Ashwagandha Ayurvedic Plant

Introduction of Ashwagandha :

Withania sominifera (WS) is known commonly as Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, Poison gooseberry or Winter cherry.  It is a plant of the Solanaceae or nightshade family (R).

In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha, the Indian name for Withania Sominifera, means “odor of the horse”, probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of a sweaty horse (R).

Ashwagandha is also referred as “Indian ginseng”, since it is used in India, in a way similar to how ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a large variety of human diseases (R).

In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is considered a “Rasayana” herb, an elixir that works, in a nonspecific, global fashion, to increase human health and longevity (R).

It is also considered an “Adaptogen”, a nontoxic medication that normalizes physiological functions disturbed by chronic stress, through correction of imbalances in the neuroendocrine and immune systems (R).

Although used as a broad spectrum remedy in India for centuries, and mentioned as the “Queen of Ayurveda” Ashwagandha has only recently been under investigation in laboratory settings (R).

Traditional Medicinal Uses

In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk prior to drying to leach out undesirable constituents (R).

The berries are used as a substitute for Rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making (R).

Milk supplemented with Ashwagandha has been reported to increase total proteins and body weight.

A decoction of Ashwagandha root is used as nutrient and health restorative agent among postpartum ladies (R).

Ashwagandha is said to thicken and increase the nutritive value of the breastmilk when given to nursing mothers (R).

The Ashwagandha That I Take

Below, I give a bunch of different good options to buy Ashwagandha, but some people want to to know which one I take.


  • Longevity9.1/10
  • Inflammation8/10
  • Mood8.5/10
  • Cognition8.5/10
  • Energy8.6/10


  • Has a wide range of actions and can balance the body in many ways.
  • It stimulates the immune system, while also decreasing inflammation. Few herbs can accomplish this feat.
  • It’s gentle and can be taken daily. Other herbs have a higher potential for side effects.


  • You need to take more than one pill if you want to “feel it.”
  • It doesn’t taste good, so pill form can be better. Smells like horses.
  • Can’t be taken if pregnant, because it may induce abortion.

1) Ashwagandha is an Anti-Oxidant


Ashwagandha (glycowithanolides) is an effective antioxidant (R).

Ashwagandha improved oxidative damage induced by streptozotocin in rats (R).

Chemoprotective activity of Ashwagandha may be due to its antioxidant and detoxifying properties (R).

Ashwagandha plays an antioxidative role in reducing kidney injury due to oxidative stress (R).

Ashwagandha administered once daily for 21 days, induced a dose-related increase in Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase in rats (R).

2) Ashwagandha is an Anti-Inflammatory

Ashwagandha was found to stimulate immune activity and increased Natural Killer cell activity in mice (R1R2).

Ashwagandha extract was found to enhance the proliferation of lymphocytes, bone marrow cells and thyme cells in mice (R).

Ashwagandha increased the expression of Th1 cytokines  and stress-induced depleted T-cell population in chronically stressed mice (R1,R2).

Ashwagandha suppressed Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC) and Tumor-Associated Macrophages (TAMs) (R).

Ashwagandha extract also showed an enhancement in activity of macrophages (R).

Joe’s Experience: Although Ashwagandha increases Th-1 (R), it’s more of an immune balancer.  Ashwagandha is one of the Th1 boosting supplements that I use that doesn’t cause me any problems.

3) Ashwagandha Combats Anxiety/Stress

Ashwagandha is specifically used as a tonic to calm the nerves (nervine) (R).

Effects in humans:

Extracts of Ashwagandha may be useful in anxiety disorders for psychiatric practice in humans (R).

Root extract of Ashwagandha at high concentrations safely and effectively improved resistance towards stress and thereby improved self-assessed quality of life in human subjects (R).

Ashwagandha showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels and reduction in stress when compared to placebo (R) (R).  Cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, contributes to muscle loss and weakness, wrinkles, and cognitive impairment.

Ashwagandha extract improved auditory-verbal working memory in human subjects with bipolar disorder (R).

Effects in animals:

Ashwagandha is a mood stabilizer for anxiety/depression and Social Isolation induced behaviour in rats (R1,R2).

Ashwagandha extract was effective in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in mice (R).

