Viridian Organic Ashwagandha Extract 60 Capsules
What does Organic Ashwagandha Extract do?
One of the most highly prized plants for rejuvenating and strengthening the mind and body is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), which has been used as a nutritional tonic for thousands of years.
Ashwagandha is still extensively used in Ayurveda (the traditional system of healing in India) for its wide-ranging health effects, acting as a tonic for children and to increase vitality and health in middle age and the elderly. Ashwagandha is especially valued as a nerve tonic, to reduce stress, and as a memory enhancer, and modern research confirms this age-old use.2 It has now gained considerable international popularity and is being used and investigated extensively around the world.
Considered a type of ginseng or adaptogen, Ashwagandha is traditionally used to help balance the body and mind and enhance vitality, so perhaps not surprisingly it has very broad health effects.
Experimental studies have identified a wide array of therapeutic properties including anti-arthritic, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, immune-regulatory, cardio-protective, anti-anxiety, anti-depressive, and neuro-protective effects.
Some of the most important properties are thought to be due to effects on the brain and nervous system. Withanolides, a group of active constituents of Ashwagandha, have been shown to help restore neurological networks.4 Ashwagandha has also been shown to protect against the destructive effects of β-Amyloid, one of the primary mediators of age related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.
The major uses based on clinical on a high-potency, full-spectrum extract are anxiety, cognitive function.
Anti-anxiety - Five clinical studies have explored the anti-anxiety effects of Ashwagandha, all of which show a reduction in anxiety, depression and stress related symptoms.6 In one such study of a unique high-potency, full-spectrum extract it was found that 300 mg taken twice daily significantly reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety and reduced blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol after just two months of daily use (see image 1).
High-potency, full-spectrum extract reduces cortisol and anxiety.
Cognitive health - In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is known as a “Medhya Rasayan” or mind rejuvenator, and is used in enhancing memory and overall brain functioning. Modern studies have indicated important brain antioxidant, neuro-protective, and memory-enhancing activity of Ashwagandha and its active components Withanolides.
In a clinical study, 20 healthy male participants were randomised to receive 250mg two capsules twice daily of Ashwagandha or a matching placebo for 14 days.10 Compared to placebo the Ashwagandha extract improved cognitive and psychomotor performance and may, therefore, be a valuable adjunct in the treatment of diseases associated with cognitive impairment.
In another study of people with cognitive dysfunction related to bipoloar disorder, Ashwagandha (250mg two capsules twice daily) was added adjunctively to their usual medication for eight weeks. Ashwagandha improved auditory-verbal working memory, a measure of reaction time, and a measure of social cognition in bipolar disorder. Loss of cognitive function is thought to be an important pathological component of psychiatric disorders, thus Ashwagandha is a promising procognitive agent.
Libido and fertility - Ashwagandha has been used by Ayurvedic practitioners as an aphrodisiac to improve on matters related to infertility and libido and a number of human clinical studies in both men and women have reported benefits.
In infertile men Ashwagandha has been shown to improve semen quality by reducing oxidative stress, regulating hormones and reducing stress-related infertility and erectile dysfunction.13 14 15 16 A high-potency, full-spectrum extract taken over 90 days by infertile men resulted in a 167% increase in sperm count, 53% increase in semen volume, and 57% increase in sperm motility on day 90 from baseline. The improvement in these parameters was minimal in the placebo-treated group. Furthermore, a significantly greater improvement and regulation were observed in serum hormone levels including testosterone with the Ashwagandha treatment as compared to the placebo.
High-potency, full-spectrum Ashwagandha improves testosterone in infertile men.
In women with sexual dysfunction a high-potency, full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha taken at a dose of 300mg twice daily for eight weeks resulted in significant improvements in overall sexual function scores by 75.83%.18 The analysis reveals that supplementation with Ashwagandha root extract results in 122.67% improvement from baseline in difficulties with desire; 62.09% in arousal; 59.30% in lubrication; 82.05% in orgasm; and 62.33% in satisfaction.
Sports performance - Adaptogenic plants are plants that help the body adapt to and perform better under both mental and physical stress, and for this reason have been of great interest for improving physical performance in athletes. Ashwagandha has been shown to improve cardiorespiratory endurance in both hockey players, and elite cyclists.
In a study of healthy, physically active adults treatment with full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha (300mg twice daily for 12 weeks) significantly increased the cardiorespiratory endurance and improved the quality of life of the study subjects.22 A progressive increment in the enhanced cardiopulmonary fitness and the improved quality of life of the study subjects was observed at Day 56 and Day 84 of the study period and VO2max increased by 13.6%.This suggests sustained beneficial effects of Ashwagandha for athletic performance.
High-potency, full-spectrum Ashwagandha extract may also enhance response to resistance training. Healthy and physically active males with little experience in resistance training received Ashwagandha or placebo for eight weeks or a resistance training program. Both muscle strength and muscle size increased significantly in the Ashwagandha group as compared to the Placebo group. Serum Testosterone levels also increased significantly and body fat percentage decreased.
High-potency, full-spectrum Ashwagandha reduces in body fat percentage (%).
The expected increase in creatine kinase (CK) between 24 and 48 hours following exercise was significantly lower with Ashwagandha treatment.
High-potency, full-spectrum Ashwagandha reduces muscle damage.
The findings of this study clearly demonstrate the beneficial effect of Ashwagandha root extract in attenuating muscle damage, increasing muscle strength and endurance and decreasing body fat percentage in healthy adults undergoing resistance training for eight weeks.
Longevity - Recent evidence has also suggested anti-aging effects of Ashwagandha. Telomeres, DNA repeat sequences at the end of linear chromosomes, act as caps to conserve chromosome integrity and stability. During the process of DNA replication, telomeres shorten with each cell division, due to the end replication problem leading to critically short telomeres and ultimately replicative senescence. Because of this, telomeres are implicated as one of the factors that determine ageing and lifespan. The enzyme, which carries out the telomere replication, is telomerase, capable of synthesizing telomeric DNA sequences. A number of lifestyle factors associated with longevity including diet and exercise have been linked with longer telomeres or greater activity of telomerase. In an experimental model, high-potency, full-spectrum Ashwagandha was found to enhance telomerase activity by two fold.
Dosage: Clinical studies of a unique high-potency, full-spectrum Ashwagandha extract use 300mg twice daily.
For insomnia: 600mg once daily an hour before bed.
For children age 5 to 12 years of age: 300 mg once daily. Can be mixed in water, hot milk or juice.
Potential applications of Ashwagandha
Adrenal fatigue, burnout, stress, anxiety, weakness, fatigue, tiredness, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, libido, insomnia, cognitive health and sports performance.
Contraindications of Ashwagandha:
Ashwagandha is generally considered very safe with no evidence of side-effects. It is contraindicated in pregnancy, should be used with caution in people on thyroid medication, and used with caution in people who are sensitive to the Solanaceae family of plants (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers).
Pregnancy and breast feeding: Not recommended in pregnancy and breast-feeding despite no evidence of harm and a traditional use for infertility.
Useful links: Cognitive Complex, CogniSerine, Organic Maca, L-Theanine and Lemon Balm, Enhanced Rhodiola Complex and Qi-Ribose.