Ashwagandha: A known stress-reliever, ashwagandha improves blood circulation to the female reproductive organs increasing arousal and sensitivity. It also regulates the hormonal balance in the body and is effective in managing menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and depression.

Popularly known as winter cherry, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a widely used herb due to its numerous medicinal and restorative properties.

Ashwagandha protects cells from oxidative damage and st ress-related diseases such as depression, high blood pressure and cardiovascular conditions. Being an adaptogen, it improves a person’s ability to cope with stress.[1-6] It also improves lower limb muscular strength and neuro-muscular co-ordination.[7]

Besides this, ashwagandha’s antimicrobial properties and antibacterial activities protect against potentially dangerous bacteria, including Salmonella—a bacteria that causes food poisoning.[8]

Ashwagandha For Fatigue
A research done in Malaysia found that when ashwagandha root extract was regularly taken by people who were receiving chemotherapy, it relieved fatigue and improved their quality of life.[9]

An eight-week study was conducted by the Faculty of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy at India’s Guru Nanak Dev University with forty elite cyclists supplemented with ashwagandha. The study found significant improvement in both cardiovascular and respiratory endurance.[10]

How To Take It
Ashwagandha can be taken as a fluid extract or as a supplement. Talk to a naturopath to determine the correct dosage for you. Drinking a cup of hot milk containing a teaspoon of powdered ashwagandha before bedtime is also beneficial in relieving stress. You can buy ashwagandha powder here.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Natural Remedies here.

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1. Provino R. The role of adaptogens in stress management. Aust J Med Herbal. 2010;22:41–9.

2. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009;4:198–219.

3. Bhattacharya SK, Muruganandam AV. Adaptogenic activity of Withania somnifera: An experimental study using a rat model of chronic stress. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003;75:547–55.

4. Singh G, Sharma PK, Dudhe R, Singh S. Biological activities of Withania somnifera. Ann Biol Res. 2010;1:56–63.

5. Sharma V, Sharma S, Pracheta, Paliwal R. Withania somnifera: A rejuvenating ayurvedic medicinal herb for the treatment of various human ailments. Int J PharmTech Res. 2011;3:187–92.

6. Kulkarni SK, Dhir A. Withania somnifera: An Indian ginseng. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008;32:1093–05

7. Sandhu JS, Shah B, Shenoy S, Chauhan S, Lavekar GS, Padhi MM. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) on physical performance and cardiorespiratory endurance in healthy young adults. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Jul;1(3):144-9. doi: 10.4103/0974-7788.72485.

8. Owais M, Sharad KS, Shehbaz A, Saleemuddin M. Antibacterial efficacy of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) an indigenous medicinal plant against experimental murine salmonellosis. Phytomedicine. 2005 Mar;12(3):229-35.

9. Biswal BM, Sulaiman SA, Ismail HC, Zakaria H, Musa KI. Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on the development of chemotherapy-induced fatigue and quality of life in breast cancer patients. Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Jul;12(4):312-22. doi: 10.1177/1534735412464551. Epub 2012 Nov 9. PubMed PMID: 23142798.

10. Shenoy S, Chaskar U, Sandhu JS, Paadhi MM. Effects of eight-week supplementation of Ashwagandha on cardiorespiratory endurance in elite Indian cyclists. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012 Oct;3(4):209-14. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.104444. PubMed PMID: 23326093; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3545242.