Ashwagandha was effective in the management of sleep loss and associated oxidative stress in mice (R).

Ashwagandha had significant anti-stress activity in rat models (R) and animals treated showed better stress tolerance (R).

Ashwagandha extract reduced chronic stress-induced ulcers than the drug rantidine (R), decline in sex drive (R) and coginitive impairment (rat models) (R).

Ashwagandha doubled the swimming performance in rats (R) and prevented, decrease of Adrenal cortisol and Ascorbic acid (which occur due to swimming stress) (R).


Ashwagandha has been shown to have GABA-mimetic properties (R).

Ashwagandha has a sleep-promoting effect by a GABAergic mechanism (R).

4) Ashwagandha Enhances Brain Function

Ashwagandha belongs to a sub-group of “Rasayanas” (or elixir) known as “Medhyarasayanas” (Medhya refers to the mind and mental/intellectual capacity) (R).

Ashwagandha has a cognition promoting effect. It is useful in children with memory deficit and also prevents memory loss in old age people (R).

Relaxation, a benefit derived from the Ashwagandha’s stress-fighting effects, also improves long-term visual memory (R).

5) Ashwagandha Induces Fat Cell Death

Ashwagandha reduces fat cell viability and synthesis and also induces fat cell death (R).

Ashwagandha root extract can be used for body weight management in adults (R).

Supplementation of Ashwagandha decreased body fat percentage in people (R).

6-10) Ashwagandha Fights Infections

Ashwagandha (Withania sominifera glycoprotein) showed activity against most of the phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria tested (R).


Ashwagandha inhibited fungal growth by inhibiting spore germination and hyphal growth (R).

Ashwagandha showed potent antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavusFusarium oxysporum and F. verticilloides (R).


Ashwagandha is widely used to treat Tuberculosis (R).

Ashwagandha showed  antibacterial activity against Clvibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (R).

Ashwagandha was active against Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and Methicilin Resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (R).

Water extract of Ashwagandha inhibited the growth of gram negative N.gonorrhoea (R).

Oral administration of the water extracts successfully destroyed Salmonellainfection in mice (R).


Ashwagandha was found effective in patients with Acute Viral Hepatitis (R).

Water extract of Ashwagandha showed activity against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) cell cultures (R).

Ashwagandha root extract had antiviral property against infectious Bursal Disease virus in cell cultures (R).

Ashwagandha is taken as a suppressant in HIV/AIDS patients (R).

Ashwagandha might be helpful in improving the HIV-1 associated neurocognitive impairments (R).


Ashwagandha is helpful in the treatment of Leishmaniasis (R).

Alcohol and water extracts of Ashwagandha are used to treat Malaria (R).

Ashwagandha showed a parasite suppressive effect on rodent malarial parasites (R).

11-22) Anti-Cancer Activity of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has potential against cancer-related fatigue, in addition to improving the quality of life (R).

Ashwagandha is a potent and relatively safe radiosensitizer/chemotherapeutic agent (R).

Ashwagandha improves the White Blood Cell (WBC) count and function, which are depleted in the chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer (R).

Water extract of Ashwagandha effectively increased the WBC counts in paclitaxel induced neutropenia (abnormally low concentration of neutrophils) in chemotherapy (R).

Breast Cancer

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) inhibited the growth and cell migration of  human breast cancer cells (RR2).

Ashwagandha root extract significantly reduced the rate of cell division in breast tumors (R).


Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) inhibited activation of STAT3 in human breast cancer cells (R).

Colon Cancer

Ashwagandha (Withaferin-A) exhibits activity against colon cancer (inhibits Notch-1) (R).

Alcohol extract of Ashwagandha leaves showed 98% growth inhibitionof colon cancer cell lines (HCT-15) (R).

Brain Cancer

Ashwagandha leaves (Withaferin A, Withanone, Withanolide A) induce growth arrest and differentiation in brain cells and help in treating Glioblastoma (R).

Ashwagandha has anticancer activity against neuroblastoma cells (IMR-32) (R).

Stomach Cancer

Ashwagandha root (Withanolide sulfoxide) inhibits human stomach cancer cell lines (R).

