Ashwagandha


 ASHWANGANDHA INDIAN GINSENG

 

 

General Notes: 

Ashwagandha ( Withania sominfera) is known as an adaptogenic herb often dubbed as the  “Ayurvedic ginseng”  has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac and rejuvenator. It is one of the herbs that we are growing on our property. It is frost sensitive so we grow some of the plants in a controlled environment.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a sweet root with secondary bitter qualities.There are no known side effects of this herb. Ayurvedic practitioners have been using Ashwagandha root for thousands of years as a tonic for greater vitality and longevity.  . Ashwagandha root is beneficial to people who do physical labor or exercise a lot to help the body adapt to physical stress. Ashwagandha herb has also been used for strengthening the female reproductive system.

Botanical Name:  

Withania somnifera

Active Ingredients:

Withaferin, withanolides, ashwagandaholine, sitoindosides

RESEARCH 

The total alkaloids showed relaxant and antispasmodic effects against several spasmogens on intestinal, uterine, bronchial, tracheal and blood-vascular muscles. The pattern of smooth muscle activity of the alkaloids was similar to that of papaverine which suggested a direct musculotropic action, both as relaxant and spasmolytic. This pharmacological activity lends credence to the use of aswagandha in asthma and as a uterine sedative in the Ayurvedic system of medicine (Malhotra et al., Indian J, Physiol. Pharmacol., 1965

Natural Crude Extracts:

  • Withanolides serve as hormone precursors . These molecules are steriodial and resemble  the active ingredients of ginseng (ginsenosides)
  • Withanolides are the most important bio-active constituents present in roots of Ashwagandha. Withanolides are believed to account for the multiple medicinal applications of Ashwagandha.
  •  Ashwagandaholine and the combined alkaloides exhibit calming and anti-spasmodic properties.
  • Withaferin has anti tumour and radio sensitising effects.
  • Sitoindosides enhance pathogenic destroying phagocytes.
  • Catalyses the anabolic processes of the body.
  • The total alkaloids of roots have a variety of pharmacological actions.  The hypotensive effect is mainly due to autonomic ganglion-blocking action and the depressant action on the higher cerebral centers.
  • In an other experiment, the depressive effect of the alkaloids was attributed to the basic alkaloids in the roots, the neutral alkaloids (3-tropyltigloate and an unidentified alkaloid) showing no depressive effect on spontaneous locomotive activity.

Definitions: 

  • JAKs Janus Kinases are a family of compounds in your cells that are implicated in inflammation which is detrimental to health and longevity.
  • JAKs Inhibitors prevent inflammation and oxidation
  • Telomeres , are small protective caps at the end of chromosome s (long threads of DNA carrying genetic information). These telomeres  protect our DNA from oxidation the older the telomeres get the shorter they become exposing the DNA to oxidation and damage.
  • Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres and keeps them from wearing out too fast or too early. But with constant cell division, telomerase levels are depleted, enabling telomeres to shorten.

 

Some Interesting Facts

  • Found to stimulate stem cell growth as well as inhibiting cancer growth
  • Found to restore melanin to graying hair.
  • Can stop metastatic cancers including melanoma.
  • Known as a JAK inhibitor ( The Janus Kinases) which have powerful anti-cancer properties.
  • Has been shown to protect telomere length by stimulating Telomerase production
  • It has the ability to remove opiate tolerances. Therefore do not take in conjunction with any opiate bases medication.
  • Has an estrogenic effect without increasing risks to estrogen-dependant cancers.
  • Interestingly ashwagandha leads to increased levels of both testosterone and estrogen in both males and females.
  • Can help improve sleep as well as protects against ovarian cancers.
  • Ashwagandha stimulates gonadotrophins, hormones released by the pituitary gland which then go on to stimulate the sex glands (the effect is not directly estrogenic or testosterogenic.
  • Ashwagandha by passes the hypothalamus and directly stimulates the pituitary gland which helps increase ovarian weight and numbers of mature follicles in the ovaries. Some claim that it reverses infertility and menopause.

 

WHAT ARE ITS USES – 

This plant is an anti-inflammatory agent, and as an “adaptogen” (endurance enhancer). Many Western herbalists refer to this herb as because of its reputation for increasing energy, strength, and stamina, and for its ability to relieve stress

People: 

  • Traditionally used to treat impotence and for building sexual energy.
  • An adaptogenic herb to balance body systems ie auto-immune conditions where the immune system attacks not only pathogens but also naturally occurring biological sytems withing the body.
  • Has anti arthritic and rejuvenating qualities. Natural pain killer.
  • Regenerates the hormonal system
  • Promotes the healing of tissue free radical scavenging ability.
  • Sedative and helps with insomnia.
  • Has the ablity to relieve stress.
  • Used to treat multiple sclerosis.
  • The herb has traditionally been used for calming the mind,
  • Relieving weakness, nervous exhaustion and arthritis,

Pets, horses and farm animals: 

  • A rejuvenating herb for aging pets
  • For horses this herb is ideal prior to vigorous exercise and as a recovery herb after a race. It will increase energy and strength.
  • Acts on the adrenals to lower excess production of adrenaline.
  • They exhibited prolonged hypertensive and respiratory stimulating actions in dogs.

Disclaimer: Information in this article is not to be used in place of professional medical advice and expertise. For diagnosis and treatment always see your health professional. We recommend that either a qualified herbalist or your animal professional carry out diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Herbal remedies must not be given not be taken in conjunction with other medication with out consulting a medical professional.

 

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