Ashwagandha, aka 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘯𝘪𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘢, is an herb that has been used in ayurvedic medicine for over 3000 years.
Common uses for ashwagandha include: 𝗰𝗵𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗰 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀, 𝗳𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗴𝘂𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝘅𝗶𝗲𝘁𝘆, 𝗱𝗲𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗶𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗻𝗶𝗮, 𝗰𝗼𝗴𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘀.
In a 8 week double-blind randomized, placebo control trial of 64 subjects, ashwagandha was noted to improve chronic stress. Stress was assessed by using subjective assessment scales and cortisol level.
As a true adaptogen, this herb is believed to improve the body’s response to stress.
It is generally quite safe but it may have an additive effect with medications commonly used for diabetes, high blood pressure, and anti-depressants. It may also be potentially harmful in people who have prostate cancer, so best to avoid.
Dosing may vary depending on the type of extract. Generally, a safe starting dose is 300mg daily with gradual increase. Because this herb can be mildly sedating, I recommend starting at night first.
Until next time,
Shiven Chaudhry, MD