What Are the Benefits of Ashwagandha?

Reviewed on 6/25/2021

Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng, Withania, Withania Somnifera) is an herbal supplement used to help the body to deal with stress, fight fatigue, to increase stamina. It has also been used for other purposes, including an aphrodisiac, a tonic, a narcotic, a diuretic,  an anthelmintic (a type of antiparasitic that kills worms), an astringent, thermogenic,  a stimulant, and a topical analgesic (pain reliever).
Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng, Withania, Withania Somnifera) is an herbal supplement used to help the body to deal with stress, fight fatigue, to increase stamina. It has also been used for other purposes, including an aphrodisiac, a tonic, a narcotic, a diuretic, an anthelmintic (a type of antiparasitic that kills worms), an astringent, thermogenic, a stimulant, and a topical analgesic (pain reliever).

Ashwagandha (also called Indian Ginseng, Withania, and Withania Somnifera) is an herbal supplement that can be used as an adaptogen, which is an herbal product used as an aid to help the body to adapt to internal or external stressors, to fight fatigue, and to increase stamina.  

Ashwagandha is commonly used in Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine practiced in India. Ashwagandha root has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a: 

  • Tonic, to improve energy levels, health, and longevity
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Narcotic
  • Diuretic
  • Anthelmintic (a type of antiparasitic that kills worms)
  • Astringent
  • Thermogenic
  • Stimulant
  • Analgesic (pain reliever, when applied topically)

In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is used to treat conditions such as: 

Scientific studies on Ashwagandha have shown it may be effective for: 

  • Increasing swimming performance 
  • Reducing the cortisol content of the adrenal glands
  • Preventing stress-induced ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Reducing elevated levels of white blood cells (leukocytosis)
  • Improving memory in children with memory deficits, or when memory is compromised following head injury, or a prolonged illness and in old age
  • Slowing, stopping, reversing, or removing neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease
  • Inducing a calming anti-anxiety effect 
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Anti-arthritic effects
  • Side effects of ashwagandha may include:
  • Nausea  
  • Headache 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Upset stomach  
  • Diarrhea  

Ashwagandha is generally safe for use in food and tea. Tell your doctor before taking ashwagandha or any herbal supplements because it may have unexpected side effects or may interact with the medications you take. 

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Reviewed on 6/25/2021
References
https://reference.medscape.com/drug/indian-ginseng-withania-ashwagandha-344464

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/ashwagandha