Prostate Cancer

Ashwagandha showed anticancer activity against prostate cancer cell lines (R).

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) inhibits tumor Proteosome in human prostate cancer cell cultures (R).

Lung Cancer

Ashwagandha is found effective against urethane induced lung-adenoma in mice (R).

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) exhibited growth inhibition and cytotoxic activity against human lung cancer cell lines (NCI-H460) (R).

Kidney Cancer

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) inhibited the growth of human kidney cancer cell lines (R).

Skin Cancer

Ashwagandha induced cell death in human melanoma cells (through generation of ROS) (R).

Ashwagandha was effective in treating human head and neck squamous carcinoma (R).

Long term treatment with Ashwagandha controlled dermatosarcoma (R).

Ashwagandha was effective in preventing skin carcinoma in UV B radiation-exposed animals (R).


Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) inhibited cancer gene activation and mitochondrial dysfunction in skin epidermal cells (R).

Pancreatic Cancer

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) exhibited anticancer activity against pancreatic cell lines (targets Hsp 90) (R).

Cervical Cancer

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) is effective in the treatment and prevention of cervical cancer (R).

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) decreased the expression of HPV cancer genes, resulting in the death of cervical cancer cells (R).


Alcoholic extract of Ashwagandha root had a protective effect against Dalton’s Ascitic Lymphoma (DAL) (R).

Ashwagandha had anti-tumor effect on Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell carcinoma (R).


Ashwagandha decreases Nf-kB, suppresses TNF, and potentiates apoptosis in cancerous cell lines (R).

Ashwagandha slows down tumor growth and increases survival time (R).

Ashwagandha stimulates the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, to reduce tumor growth (R).

Ashwagandha leaf extract (Withanone) causes selective killing of cancer cells by induction of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) (R).

23-28) Ashwagandha is Neuroprotective

Ashwagandha (metabolites of its constituents) when taken for 7 days, promoted the growth of nerves (R).

Alcohol extract of Ashwagandha promoted the formation of dendrites (R).

Ashwagandha is also useful for neuro-muscular co-ordination (R).

Ashwagandha has potential neuroprotective role for acute stress in rats (R).

Water extract of Ashwagandha leaves protect human neuroblastoma cells against glutamate-induced excitotoxicity (R).

Ashwagandha root extract could be useful for the treatment of drug induced dyskinesia (abnormality or impairment of voluntary movement) (R).

Ashwagandha, also showed neurite extension in normal and damaged cortical neurons (R).

Ashwagandha (Alcoholic extract) was effective against scopalamine-induced amnesia in mouse and brain cell culture models (R).

Ashwagandha was found useful in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’sHuntington’s and Alzheimer’s (R).

There are several studies which show that Ashwagandha slows, stops, reverses or removes neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss (R).

Alzheimer’s Disease

Ashwagandha reversed the behavioral deficits and pathology seen in Alzheimer’s disease models (R).

Orally administered Ashwagandha (Withanoside IV) may improve neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease (R).

Ashwagandha significantly reversed ibotenic acid induced cognitive defects in Alzheimer’s disease model (R).

Parkinson’s Disease

Ashwagandha improves catecholamines, oxidative damage and physiological abnormalities seen in a Parkinson’s disease model mouse (R).

Ashwagandha root extract showed an improvement in the behavioral, anatomical and the biochemical deformities in Parkinsonian mice (R).

Huntington’s Disease

Ashwagandha had a neuroprotective effect on the behavioral, biochemical, and mitochondrial dysfunction in an animal model of Huntington’s disease(R).


Ashwagandha was found to be effective for Schizophrenic patients (R).

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

A combination herbal product containing Ashwagandha may improve attention and impulse control in children with ADHD. The effect of Ashwagandha alone is unclear.

29) Ashwagandha Promotes Heart Health

Constituents of Ashwagandha are demonstrated to exhibit a favourable “tonic” effect on heart (R).

Ashwagandha treatment found to increase the heart rate, contractility and relaxation (R).

Ashwagandha has been reported to reduce blood pressure (due to automatic ganglion blocking action) (R).

Ashwagandha has a profound activity to reduce cholesterol and prevent hardening of arteries (R).

