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Ashwagandha: Ancient Indian Herb Treats Modern Illnesses

The herb ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of natural Indian folk medicine. It has been used for more than 3,000 years to boost energy and ease stress. And modern research is discovering that this ancient herb can treat a host of modern illnesses. 

Ashwagandha’s Latin name, somnifera, means sleep-inducing, and a new Japanese study found that the herb truly does improve sleep.

Researchers at the University of Tsukumba used a neurological test (EEG) to record activity in the brains of mice that were given ashwagandha. They found that an extract of ashwagandha leaf, which was rich in the component triethylene glycol (TEG), significantly increased non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.

The sleep induced by TEG was similar to normal sleep, and researchers believe that ashwagandha could revolutionize the natural plant-based therapies for insomnia and sleep-related disorders, producing natural sleep without side effects.

An earlier study published in Alternative Medicine Review found that volunteers reported an improvement of 66.9 percent in sleep quality. Participants also reported a 42 percent improvement in emotional health and a 45.8 percent improvement in their social life and activities.

In addition to inducing sleep, ashwagandha also provides the following health benefits:

Inhibits Alzheimer’s. Herbal doctors have been using ashwagandha for centuries as a remedy for memory loss, and scientists at the U.K.’s Newcastle University may have discovered why it is effective. They found that ashwagandha inhibits the formation of the beta-amyloid plaques that accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer’s victims.

The study, which was published in Phytotherapy Research examined the effects of water-based ashwagandha extracts on beta-amyloid peptides in test tubes, and found that the herb prevented them from forming clumps, a main characteristic of Alzheimer’s.

In a study conducted at India’s National Brain Research Center on mice with Alzheimer’s, their brain function returned to normal after 30 days of treatment, and the amyloid plaques in their brains decreased.

Another study published in the Chemical Pharmacy Bulletin found that ashwagandha inhibits acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. (Neurotransmitters are chemicals made by nerve cells that send signals to other cells.) Current drugs prescribed to treat Alzheimer’s disease target this mechanism.

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Reduces stress. A 2012 Indian study of people with chronic stress found that taking ashwagandha supplements for two months lowered stress by 44 percent and eased depression and anxiety by 72 percent. Tests showed that blood levels of cortisol — the stress hormone — were reduced substantially.

The study, which was published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine concluded that the herb was safe and “effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.”

Aids weight loss. A 2016 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of stressed volunteers found that ashwagandha reduced stress and food cravings and also helped subjects lose weight. The eight-week study was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

Fights cancer. Studies show that ashwagandha slows the growth of many types of cancer cells. It works in multiple ways to prevent or slow cancer. In a study published in PLoS One, mice with ovarian cancer that were treated with ashwagandha either alone or with an anti-cancer pharmaceutical reduced tumor growth by 70 to 80 percent and also prevented the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.

A 2011 study published in Biochemical Pharmacology found that ashwagandha was effective against four types of cancer — lung, colon, breast, and central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma — and a steroidal component of the herb called withaferin A showed a stronger effect on breast and colon cancer cell lines than the chemotherapy drug Adriamycin.

Other studies have found that ashwagandha also protects normal cells against cancer, shelters normal cells from being harmed by chemotherapy, and stops the growth of new blood vessels that help cancer grow and spread.

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Ashwagandha: Ancient Indian Herb Treats Modern Illnesses" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

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Disclaimer *

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

phone: 915-850-0900

Licensed in Texas & New Mexico *

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN, CCST
My Digital Business Card

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Ashwagandha: Ancient Indian Herb Treats Modern Illnesses" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez DC or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card

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