Traditionally said to give the user “the strength of a horse”!
Ashwagandha is considered to be an adaptogen; a class of herbs with a long history of use for helping the body adapt to stress. This stress may be a consequence of the body trying to deal with chronic illness, a difficult boss, exams or divorce.
Modern research suggests ashwagandha enhances immune and endocrine function, particularly supporting thyroid function and the adrenal glands. It is thought effective for anxiety, fatigue, “foggy thinking” and for re-regulating sleep when disrupted by stress.
A recent study (Deshpande, et al, 2019) found ashwagandha improved quality of non-restorative sleep – this is commonly associated with medical conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Sharma, et al (2018) conducted a placebo-controlled study which involved trialling effect of ashwagandha on the thyroid function of fifty people, aged 18-50 years, with hypothyroidism (elevated serum thyroid stimulating hormone). They reported significantly improved blood test markers in the group prescribed ashwagandha compared with those in the placebo group (normalising serum thyroid indices during an 8-week period).