Ashwaganda is an amazing herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It’s recently been gaining attention in the United States as a result of numerous very positive scientific studies. It’s wonderful when herbs that have been used for thousands of years are then confirmed by science! I’ve been collecting research studies on ashwaganda for some time now, so I’ll briefly post some of the findings below.
Ashwaganda for boosting testosterone and fertility
One study found that ashwaganda root extract increased testosterone and improved sperm counts in a group of men who had fertility problems. The men took ashwaganda supplements for 90 days and the results documented that their testosterone levels rose by seventeen percent and their sperm counts more than doubled.
Ashwaganda for strength and muscle growth
Healthy men who took ashwaganda supplements during a strength and weight training program had significant gains in strength when compared to those taking a placebo. The study gave 300mg of ashwaganda extract to men twice a day for eight weeks. At the end of the eight weeks, the participants who received ashwaganda showed significant increases in muscle mass in the arms and chest. In addition, the ashwaganda group has larger gains in their ability to do bench press and leg extension exercises, with less muscle damage. The men who took ashwaganda also had improved testosterone levels as well as a reduction in body fat.
Ashwaganda and cognitive function
Ashwaganda extract was found to be effective in boosting cognition in people with bipolar disorder. An eight week study gave participants 500mg of ashwaganda extract to participants (or a placebo) in addition to their regular medications. Significant improvements in auditory-verbal working memory, reaction time, and social cognition were seen in the ashwaganda group. Ashwaganda has also been shown to have positive effects on stress and sleep issues.
Ashwaganda and stress
In one study, ashwaganda extract was shown to be able to reduce the physical effects of mental stress. Researchers gave young, healthy men 1,000mg of ashwaganda extract daily. After two weeks, the participants were given tests to measure stress. Blood pressure readings and other measurements of stress-induced compounds were significantly lower in the ashwaganda group compared to the group of men who received the placebo.
Another placebo controlled study on ashwaganda and stress gave participants 300mg of ashwaganda extract twice daily. After two months, the ashwaganda group had significant reductions of stress on a variety of stress assessments. Cortisol levels (a stress hormone) were also greatly reduced.
Ashwaganda for neurodegenerative diseases
Ashwaganda has shown benefit for numerous neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Ashwaganda has been shown to slow (and may even stop or reverse) atrophy of the nerves and synaptic loss as well as having protective effects against further damage.
Ashwaganda- which type is best?
We recommend Jarrow Formula’s Ashwaganda because it uses a one of a kind extract known as KSM-66. This specialized ashwaganda extract is the highest concentration available and has been shown specifically to be more effective than standard ashwaganda extracts. The strength of the beneficial properties in ashwaganda can vary widely, which why it’s important to choose a branded extract like the one in Jarrow’s formula, so you know you’re taking the most effective product available, as well as one that is backed by scientific research.