Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (WS)
) is a small shrub with yellow flowers that is native to India and North Africa. The extract or powder from the plant's roots or leaves are a popular Ayurvedic herb, used for over 3,000 years to aid in relieving stress, increasing energy levels, and improving concentration in humans. Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in both animal and human studies.
The main chemical components of benefit are the plant's high concentration of withanolides, which are triterpene lactones that have been shown to fight inflammation and tumor growth. More than 40 withanolides, approximately 12 alkaloids, and several sitoindosides have been isolated and identified. The plant is also reported to contain high amounts of iron.
Ashwagandha antioxidant effects in the brain, and tranquilizing effects on the central nervous system in animals.
Ashwagandha root is known to provide protection against stress induced gastric ulcers.
Supplementing the diet of laying hens with Ashwagandha root has been shown to decrease the incidence and progression of ovarian cancer.
Oral administration of WS root and Ocimum sanctum
leaf powder prevented cadmium-induced peroxidation of tissues in chickens with cadmuium-induced oxidative toxicity.
Summary of Research Findings
|Root powder||0.25% - 0.50%||<6 weeks/td>||Beneficial in improving average weekly body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, and blood biochemical profile.||V Kale et al., 2016|