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Ashwagandha has become one of the most popular Ayurvedic herbs in use in the Western world. And it is no wonder, with all the benefits that Ashwagandha has to offer! Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurveda for thousands of years as a rejuvenative and an adaptogenic herb, meaning that it is used to help the body resist physiological and psychological stress. It is recommeded for Vata aggravation and for people whose prakriti or constitution is Vata. You can find your constitution by clicking on the first box on this Market page. Not recommended for Pitta and Kapha people.
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This ground root comes in the form of a "churna" or powder, which is the traditional Ayurvedic method of ingesting it. Put 1/2 tsp. in warm water, let sit for at least ten minutes, then drink.
Two-ounce container of the ground root. Often used for people who are undergoing chemotherapy. According to Ayurvedic theory Ashwagandha builds ojas. A thirty day series of enzymatic processes transform lymph fluid into ojas, which is the body's most specialized tissue. Ojas controls reproduction, immunity and general health.
Ojas depletion can be caused by stress, which triggers stress fighting hormones and free radicals that in turn cause degeneration of the immune and other physiological systems. This stress-induced reaction can open the way for illness and disease.
Ojas is the most subtle, refined level of the physical body and is the end result of healthy food which is properly digested. It is responsible for a healthy immune system, physical strength, lustrous complexion, clarity of mind and sense of well being. It allows consciousness to flow within the body. With decreased ojas, we are less in touch with ourselves and more prone to diseases and having a feeling of disharmony.
Ashwagandha is also used to prevent stress related gastrointestinal ulcers. It increases physical endurance, calcium level and libido and sexual function. It prevents the depletion of vitamin C and cortisol thereby slowing down graying of hair.
In Ayurvedic theory Ashwagandha balances both nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Therefore, it is helpful with fatigue and nervous exhaustion and increases digestive heat in chronic conditions. In arthritis, which involves joints that are painful, dry, swollen and inflamed, Ashwagandha would be the herb of choice.
Ashwagandha is effective for insomnia but does not act as a sedative. It can be helpful for pitta and vata individuals but not for kapha as it can cause weight gain.
The Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy & Oncology, School of Medical Sciences in Malaysia has concluded that Withania somnifera has potential against cancer-related fatigue, in addition to improving the quality of life.
Natural Anabolic Training Aid: Another area where Ashwagandha is becoming popular is in sports and athletics. Endurance athletes who train heavily, such as long-distance runner and cyclists, are very prone to infections. Excess cortisol produced in response to the heavy training load suppresses the immune system. It can also lead to muscle and tendon tears as the muscles are weakened due to protein loss under the influence of cortisol. With its muscle preserving qualities, Ashwagandha is the perfect natural anabolic training aid for the serious athlete.
1: J. Ethnopharmacol 1994 Dec., 44(3):131-5 A comparative pharmacological investigation of Ashwagandha and Ginseng. Grandhi A, Mujumdar AM, Patwardhan B
Indian Drugs Research Association, Pune.
It prevents stress related gastrointestinal ulcers, increases physical endurance and prevents the depletion of vitamin C and Cortisol. It improves aging parameter such as graying hair, calcium level and increased libido & sexual function.
Ashwagandha balances both nervous system and musculoskeletal system. Therefore, it is helpful with fatigue and nervous exhaustion and increases digestive heat in chronic conditions. In arthritis, which involves joints that are painful, dry, swollen and inflamed, Ashwagandha would be the herb of choice.
It is effective for insomnia but does not act as a sedative. It’s rejuvenative and nervine properties produce energy which in turn help the body to settle and sleep. Thus it helps the body to address a stress related condition rather than masking it with sedatives. It rejuvenates the nervous system, erases insomnia and eases stress.
Recent research on "Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on the development of chemotherapy-induced fatigue and quality of life in breast cancer patients." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23142798
A flurry of new research from around the world on Ashwagandha is proving the medicinal effects of this ancient Ayurvedic herbal remedy are more than just anecdotal.
The past year has been banner year for Ashwagandha research. Numerous studies confirmed its healing properties in a variety of conditions, including stress, toxicity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, skin cancer, tuberculosis, liver toxicity and many others. Following is a summary of some of the findings of the over fifty different human, laboratory and animal studies conducted using Ashwaghanda published during 2012 and early 2013:
- Research from the Asha Hospital in Hyderbad found, in a study of 64 people with chronic stress, that Ashwagandha supplementation for two months decreased stress by 44% and decreased depression and/or anxiety by 72%.
- Tokyo University of Technology researchers found that Ashwagandha slows the process of melanocyte stem cell phosphorylation, giving it the potential of blocking skin cancers.
- Banasthali University researchers found that Ashwagandha mayprotect the liver against lead toxicity.
- Jamia Hamdard University researchers found that Ashwagandha reduces oxidative damage related to brain cell damage – making it useful for reducing dementia and Alzheimer’s risk.
- Eight weeks of Ashwagandha supplementation increasedendurance, respiration capacity and metabolic efficiency among cycling athletes, according to research from Guru Nanak Dev University.
- Research from Texas’ Baylor University found that Ashwagandha reduced inflammation related to type I diabetes.
