Ashwagandha | Adaptogenic Herb
Ashwagandha has been classified as an "adaptogenic"; because it supports so many different body functions, it is said to 'adapt' to the needs of the body. It is believed to support the adrenal gland as it relates to the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone. Ashwagandha increases energy production within the mitochondria and the production of ATP.
Ashwagandha has been described as a 'nervine' tonic, meaning that it helps supports the healthy function of the central nervous system. It also contains the compounds Withaferin-A Sitoindosides and acylsterylglucosides which help support body functions when the body is exposed to stress. For athletes, this may result in increased endurance. Ashwagandha was shown to increase swimming performance in rats as judged by increase in swimming time during physical endurance tests. In Ashwagandha treated animals, the swimming time was approximately doubled.
Ashwagandha and Opiate Withdrawal
Treatment with opiates (such as certain painkillers) may result in withdrawal symptoms at the end of treatment. Ashwgandha has been used to ease the severe response of withdrawal from opiate drugs. A clinical study found that "Taken long-term, it can help prevent the loss of dopaminergic density in the nucleus procumbens, which usually happens with opiate withdrawal."