Natural Products Insider

MAR-APR 2018

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6 ASHWAGANDHA ADVANTAGE Exploring the Ashwagandha Advantage Ashwagandha and Sexual Func� on in Women THEORY: Many women experience sexual dysfunc� on with orgasm disorders and sexual diffi cul� es. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has been tradi� onally used in Ayurveda as an adaptogen to protect the body from stress, and has been used to address sexual dysfunc� on in men and women. Could consump� on of a high-concentra� on ashwagandha root extract reduce female sexual dysfunc� on (FSD) via an an� -stress ac� on or by off se� ng androgen defi ciency syndrome? PARAMETERS: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized pilot study at Trup� Hospital and Santa� Fer� lity Center, Thane, Maharashtra, India. A total of 50 women—ages 21 to 50 in a steady heterosexual rela� onship for over a year, but with a diagnosis of female sexual dysfunc� on (FSD)—received 300 mg twice daily of ashwagandha (as KSM-66) or placebo for eight weeks, and underwent a counselling program. Sexual func� on was assessed using two psychometric scales, the Female Sexual Func� on Index (FSFI) ques� onnaire and the Female Sexual Distress Scale (FSDS), and by the number of total and successful sexual encounters. Source: Dongre S, Langade D, Bha� acharyya S. "Effi cacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Func� on in Women: A Pilot Study." Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:284154. DOI: 10.1155/2015/284154 IMPACT: It has been suggested that up to two-thirds of women are aff ected by female sexual dysfunc� on (FSD), most commonly aff ec� ng women who are experiencing emo� onal or stress-related problems. 1 Further, there is limited knowledge as to the cause and treatment op� ons are inadequate, although a mul� faceted approach is likely the best path. 2 In this study, ashwagandha—together with therapy — reduced stress and increased testosterone levels, both of which could impact FSD; however, the researchers noted ashwagandha should not be seen as an aphrodisiac, as supplementa� on did not impact sexual desire. 1. Laumann EO, Paik A, Rosen RC. JAMA. 1999;281(6):537-44 2. Allahdadi KJ, Tostes RCA, Webb RC. Cardiovasc Hematol Agents Med Chem. 2009;7(4)260-69 Source: Infographic brought to you by OUTCOME: A� er eight weeks, women taking ashwagandha had: Researchers concluded: "Ashwagandha root extract could be useful for the treatment of FSD [and] the lack of adverse eff ects suggests that the extract is safe to consume." Weeks An increase in mean total FSFI score, indica� ng a substan� al improvement in FSD Mean arousal and lubrica� on domains of FSFI were signifi cantly increased compared to placebo Signifi cantly higher improvement in both orgasm and sexual sa� sfac� on There was no diff erence in sexual ac� vity between the groups; however, signifi cantly improvement was seen in the treatment group for successful sexual encounters a� er eight weeks

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