The Synergistic Effects of CBD and Ashwagandha
What is Ashwagandha?
The synergistic effects of combining CBD (cannabidiol from hemp) with the ashwagandha herb can enhance the therapeutic potency of both of these natural, plant-derived extracts in a way that makes each more effective than they are when taken individually. Ashwagandha is also known by the botanical name "Withania somnifera". In India, it's essential for use in Rasayana, the practice of rejuvenation of the body and replenishment of proper energy levels. The popular herb is a fundamental healing plant in the naturopathic apothecary of Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient Eastern holistic healing tradition which might properly be regarded as the world's first universal healthcare system.
The ashwagandha root is said to resemble the scent of horse sweat. The Sanskrit word "ashwagandha" translated literally means "smell of the horse". In ancient Ayurvedic tradition, the powerful herb was believed to have the potential to impart the vitality and strength of a stallion. As it turns out the ancients were right on the mark. Today, modern science is confirming the Ayurvedic wisdom of the ages about the many vitalizing pharmacological actions of the revered medicinal herb. A recent modern study discovered that ashwagandha is a potent testosterone booster, and increased sperm count and motility in 75 infertile men who participated, and it enhances sexual health in women just as successfully.
As we'll see, ashwagandha shares many therapeutic characteristics with cannabidiol (CBD) for alleviating symptoms caused by a very wide range of ailments and disorders. In Ayurvedic medicine, it's classified along with holy basil as a vital "adaptogen", that category of vital herbs which help body and mind cope with and adapt to the stressors we all face each day.
Ashwagandha is also known as "Indian Ginseng" due to its similar rejuvenating actions, but the two herbs are unrelated botanically. Ashwagandha is actually a member of the same nightshade family as the tomato. The plant is a shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers bearing red fruit about as large as a raisin. Ashwagandha root is used to improve brain function and alertness, relieve stress and anxiety and reduce pain and swelling. The ashwagandha herb is native to India, the Middle East, and North Africa and today it is being cultivated in mild climates around the world including the US.
Is it safe to take ashwagandha daily?
With a history of 3,000 years as a beneficial nutrient, ashwagandha has proven itself as a safe and effective daily supplement in doses ranging from 250-500 mg per day. Breastfeeding or pregnant women may need to avoid the herb as well as those taking certain prescription medications for autoimmune disorders, so it's always best to consult a physician in these situations. The amount taken each day depends on the individual symptoms to be treated as well as the personal fitness goals of your health regimen. Optimal doses vary depending upon the wide variety of conditions for which ashwagandha is effective including:
- Stress and anxiety
- Blood sugar control
- Immune response
- Testosterone levels
- Female sexual dysfunction
- Muscle development
- Memory enhancement
Therapeutic Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, as an adaptogenic has traditionally been prescribed to alleviate stress and anxiety, and to enhance other physiological processes, very similar to the application of CBD to improve overall homeostasis. Like cannabidiol, ashwagandha shares a broad spectrum of proven therapeutic benefits including:
- Antidepressant- A recent 60-day study of 64 adults with severe depression showed that ashwagandha extract reduced symptoms by 79%.
- Antioxidant- Ashwagandha joins CBD on the list of most powerful antioxidants. This property reduces the free radicals caused by oxidative stress which causes damage to healthy cells. This improves cell-mediated immunity to improve the body's defenses against disease, according to this scholarly overview article about ashwagandha at the US National Library of Medicine.
- Increased male fertility- Ashwagandha has powerful effects on male virility as a potent testosterone booster. Men who participated in a study of 75 showed increased sperm count and improved motility, with increased levels of antioxidants in their blood. 14% of the participants' partners were pregnant after just 3 months of treatment.
- Improved Sexual Health for Both Sexes- An informative article at Integrative Psychiatry details how ashwagandha improves sexual health for women and men alike by enhancing blood flow and reducing tension, balancing testosterone levels, and supporting antioxidant levels for increased energy and performance.
- Anti-cortisol- Cortisol is known as "the stress hormone" and high levels are often found in those experiencing chronic stress. Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands in reaction to stress, and when blood sugar levels get too low. Excessive cortisol can cause increased storage of abdominal fat. Studies show that ashwagandha reduces cortisol, with chronically stressed individuals showing reductions in cortisol levels up to 30%.