Ashwagandha root powder when given at 0.75 to 1.5 gms/day to rats with high cholesterol showed a significant decrease in triglycerides (31.25% to  44.85%) (R).

Ashwagandha has been found to protect the heart in different models of stress and injury

  • Ashwagandha improved the cardiorespiratory endurance of elite athletes (R).
  • Ashwagandha was protective against oxidative damage in isoproterenol (ISO)-induced heart attack in rats (R).
  • Ashwagandha extract provides protection against doxorubicin associated toxicity of heart (R).
  • Ashwagandha showed a protective effect in ischemic stroke in rats (R).
  • Ashwagandha has been found protective in isoproterenol-induced ischemic rats (R).
  • At 50mg/Kg  dose, it was found to be the most effective in the functional recovery of the heart in rats (R).
  • Supplementation of Ashwagandha with milk is recommended in treatment of stress-oriented hypertension (R).

30) Ashwagandha is Anti-Diabetic

Ashwagandha favorably alters blood and urine glucose levels, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) and liver enzymes in diabetic rats (R).

Ashwagandha root was able to induce low blood sugar in humans with type 2 diabetes (R).

Ashwagandha reduced blood glucose levels in alloxan-induced diabetic rats (R).

Ashwagandha normalized excess blood sugar in type 2 diabetic rats (by improving insulin sensitivity) (R).

Ashwagandha along with “Shilajit” extract had considerably reduced symptoms related to diabetes, average fasting blood sugar and cholesterol profiles in human subjects (R).

Ashwagandha decreased blood glucose level, prevented excess levels of insulin and improved glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetic rats (R).

Ashwagandha improved diabetes-induced testicular dysfunctions in prepubertal rats (R).

Ashwagandha could prevent glycation induced Diabetes (R).

Administration of Ashwagandha for two months could be helpful for the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy in rats (R).

Ashwagandha had shown strong free radical scavenging activity and helped in improving antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic rats (R).

Withaferin A is partially responsible for Ashwagandha’s anti-diabetic activity (R).

31-32) Ashwagandha Reduces Pain/Fever

Ashwagandha is a pain reliever that soothes the nervous system from pain responses (R).

Ashwagandha (1000 mg/kg/oral) produced significant pain relief for rats experiencing heat induced by hot plate method (R).

Ashwagandha reduce fever as well (R).

33-36) Ashwagandha for Women

Relieves menopausal symptoms

Ashwagandha is effective in the management of menopausal syndrome (R).

It stimulates the hormonal glands and helps regulate the secretion of hormones during menopause (R).

Ashwagandha is also effective in reducing symptoms such as hot flashes, mood fluctuations and anxiety (R).

Ashwagandha root extract stimulates thyroidal activity and also enhances the antiperoxidation of liver tissue (R).

Ashwagandha relaxes the mind and decreases anxiety, thus stabilizing the mood in patients with behavioral disturbances (R), including menopause.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Ashwagandha was one of the components of a polyherbal Ayurvedic preparation called “Testo” (at a concentration of 25 mg) which showed a significant relief in patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.


Ashwagandha is best for treating Amenorrhoea (an abnormal absence of mensturation) (R).

Controls Uterine fibroids

Long-term treatment with Ashwagandha controlled uterine fibroids (non-cancerous growths that develop in the muscular walls of uterus) (R).

37) Ashwagandha Improves Fertility

Ashwagandha is attributed in Ayurveda for the treatment of oligospermia that causes infertility in male mice (R).

Ashwagandha can balance hormones and improve fertility by promoting relaxation and decreasing stress (R).

Ashwagandha increased the Luteinizing hormone (LH) towards normal in infertile males (R).

Levels of Testosterone (T) were increased in infertile subjects after treatment with Ashwagandha (R).

Ashwagandha improves the functioning of the thyroid gland, which is responsible for regulating reproductive hormones (R).

Ashwagandha is useful for treating Hypogonadism in males (R).

Ashwagandha is effective in restoring male reproductive health. It improves semen quality (R) and sex hormones in infertile men (R).

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) plant powder for 60 days significantly improved the weights of testes, accessory sex organs in male rats (R).

Ashwagandha is effective in restoration of spermatozoa in mice (R).

