અશ્વગંધા દ્વારા કેન્સરનો ઈલાજ હવે શક્ય જાણો કયા કયા કેન્સર સામે અશ્વગંધા થી કેવો થયો ફાયદો
અશ્વગંધા (Withania somnifera- અશ્વગંધા નું વેજ્ઞાનિક નામ), આયુર્વેદમાં ખુબ જ વિશાળ ઔષધીય જડી બુટી નો ખજાનો છે. પાંદડા, મૂળ, ડાળીઓ ઉપરાંત અશ્વગંધા ના બીજ અને ફળ વગેરે નો ઉપયોગ દવા અને ઘણા ઘરગથ્થું ઉપાયો દ્વારા સ્વસ્થ્ય અને આયુષ્ય વધારવા માટે કરવામાં આવે છે.
આમ તો ઘણા સંશોધનોમાં, અશ્વગંધામાં તનાવ વિરોધી, એન્ટી ઓક્સીડેંટ, રોગ દુર કરનારા, અનુત્તેજક, હ્રદયની સુરક્ષા કરનારા અને પ્રતિકારક શક્તિ વધારનાર ગુણ મળી આવે છે. તે બ્રેન કેન્સર, પ્રોસ્ટેટ કેન્સર, સ્કીન કેન્સર, કિડનીના કેન્સર અને બ્રેસ્ટ કેન્સર સહિત ઘણા પ્રકારના કેન્સર ના ઈલાજ ઉપર અસરકારક સાબિત થયેલ છે.
સેમ ગંભીર એક ભારતીય કેન્સર નિષ્ણાંત છે. તેમણે કેન્સર ઉપર ઘણા રીસર્સ કર્યા છે. પણ તેમને શું ખબર હતી કે એક દિવસ તેમની આટલી નજીક થી કેન્સર જેવી બીમારી નો સામનો કરવો પડશે. હકીકતમાં તેમના ૧૪ વર્ષનો પુત્ર મિલન ગંભીર ને બ્રેન ટ્યુમર (Brain tumor) થઇ ગયું. કેમ કે તે પોતે એક કેન્સર નિષ્ણાંત છે તેથી તે સારી રીતે જાણે છે કે આ બીમારી કેવું સ્વરૂપ લઇ શકે છે.
ફેબ્રુઆરી ૨૦૧૫ માં, સેમ એ મિલનને સ્ટેમ ટ્રાન્સફર ની હોસ્પિટલ તપાસ માટે ફ્લોરીડા મોકલેલ હતો. સાથે જ સેમ એ સેંકડો વર્ષોથી ભારતમાં પોતાના ઉપચારના ગુણોથી ઓળખવામાં આવતા અશ્વગંધા ઉપર રીસર્સ કરવાનું શરુ કર્યું.
એક વર્ષના અભ્યાસ પછી, સેમ એ શોધમાં મેળવ્યું કે અશ્વગંધામાંથી મળી આવતા વેથાફેરીન ‘એ’ નામનું તત્વ, મસ્તિક ના ટ્યુમરનું કારણ બનનારી કોશિકાઓ ને નાશ કરવામાં ખુબ મહત્વની હોય છે. પણ જ્યાં સુધી તે તારણ કાઢી શકાયુ ત્યાં સુધી ઘણું મોડું થઇ ગયું હતું અને મિલન આ શોધ ના થોડા અઠવાડિયા પછી મરી ગયો હતો. આમ તો સેમ ગંભીર અને તેની પ્રયોગશાળામાં હાલમાં પણ કેન્સર ઉપર રીસર્સ ચાલે છે.
પ્રયોગશાળા માં એવા સાધનો ના પરીક્ષણ કરવાની પણ તૈયારી કરી રહેલ છે જેના દ્વારા કેન્સરના દર્દી પોતાની કોશિકાઓ નું પરીક્ષણ જાતે જ કરી શકે છે. જેમ કે ‘સ્માર્ટ બ્રા’ જેમાં સ્તન ઉત્તકો ના ચિત્ર જોઈ શકાય છે અને ‘સ્માર્ટ શૌચાલય’ વગેરેની તૈયારી કરવામાં આવી રહી છે.
કેવી રીતે અશ્વગંધા કેન્સર માં મદદ કરે છે
અશ્વગંધા કેન્સરના ઉપચારમાં ઘણી જ અસરકારક ગણાવવામાં આવેલ છે.
તે તમામ કોશિકાઓના પ્રસારમાં કામ કરે છે જેના લીધે કન્સર વધતું નથી.
તે રેડીયેશન થેરોપી ની અસરને વધારે છે અને તેના લીધે થતી આડઅસરને ઓછી કરે છે.
તે કિમોથેરાપી માં ઉપયોગમાં લેવામાં આવતી દવાઓની આડઅસરને પણ ઓછી કરે છે. પણ તે દવાઓથી થતા કેન્સરના ઉપચાર ઉપર કોઈ ફરક પડતો નથી.