- Muscle Development and Reduction of Body Fat- High daily doses of pulverized ashwagandha root, in the 750-1250 mg range, resulted in increases in muscle mass, size, and strength in men who participated after 30 days. It also doubled the percentage of body fat reduction.
- Anti-inflammatory- Several preclinical studies with animals show that ashwagandha decreases inflammation and reduces C-reactive proteins which are linked to heart disease. The invigorating herb also increases the activity of natural killer cells in the immune system which fight infection.
- Anti-cholesterol- One preclinical study with rats showed that ashwagandha reduced total cholesterol and triglycerides by as much as 53%. Cholesterol and triglycerides are blood fats which can cause a host of cardiac and vascular (blood vessel) problems. A clinical study with humans showed a 17% reduction in LDL, the notorious "bad" cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides.
- Neuroprotective Properties- Improved memory and brain function are two important benefits shared by ashwagandha and CBD. An 8-week study of 50 adults taking 300 mg of ashwagandha twice per day showed significant improvement in task performance, memory, and attention span. Reaction time and task performance were also improved in a study of healthy men who took daily 500 mg doses of ashwagandha extract. Withanolides in the herb also exhibit "antiangiogenic " properties which can inhibit Alzheimer's disease.
- Anti-cancer- Many of ashwagandha's therapeutic attributes are the result of the plant's high concentration of withanolides, which research has shown are the source of anti-inflammatory action and tumor inhibition.
Synergistic Effects of Ashwagandha and CBD
The benefits of CBD as a daily supplement combined with the powerful rejuvenating effects of ashwagandha make them a synergistic pair which can enhance any lifestyle at any age. When you incorporate Modern Nature (MoNa) CBD products as an essential cornerstone of your wellness routine you're getting the full synergetic effect of CBD with our proprietary Ph.D. formulated adaptogens.
CBD and ashwagandha complement and enhance total therapeutic potency as herbal allies for reducing stress and anxiety, boosting energy, and treating issues such as depression, insomnia, and chronic pain. Ashwagandha root and CBD from the hemp variety of cannabis are natural allies for maintaining the optimized state of homeostasis. As the modern world turns increasingly toward the naturopathic approach, and away from traditional pharmaceutical concoctions with their extensive lists of debilitating and frequently toxic side effects, MoNa's vegan-friendly CBD products integrate the synergistic power of cannabidiol and ashwagandha to treat the underlying causes of troublesome symptoms at the source.
CBD and Ashwagandha: A Two-Pronged Solution For Stress and Anxiety
CBD and ashwagandha are both very effective stress reducers, working with 2 separate actions to reduce stress levels and manage anxiety. Ashwagandha works through a special system known as the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). In this way, the herb works to maintain homeostasis through hormonal control by maintaining balanced levels of cortisol and other corticosteroids. Stress from exhaustion, what some call "hitting the wall" is best addressed by ashwagandha's influence on the HPA axis.
Meanwhile, CBD works to alleviate stress via the ECS, the endocannabinoid system. The ECS is centered in the limbic and paralimbic regions of the brain known to control such vital processes as sleep, mood, motor control, immune response, pain, and cognitive thought. The ECS is more sensitive to changes in our internal balance and CBD is most effective to alleviate stress conditions caused by anxiety or hyperexcitability. Taken together, we can understand how CBD and ashwagandha can address all of the possible causes of stress, each enhancing the performance of the other.
CBD and Ashwagandha for Chronic Pain
Many health consumers are drawn to CBD for its powerful analgesic (painkilling) properties. As a nonpsychoactive, nontoxic compound, cannabidiol is more effective and safer than many OTC and prescription painkillers which is why many people choose CBD for self-administered management of chronic pain. CBD activates vanilloid receptors which reduces the number of pain signals to the brain, increasing pain tolerance and providing safe relief without danger of tolerance or addiction.
Ashwagandha isn't nearly as powerful an analgesic as CBD but it does enhance CBD for certain types of chronic nerve pain including Carpal tunnel syndrome, degenerative disk back pain, diabetic neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, and sciatica.
Ashwagandha and CBD Synergy With Modern Nature Relaxed Capsules
You may be wondering how to get your hands on some ashwagandha roots or powder to put the synergistic effect to work in your CBD health regimen. The good news is that Modern Nature's proprietary formula for our Relaxed Capsules includes full spectrum ashwagandha, as well as the Ayurvedic "queen of herbs" holy basil, to optimize the doctor-endorsed therapeutic benefits of whole-plant CBD from Modern Nature.