Ashwagandha is a wonderful anti-stress adaptogenic herb that has been used in Ayurveda and Yoga for thousands of years to ensure deep strength, improve general well-being, and to replace fatigue with calm enduring positive energy.
Speaking of fatigue, we all know that one of the big downfalls of very strong western medicine, chemotherapy and radiation, is how much fatigue it causes, and so to make these aggressive protocols easier to endure western bioscientists search the ancient Vedic sciences for assistance via ethnopharmacology channels. Recently a team of University researchers in SE Asia confirmed Ashwagandha’s well-known ability to reduce fatigue by testing it on people who are deeply fatigued by chemotherapy.1
They created an open-label prospective nonrandomized comparative trial on 100 patients, median age of 51, where half received chemotherapy and half received Ashwagandha and chemotherapy. The dose was 2 grams, about 4 capsules, of Ashwagandha every 8 hours. This went on for the duration of the chemotherapy.
Using three established scales2 to measure both the quality of life and levels of fatigue, “Patients in the control arm (consuming only chemo) experienced statistically significant higher estimated marginal means of fatigue score compared with the study group (who consumed both ashwagandha and chemo).” In fact, 7 out of the 18 symptoms that plague people in chemotherapy were “significantly statistically reduced,” which confirms Ashwagandha’s well known ability to simply assist in the improving of one’s quality of life, no matter how deeply and pervasively stressed you are!
Ashwagandha combined with Shatavri, and/or Safed Musli, Kali Musli and Mucuna is especially good when there is also sexual and/or reproductive fatigue involved.
Ashwagandha taken at night, combined with Tulsi, and a little cinnamon and nutmeg, is also very good to support a deep and restorative sleep when a person is faced with agitations that preclude deep sleep.
I agree with the dose that was used in this test, 2 grams every 8 hours. The traditional dose of Ashwagandha is 4-5 grams taken in warm milk, though almond milk can be substituted here.
1. Biswal BM, Sulaiman SA, Ismail HC, Zakaria H, Musa KI.; Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on the Development of Chemotherapy-Induced Fatigue and Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Patients. Integr Cancer Ther. 2012 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]
2. The quality-of-life and fatigue scores were evaluated before, during, and on the last cycles of chemotherapy using the EORTC QLQ-C30 (Version 3), Piper Fatigue Scale (PFS), and Schwartz Cancer Fatigue Scale (SCFS-6).