આ અસરોનું અધ્યયન, પ્રયોગશાળા માં માનવ કેન્સર કોશીકાઓ અને પશુઓ બન્ને ઉપર કરવામાં આવેલ છે, પણ માનવ કોશિકાઓ ઉપર કરવામાં આવેલ પરીક્ષણ મર્યાદિત છે. આ પ્રયોગથી જાણી શકાયેલ છે વિથાફેરીન તે કેન્સરના ઇલાજમાં સૌથી વધુ સક્રિય ત્યારે હોય છે જયારે તે અશ્વગંધા ના મૂળ કે પાંદડા માંથી કાઢવામાં આવે છે.
૨૦૦૮ માં એક અધ્યયન દ્વારા જાણવા મળેલ છે કે અશ્વગંધાના પાંદડામાંથી નીકળતો રસ, માનવ કેન્સર કોશિકાઓ (હાડકા, સ્તન, ફેફસા, મોટું આંતરડું, ત્વચા, ગરદન, ફાઈબ્રોસારકોમ, અગ્નાશ્ય (Pancreas), અને મસ્તિક નું ટ્યુમર વગેરે) નો નાશ કરવામાં ખુબ અસરકારક છે. તે એક વિશાલ વિવિધતાનો નાશ કરી દીધો. અશ્વગંધાના વિથાનોન (Withanone) તત્વમાં, કેન્સર કોશિકાઓનો નાશ કરવાનો ગુણ મળી આવે છે.
અશ્વગંધા એક રેડિયોસેંસીટાઇઝર (તે દવા જે ટ્યુમર કોશિકાઓને રેડીએશન થેરોપી તરફ વધુ સંવેદનશીલ બનાવે છે) અને કીમોથેરેપ્યુટીક એજન્ટ (ઝડપથી વધનારી કેન્સરની કોશિકાઓનો નાશ કરનારી દવાઓ) તરીકે કામ કરે છે.
જુદા જુદા કેન્સરમાં અશ્વગંધા નું યોગદાન અશ્વગંધા, જુદા જુદા પ્રકારના કેન્સરમાં ઊંચા પ્રકારનું યોગદાન આપે છે.
મસ્તિક કેન્સર (Brain Cancer)
અશ્વગંધા, ન્યુરોડીજેનેરેટીવ રોગો (Neurodegenerative diseases) ના ઉપચાર માટે ખુબ મહત્વની છે. કેમ કે તેના ઘટક તંત્રિકા તંતુઓ અને સીનેપ્લસ (Synapse- બે તંત્રિકા તંત્રો ને ભેગા થવાનું સ્થાન) અને એક્સોન (Axone- તંત્રિકા કોશિકાના તે ભાગ જેનાથી તંત્રિકા સંદેશો ને તે તંત્રિકા કોશીકામાં એક જગ્યાએથી બીજી જગ્યાએ લઇ જાય છે) અને સેન્દ્રાઈટ (Sendrites- તંત્રિકા કોશીકાનો તે ભાગ જેનાથી તંત્રિકા સંદેશ બીજી કોશિકા સુધી જાય છે) નું પુનઃનિર્માણ કરે છે અને યાદશક્તિ સુધારે છે.
ગ્લીયોબ્લાસટોમાં (Glioblastoma), ઈલાજની ગણતરીએ સૌથી સામાન્ય અને જટિલ બ્રેન ટ્યુમર છે. સર્જરી, રેડિયોથેરોપી અને કીમોથેરોપી જેવા જુદા જુદા ઉપચાર કર્યા પછી તેના મોટાભાગના દર્દી એક વર્ષમાં જ મરી જાય છે.
અશ્વગંધા અને તેના ઘટક, મસ્તિક ની ગ્લીયોમા કોશિકાઓ (Glioma cells) માં વૃદ્ધી કરવા માટે જવાબદાર હોય છે. અશ્વગંધામાંથી કાઢવામાં આવેલ રસ અને તેના ઘટક, કેન્સર કોશિકાઓને ગ્લીયોમા થેરોપી (Glioma therapy) પણ કરે છે.
સ્તન કેન્સર (Breast Cancer)
સ્તન કેન્સર થી પીડિત ૧૦૦ દર્દીઓ ઉપર કીમોથેરોપી અને વિથાનિઆ સોમ્નીફેરા કે અશ્વગંધા (Withania somnifera) બન્ને ની સારવાર અને માત્ર કિમોથેરાપી કરીને તુલનાત્મક પરીક્ષણ કરવામાં આવેલ તો તે જાણવા મળ્યું કે અશ્વગંધાનું સેવન કરવાવાળા દર્દીઓને ઓછા થાકનો અનુભવ થાય છે અને જેમણે સેવન નથી કર્યું તેને વધુ થાકનો અનુભવ થાય છે.