- Research from the College of Pharmacy at University of Hawaii performed assays that found that Ashwagandha inhibited cancer-related cytokines.
- Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology found that Ashwagandha compounds inhibited proteins involved inLeishmaniasis.
- Researchers from Jamia Hamdard University’s Pharmacy Faculty found that Ashwagandha reduces oxidative stress related to type 2 diabetes.
- Researchers from the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences found that Ashwagandha supported memory and helped prevent nerve cell degeneration among rats.
- Colorado State University researchers found that Ashwagandha and other Ayurvedic herbs help protect the heart from oxidative damage.
- Researchers from Malaysia’s University Sains found that Ashwagandha reduced fatigue and increased general well-beingamong patients who were undergoing chemotherapy.
- Researchers from the Chonbuk National University in the Republic of Korea found that Ashwagandha reduced populations of Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus – oral bacteria known to be at primary agents of tooth decay and periodontal disease.
- Researchers from Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azam University found that Ashwagandha inhibited cancer cells from growing.
- Research from India’s National Research Institute of Ayurvedic Drug Development found that Ashwagandha combined with other Ayurvedic herbs reduced symptoms among tuberculosis patients.
- Researchers from the ICMR Advanced Centre for Reverse Pharmacology in Traditional Medicine found in a 30-day clinical trial among 18 healthy volunteers that 750-1250 milligrams of Ashwagandha per day reduced cholesterol, improved sleep andincreased muscle strength.
- Researchers from Louisiana State University found that Ashwagandha inhibited cancer tumor growth.
- Researchers from India’s Central Food Technological Research Institute found Ashwagandha was antioxidant and inhibitedoxidative brain cell damage and reversing mechanisms related toParkinson’s disease.
- Researchers from India’s Central Drug Research Institute found that coagulanolide from Ashwagandha increased glucose toleranceand decreased fasting blood glucose among mice.
- Research from the Ayurvedic Hospital in Ahmedabad found that Ashwagandha with an herbal combination called Rasayana significantly reduced coughing, fever and other symptoms amongtuberculosis patients.
- Researchers from Malaysia’s Universiti Sains medical school found that Ashwagandha inhibits several pathogenic bacteria, especiallySalmonella.
- Research from India’s Bankura Sammilani Medical College found that Ashwagandha may treat depression.
- Research from Germany’s University of Tuebingen discovered that Ashwagandha reduces oxidative stress and alters gene expression to help cells with energy production.
- Researchers from Brooklyn’s Woodhull Medical Center found that Ashwagandha increases circulating cortisol levels and improvesinsulin sensitivity. This effect was also found for those with adrenal insufficiency issues or even congenital adrenal hyperplasia– a birth defect of the adrenal glands.
- Studies from South Korea’s Keimyung University found that Ashwagandha inhibits tumor growth and stimulates the killing ofrenal cancer cells.
- Research from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that Ashwagandha inhibits breast cancer cell migration.
- Researchers from Detroit’s Wayne State University found that Ashwagandha suppresses the growth of mesothelioma, a lung disease most prominently associated with asbestos toxicity.
- Research from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University found that Ashwagandha helps protect the heart and cardiovascular systemfrom oxidative radicals.
- Research from the University of Delhi College of Medical Sciences found that Ashwagandha may reduce diabetes, and has anti-hyperglycemic properties.
- Tokushima Bunri University researchers found that Ashwagandha kills Leishmania major cells – making it an effective treatment forLeishmania.
- Researchers from India’s Cochin University of Science and Technology found that Ashwagandha increased spatial memory and decreased oxidative brain stress among rats.
- Human clinical studies from India’s Banaras Hindu University found that Ashwagandha significantly reduced type II diabetessymptoms.
- Research from Guru Nanak Dev University found that Ashwagandha reduces nerve cell death from oxidative damage.
- Researchers from South Korea’s Kyungpook National University found that Ashwagandha reduces inflammation and cell adhesion molecules among blood vessels.
- R.K.D.F. College of Pharmacy researchers found that Ashwagandha may effectively treat obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Research from Panjab University found that Ashwagandha inhibitspro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species within the bloodstream.
- Researchers from Egypt’s National Center for Radiation Research and Technology found that Ashwagandha helps protect againstradiation exposure.
- Research from India’s National Brain Research Center found that Ashwagandha reduces beta-amyloid peptides within the brain – making it protective against Alzheimer’s disease.
- Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology found further evidence of Ashwagandha’s neuroprotective effects, in its ability to withanolide A to inhibit acetylcholinesterase.
- Research from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Center found that Ashwagandha significantly stimulates the immune system.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) contains a myriad of constituents, including withanolides named withanolide A, withanolide B, withaferin A, and withanone, along with 12-deoxy withastramonolide, withanoside V, withanoside IV. Other complex molecules include trihydroxy-oxowitha-trienolide compounds. These have been found to act synergistically to enable changes in gene expression within the cell – producing a variety of medicinal effects in addition to antioxidant effects. While some research is striving to isolate and extract that one constituent to be synthetically produced in a lab to make a patented drug, the research above and others over the past year testify that this Ayurvedic powerhouse herb is best used in its whole form.
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