Indian ginseng (Ashwagandha), also known as Ashwagandha or Ashwagandha, is a common medicinal plant in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for three thousand years. It is classified as an adaptogen, which means it has the effects of fighting stress, improving physical fitness and metabolism. , Also known as rejuvenation medicine, similar plants include maca, ginseng, acanthopanax and rhodiola.
Ashwagandha has been called the king of Ayurvedic herbs. Limited research suggests that it works well for reducing stress and anxiety. It may also modestly enhance strength performance, improve glucose metabolism, and increase testosterone levels, but more research is needed to confirm this is needed to confirm this.
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine.
For hundreds of years, people have used the roots and orange-red fruit of ashwagandha for medicinal purposes. The herb is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry.
The name “ashwagandha” describes the smell of its root, meaning “like a horse.” By definition, ashwa means horse.
Practitioners use this herb as a general tonic to boost energy and reduce stress and anxiety. Some also claim that the herb may be beneficial for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and anxiety.
Indian ginseng contains a variety of plant active ingredients, including solanolide, saponins, alkaloids and amino acids, etc. The potential pharmacological effects include anti-anxiety, lowering blood pressure, sedation, immune regulation, analgesia, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant effects .
What are the recommended empirical effects (benefits) of Indian ginseng?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a disturbing mental symptom that affects about 1–3% of the population. The average age of onset is about 19.5 years old. It is the top ten disability factors
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is mainly manifested as periodic and intrusive thoughts or repetitive and stereotyped behaviors, which often lead to reduced work efficiency and severely affect concentration and execution
A double-blind controlled study pointed out that (for a period of 6 weeks, 30 obsessive-compulsive patients receiving SSRIs), Indian ginseng combined with drugs can further improve the scores of the obsessive-compulsive disorder scale (Yale-Brown Obsessive -Compulsive Scale), may be an option for complementary therapy. Note 1
The underlying mechanism is related to the enhancement of serotonin synthesis and the regulation of synaptic receptors in Indian ginseng. Note 2
＊Conclusion: Indian ginseng combined with conventional therapies may be able to improve the treatment effect of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but it is limited by the scale of the study and still needs to be confirmed by large studies
Good for male reproductive function
For a healthy partner, the probability of pregnancy in each reproductive cycle is about 25%, and the progressive rate in the first year is about 84%, that is, under normal sexual life and without contraception, 80% of pregnancy Probability
When you cannot get pregnant for more than a year, you need to confirm the possibility of infertility. According to the survey, infertility has a prevalence of about 15%, and male factors account for 40% to 50%. Common causes include abnormal sperm pattern, reproductive system infection, Testicularitis, cryptorchidism, varicocele, etc.
A controlled study (60 days in 95 patients with psychogenic erectile dysfunction) pointed out that compared with placebo, Indian ginseng had no significant improvement effect on psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Note 3
Another double-blind controlled study (3 months for 46 patients with rare sperm disease) pointed out that in addition to improving sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility, Indian ginseng can also increase serum testosterone (serum testosterone) And the concentration of luteinizing hormone may have a positive effect on infertility. Note 4
＊Conclusion: Indian ginseng can help improve sperm quality related parameters, but the effect of improving infertility is still unknown and needs to be confirmed
Improve female sexual dysfunction
Sexual satisfaction is an important part of a healthy partnership. Female sexual dysfunction is often related to psychogenic performance, hormones and neurovascular function. Common symptoms include lack of libido (77%), loss of clitoral sensation (62.5%), vaginal dryness ( 37.5%), vaginal discomfort (41.6%) and orgasm disorder (49%). Note 5
A preliminary double-blind controlled study found (8 weeks, 50 healthy women with sexual dysfunction), Indian ginseng can help improve the scores of two psychometric scales (including orgasm, satisfaction, vaginal wetness, Sexual excitement) and the number of successful sexual contacts. Note 6
The underlying mechanism may be related to reducing patient stress and increasing testosterone (female androgen deficiency is also one of the factors of sexual dysfunction)
＊Conclusion: Indians may have an improvement effect on some female sexual dysfunction, but it is limited by the scale of the study and still needs to be confirmed by large studies
Good for cardiopulmonary function and muscle strength
Insufficient exercise is one of the main causes of illness in modern people, and proper exercise does help prevent many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, depression and osteoporosis
A double-blind controlled study found that compared with placebo, Indian ginseng can increase muscle mass and strength, and reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, or it can be used in combination with 57 men who participated in resistance training. For resistance training programs. Note 8
Another double-blind controlled study pointed out (a 12-week period and 50 male athletes) that Indian ginseng can not only increase the maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max), improve cardiorespiratory endurance, but also improve the quality of life satisfaction (including body Mental health, social relations and environmental factors). Note 7
＊Conclusion: Indian ginseng may help improve athletic performance, but it is limited by the scale of the study and still needs to be further confirmed by large studies
Improve anxiety (anxiety disorder)
Anxiety disorder is mainly defined as excessive worry, disgust and fear of things in the environment. It is estimated that the prevalence rate is about 19.2% for men and 30.5% for women. Common types of anxiety include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, social phobia, and agoraphobia. Syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.
In animal experiments, it was found that Indians participating in the drug had similar anti-anxiety and mood stabilizing effects. Note 9
A systematic review (including 5 human studies) pointed out that compared with placebo, Indian ginseng can significantly improve anxiety and stress scale values. However, some documents are full of potential errors and heterogeneity, so the results are still They have reservations, and need to be further verified by more large-scale experiments. Note 10
Are there any side effects of Indian ginseng (ashwagandha)?
Indian ginseng is generally safe and well tolerated for short-term use in small to medium doses, but the safety of long-term use is still unknown, and large doses may cause side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Safety precautions (taboo)
Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, children, and people with liver and kidney dysfunction should not use it (the relevant safety is unknown)
May have the effect of lowering blood pressure and blood sugar (please pay attention to those taking related blood pressure or hypoglycemic drugs)
Do not use for patients with autoimmune diseases (it may have immune activation effect and make the disease worse, common disease names such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and type 1 diabetes)
May have the effect of enhancing thyroid hormones (please be careful if you suffer from thyroid disease or receive related medications)
Do not use for patients with gastric ulcer (may irritate the gastrointestinal mucosa)
Use two weeks before surgery (may have the effect of slowing down the central nervous system, which will interfere with the effects of anesthesia and drugs)
Do not use in combination with sedatives, sleeping pills or immunosuppressants (may interfere with or enhance the effects of drugs)