પ્રોસ્ટેટ કેન્સર (Prostate Cencer)
અશ્વગંધા, ઘણા કામગીરી માટે મહત્વનું જીન અને સંદેશ મોકલવાની કામગીરી (Signalling mechaniams) ને નિયંત્રિત કરે છે, જે પ્રતિકારક તંત્ર ની પ્રતિક્રિયા, તંત્રિકાઓમાં આવતા સોજા, સંદેશ સ્થળાંતર, સેલ સિગ્નેલિંગ (Cell signaling) અને કોશિકા ચક્ર નિયમન (cell cycle regulation) વગેરે સાથે જોડાયેલ હોય છે. તેનાથી અશ્વગંધા, પ્રોસ્ટેટ કેન્સરના ઈલાજ માટે અસરકારક રસાયણિક એજન્ટ જેવું કામ કરે છે.
ત્વચા કેન્સર (Skin Cancer)
સ્વીસ અલ્બીનો નામના ઉંદરમાં કેન્સર ઉત્પન કરીને એક અધ્યયન કરવામાં આવેલ અને તેનો અશ્વગંધાના મૂળમાંથી કાઢવામાં આવેલ રસથી ઉપચાર કરવાથી, તેની ત્વચાના ઘાવની સંખ્યામાં ઘણો ઘટાડો થયેલ. સંશોધકોએ અનુમાન લગાવ્યું કે અશ્વગંધાના રસમાં રહેલ એન્ટીઓક્સીડેંટ અને ઈમ્યુનોમોડ્યુલેટરી ઘટક તેની સારવારના ગુણો માટે જવાબદાર હોય છે.
વેજ્ઞાનિકોનું માનવું છે કે અશ્વગંધા, કેન્સરને નિયંત્રિત કરવામાં સક્ષમ છે અને સાથે સાથે કેન્સરના ઉપચાર કરવાની રીતો જેવી કે રેડિયો અને કિમોથેરાપી ની આડઅસર ને પણ ઓછી કરવામાં મદદ કરે છે. આયુર્વેદ મુજબ તો હમેશા અશ્વગંધાના ગુણોને એક અદ્દભુત જડી બુટી તરીકે ઉપયોગ કરવામાં આવે છે જે શરીરની પ્રતિકારક શક્તિ માં સુધારો કરે છે જેને લીધે જ અશ્વગંધાને હવે કેન્સરના ઈલાજ કરવા માટે પણ ઉપયોગ કરવામાં આવવા લાગ્યો છે.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Benefits, Uses, Dosage & Side Effects
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) helps in improving immune system. It is a potent adaptogen and aphrodisiac herb used in impotency, cancer, frequent miscarriage, uterine weakness, infertility, asthma, anemia, cancer, arthritis (osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis), anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), cerebellar ataxia, diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia etc.
Ashwagandha (also known as Indian ginseng) is used in Ayurveda since a very long time as a crucial part of ayurvedic treatment for several health conditions. In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is Rasayana (potent rejuvenative agent). It is acknowledged to increase the vitality and longevity. It improves memory, preserve mental functions and increases intelligence. It protects brain from degeneration and dementia. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is widely used in all inflammatory disorders.
The meaning of word Ashwagandha is ‘smell of horse’. It is named so for two important reasons – first is because roots of Ashwagandha emit the smell of horse. Second reason is – it is believed that consuming Ashwagandha in any form may develop or improve vitality, energy levels and strength similar to that of a horse. Ashwagandha is available in the market as a single herb formulation or in combination with other herbs.
Scientific Name of Ashwagandha is Withania Somnifera. In Latin, the meaning of Somnifera species is ‘sleep inducing
English NameIndian ginseng, Indian winter cherry, poison gooseberry
Hindi NameAshwagandha, Asgandh
Sanskrit NameAshwagandha, Ashvagandha, Gandhapatri, Ashvakandika, Palashaparni
Also Spelled AsAshwaganda, Aswagandha, Ashwaghanda, Ashvagandha, Ashwangandha, Ashwgandha
Botanical Classification (Plant Taxonomy)
Infra KingdomStreptophyta (Land Plants)
DivisionTracheophyta (Tracheophytes or Vascular Plants)
Sub DivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes or Seed Plants)
Native RegionIt is cultivated in various regions of India such as NEEMUCH, MANASA, JAWAD TEHSILS of the MANDSAUR district of Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. It is also distributed in Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Sri Lanka, Mediterranean regions, the Canneries and Cape of Good Hope.
HeightAshwagandha is a short perennial shrub that grows 35-75 centimeters tall.
HabitatA dry climate is required for growth of Ashwagandha.
LeavesAshwagandha leaves are simple, ovate, elliptic and dull green in color. They are usually 10-12 centimeters long.
