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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Does Ashwagandha actually work

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Ashwagandha Herb Review

Ashwagandha herb review
With many herbs and products appearing on the Internet, one has to wonder if any of these actually work.

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, and Winter cherry, is a herbal plant that has been used for many decades to treat various health conditions.

I was interested in Ashwagandha for its ability to regenerate neurons and reconstruct synapses. I was hoping neuron regeneration and synaptic reconstruction would be able to improve my stress-induced cognitive impairment. Sadly, it did not.

My experience with Ashwagandha

I took 1 capsule of Jarrow Formulas Sensoril Ashwagandha for 30 days before bed. Each capsule contained 225 mg of Ashwagandha root and leaf extract standardized to 8% withanolides.

The Bad

The first day I took it I noticed my sleep quality was altered. I fell into a deeper sleep than usual and though this should mean I should be able to wake up feeling refreshed and energized, it in fact did the opposite. Now I already wake up feeling fatigued and sleepy, but when I took the Ashwagandha the effect was much more pronounced. Before taking the herb, I used to sleep for 10-12 hours at a time, on average. After I started taking the herb, I would sleep for more than 12 hours each day. This effect lasted the entire 30 days I was taking the herb.

The Good

As I mentioned before, my energy level had also suffered. Upon waking up I felt very tired and drinking coffee had little effect on my energy level. The fatigue would last anywhere from 3 to 5 hours each day after the night I took the herb.

On the other hand, my memory improved a bit. I was able to recall both short-term and long-term memories much more efficiently. My verbal fluency also improved somewhat.

One effect that I really enjoyed from taking this herb was my body was consistently warm. It wasn't hot like as if though I had a fever, but it just felt bliss. It was like it was at the perfect temperature. I think this was due to the fact that Ashwagandha improves Thyroid function.

Conclusion

Ashwagandha does actually work, but don't expect it to be a magic pill that will solve all your problems. For me, this herb only improved my memory, verbal fluency and body temperature.
Note that herbs as well as drugs affect different people in a different manner.

The problem with herbs is that there have been no studies done on humans to determine what effects these herbs have on people. This is exactly why I did not include what effects this herb has on humans because most of it would just be anecdotal.

The only way to find out what this herb will do to you is to try it out yourself. I have included a link to the site where I bought my Ashwagandha. This link contains a coupon code that will give you 5% off of your order.

3 Responses so far

  1. Sounds like you are facing problems with fatigue and depression (rather than anxiety and insomnia - as ashwagandha is typically used for). Have you tried using Rhodiola? It's in the same class of herbs and is commonly used to ward off fatigue and enhance mood. May be worth a shot!

  2. Hi herbalsource, yes I have tried Rhodiola. I took it for a week and it certainly helped with my mood and motivation, but I was worried about tolerance as Rhodiola seems to develop permanent tolerance if one takes it for more than 4 weeks. I might do a review of Rhodiola soon.

    I'm currently taking Maca and Panax Ginseng and it has been very helpful in increasing my motivation, but my mood has not improved. Are there any herbs you recommend I look into?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Check out suma root and maca root taken together. Give it about a week to work. I found it helped with mental focus and improved my mood. Ashwagandha is helpful with the conversion of the thyroid hormone T4 into T3 which is why your body temp was up. In addition, Ashwagandha blocks cortisol uptake which could explain your fatigue. Your adrenals may be down and perhaps your cortisol levels are already low, hence no stimulating affect from the caffiene. You may be slightly hypothyroid which often coincides with adrenal fatigue so perhaps have these two things checked out by an open-minded doctor. Good luck.

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