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The preparation is recommended especially to people living under large pressure and leading fast pace of life, which may weaken the nervous system and negatively influence psychological well-being. Regular supplementation increases immunity to stress, lowers its burdensome consequences and restores organism’s homeostasis. The preparation may also be used in order to improve physical condition – it helps to increase strength and facilitates building muscle mass.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a small shrub and at the same time one of the most popular adaptogen herbs used for ages in Ayurvedic medicine. Similarly to other adaptogens it supports the nervous system and facilitates adjusting the organism to new, sometimes hard conditions.
Ashwagandha is sometimes called „Indian ginseng” because of its similarity of effect in the scope of improving mental well-being, increasing energy level and vital powers. For the majority of people, ginseng is excessively stimulating – ashwagandha works much gentler, but equally effective.
For therapeutic purposes mainly roots are used, which are rich in the range of biologically active ingredients. Among them, the most important are vitanolids, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins and phytosterols.
The improvement of mood and higher resistance to stress
Ashwagandha has a toning effect on the central nervous system. It alleviates negative effects of chronic fatigue, improves mental well-being and increases the level of vital powers. It prevents depression-anxiety disorders, facilitates falling asleep and improves sleep quality.
The compounds contained in the root of ashwagandha increase sensitivity of serotonin receptors (5-HT), thanks to which serotonin available in the system is used much more effectively. Although its level doesn’t in fact increase, it works stronger and more efficiently. Serotonin is called the “happiness hormone” and its higher activity in the system is reflected in better, positive mood and the feeling of pleasure and joy.
Ashwagandha is effective in alleviating anxiety. According to some researchers, it has a similar effect to natural gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It restores GABAergic balance in the system, thanks to which it conduces to harmony, peace and relaxation.
Ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties – it makes it easier for the organism to adapt to unfavorable conditions and improves resistance to stress. It amends organism’s reactions in tough situations, inhibits panic attacks, allows to maintain peace and clarity of mind even under large pressure and chronic stress.
Hormonal system homeostasis
Ashwagandha helps to restore natural hormonal balance in the organism. Its main mechanism of operation is based on the activity of vitanolids, which in structure resemble hormones produced in the organism and contribute to regulating many physiological processes.
New theories say that if there is the excess of any hormone in the organism, vitanolids may bind to receptors of mucous membranes, taking hormones’ place. Thanks to this, hormones bind to the smaller amount of receptors and do not have such a strong pathological influence on the organism. If the level of hormones in the organism is stable, vitanolids do not show the affinity to receptors, thanks to which the organism’s homeostasis is maintained. It has been proven in many studies that ashwagandha reduces the level of the most important stress hormone – cortisol. Prolonged and excessive cortisol concentration destabilizes the work of the whole system, generates inflammations, lowers tissue sensitivity to insulin’s activity and weakens immunity. By regulating cortisol level, ashwagandha brings many secondary benefits for the organism’s systems.
Ashwagandha has thyrotrophic effect and may contribute to increasing the concentration of the two most important thyroid hormones – T3 and T4. This plant stimulates the work of thyroid, therefore it is especially recommended to people dealing with hypothyroidism.
Ashwagandha works like a natural immunomodulator. It supports the immune system and regulates immunological response of the organism. It counteracts bone marrow myelosuppression, as a result of which the production of white cells, red cells and platelets is lowered.
It increases the number of leukocytes and by stimulating the production of nitric oxide (NO), it blocks excessive aggregation of platelets. Additionally, it increases the total amount of antibodies synthesized in the organism. It intensifies phagocyte activity of macrophages and stimulates the production of interferon and IL-2.
The improvement of memory and neuroprotective effect
Ashwagandha may be used as protection against the drop of cognitive functions, caused by aging or neurodegenerative diseases. The compounds that it contains are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors – an enzyme responsible for acetylcholine breakdown. Thanks to this, ashwagandha contributes to strengthening memory and inhibiting degenerative changes in the brain.
It has been proven in experimental studies on rodents that ashwagandha extracts protected brain cells against the harmful influence of beta-amyloids – proteins blamed for the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurons subjected to the activity of beta-amyloid and ashwagandha not only maintained their synaptic functions, but also they regenerated weak axons and dendrites.
Ashwagandha in sports supplementation
Sportsmen and bodybuilders reach for ashwagandha extracts more and more often as it helps them to achieve a desired sports form. Ashwagandha positively influences both physical condition (increases aerobic efficiency and endurance, facilitates regeneration) and silhouette (supports building muscle mass).
Ashwagandha extracts are attributed androgen properties. Their structural similarity to vitanolids and testosterone suggests the similarity in the activity of these compounds. This would explain positive effects achieved by using ashwagandha – building lean body mass easier and the increase of strength and physical endurance, characteristic to high testosterone level.
In the course of research it has been proven that ashwagandha indirectly intensifies the synthesis of the human growth hormone (HGH), which also contributes to the increase of muscle mass and reduction of fatty tissue level.
The reduction of cortisol level thanks to ashwagandha extracts is also important to sportsmen. This extremely catabolic hormone, when appearing in excess, inhibits the work on the silhouette – it is conducive to storing fat and inhibits muscle growth.
Summing up, Ashwagandha is one of the most effective, natural mood boosters with additional pro-health effect. Using the supplement in the periods of increased intellectual effort or tension facilitates adaptation to tough conditions and allows to maintain optimal form, even with large stress. The preparation may be recommended also to sportsmen as a means supporting and facilitating the work on a dreamed silhouette and physical condition.
The positive effect of the supplement may be felt at the dose of 2000 mg a day. Because of this, it is recommended to use 2 capsules twice a day.
Ashwagandha has a slight sedative effect and facilitates falling asleep, therefore it is worth applying in the second half of the day.
Do not combine the preparation with other sedatives. Additionally, as in case of all adaptogens, it is recommended to temporarily change the product to a different one after 2-3 months.
SWANSON is a well known company operating since 1969, which offers a wide selection of diet and nutritional supplements. Among their products are antioxidants, amino acid supplements, products improving immunity, probiotics, minerals and vitamins. At SWANSON you can also purchase of supplements enhancing your cardiovascular stamina, urinary, nervous and digestive systems. The offer includes products designed specifically for women or men, as well as supplements helping to loose weight.
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|per 1 capsule||amount||%DV|
|Ashwagandha Root (Withania somnifera)||450 mg||*|
Gelatin, rice flour, magnesium stearate.
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