Part used Root
  • 1/2 tsp dried root in 8oz water decoct 10 mins and steep 1/2 hour
  • Supplement – Ashwagandha extract capsules
  • Note that effects may take a week of daily use to become effective
  • Calming adaptogen
    • Rejuvenating, balancing and strengthening to nervous system, relieving fatigue, nervous exhaustion and memory loss
    • Treats anxiety, fatigue, cloudy thinking and nervous exhaustion
      • It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration (study)
      • A study published in the journal Phytomedicine showed that the herb had the ability to reduce anxiety levels
      • Studies have shown that ashwagandha may help reduce cortisol levels (study1study2study3)
      • Several controlled studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms in people with stress and anxiety disorders (study1study2study3)
      • Studies suggest ashwagandha may help alleviate depression (study1study2).
  • Anti-Alzheimer’s
    • modifies the way the brain uses acetylcholine when brain oxygen is low
    • prevents cannibalisation of brain cells which cause neuro-fibrillary tangles that lead to Alzeheimer’s
    • Several studies have examined ashwagandha’s ability to slow or prevent loss of brain function in people with diseases like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s
    • Other studies suggest that ashwagandha may mitigate memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease (study1study2study3study4).
  • Treats cancer by suppressing tumors and preventing white blood cell depletion
  • Enhances endocrine function
    • regulates thyroid, testes and adrenal glands
    • treats hypothyroidism by stimulating the thyroid gland
  • Treats hypo- and hyper-immune function (eg auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Mild aphrodisiac that reduces premature ejaculation, increases sexual stamina,  and have powerful effects on testosterone levels and reproductive health (study1study2study3study4).
  • Sports aide – gives instant charge of energy without stimulants
  • Immune support – Studies have found that it increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight infection  (study 1study2).
  • Treats Arthritis
    • Many of its health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of withanolides, which have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth (study)
    • One study found the herb to have strong potential as a treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis
Dangers Nightshade family plant; avoid in cases of hyperthyroidism; avoid during pregnancy (can induce abortion)

Research studies

  • Withanolide sulfoxide from Aswagandha roots inhibits nuclear transcription factor-kappa-B, cyclooxygenase and tumor cell proliferation; Mulabagal, V., Subbaraju, G. V., Rao, C. V., Sivaramakrishna, C., DeWitt, D. L., Holmes, D., Sung, B., Aggarwal, B. B., Tsay, H.-S. and Nair, M. G. (2009); Phytother. Res., 23: 987–992. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2736
  • Withanolides potentiate apoptosis, inhibit invasion, and abolish osteoclastogenesis through suppression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation and NF-κB–regulated gene expression; Ichikawa, H., Takada, Y., Shishodia, S., Jayaprakasam, B., Nair, M.G., Aggarwal, B.B. (2006); Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 5 (6), pp. 1434 to 1445. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-06-0096

Adapted from

Winston, D. & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: Herbs for strength, stamina and stress releif. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press

Balch, P.A. (2002). Prescription for herbal healing. New York, NY: Avery books

Additional resources

Medical News Today



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