Ashwagandha enjoys great recognition in Ayurvedic medicine and has a strengthening and rejuvenating effect on the body and mind. It has also shown that it can strengthen inner peace, reduce fear and promote energy, vitality, and performance.
Ashwagandha (also called sleepberry, Indian name Withania somnifera) is one of the most important medicinal herbs in Ayurvedic medicine and one of the most widely used Indian medicinal plants worldwide.
Due to the wide range of applications, Ayurvedic doctors use Ashwagandha for a variety of symptoms. Because of its properties, it has gained a lot of respect among herbalists.
Ashwagandha has traditionally been used from the Vedic era (5000 years ago) to this day as Rasayana (rejuvenation & repair) for longevity, as Balya (gives strength) to promote general health and as Vajikarana (aphrodisiac) to increase energy and vitality.
The use of Ashwagandha over this long period also shows its safety, tolerability, and efficiency.
Extensive clinical and experimental studies show that Ashwagandha has the following properties: stress-reducing, immunomodulatory, rejuvenating, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, erythropoietic.
What is the effect of Ashwagandha?
- Ashwagandha is the most important adaptogen in Ayurvedic medicine. It reduces the symptoms of stress and strengthens the nerves.
- Ashwagandha works against premature aging by rejuvenating the whole body to achieve youthfulness. Its antioxidant properties help neutralize free radicals and prevent the symptoms of premature aging.
- Ashwagandha increases muscle endurance and helps increase stamina.
- Ashwagandha strengthens the immune system, which helps the body fight external attacks. It is a wonderful remedy to increase physical endurance in physically weak people or people who are recovering from long illnesses.
- Ashwagandha, due to its penetrating powers, helps to achieve calm and mental satisfaction.
- Ashwagandha improves mental performance, helps build and maintain strength, and improves concentration. It supports the body in supplying the brain with vital nutrients so that it works better and can work more effectively.
- Ashwagandha revitalizes the body and reduces the exhaustion and accumulation of negative energies in the body.
- Ashwagandha is often given to people who suffer from dizziness, carelessness, and depression on a regular basis as it helps to combat mental and physical weaknesses.
- Ashwagandha is an effective aphrodisiac that increases sexual strength and endurance. It can also increase sperm count and quality  and increase male and female fertility. 
- Ashwagandha is one of the most commonly used herbs in the treatment of high blood pressure.
- Ashwagandha is considered an excellent nutritional supplement that helps strengthen the heart muscles and maintain the normal functioning of the heart.
- Ashwagandha increases mental performance. It helps improve focus and mental stamina and supports mental clarity and focus.
Ashwagandha and the brain
Ashwagandha is a safe, natural product that has been shown in clinical trials to improve memory and the ability to think clearly.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to counteract the negative effects of stress and aging, as it restores the body to a state of balance or self-regulation.
In a recent, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, taking Ashwagandha at the recommended dose reduced concentration problems by 75.8% and forgetfulness by 57.1%.
The active ingredients in Ashwagandha, especially withanolides, improve mental performance in a number of ways:
1. As we age or suffer from chronic stress, the activity of acetylcholinesterase increases, which reduces acetylcholine. However, this plays a crucial role in the communication of the neurons in the hippocampus, which are the center of learning and memory in the brain.
2. Ashwagandha improves mental performance because the bioactive withanolides it contains inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase. This leads to higher amounts of acetylcholine in the hippocampus and improved brain activity.
3. Ashwagandha reduces cortisol, which can affect mental performance. Too high cortisol levels affect the amount and type of neural connections in the brain and lead to degeneration of parts of the brain that are related to concentration, focus, and memory.
4. Ashwagandha increases the levels of the brain's antioxidant enzymes, thereby better protecting the neurons from free radicals. Ashwagandha's antioxidant properties also reduce oxidative damage by directly neutralizing free radicals.
5. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study, Ashwagandha intake increased the DHEA level in the test subjects' blood serum compared to the placebo group. This is an important hormone that improves mental performance by protecting the brain from the harmful effects of cortisol.
Ashwagandha reduces stress and improves sleep
Stress is the body's response to emotional or physical threats that lead to imbalance. Sources of stress can range from relatively harmless tasks, such as an inability to fulfill everyday responsibilities, to more acute problems, such as losing your job, divorce, or financial problems.
Regardless of the reason, the body responds to stress in a similar manner, leading to a series of physiological changes that prepare the body to face or flee from a stressor and then return it to a state of self-regulation or balance.
In the short term, the stress response can be a positive thing that increases a person's ability to cope with life-changing circumstances. If a person is subjected to repeated stress over a longer period of time, the body slowly loses its ability to cope with it, which leads to a breakdown of vital functions and a deterioration in health and well-being. It is estimated that chronic stress triggers or exacerbates 90% of diseases affecting the body.
Ashwagandha has the unique ability to relieve the symptoms of chronic stress and to bring the body into its natural balance.
This was confirmed in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trial in which subjects who took Ashwagandha at the recommended daily dose reported a 69.9% reduction in the overall assessment of stress-related symptoms.
These subjects also experienced a significant decrease in individual stress symptoms, including the following: irritability, anxiety, insomnia, inability to concentrate, fatigue, sweating, headache and muscle pain, and palpitations.
In contrast, no significant change in these symptoms were observed in the placebo group during the study period. People taking Ashwagandha were exposed to severe, chronic stress before the study started. After treatment with Ashwagandha, they reported a significant improvement in their mood.
