Does Ashwagandha Make You Emotionless?

In this blog, we will help you understand whether ashwagandha has any effect on our emotions and also whether this ayurvedic medicine can make you emotionless. We will look at scientific studies that explore its role in reducing stress and anxiety which contributes to our overall well-being and emotional state.
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

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What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is also known as Withania somnifera. It is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of medicine. Naturally it is found in India and Southeast Asia and it is there where they call it Indian ginseng or winter cherry [1, 2].

Usually, it is the root of the ashwagandha that is used in Ayurvedic medicine, but the leaves and flowers can also be used.

The extracts of ashwagandha can have up to 35 different chemical components [1]. However, a specific active ingredient in ashwagandha hasn’t been determined yet [1].

Traditionally, ashwagandha can help with the reduction of stress and anxiety. In addition it can improve energy and reduce fatigue, pain and decrease inflammation.

Other traditional uses include treatment for insomnia, improvement of sexual desire, pleasure and performance [1, 2].

What are the effects of Ashwagandha on your emotions?

As from its Ayurvedic use, ashwagandha has been studied for its potential effects on emotional well-being. In particular, its effect on stress, anxiety and cognition.

According to a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials ashwagandha supplementation can significantly reduce anxiety and stress levels in comparison to placebo [3].

Another study involving college students found that ashwagandha increased their perceived well-being through supporting sustained energy, heightened mental clarity and enhanced sleep quality [4].

Interestingly, in a study of 60 adults, ashwagandha supplementation was associated with a significant reduction in stress and anxiety, which was measured by the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale -21 [5].

Further, ashwagandha root was found to contribute to the improvement of cognitive functions like memory and focus which can contribute to better emotional health [5]. It also helped with reducing cortisol levels and improvement of self-reported mood and stress levels in adults who perceived stress [6].

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Does Ashwagandha make you emotionless?

According to the available scientific literature, ashwagandha does not make you emotionless.

In fact, it appears that ashwagandha can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can benefit your overall emotional state.

However, it is important to remember that although ashwagandha is known to have calming effect, overdosing, misuse or its interaction with other medications can potentially trigger anxiety in some individuals [7].

In conclusion, Ashwagandha does not make you emotionless. Instead, it appears to help manage stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function. However, as with any supplement, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.

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Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.