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Adventures with ashwagandha

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by PeterPositive, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    I've started taking Ashwagandha at the end of 2014 with noticeable effects in reduction of anxiety and improved energy.

    At the time I was using Seeking Health's 300mgs capsules, 3% whitanolides extract and I kept going for almost 3 months, then I ran out of it and took a pause to avoid overdoing it.

    Fast forward to this year, I was going to try Ashwagandha again since I was dealing with lots of fatigue and inability to deal with many simple physical tasks. I ordered again the same brand but noticed they had changed the formula, this time 4.5% extract in 450mg capsules.

    I thought "maybe this time I will get a stronger effect". It turns out I didn't and I realized there are many different formulations out there some of which provide very different effects and some probably don't even work.

    The new SeekingHealth product did nothing for me in terms of energy boost (or anxiety reduction) but it regularly gave me a mild stomach ache. I was puzzled, so I started reading a bit and it turns out that some Ashwagandha extracts work better for boosting energy while others tend to be more relaxing. In other words you may be buying a product labeled "Ashwagandha" and not know exactly which effect to expect, if any.

    Why is that? Apparently it depends on the type of extract (root vs root + leaves) and in particular the concentrations of individual whitanolides (the active ingredients of the plant) which are numerous and with different functions. If you're a chemistry nerd you can take a look here:
    http://examine.com/supplements/Ashwagandha/
    under "Composition", there's a whole lot of components.

    I recently tried Jarrow's Ashwagandha which uses a patented extract called KSM-66 which did the trick for me, boosting my low energy to a less horrible level. Unfortunately this extract does not affect anxiety nor it can be used before going to bed to help sleep (as I used to do with the previous product).

    There's another patented extract called Sensoril, which seems more fine tuned towards relaxation and anxiety reduction, but I've never tried it. Seems a bit more difficult to find too, at least in my area.

    What is your experience with Ashwagandha? What brand and dosage are you using?
    Has anyone tried the Sensoril extract? If so did it help?

    Cheers

    PS: if you have tried it and didn't get any effect, chances are you've tried an inefficacious product such as the Seeking Health extract. (I used to like their products because they don't add a ton of fillers, but this time they let me down.) I'd recommend giving a try to Jarrow's product. You should feel the effects pretty rapidly. For me it makes a signicant difference at 600-900 mgs/day.
     
    zzz, actup, Jennifer J and 4 others like this.
  2. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Ashwaghanda has serotinergic effects, and should be avoided in anyone with hypersensitivity to serotonin or serotonin precursors. Induced something akin to serotonin syndrome in me, admittedly when I was at my most sensitive.

    I experienced identical symptoms from 5-HTP, so buyer beware. ;)

    -J
     
    zzz, actup, ahmo and 2 others like this.
  3. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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  4. cman89

    cman89 Senior Member

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    Crap, I think I may have created something akin to that in myself through a few of these recent days....
     
  5. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Weird. 5-HTP does nothing for me and sometimes makes things worse, while I get significant benefits from Ashwagandha.
     
    Chocolove likes this.
  6. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Herbs are complex; you may be responding to something totally different. As I recall, Ashwagandha was considered the all-purpose adrenal-imbalance herb, very gentle, safe, and versatile. Which is part of why I felt so betrayed when my body went haywire in response! ;)
     
    Theodore, actup and PeterPositive like this.
  7. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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  8. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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  9. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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    @JaimeS It would indeed be nice if they had inline cites. At least they have an attribution section with auto links to abstracts for further perusal at the end of the article.
     
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  10. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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    Little Bluestem likes this.
  11. Avocado

    Avocado

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    I used Ashwagandha right before I got really sick. It kept be going for 1-2 days until I crashed really badly. Now I dont notice anything
     
  12. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I don't think it does. It enhances ACh and GABA. Never read anything about 5-HT.
     
  13. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    @adreno -- It's a downstream effect:

    From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19444606

    -J
     
  14. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Ok. Almost every substance will have some sort of effect on neurotransmitters, without it necessarily being a problem. I've taking it together with an SSRI with no ill effects.

    Interesting that it inhibits nNOS though.
     
