Ashwagandha

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Information about Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a popular Ayurvedic herb used as a general tonic, to increase energy and reduce stress.

Liver safety of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has not been implicated in causing serum enzyme elevations during therapy, but recently has been implicated in rare cases of clinically apparent liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that is derived from extracts of the roots of Withania somnifera, a low growing evergreen shrub that is endemic to India and Southeast Asia.

Clinical use of Ashwagandha

Sometimes called “Indian ginseng”, it is purported to have neuroprotective and antiinflammatory activities and is used to treat stress, fatigue, pain, skin diseases, diabetes, arthritis and epilepsy. It is also used as a general tonic to increase energy, reduce fatigue and counteract the effects of aging. Its efficacy in these conditions has not been consistently shown in rigorously controlled prospective studies, but it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries and is currently becoming a popular herbal product in Western countries.

Chemical ingredients

Withania somnifera extracts have as many as 35 different chemical constituents and the specific active ingredient responsible for its activity has not been identified. Constituents include alkaloids, steroidal lactones, saponins, withanolides, withaferins and iron.

Dosage and administration for Ashwagandha

Extracts of ashwagandha are often supplied as tablets which are taken once to three times daily.

Side effects of Ashwagandha

Side effects are uncommon and have not been clearly defined. Large doses can cause gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, probably because of direct irritation to the intestinal mucosa.

Herbal and dietary supplements

Chinese and Other Asian Herbal Medicines

Multi-Ingredient Nutritional Supplements

See also Nutritional supplements

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