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Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) - a medicinal plant used in Eastern medicine; called the Indian ginseng because of its adaptogenic properties, i.e. increasing the organism's stress resistance, stabilising the mood and regulating the functioning of the immune system. In Ayurveda it is treated as a remedy for rheumatism, states of fatigue, impotence and weakening memory. It contains many biologically active substances, for example nicotinic alkaloids, beta-sitosterol, whitanolides (including withanolide D), coumarin, sitoindosides, chlorogenic acid and withaferin A.
Active components' properties
Withanolides are a pharmacologically active component with a typical steroid structure which occurs naturally in the root of that plant. Together with withaferin A, it exhibits the following properties: antioxidant, antistress, cytotoxic, adaptogenic, it induces calm, prevents cancer, reduces arterial blood pressure, it improves the intellectual capacity of the brain, it is a neurotonic, it improves sexual performance, reduces anxiety, inflammations, fights fungi (effective against Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans) and bacteria (e.g. Staphyloccocus aureus, hay bacillus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomona aeruginosa).
Ashwagandha is widely used as a calming, relaxing and sleep-improving agent. It allows the organism to adapt to stress, thanks to which it goes back to homeostasis despite the influence of stressors. It restores the organism's normal functioning in spite of a poor diet, lack of sleep or physical and mental fatigue.
The Indian ginseng is widely appreciated, mostly for its ability to improve the mood, reduce stress, anxiety and depression, improve adapting to the environment, increase self-confidence, extroversion and openness to new experiences.
It owes its properties to the ability of sensitising serotonin receptors (5-HT) - the same amount of serotonin is stronger and more efficient in specific binding with its receptor, i.e. it increases the frequency of nervous impulses on serotoninergic tracts.
Application in mental disorders
Numerous studies, experiments and practice confirm the anxiolytic (calming), antidepressant and neuroprotective effect of ashwagandha extracts, and no adverse reactions and toxicity were observed.
In one of the studies, scientists used an alcoholic extract in patients who suffered from anxiety neurosis. By the end of the month, many of the most onerous symptoms like states of anxiety and social phobia had disappeared. Other experiments confirmed its usefulness in the case of bipolar disorder, alcohol-related psychosis and schizophrenia.
In another experiment, it inhibited the production of the peptide β-amyloid in brain tissue, that is the main cause of Alzheimer's disease. Based on that information, scientists suspect that ashwagandha can be applied in neurodegenerative disease treatment, as well as in treating their symptoms.
Treating joint inflammations
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory, chronic, autoimmunological rheumatic disease. It is characterised by the occurrence of inflammations in joints connected with pain, swelling, stiffness and impaired motor system. It leads to the destruction of cartilage, joint deformities, contractures, functioning impairments, and eventually, it often becomes the cause of disability, progressing disability and premature death.
Clinical studies were conducted among 60 patients with RA in which they were to stop taking all drugs (including NSAIDs) and then for 90 days they were given 14 grams of ashwagandha root powder a day (in two divided doses). After the treatment, a 93% decrease in joint stiffness was observed, as well as an 83% increase in the strength of a hand squeeze, a 24% decrease in the number of leukocytes (decreased autoimmunological reaction) and a 24% increase in the level of iron in blood serum. Based on that, scientists consider the Indian ginseng to be a potential medicine in RA treatment.
One of the studies confirmed ashwagandha extract's antioxidant, detoxifying and anticancer properties. A 16-week supplementation in mice efficiently prevented cancer (fibroblastic sarcoma), artificially caused by the administration of 20-methylcholanthrene (a strongly carcinogenic agent).
Detoxifying the organism
Ashwagandha is beneficial for the functioning of internal organs, particularly the kidneys and the liver. One of the studies confirmed its detoxifying properties in the case of poisoning with carbendazim, which is cumulated in the kidneys and the liver and damages the organs. The administration of ashwagandha root powder nearly completely removed the toxin from the organism within 48 hours.
Other properties of ashwagandha:
- it partly regenerates colourants in hair, prevents hair greying
- it stimulates the thyroid gland, preventing hypothyroid function
- it reduces the level of glucose in the blood, prevents diabetes
- it stimulates the immune system, i.e. phagocytosis and macrophage activity
- it improves blood parameters (increases the level of haemoglobin)
- it regulates the lipid profile (reduces the level of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and increases the level of HDL cholesterol)
- it increases the level of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, boosting its concentration in the system
- it stimulates the activity of cytotoxic lymphocytes T
- it supports bone structure by decreasing the loss of calcium
Now Foods Ashwagandha is a dietary supplement recommended mostly for people who live in constant stress, who are overworked, exhausted, have problems with sleep and the mood. Because of a number of healthy properties, it can be used to support the circulatory and immune systems, improve the functioning of thyroid, blood parameters and lipid profile.
Ashwagandha has a calming and soporific effects, so it is especially recommended to use the product before bedtime. For substances with an adaptogenic properties it is recommended to replace the product every 2 months. It is also discourages the use of the product in conjunction with sedative drugs. Even one capsule of ashwagandha sufficient to increase resilience and adaptability. In higher exposure to stress we recommended - 2-3 capsules.
Now Foods is a company with years of experience in the industry that offers a wide range of nutrients and dietary supplements. Brand is known for its high-quality products designed for hair and nails and supplements supporting the immune system. The offer includes the antioxidant supplements, antibacterial supplements, reducing appetite supplements, products supporting the reduction of body fat and improving digestion. All products are made from natural ingredients.
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Hypromellose (cellulose capsule), Rice Flour and Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source).
Ashwagandha (Wythania somnifera / Indian ginseng) - a plant of the nightshade family, used in Oriental medicine as a means of adding vitality, improves the psychophysical condition. It is used as an aphrodisiac. The root of the plant is a rich source of bioactive compounds (phytosterols, glycosides, withanolides etc.). The sports supplementation, herbal preparations, a positive effect on the nervous system (reduces stress, and accelerates the adaptation to changing conditions psychophysical), hematopoietic and immune systems. It has a decisive influence on the process of synthesis of nitrogen oxides and the level of certain hormones, including testosterone (e.g. improving sexual functions).
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a component of the complex herbal supplements (as well as sets of adaptogens) increase the level of the male sex hormone (testosterone), supporting the sexual function of the body, supporting regeneration and having a calming effect.
Dosage: 300-600 mg of extract per day.
Withanolides - biologically active compounds belonging to the group of steroid lactones, occurring in some green plants. In supplementation they are perceived mainly as active substances of Withania somnifera, commonly called Ashwagandha. The percentage content of withanolides in Ashwagandha extracts is considered the indicator of the product’s quality - the higher the content, the more effective the supplement. In non-standardized extracts, the content of withanolides is estimated for 1% of dry muscle mass of Withania somnifera leaves.
Being the main active substances of Ashwagandha, withanolides are responsible for the majority of effects of its application. Regular supplementation with Withania somnifera extracts demonstrates adaptogen effect. It increases the organism’s tolerance to stress factors, holistically promoting the functions of the organism. It may decrease cortisol level in case of its excessively high concentrations, promote cognitive abilities and facilitate concentration. Supplementation with Ashwagandha also supports maintaining proper daily rhythm and is conducive to falling in a deep sleep.
Some sources also indicate that supplementation with Withania somnifera extracts positively influences the level of testosterone in the organism. Current research results indicate, however, that this effects of supplementation may be achieved only in people with initially excessively low secretion of the male sex hormone.
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