Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that is used in Indian traditional medicine for its mood elevating effects. The herb has been extensively evidenced to attenuate the stress response, and in doing so alleviates the symptoms associated with stress, including insomnia and anxiety. In one study ashwagandha was administered to elderly subjects between the ages of 65 and 80 for 12 weeks at a dose of 600 mg per day. The subjects were then questioned about their mental alertness, sleep quality and well being. The results showed that ther ashwagandha extracts were significantly able to improve the wellbeing of the subjects. In addition, the subjects also reported improved mental alertness upon rising and improved sleep quality. Therefore ashwagandha appears to have significant positive effects on the quality of life of elderly subjects and may be effective as a treatment for mood disorders and insomnia. The authors also noted that the ashwagandha extracts were safe and had excellent tolerability.
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