  15. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    I agree with you that downstream effects are immeasurable, and I wouldn't want to go down that particular rabbit-hole for every substance, drug, or supplement. However, the effect seems to have been profound in my case, and identical to the one I experienced from 5-HTP so in this particular case it's meaningful to me.

    To extrapolate a little further, though, I actually wonder if what I was experiencing was not directly related to serotonin levels, but indirectly related to immune function. What I experienced could go along with serotonin syndrome, but also could have been a cytokine storm. So, not linked to increased serotonin per se, but linked to alterations in immune function.

    There were honestly too many variables in my acute phase to be able to say. I did have Bell's-palsy-like symptoms following, with the right side of my face slumping for ages.

    Hate even thinking about those times. My heart is with everyone who is still there.
     
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  16. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    From examine.com:
    I could use some nNOS suppression.
     
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  17. cman89

    cman89 Senior Member

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    What I did read the other day was Ashwaganda can possibly be implicated at times with serotonin syndrome like symptoms. I think I did that with a combo of Ashwaganda, St Johns Wort, and Dextromethorphan
     
    JaimeS likes this.
  18. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    That could definitely be the fault of the St J's! Last I read (awhile back) it worked through a mechanism much like an SSRI's.
     
  19. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I suppose it's possible. Serotonin syndrome is normally mediated through 5-HT2A. You can use cyproheptadine to counteract it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  20. Chocolove

    Chocolove Tournament of the Phoenix - Rise Again

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    HerbMed has an up-to-date listing of hyperlinked PubMed research and other info on Ashwagandha here:
    http://www.herbmed.org/index.html#param.wapp?sw_page=viewHerb?herbID=136&sw_anchor=sw_anchor_categoryID_5

    Ixoreal Biomed three-year commitment (announced in late 2013) helps the American Botanical Council (ABC) keep its HerbMedPro™ database up-to-date with the latest scientific and clinical research on ashwagandha. HerbMedPro is an interactive and comprehensive database available on ABC’s website that provides access to important scientific and clinical research data underlying the use of nearly 250 herbs and their effects on human health. HerbMedPro is available to ABC members at the Academic level and higher; its "sister" site HerbMed®, however, is free and available to the general public.

    "About Ixoreal Biomed

    Ixoreal Biomed is an herbal extracts and pharmaceuticals company based in Los Angeles, CA, and Hyderabad, India. Ixoreal is focused solely on producing a high-quality extract of ashwagandha called KSM-66®. Ixoreal has developed a proprietary process that integrates modern scientific technologies with traditional Ayurvedic concepts to produce a highly concentrated full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract.

    Ixoreal has invested heavily in basic research and development and in building a modern scientific repository of efficacy data on ashwagandha. To this end, Ixoreal has conducted seven human clinical trials and two animal studies on the effectiveness of ashwagandha in several important functional areas. Ixoreal describes itself as the only ashwagandha manufacturer in the world that is entirely vertically integrated with its own farms, production facilities, testing laboratories, research center, and distribution division. More information is available at www.ixoreal.com."
    http://cms.herbalgram.org/press/201...90&signature=dd12e5d9d391d4d8cdac9a835c2b9632

    "KSM-66 is an ashwagandha extract made by Ixoreal Biomed, created via a process that took 14 years of R&D to develop and refine. KSM-66 is the highest-concentration extract on the world market today that is drawn using only the roots of the ashwagandha plant. It is produced using the first-of-its-kind extraction process, based on “Green-Chemistry” principles, without using alcohol or any other chemical solvents."
    http://ksm66ashwagandhaa.com/

    An herb to watch: Ashwagandha science growing consumer ... [​IMG]
    www.nutraingredients-usa.com/.../An-herb-to-watch-Ashwagandha-science-growing-...
    Mar 30, 2016 - The most eye-catching growth is reported by Ixoreal Biomed Inc., which only has one product: KSM-66 Ashwagandha root .... How reductionism vs whole spectrum plays out in the real world .... Natreon Inc. | 18-Jul-2016 | PDF ...

    @PeterPositive In re: Sensoril vs KSM-66
    http://nootropicsdepot.com/articles/ashwagandha-sensoril-vs-ksm66-/
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

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