Ashwagandha May Improve Brain Function, Including Memory
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that ashwagandha may reduce memory and brain function problems caused by injury or disease (29, 30, 31, 32). Researchers have shown that it promotes antioxidant activity that protects nerve cells from harmful free radicals. In one study, epileptic rats treated with ashwagandha had nearly a complete reversal of spatial memory impairment. This was likely caused by a reduction in oxidative stress (32).
Although ashwagandha has traditionally been used to boost memory in Ayurvedic practice, at this point there is only a small amount of human research in this area.
In a controlled study, researchers who gave healthy men 500 mg of the herb daily reported significant improvements in their reaction time and task performance, compared to men who received a placebo (33).
Bottom Line: Ashwagandha supplements may improve brain function, memory, reaction times and the ability to perform tasks.
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PUBLISHED CLINICAL STUDIES ON KSM-66 ASHWAGANDHA FOR MEMORY AND COGNITION
Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive FunctionsChoudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017). Journal of Dietary Supplements, 1-14. Chicago
Results: After eight weeks of study, the ashwagandha treatment group demonstrated significant improvements compared with the placebo group in both immediate and general memory. As evidenced by Wechsler Memory Scale III subtest scores for logical memory I (p = 0.007), verbal paired associates I (p = 0.042), faces I (p = 0.020), family pictures I (p = 0.006), logical memory II (p = 0.006), verbal paired associates II (p = 0.031), faces II (p = 0.014), and family pictures II (p = 0.006). The treatment group also demonstrated significantly greater improvement in executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed as indicated by scores on the Eriksen Flanker task (p = 0.002), Wisconsin Card Sort test (p = 0.014), Trail-Making test part A (p = 0.006), and the Mackworth Clock test (p = 0.009).
Conclusion: Ashwagandha may be effective in enhancing both immediate and general memory in people with MCI as well as improving executive function, attention, and information processing speed.
PUBLISHED CLINICAL STUDIES ON KSM-66 ASHWAGANDHA FOR ANTI-AGING
Withania somnifera root extract extends lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans Kumar, R., Gupta, K., Saharia, K., Pradhan, D., & Subramaniam, J. R. (2013). Annals of neurosciences, 20(1), 13.
Results: Strangely, while there was no effect on the wild type worms, the mutant for the human nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, nAchR, α7 equivalent, acr-16, showed around ~20% lifespan extension when treated with PI-RE.
Conclusion: Ashwagandha extends the lifespan of C. elegans.