Ashwagandha, also known as Withania Somnifera, is an exceptional Indian botanic used as a tonic in traditional Ayurveda for over 5,000 years.
Many years ago on a visit to Sri Lanka, Wild Nutrition’s founder and formulator Henrietta Norton was introduced to the herb Ashwagandha. She was so impressed by its ability to support mental wellbeing that Henrietta set about researching the finest Ashwagandha she could find. That extract is KSM-66®, the highest concentration, full spectrum root extract and the most clinically studied Ashwagandha on the market.
What is Ashwagandha?
First, let’s understand a little more about what Ashwagandha actually is. Growing extensively in India, the Middle East and Africa, Ashwagandha is a small, woody evergreen shrub with tube-like roots which are harvested, dried and ground into a powder.
Ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties, meaning it can support the body’s resilience to stress. A growing body of clinical research, coupled with Henrietta’s own personal experience in clinical practice, means Henrietta frequently refers to Ashwagandha as her adaptogen of choice.
What is KSM-66 Ashwagandha?
One of the only Ashwagandha extracts which exclusively uses the root, rather than root and leaf. Organically grown and sustainably harvested in southern India, the herb is handpicked by the local village community whose children attend the local primary school which, like the local healthcare centre, is funded by KSM-66.
14 years in R&D, the KSM-66 extraction process is based entirely on green principles, using no chemical solvents or alcohol. With reverence to the integrity of the herb, the extraction process retains a high quality, full spectrum of balanced actives as in the original herb, without over-representing any one constituent.
Does Ashwagandha help emotional balance?
Ashwagandha reportedly helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which, in turn, supports emotional balance and resilience against the demands of everyday life. In a scientific study of KSM-66 Ashwagandha, adults taking the supplement for eight weeks showed an average reduction in serum cortisol levels of 27.9% and scored 71.9% lower on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) and 44% lower on the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).
Does Ashwagandha help relaxation?
In the juggling act of our always-on lives, it’s easy to sometimes feel overwhelmed. And when we’re overstimulated, it can be difficult to wind down and relax.
A prospective, randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of Ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Analysis on the plant chemistry of Ashwagandha shows it is able to support GABA (gaba aminobutyric acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to create a relaxed state. A 2015 study found that Ashwagandha’s adaptogenic qualities may have an important role in supporting GABA and treating neurological (brain) challenges too.
Will Ashwagandha give me energy?
Ashwagandha is known to invigorate the body, supporting demanding physical activity and helping you feel more energetic. As such, it’s recommended if you have a physically active job or hobby. A growing number of scientific studies suggest that Ashwagandha can improve energy levels, corroborated by trials in athletic and sporting communities. An eight-week trial of elite cyclists found their cardiorespiratory endurance was significantly improved
Ashwagandha and mental function
Among its many benefits, Ashwagandha supports mental wellbeing and psychological function. Notably it’s been shown to support memory, learning and recall. In her blog post My Passion For Ashwagandha, Henrietta Norton recounts how meeting an Ayurvedic doctor in Sri Lanka led her to discover Ashwagandha.