FlowersAshwagandha flowers are tiny and bell-shaped around 1 centimeter long. Very few flowers are 5 centimeter long. They have a beautiful green or lurid yellow color.
FruitsThe fruits (berries) are orange-red in color when they reach a mature (ripe) stage and they have a diameter of 6 millimeter.
SeedsSeeds have a diameter of 2.5 millimeter and they are yellow in color.
RootsAshwagandha roots are stout and fleshy when dry. They are unbranched, straight and gradually tapering downwards. Roots have a brownish white color on the outer side and the inner region is creamy white in color.
Medicinal Parts of Ashwagandha
Generally, roots are used in ayurvedic medicines for aphrodisiac and rejuvenative purposes. Other parts of Ashwagandha including leaves, seeds and flowers also possess therapeutic properties.
Roots of Ashwagandha are highly valued for its medicinal properties. It is used as a narcotic, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, anthelmintic (expels parasites out of the body) and a stimulant. It is also used for the treatment and management of Leukoderma (a skin disorder), nervous breakdown, constipation and goiter. A paste made from Ashwagandha roots can be applied for the treatment of painful swellings and ulcers.
Ashwagandha leaves possess medicinal properties. These are recommended in painful swellings and fever.
Seeds & flowers
Ashwagandha seeds are anthelmintic (expels parasites out of the body), whereas its flowers are diuretic and aphrodisiac. (1)
Phytochemistry (Active Constituents)
Various health-promoting compounds are present in different parts of Ashwagandha plants. Roots of Ashwagandha contain volatile oils, amino acids, alkaloids and starch. Ashwagandha leaves and fruits are loaded with flavonoids and tannins. These flavonoids act as antioxidants and neutralize the free radicals. They help to fight against oxidative stress and reduce the level of inflammation. Different kinds of amino acids present in different parts of Ashwagandha include:
GLUTAMIC ACID (2)
Nutrients in Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is loaded with different minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Good amount of manganese, iron, zinc and copper are present in Ashwagandha that is grown and cultivated in different regions. It is believed that a dry climatic condition contributes to maximum values of nutrition in Ashwagandha plant. Thus, it can be said that habitat and geographical features influence the nutritional composition of Ashwagandha. (3)
Uterine tonic (beneficial in uterine disorders, endometriosis and uterine pain and provides strength to uterus)
Taste – RASATIKTA (Bitter), KATU (Pungent) & MADHURA (Sweet)
Main Quality – GUNALAGHU (Light) & SNIGADH or SNEHA (Unctuous or Oily)
Potency – VIRYAUSHNA (Hot)
Resultant – VIPAKAMADHURA (Sweet)
Therapeutic Effect – PRABHAVARejuvenation & Tonic
Dhatu (Tissue) EffectAll – RASA, RAKTA, MAMSA, MEDAS, ASTHI, MAJJA & SHUKRA
Beneficial for OrgansAll organ especially brain, heart, muscles, bones, joints, uterus, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, adrenal gland
Impact on MindCalm the mind
Therapeutic Indication of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has powerful healing properties, so it is widely prescribed in ayurveda by ayurvedic doctors. It is used as general health tonic, energy booster, debility after disease and for increasing vigor and strength. The detailed indications of Ashwagandha are as follows:
Drug addiction treatment & rehabilitation (as a supportive therapy)
Sadness and drowsiness
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
Manic depressive psychosis
Generalized anxiety disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Social anxiety disorder
Sleeplessness or insomnia
Schizophrenia (as a supportive therapy only)
Parkinson’s disease (as a supportive therapy along with Kaunch beej/mucuna prunus)
Atrophy of the brain
Nystagmus (eyeball involuntary movement) along with rajat bhasma
Learning disabilities in children
Muscle, Joint & Bone Disorders
Ashwagandha decreases joint inflammation and swelling. It is also reported be beneficial in decreased bone density along with arjuna and hadjod herbs.
Sciatica (sciatic nerve pain)
Osteoporosis or decreased bone density
Loss of libido
Frequency and recurrent miscarriages
Underdeveloped female organs
Loss of libido
Female infertility of unknown origin
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) Benefits & Uses
Since 6000 years, Ashwagandha has been used as a traditional medicine in India. Ashwagandha holds the most prominent place among all the Ayurvedic ‘Rasayana’ herbs. Ashwagandha powder (churna) is usually consumed by mixing it with ghee, milk, water or honey. Various studies have showed that Ashwagandha has beneficial effect on different systems of the body. It promotes a healthy reproductive balance and improves the function of overall reproductive system. It also improves memory and cognition by enhancing the function of the nervous system and brain. Ashwagandha boosts the immunity by improving the body’s defense against various diseases. Besides this, it also plays an important role in the management of various diseases and disorders such as diabetes mellitus, liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancer, gastric ulcers and arthritis.
