Adaptogens are herbs that support various bodily functions and serve to balance, rather than force a particular action. Adaptogenic herbs are generally very gentle and can be safely taken at high doses, without risk of side effects. An adaptogen is particularly effective in supporting the body’s response to stress and helps the body manage the negative effects of stress.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb with a long history of use in India. It’s known for its restorative properties that benefit the adrenals, but also the immune system and thyroid. This ancient herb is useful for many modern day problems, including chronic stress, chronic fatigue, and poor concentration. It’s a calming agent that also improves thinking and memory. Over 200 studies have confirmed its benefits, including counteracting the damaging effects of stress on the brain and cognitive function. Because it is so safe and helps with balance, ashwagandha is an excellent addition to a variety of herbal formulas, especially those relieving stress.
The adrenals secrete cortisol, a hormone meant to help the body adapt to stress, in reaction to dealing with emotional or physical challenges. When under long-term, chronic stress, cortisol levels can become excessively high. Cortisol is beneficial in small doses; when excessive, cortisol causes blood sugar imbalances, sleep disruption, low immune function, and impaired thinking and memory. As an adaptogen, ashwagandha can help regulate cortisol levels and reduce its damaging effects.
In a new study, researchers measured the effects of ashwagandha on brain function, including memory and thinking skills. In this study, 50 patients with mild cognitive impairment were divided into 2 groups and took either ashwagandha root extract, 300 mg twice daily or a placebo. The study lasted 8 weeks and baseline measurements for memory and thinking skills were recorded at the beginning of the study. The same tests were given at the end of the study to determine if there were any improvements. At the end of the 8 weeks, the group taking ashwagandha showed significant improvement in the tests and demonstrated enhanced memory, improved attention, and were better able to process information, as compared to the group taking the placebo.
Memory decline is a common and prevalent problem for aging Americans, and to date, very few options are available to slow loss of memory. Based on the results of this study, ashwagandha may be an effective herb to add to a supplement regimen to improve brain function. It’s not fully understood how the herb helps with memory and attention, but some scientists believe that it inhibits acetylcholine-esterase, an enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a chemical that helps brain cells communicate and supports the brain in creating memories. An acetylcholine esterase inhibitor decreases levels of this important neurotransmitter.
Adaptogenic Ashwagandha can help your body cope with external and internal stresses that affect our daily lives. This ancient herb has been shown to combat the effects of stress, support the immune system, promote brain health, and much more! Ashwagandha is a safe, effective, and powerful herb that is most wellknown for its restorative benefits and makes an excellent addition to any herbal formula.
Journal of Dietary Supplements. (2017). Volume 14, Issue 6.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.