Ashwagandha has been found to counteract the formation of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) in infertile men (R).

Ashwagandha root extract was effective in increasing sexual competence in male rats (R).

Ashwagandha (due to its phytoremedial effect) is one of the best antidotes against arsenic-induced reproductive toxicity in rats (R).

Ashwagandha is also effective on seminal metabolites in infertile males (R).

However, in humans, ashwagandha didn’t improve erectile dysfunction of psychological origin (R).

38) Ashwagandha Reduces Autoimmune Diseases

Ashwagandha root powder had a preventative effect on the mouse model with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) (R).

Ashwagandha root powder reduced inflammation in pristane-induced model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (R).

39) Ashwagandha Promotes Bone Health

Ashwagandha stimulates bone formation and is a bone building agent (R).

Ashwagandha supplementation improved Calcium retention and bone calcification (R).

Ashwagandha had beneficial effects on tibia bone Calcium and Phosphoruscontent on productive performance of hens without any adverse effects (R).

Leaves of Ashwagandha were effective in preserving bone loss in mice (by both inhibition of resorption and stimulation of new bone formation before onset of osteoporosis) (R).

Ashwagandha root powder had a protective effect on adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats (R).

Ashwagandha improved bone calcification in calcium deficient rats without ovaries (R).

Ashwagandha root powder suppressed gouty arthritis in rats (R).

Water extract of Ashwagandha root powder has chondroprotective effect in osteoarthritis (R).

40-44) Hormonal Interactions of Ashwagandha


Levels of Testosterone (T) were increased in infertile subjects after treatment with Ashwagandha (R).


Ashwagandha acts as an anti-estrogen in human breast cancer cells, but this may not apply to normal cells (R).

Luteinizing Hormone

Ashwagandha increased the Luteinizing hormone (LH) towards normal in infertile males (R).

Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) were increased in infertile males when treated with Ashwagandha (R).

Thyroid Hormone

Ashwagandha stimulated the fuction of Thyroid hormone in female mice (R).

Ashwagandha could enhance only T4  (Thyroxine) concentration in female mice (R).

Ashwagandha root extract stimulated thyroidal activity in adult male mice (R).

Ashwagandha improved metformin induced hypothyroidism in Type 2 diabetic mice (R).

Water extract of Ashwagandha given for 20 days is effective in treating Hypothyroidism (R).

Ashwagandha also prevents Goitre (an enlarged Thyroid) (R).

45) Ashwagandha Protects the Liver

Ashwagandha significantly increases Bile acid content of the liver in rats with high cholesterol (R).

Ashwagandha decreased circulating liver enzymes (Glucose-6-phosphatase), glycogen and restored them to normal levels in alloxan-induced diabetic rats (R).

Ashwagandha prevents ionizing irradiation induced liver toxicity disorders in rats (R).

Ashwagandha is protective to liver in rats against heavy metals (R).

46) Ashwagandha is Good for the Gut

An enema of Ashwagandha water extract is prescribed for intestinal ulcers, irritable bowel and rectal bleeding (R).

Water extracts of Ashwagandha roots restores mucous in rats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) (R).

Ashwagandha also prevents constipation.

Ashwagandha is used to prevent and treat Hemorrhoids (swollen veins located around the anus or in the lower rectum).

47) Ashwagandha Protects Pancreatic Cells

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) could be incorporated as a supportive treatment to improve pancreatic transplant outcome (R).

Ashwagandha is protective against pancreatic cell damage in Type 2 diabetic rats (R).

48) Ashwagandha Protects Kidneys

Ashwagandha root extract protects kidney from gentamycin induced toxicity (R).

Ashwagandha was an effective curative for kidney corpuscles from carbendazim-induced damage (R).

49) Ashwagandha Prevents Respiratory Problems

Purified Polysaccharides from Ashwagandha often acts as a cough suppressant in guinea pigs (R1R2).

Two teaspoons of Ashwagandha given three times a day helps fast recovery from Bronchitis (R).

50) Ashwagandha for Skin

Ashwagandha (paste of boiled leaves) is frequently used to cure wounds, scabies, ringworms, leucoderma (R), Leprosy (R) and Acne.