Ashwagandha Use as Tonic
Ashwagandha (in form of Churna or powder) is beneficial in lower dosage (500 mg) for preventing diseases by boosting immune system functions. It enhances non-specific immunity. It alleviates stress, increases physical stamina, and improves overall health.
For tonic and Alterative purposes, 500 mg of Ashwagandha power (churna) should be taken with milk throughout the life. In India and Sri Lanka, ancient Vaidya (ayurvedic doctors) were using this remedy in their families since 3000 years.
Ashwagandha is a reputed health tonic that is used in the treatment and management of heart diseases. Oxidative stress and increased load of free radicals increases the pressure and burden on the heart. This compromises the functioning of the heart and affects its structure too. Ashwagandha is considered a heart-protective antioxidant that scavenges free radicals and reduces oxidative stress. It further inhibits lipid peroxidation (degradation of lipids). Such a property of ashwagandha is comparable to that of vitamin E. A study found that treatment with ashwagandha improved overall heart health in patients with heart diseases by increasing the heart rate, contractility and relaxation.
Furthermore, ashwagandha has energy boosting properties that provides energy to the heart and improves the overall functioning. It also protects the heart by inhibiting the markers of inflammation that may otherwise cause damage to the heart by increasing inflammation. Besides this, the structure of ashwagandha is similar to that of DIGOXIN, a drug used in the treatment of heart.
Stress is another major factor that causes heart diseases. Research has found that ashwagandha alleviates stress-induced changes and reduces the overall stress levels. Such an anti-stressor effect of ashwagandha improves the overall health of heart, increases its weight and increases duration of contractility. (4, 5)
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
A very interesting research published in 2012 evaluated the effect of ashwagandha root powder on hypertensive individuals. These individuals were treated with 2 grams of ashwagandha root powder along with water or milk. It was reported that ashwagandha root powder with milk had a greater protective effect on high blood pressure as compared to when given with water. A drop in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels was observed. A positive link is found between stress and high blood pressure. Ashwagandha reduces high blood pressure levels by inducing a calming effect and by reducing the stress levels. Therefore, ashwagandha can be used in the treatment of hypertension as an adjunct with conventional agents or as a natural alternative. (6)
In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is commonly used for high blood pressure in following combination:
Ashwagandha powder2000 mg *
Arjuna Churna1000 mg *
Mukta Pishti125 mg *
Abhrak Bhasma60 mg *
* Twice daily with Milk
+ In pre-hypertension & mild hypertension, Sarpagandha powder is not required. This Ashwagandha combination is highly effective in moderate hypertension. In severe hypertension or stage 4 hypertension, Sarpagandha powder dosage should be increased to 250 mg twice daily in this combination.
Stress, Anxiety & Depression
Ashwagandha has gained recognition recently as anti-anxiety and anti-stress agent. It is an adaptogenic herb, which raises the ability of the body to resist the damaging effect of stress on the body. Thus, it restores normal physiological functioning. It also helps in reducing the level of stress hormones. Ashwagandha further improves the overall quality of life.
Various studies have shown positive results for stress reducing activity of ashwagandha. A human trial with 64 healthy subjects observed the effect of ashwagandha on stress, anxiety and depression. Out of 64, 32 subjects were treated with ashwagandha for 60 days. At the end of treatment, it was found that the level of stress hormone ‘cortisol’ had reduced significantly in the group treated with ashwagandha. A significant reduction in different measures of stress such as anxiety, depression and insomnia was observed. Furthermore, no harmful or toxic effects were found after consumption of ashwagandha for 60 days. Thus, ashwagandha root extract has the ability to improve the well-being of a person. (7)
The following Ashwagandha combination is highly for mental stress, anxiety disorders and depression.
Ashwagandha powder1000 mg *
Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri) powder1000 mg *
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)1000 mg *
Jatamansi (Spikenard) – Nardostachys Jatamansi500 mg *
* Twice daily with water
Milk is also a good adjuvant if patient also experience severe mental fatigue. In such case, Ashwagandha dosage should be increased to 2000 mg twice daily.
