists gave a description of the term adaptogen: Natural bioregulators that increase the ability to adapt to environmental factors and prevent damage caused by those factors. In fact, the advantage of adaptogens is that they minimize the body's response to stress, reduce negative reactions during the alarm phase and eliminate, or at least decrease, the onset of the depletion phase that is part of the so-called general adaptation syndrome .
What is ashwagandha for?
Adaptogens in general have been shown to have positive effects at the level of adrenal fatigue, pain and inflammation in arthritis, conciliation and sleep quality, regulation of the neuroendocrine system, inhibition of tumor growth and induction of cell apoptosis, that is, death and cell recycling.
Ashwagandha and other adaptogens such as Panax Ginseng They seem reliable in all subsequent effects, but according to a study that conducted an overview of the effects and applications of ashwagandha, the following effects and benefits are also attributed to it:
- Increase and improvement of physical endurance
- Prevention of stress-induced pathologies such as ulcers, hepatotoxicity, atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypertension, premature aging or arthritis.
- Multidirectional regulation of the adrenal glands that secrete cortisol, that is, stimulate its secretion when a stressor disturbs homeostasis (Balance) and inhibit it when it has been reached.
- Promotional effect of cognition, especially in children with attention deficit or after cranial injuries.
- Slow down of neuritic and synaptic atrophy in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington or Creutzfeldt-Jakob.
- GABAergic mimetic quality, that is, is capable of reproducing the effects of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) a central nervous system inhibitor neurotransmitter that regulates its excitation. Ashwagandha is able to reproduce these effects when administered in pathologies such as tardive dyskinesia, a side effect caused by treatment with neuroleptics or antipsychotics that causes involuntary muscle movements.
Thus, although large-scale studies are needed to determine its clinical efficacy in heterogeneous population groups, ashwagandha has enormous potential as a tonic due to its multiple pharmacological actions as anti-stress, neuroprotective, anti-tumor, anti-arthritic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. In addition, it is useful for different types of diseases such as Parkinson's, dementia and memory loss.
How is ashwagandha used?
Doses of between 300 and 500 milligrams daily of a root extract are recommended from ashwagandha. If the dried root itself is used, between 3 and 6 grams daily.
It is preferable divide the daily dose into several doses, matching one of them an hour or two before bedtime.
Although there are studies that use much higher doses of ashwagandha, there is no consensus on whether these doses can provide extra benefits. On the other hand, continuous and extended use over time is recommended To experience the greatest benefits.