Ashwagandha extracts show lifespan benefits: For worms at least

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ayurveda

Ashwagandha extracts show lifespan benefits: For worms at least
Ashwagandha extracts may significantly increase the lifespan of C. Elegans, organisms with metabolic processes are similar to those of humans.

Ashwagandha (Withania sonminfera​) is a woody shrub that ranges in size from boot height to something over four feet.  It is found in semi-arid habitats from Africa and the Mediterranean east into India.  Commercial supplies are obtained from both wild and cultivated sources.

The study was funded by Ixoreal Biomed and used the company’s KSM-66 ingredient, a whole-root ashwaganda extract. The ingredient won an award for “Best Botanical” at the recent Natural Products Expo West/Engredea trade show in Anaheim, CA.

The name ashwagandha derives from Sanskrit, and means “smells like a horse,” which refers to the strong smell of the root which is said to be redolent of horse sweat or urine.

In its traditional uses, ashwagandha has a remarkable array of applications.  It has been used as a general tonic in case of emaciation, as a rejuvenative tonic (or rasayana) and as a mile purgative. It has also been used by ayurvedic practitioners to quell inflammation, to treat asthma, bronchitis and arthritis, and to promote contraception.

Data published in the Annals of Neurosciences​ indicated that organisms treated with the KSM-66 ingredient lived, on average, 21% longer than organisms treated with the placebo.

In addition, compared with organisms treated with a hydro-alcoholic extract of ashwagandha, the KSM-66 organisms lived an average of 14% longer, said the researchers.

“Despite the reports that ashwagandha is given for healthy longlife in ayurvedic medicine, there is no concrete evidence for the same,”​ wrote the researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

“Here we show that Ashwagandha can indeed extend the lifespan of C. elegans adding credence to this report.”

Source: Annals of Neurosciences
2013, Volume 20, Number 1, Pages 13-16, doi: 10.5214/ans.0972.7531.200106
​Withania somnifera root extract extends lifespan of ​Caenorhabditis elegans
Authors: R. Kumar, K. Gupta, K. Saharia, D. Pradhan, J.R. Subramaniam

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