A rat study published in 2012 found that ashwagandha root extract play a beneficial role in reversing Alzheimer’s disease. It was observed that ashwagandha contains health-promoting compounds that promote cognition, and increase memory. It also promotes growth of brain cells, improves brain health and reverses behavioral deficits. Alkaloids present in ashwagandha increase the clearance of toxic amyloid (protein fragments that get deposited in the brain and affect cognition) and prevent further damage. Thus, ashwagandha root is an amazing food for brain that improves cognition, memory, concentration level and overall quality of life. (8)
It has been found that ashwagandha plays an important role in strengthening the muscles. Ashwagandha capsules when given to subjects for 30 days resulted in increase in muscle mass activity and increased muscle force in upper extremity, lower extremity and trunk region. Improvement was also observed in hand grip strength. A reduction in body fat percentage and increase in muscle mass was observed. This clearly indicates that ashwagandha promotes muscle activity and strength. The exercise intensity and tolerance also improved. Thus, aged people who have less muscle strength can use ashwagandha. (9)
Arthritis is a painful, inflammatory condition of the joints. Research has found that ashwagandha plays an anti-arthritic role by reducing the inflammation. Furthermore, it reduces the pro-inflammatory markers of inflammation and increases the anti-inflammatory markers. It also improves the overall antioxidant status and prevents the production of reactive oxygen species. Treatment with ashwagandha reduces the level of inflammation that further improves signs and symptoms of arthritis such as swelling, redness, tenderness and improves the overall flexibility of joints. (10, 11)
The following Ashwagandha combinations are used in ayurveda as per different types of Arthritis.
Ashwagandha powder2 grams *
Gokshura (Tribulus Terrestris)1 gram *
Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus)250 mg *
Trikatu300 mg *
* Twice Daily with Milk in Thin People and with water in Obese People
Ashwagandha powder2 grams *
Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa)1 gram *
Giloy – Tinospora Cordifolia1 gram *
Nagarmotha (Cyperus Rotundus)500 mg *
Trikatu300 mg *
* Twice Daily with warm water
Ayurvedic doctors use Ashwagandha powder for improving bone strength in osteoporosis. A study also proved that Ashwagandha improves bone calcification. Withanolides in Ashwagandha have potential anti-osteoporotic activity. (12)
The following Ashwagandha combination is beneficial in osteoporosis:
Ashwagandha powder2 grams *
* Twice Daily with Milk
In osteoporosis, you may also require other calcium supplements. In ayurveda, good natural calcium compounds are Godanti Bhasma (Calcined gypsum processed with herbs), Praval Pishti (coral calcium), Mukta Pishti (pearl calcium) and Mukta Shukti Pishti (pearl shell calcium). You can use some of these natural calcium supplements to increase bone mineral density.
Research has found that ashwagandha roots and leaves play a very important role in lowering high blood glucose levels. Thus, it is considered very beneficial for the management of diabetes mellitus type-2. Ashwagandha works by replenishing the glycogen stores in the liver and it suppresses the release of the excess glucose in the blood thus, it helps to control blood sugar levels.
Scientific studies have shown that free radicals and oxidative stress causes damage and death of beta cells, main producers of insulin. Such damage reduces the production of insulin that further increases the blood glucose levels. In individuals with diabetes mellitus, the ability of insulin to stimulate glucose uptake reduces. It was found that treatment with ashwagandha improved insulin sensitivity and reduced insulin resistance. This further enhanced the uptake of glucose by cells and liver and thus reduced the amount of glucose that enters the blood. The result was restoration of delayed insulin response and improved glucose tolerance. (13, 14)
A very interesting research has found that ashwagandha extract works by inhibiting human cancer cell lines of lung, breast and colon. Such anti-cancer property of ashwagandha was similar to that of cancer chemotherapy drug ‘DOXORUBICIN’. In fact, it was further found that ‘WITHAFERIN A’, a compound present in ashwagandha was more effective in inhibiting colon and breast cancer’s cell growth as compared to DOXORUBICIN. It also possess tumor preventing activity and immuno-stimulant properties.
In addition to this, ashwagandha prevents the growth, multiplication and spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Furthermore, it also offers protection against reactive oxygen species that play a causative role in the development of cancer. Ashwagandha has strong antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties. It neutralizes the free radicals and protects the body against oxidative stress.
Ashwagandha leaves also possess anti-cancer activity and it works by controlling the population of cancer cells in the body. Different health promoting compounds have been extracted from ashwagandha leaves that control the spread of cancer to other organs. Its leaves have found to be very effective in the treatment of breast cancer. Therefore, the mechanisms through which, ashwagandha helps in the prevention and treatment of cancer include – immunomodulator, antioxidant, anti-stressor, anabolic effect, reducing fatigue levels and improving the overall resistance of the body. (15, 16)
Excess alcohol intake or certain toxic drugs may cause damage to the liver and may interfere with its normal functioning. Toxic drugs cause generation of reactive oxygen species that cause damage to the liver cells. If not treated, it may further lead to liver necrosis (death of tissue). In such a condition, the levels of liver marker enzymes increase in the blood. Research has found that ashwagandha root extracts are cheap, easily available and relatively safe for the treatment of liver diseases. It prevents liver damage by restoring the normal structure of liver cells and by reducing the blood level of liver enzymes. Such a drop is a clear indicator that ashwagandha reduces the damage caused to the liver.