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) prevents white spots on the skin (avoids the risk of hypopigmentation of skin) (R).

Ashwagandha root extracts induced skin darkening in wall lizard melanophores (R).

51) Ashwagandha May Reduce Morphine Dependence

Ashwagandha may help reduce dependence on Morphine (R).

Ashwagandha suppressed Morphine withdrawal jumps – a sign of development of dependence to morphine (R).

52) Ashwagandha for Genetic Diseases

Ashwagandha was effective in the treatment of the genetic disease “Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia” (overgrowth of adrenal gland) in a 57 year-old women (R).

Ashwagandha is also effective in treating symptoms of Down’s Syndrome (R)

53) Ashwagandha Helps Muscle Growth

There was a significant increase in the body weight of rats treated with Ashwagandha when compared to the control (R).

Ashwagandha supplementation significantly increased muscle mass and strength in young men (R), and may be useful together with a Resistance Training Program (R).

Ashwagandha was effective in treating patients with Sarcopenia (the loss of muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing) (R).

Ashwagandha appeared safe and strengthened muscle activity (R).

54) Ashwagandha For Longevity

Leaf extracts of Ashwagandha (i-Extract) has anti-aging properties (R).

It is also claimed to have potent aphrodisiac rejuvenative and life prolonging properties (R).

55) Ashwagandha Prevents Seizures

Ashwagandha has been used for centuries to control seizures (R).

Ashwagandha had suppressed the PTZ (Pentylenetetrazole) kindling seizures in ethanol withdrawal animals (R).

Ashwagandha is also a component of “Siotone” granules which provide significant protection against pentylenetetrazol-, maximal electroshock- and strychnine-induced convulsions (R).

56) Ashwagandha Reduces Age-Related Cataracts

Ashwagandha was able to retard the formation of cataracts in cells (R).

Ashwagandha plant extract also prevents “diabetic cataracts”, an effect caused due to chronically high blood sugar (R).

Ashwagandha has optimum protective effect against selenite-induced oxidative damage lenses (R).

Ashwagandha is widely used to treat conjunctivitis (R).

57) Ashwagandha Protects Against Industrial Toxins

Ashwagandha leaf extract protects normal human cells against the toxicity of methoxyacetic acid (a major industrial metabolite) (R).

Ashwagandha is also shown to be effective against diesel exhaust, heavy metals and pesticides that harm the various organ systems in the body (R).

58) Effect of Ashwagandha on Blood Cells

Ashwagandha (Withaferin A) triggers suicidal blood cell death (R).

Ashwagandha (leaves) was effective in curing Anaemia prominent in rural women in India (R).

Ashwagandha has the potential to increase red blood cells (R).

Ashwagandha root extract was found to also enhance the total White Blood Cell count (R).

Ashwagandha with milk injection increased white blood cells in animals with low levels (R).

59) Ashwagandha is an Effective Anti-Venom

External application of the plant extract is an antidote to snakebite in rural parts of India (R1, R2).

A glycoprotein purified from Ashwagandha inhibited the hyaluronidase activity of cobra (Naja Naja) and viper (Daboi russelii) venoms (R).

Ashwagandha root in combination with other drugs is prescribed for snake venom as well as for scorpion-sting (R).

Ashwagandha Synergies

Ashwagandha along with Aloe vera lowered the blood glucose level in streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic mice (R).

Ashwagandha is synergistic with Diazepam in protection against social isolation induced behavior in rats (R).

Ashwagandha is synergistic with Vitamin D (1,25 (OH)2 D3) to help in Calcium retention and bone calcification (R).

A combination of Maitake mushroom-derived glucan and Ashwagandha extracts, has strong biological effects related to immune health and stress reduction (R).

Ashwagandha along with Anti-tubecular drugs and Chyawanprash(a multi-herbal formulation) were effective in the management of lung Tuberculosis (R).

Parts Used

The Root of Ashwagandha is regarded as a tonic, aphrodisiac, narcotic, diuretic, antiparasitic, astringent, thermogenic and stimulant (R). It is an important ingredient of more than 200 formulations in traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha, and Unani (R).

