What's the Buzz About Ashwagandha?

What is Ashwagandha?

If Ashwagandha isn't on your health radar, you might be missing out on some serious benefits! Scientifically labelled as Withania Somnifera, Ashwagandha goes beyond being a mere herb – it's a healthy source of many benefits. Whether it's handling stress or providing cognitive support, this herbal powerhouse has rightfully claimed its throne as the "King of Ayurvedic Herbs." Referred to as Indian Ginseng and Winter Cherry, its royal title is well-deserved and rooted in its impressive array of benefits.

Withanolides and Absorption: The science behind the magic

Ever wondered what makes Ashwagandha so potent? It's the Withanolides!

The proportion of Withanolides, including Withaferin A, in Ashwagandha can vary depending on factors such as the plant's geographic origin, cultivation methods, and extraction processes. Generally, the total Withanolide content in Ashwagandha root powder can range from about 1.5% to 5% or even higher. It's important to note that Withaferin A is just one specific Withanolide among many, and the overall Withanolide profile contributes to Ashwagandha's adaptogenic and therapeutic properties. To truly appreciate the power of Ashwagandha, it's essential to delve into the intricate science of absorption, unravelling how your body maximises the benefits of this herbal wonder.

Ashwagandha from Root and Leaves

Ashwagandha is derived from both its roots and leaves, each offering distinct benefits.

  1. Roots: Ashwagandha roots are traditionally known for their stress-relieving properties. Rich in bioactive compounds, including Withanolides, the root extract is known to have adaptogenic effects, helping the body manage stress and promote a sense of calm.
  2. Leaves: An advisory from the Drug Policy Section of the Ministry of AYUSH regarding the use of ashwagandha leaves in Ayurvedic formulations, suggests refraining from the use of ashwagandha leaves in certain formulations until extensive studies establish their safety and efficacy. The advisory is based on the fact that traditional texts in Ayurveda primarily mention the use of ashwagandha roots, not leaves. The advisory seems to be cautious, emphasising the need for scientific evidence before incorporating ashwagandha leaves into therapeutic formulations. It mentions that while some over-the-counter formulations with ashwagandha leaves are available, their safety and efficacy have not been thoroughly studied.
    The measure of purity for Ashwagandha is indicated by the percentage of Withanolides in the product. When looking for a high-quality Ashwagandha supplement, it's recommended to choose products that provide information about the standardization of Withanolides. Standardization ensures that the product contains a consistent and specified amount of these bioactive compounds. Commonly, you will find Ashwagandha supplements standardized to contain around 1.5% to 5% or more of Withanolides.

Types of Ashwagandha in the Market

Ashwagandha comes in various forms, and so does its price tag. We'll break down the options available in the market – from budget-friendly varieties to the more premium selections. Because wellness shouldn't break the bank!

  1. Ashwagandha Powder: Raw Ashwagandha powder is often the most economical option. It is made by grinding the dried roots of the Ashwagandha plant into a fine powder. While cost-effective, it may have a more earthy and bitter taste, and the dosage might require careful measurement.
  2. Ashwagandha Capsules/Tablets: Capsules or tablets offer a convenient and measured way to consume Ashwagandha. This form eliminates the need to deal with the strong taste of the raw powder. Many brands provide standardised extracts, ensuring consistent Withanolide content.
  3. Ashwagandha Extracts: Liquid extracts are more concentrated forms of Ashwagandha. These extracts often undergo specific extraction processes to concentrate the beneficial compounds.

    Considerations:

    • When choosing an Ashwagandha product, it's important to consider personal preferences, lifestyle, and health goals.
    • Checking for third-party testing and certifications can ensure the product's quality and authenticity.
    • Consulting with a healthcare professional can provide personalised guidance based on individual health conditions and needs.

Sustained Release: Unveiling the Concept

What is Sustained Release?

Sustained release, also known as extended release or controlled release, refers to a supplement delivery system designed to release its active ingredients gradually over an extended period. This innovative approach contrasts with traditional immediate-release formulations that release their contents rapidly upon ingestion.

Normal Ashwagandha vs. Sustained Release: Spotting the Difference

Normal Ashwagandha

  • Traditional Ashwagandha supplements, whether in powder, capsule, or tablet form, typically release their active compounds quickly upon digestion.
  • This rapid release can lead to a swift surge in bioactive compounds in the bloodstream, providing a quick but potentially short-lived impact.

Sustained Release Ashwagandha:

  • Sustained release formulations are engineered to release Ashwagandha's active constituents gradually over an extended period.
  • This controlled release aims to maintain a steady and sustained level of the herb's bioactive compounds in the bloodstream, offering a more prolonged and consistent impact.

Benefits of Sustained Release Ashwagandha

  1. All-Day Stress Support

    Sustained Release Ashwagandha optimises stress management by steadily releasing its beneficial compounds over the course of the day. This consistent support effectively reduces cortisol levels, thereby enhancing your capacity to cope with stress and fostering mental well-being.
  2. Cognitive Enhancement

    In Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is hailed as Medhya Rasayana, meaning it supports cognition. Studies suggest that Ashwagandha may enhance memory, executive function, attention, and information processing speed. The key to unlocking your mental potential? It might just be Ashwagandha!
  3. Improved Energy and Well-being

    Sustained Release Ashwagandha maintains a constant presence in your system, promoting a calm yet energised state throughout your daily activities. An uplifting side of Ashwagandha is that it's not just an herb, it's a natural mood booster. This magical herb contains phytochemicals that calm the brain, reduce swelling, and lower blood pressure.
  4. Enhanced Sleep Quality

    Studies show that our sustained-release Ashwagandha product significantly improves sleep quality. Imagine waking up refreshed and ready to conquer the day!

The Sustained Release Ashwagandha is a true gift to humankind, offering innumerable health benefits. Our blog has scratched the surface, but there's so much more to explore. By tinkering with the stress response at a molecular level, Ashwagandha keeps you in the powerful phase of resistance, allowing you to tackle stress like a pro. Say hello to better relationships, improved work performance, and an organised life!

Here's to a healthier, happier you!

Reference study and paper:

- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
- https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2021/8254344/
- https://ayushnext.ayush.gov.in/detail/writeUps/ayush-advisory-on-ashwagandha
- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229920319099

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published