Production of toxins and free radical are the key players in liver damage. With an increase in the generation of reactive oxygen species, the amount of antioxidant enzymes decreases. Treatment with ashwagandha improved the antioxidant status by increasing the antioxidant enzymes such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, and reduced glutathione. Such strong antioxidant properties indicate that ashwagandha plays an important role in preventing the liver against the harmful effects. (17, 18, 19)
The main cause of ulcer is H. pylori infection or an imbalance between causative and protective factors. Drugs such as aspirin, excess alcohol intake and smoking increase the production of gastric acid and lead to the formation of gastric ulcers.
Research had found that ashwagandha roots in case of alcohol-induced ulcers reduced the number of ulcers, further incidence of ulcers and increased the factors that inhibit the formation of gastric ulcers. Furthermore, the effects of ashwagandha roots were similar to that of standard drugs used in the treatment of gastric ulcers. Such anti-ulcerogenic property of ashwagandha is attributed to the presence of flavonoids and antioxidants in it. Oxidative stress and excess of free radicals play a causative role in the development of gastric ulcers. NSAIDs, alcohol and smoking increase the burden of free radicals that cause damage to the inner lining of the stomach. Ashwagandha, a source of antioxidant works by scavenging the free radicals. Thus, the gastro-protective role is due to the presence of antioxidants and flavonoids in ashwagandha roots. (20)
Research has found that ashwagandha root as well as leaf extract possess anti-bacterial properties against Salmonella Typhimurium. Treatment with ashwagandha reduced the bacterial load in different vital organs and increased the survival rate of subjects with such infection. Different parts of ashwagandha such as roots, stems, fruits and leaves possess strong anti-microbial property. This property was attributed to the presence of flavonoids in free and bound form in different parts of ashwagandha.
It was further noted that ashwagandha had antimicrobial activity against 3 gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus mirabilis. It also protects against 3 fungi namely Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus and Candida albicans. Flavonoid extract from ashwagandha root had the best activity against C. albicans.
Another study reported that ashwagandha leaves possess strong anti-bacterial activities and they are rich in anthocyanins too. Anthocyanins are a class of flavonoids that fight oxidative stress, scavenge free radicals and protect against the harmful action of bacteria. It was observed that phenolics, anthocyanins and ascorbic acid content of ashwagandha interfere with the action of pathogen and destroys it. It also inhibits the growth and multiplication of S. typhi that causes diseases such as food borne illnesses and typhoid. Due to such anti-microbial properties of ashwagandha, it has been used since ages for the treatment of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders. Thus, it can be said that ashwagandha can be exploited further for its use in anti-microbial drugs in future. (21, 22)
Ashwagandha has strengthening action, so it helps reducing physical weakness and treating general debility after chronic disease. The following Ashwagandha combination is very effective treating physical weakness and improving physical stamina.
Ashwagandha Churna2 grams *
Trikatu125 mg *
* Twice Daily with Milk
The common cause of male infertility is oligospermia. Withania Somnifera along with other herbs improves the total count and quality of spermatozoa. The following combination ashwagandha churna helps in male infertility.
Ashwagandha Churna2 grams *
Vidarikand – Pueraria Tuberosa1000 mg *
Shatavari (asparagus)500 mg *
Trikatu125 mg *
* Twice Daily with Milk
In traditional medicines, ashwagandha is used in female infertility with unknown reason. In such case, ayurvedic doctors consider to maintain the optimum health of uterus, ovaries and all reproductive organs in females. Ashwagandha plays a role to provide strength and to maintain optimum health of these organs.
For this purpose, ashwagandha is taken after menstruation when the bed of endometrium starts proliferating (that means from the 5th day of menstrual cycle) for enhancing its support to appropriate Kapha build-up in the uterus, stimulating proper maturation of egg cells into follicles and for strengthening the uterus and other reproductive organs. During this phase, ashwagandha should be taken with milk.
How to Use Ashwagandha for Female Infertility
Take 10 grams of ashwagandha powder.
Boil it in milk, and add sugar (Misri) to ashwagandha milk.
The mixture should not be filtered to discard ashwagandha.
This mixture should be taken in the morning on empty stomach. It should be used after the cessation of menstrual period up to 15 days.
Alternatively, 2 grams ashwagandha powder can be taken twice daily with milk. You can also take Withania Somnifera extract capsule (500 mg ashwagandha extract) with milk twice a day.
Read More: Ashwagandha Use in Female Infertility and Recurrent Miscarriages
Ashwagandha Churna is used in menstrual disorders occurring due to Vata aggravation.
Can I take ashwagandha during period?
Yes, Ashwagandha Churna or powder tablets can be taken during menstruation (periods). It is more beneficial for menstrual disorders caused by Vata Aggravation. If you have following symptoms, then it will be beneficial:
If menstrual blood is frothy, dark in color and menstruation occurs with light flow
Vata types Pain (Prickling, spasmodic or sharp pain) in the lower abdomen
Backache with similar characters of Vata type pains or with stiffness
Fatigue or exhaustion
When should I not take ashwagandha during period?
If you have no such symptoms of Vata aggravation, and have any of following symptoms of Pitta aggravation, then you should avoid taking it during periods.
Pain with Burning sensation
Feeling irritability and anger
Menstruation occurring with heavy flow, fleshy or foul smelling
Feeling warmness in the whole body
Nausea or vomiting with Pitta aggravation
Tenderness in breasts
Increase body temperature
Note: However, the low dosage of Ashwagandha (less than 1 gram per day) can still be taken in Pitta cases to manage anxiety and stress. It is considerably safe in such cases because its low dosage has little effects on the Pitta due to minimum hotness in its intrinsic nature. The effects of its hot potency can also be minimized taking it with milk. But it is advised not to use it alone in Pitta cases.
Nutritional Deficiencies & Debility in Children
Marasmus and Kwashiorkor occur in children due to energy, carbohydrates and protein deficiency. However, altering diet and providing sufficient diet to the children during these diseases is a crucial part of the treatment. Along with dietary management, in holistic medicine, ashwagandha is used.
Sometimes, child becomes weak after prolonged sickness and if he is continuing suffering from some chronic ailments. In both cases, the following method should be adopted.
How to use ashwagandha in children – Recipe
Take half glass of water and half glass of milk.
Mix water and milk and put the pan with mixture on burner.
Take 1 gram of ashwagandha powder and add it in the mixture.
Boil it until it reduced to half i.e. alone milk remains and water gets evaporated.
Cool it down and add sugar in this ashwagandha tea.
Give this mixture to child once in a day.
This ashwagandha recipe helps a lot in quick recovery from debility, nutritional deficiencies and chronic diseases of children.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) dosage varies from 250 mg to 6 grams as per health condition and age group. Its maximum dosage is 12 grams per day.
Ashwagandha Churna (Powder) Dosage
The reference dosage of Ashwagandha Churna (powder) is as follows.
Infants (Up To 1 year)250 mg *
Children (1 to 3)500 mg *
Children (4 to 10)750 mg *
Children (Above 10)1000 mg *
Adults3000 mg *
Pregnancy2000 mg *
Geriatric (Old age)2000 mg *
Maximum Possible Dosage12 grams per day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with Milk
When to Take: Any Time, better is – 60 minutes Before Meal or 2 hours after meal.
Ashwagandha Extract Dosage
The reference dosage of Ashwagandha Extract is as follows.
Infants (Up To 1 year)25 mg *
Children (1 to 3)50 mg *
Children (4 to 10)75 mg *
Children (Above 10)100 mg *
Adults300 mg *
Pregnancy200 mg *
Geriatric (Old age)200 mg *
Maximum Possible Dosage1200 mg per day (in divided doses)
* Twice a day with Milk
When to Take: Any Time, better is – 60 minutes Before Meal or 2 hours after meal.
A study conducted in 2012 to evaluate the safety levels of ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera). 18 young and healthy subjects were given ashwagandha capsules for 30 days and its dosage increased every 10 days (750 milligrams, 1000 milligrams and 1250 milligrams). The results showed that no symptoms or abnormality was detected at the end of 30 days. In addition to this, no clinically significant change was found in blood pressure, temperature and pulse. No changes were noted in hematological parameters, liver function test and blood glucose test. All parameters were within normal range at the end of this trial.
Thus, it can be said that ashwagandha capsules are safe to use and had no ill effects on overall health. Up to 4 grams of ashwagandha is considered safe and non-toxic for humans.
Ashwagandha Side Effects
However, Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is considerably safe for most people, but the rare and mild side effects of Ashwagandha may appear in some individual. These side effects generally occur when Ashwagandha is taken in larger doses (i.e. above 10 grams per day). Large doses of Ashwagandha can result in following side effects.
Male Breast or Gynecomastia – very rare, but it may occur when Ashwagandha powder is used in larger dosage (more than 10 grams per day) for several months (more than 6 months).
Withania Somnifera in natural form (Ashwagandha Churna or powder or decoction) is safer than ashwagandha extract derived through modern methods. However, water extract prepared through traditional methods by boiling water with Ashwagandha powder is also likely safer.
Ashwagandha in Pregnancy
(Is Ashwagandha safe during pregnancy?)
The safety of various herbs has been questioned during pregnancy. A very recent study published in 2015 has observed that ashwagandha extract causes no damage to the mother and developing fetus when consumed during pregnancy. No evidence of fetal toxicity and maternal toxicity was observed in rats who had consumed up to 2000 milligrams of Withania Somnifera extract. No pathological changes, body weight changes, behavioral changes, and skeletal and soft tissue malformations were observed. Thus, it can be said that ashwagandha is safe to consume during pregnancy. However, human trials are required to evaluate the effect of ashwagandha on humans. (23)