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Ashwagandha

January 13, 2015

Ashwagandha is an herb and a popular supplement. It provides neuroprotection, anti-cancer effects, enhanced virility, and can even stave off anxiety.

Withania somnifera, commonly known as ashwagandha, is an herb used in Ayurveda medicine. Ashwagandha means ‘Smell of Horse,’ which refers to the fresh root’s distinct horsey smell, and the traditional belief that ingesting the herb will confer the strength and virility of a horse.

Ashwagandha is an Adaptogen. It is supplemented primarily for its ability to prevent anxiety. Ashwagandha’s anti-anxiety effect is even synergistic with alcohol. It also shows promise for relieving insomnia and stress-induced depression. Ashwagandha can significantly reduce cortisol concentrations and the immunosuppressive effect of stress.

Beyond reducing stress levels, ashwagandha can improve physical performance in both sedentary people and athletes, as well as reduce Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Ashwagandha can improve the formation of memories, and may be able to treat Alzheimer’s disease, though more human evidence is needed before supplementation can be recommended specifically for Alzheimer’s.

More research is needed to determine ashwagandha’s main mechanism.

Ashwagandha is traditionally recommended for cancer patients. It is important to note that there is no human evidence for ashwagandha’s ability to treat cancer. It is, however, a great supplement to reduce immunosuppression. It can also ease the pain of chemotherapy treatment by greatly reducing stress and fatigue. Ashwagandha should not be used for cancer treatment, but it makes a great adjuvant therapy, meaning it can and should be taken alongside other treatments.

Read more: http://examine.com/supplements/Ashwagandha/

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