Ashwagandha reduces stress-related symptoms by reducing the amount of cortisol in the blood. This ability is based on the mechanism of action that limits the activity of cortisol. This reduces the amount of cortisol in the blood serum and brings the body back into a state of self-regulation.
Ashwagandha brings the body into a state of self-regulation through its multifunctional adaptogenic properties and creates a normal daily rhythm.
This provides the body with energy because the DHEA level in the blood serum rises. But sleep is also improved since a normal daily rhythm helps melatonin to make you sleepy in the evening.
Ashwagandha increases DHEA in the blood
Chronic stress not only leads to increased levels of cortisol in the blood serum, it also reduces the amount of another corticosteroid - dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) - which is produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA is an important energizing hormone that fights for the same receptors in the body as cortisol and therefore balances its effects.
With less DHEA, someone who is chronically stressed feels more exhausted than a person who is not stressed. In addition, the stress-related symptoms are exacerbated as more receptors are free to bind cortisol.
Ashwagandha reverses this effect by increasing the level of DHEA in the body. In the same double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trial, subjects taking Ashwagandha at the recommended dose showed a 32.2% increase in the amount of DHEA in blood serum.
The combination of higher DHEA levels and lower levels of cortisol in these subjects helped reduce fatigue and other stress-related symptoms they suffered from.
Ashwagandha increases the energy
More and more men and women use energy drinks, caffeine pills, and other energy products as physical tonics to maintain or increase the energy they need during the day.
However, these stimulants are only a short-term source of energy. In the long term, however, they strain the adrenal glands, which produce hormones to bring the body into balance, which means that the hormones are used up over time. Eventually, they lead to adrenal fatigue, the cause of chronic fatigue.
Ashwagandha provides safe, effective, natural energy, which provides the physical, emotional and mental power every day to cope with the daily effort.
With its adaptogenic properties, Ashwagandha is ideal for increasing energy, as it provides long-lasting, sustainable energy and at the same time reduces the negative effects of stress on the organism.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human study was recently conducted that demonstrated that Ashwagandha has the ability to increase energy and improve overall health by addressing many symptoms that are side effects of stimulants.
People who took Ashwagandha at the recommended dose reported a 79% increase in energy compared to a placebo group. The Ashwagandha group also reported a significant reduction in symptoms that are usually considered to be side effects of stimulants, including hot flashes and sweats, headaches, palpitations, insomnia, irritability, and an inability to concentrate. In contrast, the placebo group did not report any significant change in these symptoms during the study period.
Ashwagandha increases performance in sports
Ashwagandha is unique as an adaptogen because it provides constant energy without side effects over a long period of time when taken daily as a tonic. It also provides many other benefits that make it the ideal component of performance-enhancing products for strength and fitness athletes.
On the one hand, Ashwagandha increases muscular performance by increasing energy. Ashwagandha, on the other hand, has shown that it can increase the oxygen supply to tissues through the synthesis and activity of nitric oxide synthesis, the enzyme that produces nitric oxide in the body.
Cells that line the inner wall of blood vessels use nitric oxide to give the surrounding muscles the signal to relax. The resulting vasodilation (vasodilation) improves blood flow and oxygen supply to the tissue, which leads to increased energy in the body.
Although training has many positive effects, it can also lead to great stress, which can bring the body out of balance as the level of cortisol in the blood rises. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that has been shown in studies to break down muscle proteins.
Ashwagandha also increases ATP synthesis, which is responsible for the production of energy in the body by breaking down glucose, lipids and other sources of energy in the body.
Ashwangandha's exceptional performance-enhancing properties result from its unique ability to increase energy and help the body recover from stress through exercise by enhancing the body's stress-related hormone activity.
This was confirmed in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trial in which subjects who took Ashwagandha at the recommended dose of 300 mg per day had a 24.2% reduction in blood cortisol levels and an increase in DHEA Had blood levels of 32.2%.
Overtraining is also a stressful situation for the body, which leads to an increase in cortisol levels. By reducing cortisol, Ashwagandha can reduce the symptoms of overtraining.
A study with 40 healthy people showed that Ashwagandha in combination with Arjuna extract increases the VOX2 max (maximum intake of oxygen) and lowers systolic blood pressure during the recovery phase. Ashwagandha could, therefore, be helpful for general weakness and to improve the speed and strength of the lower extremities and neuromuscular coordination.
Another 8-week study was conducted on 57 young male subjects aged 18 to 50. 29 people received 300 mg Ashwagandha extract twice a day, the other 28 people received a placebo. Both groups underwent strength training for 8 weeks and the parameters for muscle strength, muscle size, body composition, and muscle recovery were checked again afterwards.
In contrast to the placebo group, the Ashwagandha group had a significantly larger increase in muscle strength when completing bench presses and leg presses, and a greater increase in arm and chest circumference. There was also an increased reduction in muscle damage due to training, a significantly higher level of male hormones and an increased reduction in body fat.
Ashwagandha intake and side effects
Depending on the degree of discomfort, 300-600mg Ashwagandha extract with 5% withanolide content per day is recommended, divided into 2 servings before breakfast and before dinner. In healthy people, no side effects are known at the recommended dosage. Ashwagandha shows no side effects even at higher doses.
Ashwagandha has an activating effect on the thyroid gland. People suffering from an underactive thyroid should, therefore, discuss Ashwagandha with their doctor in advance, as the medication may need to be adjusted.