Leaves are bitter and have a characteristic odor, are recommended for fever and painful swellings (R).

The flowers are astringent, depurative, diuretic and aphrodisiac (R).

Seeds are antiparasitic (R).

In Ayurveda, berries and tender leaves are prescribed to be applied externally to tumors, tubercular glands, carbuncles, and ulcers (R).

Other useful parts are stem, fruits,  and bark (R).

Active Chemical Constituents

The biologically active chemical constituents are Alkaloids (isopelletierine, anaferine), Steroidal lactones (Withanolides, Withaferins) (R).

Other components are Saponins (Sitoindoside VII and VIII), and Withanolides (sitoindoside IX and X) (R).

Ashwagandha is also known to structure a wide-range of low molecular weight secondary metabolites like Terpenoids, Flavonoids, Tannins, Phenols, and Resins (R).

The extract of leaves showed the presence of Carbohydrates, Glycosidal sugars, Proteins and Amino acids.

It is also a rich source of Iron (R).


A typical dose of Ashwagandha is 3-6 gms daily of the dried root, and 300-500mg of the extract (R).

Maximum benefits appear when fresh Ashwagandha powder is used (R).

In addition to the powder form, mild decotions, alcoholic extracts, mixed with ghee or honey or as a topical oil are also effective formulations.

Ashwagandha extract was safe when given orally up to 1500mg/kg to rats for 6 months (R).

Hydroalcoholic extract of Ashwagandha at 2000 mg/kg body weight per day had no adverse effects when given to rats and hence may be considered as non-toxic (R).

Side Effects

Ashwagandha is generally safe when taken in the prescribed dosage range (R).

Large doses of Ashwagandha can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea(R).

Hyperthyroidism is potentially a serious side effect of Ashwagandha (R).

Ashwgandha use may possibly cause hirsutism (abnormal growth of hair on women’s face) (R).


Ashwagandha is contraindicated during pregnancy since large doses may possess aborting properties (R).

Since Ashwasgandha acts as the mild brain depressant, patients should avoid alcohol, sedative and other anti-anxiety drugs while taking ashwagandha (R).

Since Ashwagandha has the potential to raise thyroid hormone levels, it should not be used by people with hyperthyroidism.

EBSCO, an online database, cautions that Ashwagandha is a sedative and it interacts with sedative drugs.

Buying Ashwagandha: What Joe Uses

Ashwagandha is a very gentle herb, but this also means you likely won’t feel that much with one pill.  I personally need to take a few pills to feel relaxing properties.

The reason there are many different products you can purchase is because there are many types of Ashwagandha that are good.

Withanolides are the most active ingredients, so getting those in a good percentage (2.5% or more) can be good.

On the other hand, a full spectrum extract as provided by Paradise Herbs makes sense for the average person.

The best approach is try out different brands and see which you do best with. Everyone is different.

Joe’s Favorite:

Molecular Targets

Anticancer activity

  • Inactivates the TPX2-Aurora A complex (R).
  • Inhibits Proteasome (R).
  • Decreased the expression of anti-apoptopic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL (R).
  • Inhibits Survivin and Mortalin (R1,R2).
  • Inhibits Hsp90 transmission (R).
  • Activates Bax/Bak (R).
  • Inhibits STAT 3 (R).
  • Inhibits Notch-1 (R).
  • Inhibits COX-2 enzyme (R).
  • Suppresses the increase of acetyl-coA carboxylase-1 (R).
  • activates Notch-2, Notch-4


  • Inhibits Leishmanial Protein Kinase C (LPKC) (R).

Anti-aging activity

  • Decreases p21 (WAF-1) protein (R).

Neuroprotection activity

Anti-stress activity

  • Induces Nrf2 protein (R).
  • Suppresses nNOS (neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase) and glutamate

Bone protective activity

  • Decreases receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B (R).
  • Decreases expression of E3 ubiquitin ligase, Smad ubiquitin regulatory factor 2 (Smurf2) (R).

Anti-inflammatory activity

  • Increased the expression of CD4 on CD3+ T cells (R).
  • Increases expression of IL-2 and IFN-gamma (R).

Antimicrobial activity

  • Increases IL-7 (R).

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help youfigure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics