https://www.drphelts.com
Dr. John W. Phelts, D.C.

Ashwagandha Fights Fatigue and Stress

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)  is one of the most popular herbs used in Ayurvedic Medicine.  It is known as an energy booster, and many prefer it to drinking coffee, because it doesn't give you the jitters, interfere with sleep, and is not addictive.  Ashwagandha is also known as an adaptogenic herb: meaning that ir helps the body adapt to physical and mental stress.  Stress can compromise your immunes system, so this is a great herb to take during times of great emotional stress and after intense exercise.  It is also regarded as a strengthening tonic to support the immune system and promote healing during and after illness.

Ashwagandha is believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system, so it is often recommended to help with insomnia and anxiety.  Some practitioners use it to treat certain forms of dementia. Ashwagandha is also used to support the adrenal glands, which release certain hormones in response to physical and emotional stress.  

Ashwagandha is a member of the nightshade family of herbs. If there is an allergy to other nightshade plants, then Ashwagandha may not be suitable for you. Ashwagandha can interact with other herbs and prescription medication; it is important to consult with a holistic health care professional who has training in botanical pharmacology before taking this herb.  We perform a quick test in our New York, NY office to see if Ashwagandha, or any other herb, may interact negatively with your body.

How Much Ashwagandha Should You Take?
Ashwagandha dosages should be recommended by a licensed health care practitioner.  Dr. Phelts does not recommend any supplements without testing first,  to see if it would benefit you first.  This helps you avoid taking supplements that you do not need.  The following are general recommendations and are not in lieu of testing or professional advice.
 

Recommended dosages:
Fatigue- 1500-2000 mg in the morning
General maintenance- 1000 mg/day

References:

Johnson, R.L., S. Foster, Low Dog, T. and Kiefer, D. National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World's Most Effective Healing Plants. (2012) Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.

Chandrasekhar, K et al. "A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults." Indian journal of psychological medicine vol. 34,3 (2012): 255-62. doi:10.4103/0253-7176.106022 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/

Singh, Narendra et al. "An overview on ashwagandha: a Rasayana (rejuvenator) of Ayurveda." African journal of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines : AJTCAM vol. 8,5 Suppl (2011): 208-13. doi:10.4314/ajtcam.v8i5S.9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/

Pratte, Morgan A et al. "An alternative treatment for anxiety: a systematic review of human trial results reported for the Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)." Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 20,12 (2014): 901-8. doi:10.1089/acm.2014.0177 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270108/
Duke, James. A. (2002). Handbook of Medicinal Herbs (2nd Ed). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.