Anti Anxiety supplement - Ashwagandha aka Withania somnifera

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by runawaybunny, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    I started taking Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) a couple of weeks ago after stumbling upon it while doing some research on another supplement. It is a very revered herb of the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine. I've had good results with it and thought some of you might want to check it out.

    Here are some of the studies:

    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

    Abstract

    CONTEXT:
    Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension, which can lead to underperformance and adverse clinical conditions. Adaptogens are herbs that help in combating stress. Ayurvedic classical texts, animal studies and clinical studies describe Ashwagandha as a safe and effective adaptogen.

    AIMS:
    The aim of the study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha roots in reducing stress and anxiety and in improving the general well-being of adults who were under stress.

    CONCLUSION:
    The findings of this study suggest that a high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual's resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.​


    Naturopathic Care for Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial ISRCTN78958974

    Abstract

    METHODS:
    Employees with moderate to severe anxiety of longer than 6 weeks duration were randomized based on age and gender to receive naturopathic care (NC) (n = 41) or standardized psychotherapy intervention (PT) (n = 40) over a period of 12 weeks. Blinding of investigators and participants during randomization and allocation was maintained. Participants in the NC group received dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques, a standard multi-vitamin, and the herbal medicine, ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) (300 mg b.i.d. standardized to 1.5% with anolides, prepared from root). The PT intervention received psychotherapy, and matched deep breathing relaxation techniques, and placebo. The primary outcome measure was the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and secondary outcome measures included the Short Form 36 (SF-36), Fatigue Symptom Inventory (FSI), and Measure Yourself Medical Outcomes Profile (MY-MOP) to measure anxiety, mental health, and quality of life respectively. Participants were blinded to the placebo-controlled intervention.

    RESULTS:
    Seventy-five participants (93%) were followed for 8 or more weeks on the trial. Final BAI scores decreased by 56.5% (p<0.0001) in the NC group and 30.5% (p<0.0001) in the PT group. BAI group scores were significantly decreased in the NC group compared to PT group (p = 0.003). Significant differences between groups were also observed in mental health, concentration, fatigue, social functioning, vitality, and overall quality of life with the NC group exhibiting greater clinical benefit. No serious adverse reactions were observed in either group.​


    Randomized placebo-controlled adjunctive study of an extract of withania somnifera for cognitive dysfunction in bipolar disorder.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE:
    Cognitive impairments contribute significantly to inadequate functional recovery following illness episodes in bipolar disorder, yet data on treatment interventions are sparse. We assessed the cognitive effects of a standardized extract of the medicinal herb Withania somnifera (WSE) in bipolar disorder.

    CONCLUSIONS:
    Although results are preliminary, WSE appears to improve auditory-verbal working memory (digit span backward), a measure of reaction time, and a measure of social cognition in bipolar disorder. Given the paucity of data for improving cognitive capacity in bipolar disorder, WSE offers promise, appears to have a benign side-effects profile, and merits further study.​


    A DOUBLE-BLIND, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED EVALUATION OF THE ANXIOLYTIC EFFICACY FF AN ETHANOLIC EXTRACT OF WITHANIA SOMNIFERA

    Abstract

    A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy an ethanolic extract of Aswagandha (Withania somnifera), in patients with ICD-10 anxiety disorders. The sample comprised 39 subjects, of whom 20 received the drug and 19 received placebo. The two groups were sociodemographically and clinically similar at baseline. At 2 and 6 weeks follow-up, data from approximately 85% of patients in each group were available for analysis. Statistical trends favouring the drug were observed at both time points. At 6 weeks, significantly more patients met a priori response criteria in the drug group (88.2%) as compared with the placebo group (50%). The drug was well-tolerated and did not occasion more adverse effects than did placebo. It is concluded that this ethanolic extract of Withania somnifera has useful anxiolytic potential and merits further investigation.​


    Scientific Basis for the Therapeutic Use of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha): A Review

    Abstract

    RESULTS:
    Studies indicate ashwagandha possesses anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antistress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hemopoietic, and rejuvenating properties. It also appears to exert a positive influence on the endocrine, cardiopulmonary, and central nervous systems. The mechanisms of action for these properties are not fully understood. Toxicity studies reveal that ashwagandha appears to be a safe compound.

    CONCLUSION:
    Preliminary studies have found various constituents of ashwagandha exhibit a variety of therapeutic effects with little or no associated toxicity. These results are very encouraging and indicate this herb should be studied more extensively to confirm these results and reveal other potential therapeutic effects. Clinical trials using ashwagandha for a variety of conditions should also be conducted.​


    An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda

    Conclusion:
    The available scientific data support the conclusion that Ashwagandha is a real potent regenerative tonic (Rasayana of Ayurveda), due to its multiple pharmacological actions like anti-stress, neuroprotective, antitumor, anti-arthritic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory etc. It is useful for different types of diseases like Parkinson, dementia, memory loss, stress induced diseases, malignoma and others.

    Ashwagandha is used as a household remedy by Indians, who consider it as the best tonic for old people and children, and as aphrodisiac by young people. It is one of the best nervine tonics of Ayurveda, the most ancient system of Medical Sciences. Our clinical experience showed that besides the enumerated neurological conditions, brain strokes causing paralysis and neuronal deficit also improve in the long term treatment with Ashwagandha. We are also using it in all forms of cancer including prostate and lung cancers, especially in last stages, giving the patients lot of health benefits. We have some cases of lung cancer who have refused modern therapy and recovered clinically and radiologically with our therapy of Ashwagandha. (Singh N., 2010- unpublished data). In a recent seminar (Singh, 2005) on essential drug concept, it was projected as one of the six essential medicinal herbs.​

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