Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is an evergreen shrub with several health advantages. Ashwagandha, often known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is native to Northern Africa, India, and the Middle East but may be cultivated in countries with temperate climates
One of the oldest medical systems in the world and one of India's healthcare systems, Ayurvedic medicine, use ashwagandha as an essential herb. Ashwagandha is classified as a Rasayana in Ayurvedic medicine, which means that it supports the preservation of youth, both physically and mentally.
According to research, ashwagandha is also an adaptogen. Certain plants or mushrooms known as adaptogens offer health advantages, including preventing the adverse effects of stress while enhancing bodily functions and processes.
How does Ashwagandha work?
Ashwagandha activates the heat shock proteins that guard against cell damage, which has adaptogenic benefits. They can also boost cell energy production by raising adenosine triphosphate (ATP), decreasing cell death, and enhancing immune system functioning.
The effects of ashwagandha change depending on the dose.
Ashwagandha mostly consists of steroidal lactones or glycosides of withanolides, which are active compounds found in the roots of Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera. Although it's not that important to understand the classifications, these structures are specific to Ashwagandha and have the following qualities:
- Withanolide A: Acetylcholinesterase, immunostimulant, immunosuppressant, and cortisol suppressant inhibitor
- Withanoside IV: Promotes neurogenesis and lengthens axons (a part of a nerve cell that transports nerve signals outside of the cell body)while decreasing stress and anxiety levels (one end of a neuron)
- Sominone: Enhances axon length and neurogenesis
- Ashwagandhanolide: Cancer-specific inhibitory effects
- Withaferin A: Cytotoxic (a substance that can kill cancer cells and can harm healthy cells)
- Withanone: Induces cell death in breast cancer cells.
Ashwagandha root extracts will be standardised to the first three glycowithanolides, which provide the most health benefits.
Uses of Ashwagandha
Written below are some of the potential uses and benefits of Ashwagandha.
- Reduces stress levels, anxiety, and the symptoms of mental health disorders. Ashwagandha is categorised as an adaptogen and can lessen the damaging effects of stress because it has anti-inflammatory properties that can lower cortisol levels in the body. Ashwagandha may also reduce irritation, increase mental agility, increase concentration, reduce irritability, and manage stress-related cravings.
- Boost your athletic performance. Ashwagandha may aid in managing physical tiredness, agility, lower limb muscle strength, and neuromuscular coordination due to its capacity to reduce cortisol levels.
- Lower your blood sugar levels. Ashwagandha improves muscle cell insulin sensitivity and insulin synthesis, which may reduce blood sugar levels. Additionally, it could lessen possible insulin resistance, a common condition in which the body utilises glucose incorrectly.
- Decrease inflammation. Chronic inflammation raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and gastrointestinal diseases although it is a common reaction to an infection or stress. Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties, which might help prevent certain health risks.
- Enhance your memory and overall brain function. Ashwagandha has been demonstrated to raise acetylcholine levels in the brain, which are associated with improved cognitive function, memory, and brain function.
- Boost sleep quality. Due to the presence of the sleep-inducing compound Triethylene glycol in ashwagandha, it can also be used as a sleep aid. It is also rich in withanolides, which are substances that seem to aid the body in managing stress and enhancing sleep.
What is Sensoril Ashwagandha?
Sensoril is a patented version of Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) with high levels of withanolide (10%), making it a standardised ashwagandha extract.
This form of ashwagandha contains a high percentage of withanolides because it is derived from both the leaves and the roots of ashwagandha. Although this appears concerning, the Withaferin A-concentrations have been standardised to 0.5% or less, and it is safe. The quantities are frequently substantially smaller in root-only extracts.
What is KSM-66 Ashwagandha?
Unlike Sensoril, KSM-66 is isolated and standardised from just the roots. This full-spectrum extract closely resembles the plant's original chemical makeup by matching the naturally existing components and their ratios.
KSM-66 extract is regarded as both safe and effective. The taste and fragrance are probably less overpowering than in other versions of this ashwagandha extract because it is one of the types that doesn't use alcohol or any other artificial solvents in the extraction process.
Ashwagandha leaf vs Ashwagandha root
Like ashwagandha's roots, ashwagandha leaves are a rich source of withanolides, alkaloids, and antioxidants. One study has shown the ability of ashwagandha tinctures prepared from ashwagandha leaf extracts to reduce oxidative stress damage to brain cells and shield normal human cells from toxic/carcinogenic environmental chemicals, protecting against neurodegenerative disorders.
Additionally, withanone and withaferin-A concentrations are higher in ashwagandha leaves. The benefits of ashwagandha are mostly caused by these two components.
Sensoril Ashwagandha vs KSM-66 Ashwagandha
According to anecdotal evidence, KSM-66 is preferable for daytime usage and enhancing cognitive function, while Sensoril is better for "nighttime" use. Both are helpful for reducing stress and promoting overall health.
When comparing the two compounds, it is obvious that they have some distinct differences from one another. Since neither supplement has been thoroughly investigated or tested against one other, these differences are not yet fully understood. However, clinical research is now being conducted, and more information should be accessible in the upcoming few years.
Is Sensoril better than KSM-66?
Withanolides make up 10% or more of Sensoril ashwagandha's total concentration of biologically active ingredients, compared to KSM-66 ashwagandha powder, which is standardised to contain 5% or more withanolides and no ashwagandha leaf contents.
This means that by using Sensoril instead of KSM-66, you receive twice as many beneficial ingredients.
Both KSM-66 and Sensoril are water-soluble and have neutral tastes, making them preferable to most ashwagandha powders.
Is Ashwagandha safe to use?
Yes, ashwagandha is usually considered safe. However, there has not been enough clinical study to properly examine its potential adverse effects. Ashwagandha can cause stomach problems, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting when taken in excessive doses.
This might be due to irritation of the intestinal mucosa, which is involved in digestion and nutritional absorption. Speak to a healthcare professional first before using any ashwagandha products.
Most clinical research advises taking ashwagandha 2 to 3 times per day for one to three months. It's also best to start with a smaller amount or the dose that your doctor has recommended and monitor how your body reacts to it.
Typical dosages of ashwagandha root extract range from 450 mg to 500 mg given once or twice daily in capsule form. Adults are advised to take one daily, ideally with a meal or drink.
There are no immediate effects when consumed, however many have reported feeling less stressed after two weeks.
How to Use Ashwagandha
You may consume ashwagandha in a variety of ways to suit your tastes. Ashwagandha supplements are available in tinctures, tablets, powder, gummies, and capsules to simply enhance your normal diet.
Ashwagandha consumption is mostly a matter of personal taste, and how much you take will depend on your goals.