Ashwagandha owes much of its health benefits to a class of compounds known as withanolides — a unique class of around 300 related compounds.
Withanolides are classified as steroid lactones. Many of these phyto-steroids interact with the hormone system — giving them the ability to regulate functions including reproduction and stress — two processes heavily regulated by hormones.
The withanolide content found in the roots of the herb can vary substantially depending on the strain used, where the plant was grown, and how it was processed after harvesting. Unfortunately, a lot of the ashwagandha being sold today has very low withanolide content.
This is where the KSM-66 ashwagandha offers an advantage.
This proprietary extraction of ashwagandha is standardised to contain no less than 5% withanolide per gram of dried root.
By standardizing the active constituents in the plant, KSM-66 supplements are more reliable in their effects on the body.
1. Adaptogenic Effects
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb — considered to be one of the best health tonics by herbalists and naturopaths around the world. It works primarily by regulating the main stress hormone in the body, cortisol.
The stress response is a critical function of all organisms on earth. It helps us adapt to sudden changes in our environment that pose a risk to our safety. Let’s say you are suddenly coming face to face with a wild, hungry tiger.
Our body is designed to react to this immediate danger by activating the stress response causing changes to the body to help us mitigate the stress by fighting the hungry animal or running away to safety.
Ideally, once the cause of the stress is dealt with, we can return to normal.
In the modern world, this system is triggered by non-life-threatening stressors including financial debts, relationship troubles, or tight deadlines. The problem is that these types of stresses stick around for long periods of time. High cortisol levels over long periods may result in the suppression of our immune system, fatigue, irregular sleep-cycles, and sometimes more serious health consequences.
Some of the Changes Induced by Cortisol Include:
• Increased heart rate to pump blood around the body faster
• Higher blood pressure to force blood deep into the muscles
• Dilated airway to allow more oxygenation into the lungs and bloodstream
• Inhibition of body processes not immediately necessary to handle the stressor — like the immune and digestive systems
• Increased blood sugar levels to provide more energy to the muscles and brain
• Release of inflammatory markers around the body
The adaptogenic effects of ashwagandha KSM-66 work to improve our ability to resist stress by lowering cortisol levels.
Everything from pain and inflammation, to cognitive function, stand to benefit from the adaptogenic effects of ashwagandha KSM-66.
2. Natural Fertility
One of the other primary uses of ashwagandha is for its ability to improve fertility in both men and women.
Reproductive health is heavily regulated by hormones coming from the brain — including follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and prolactin — as well as sex hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.
Issues with any of these hormones can lead to all kinds of changes in the body — including lowered fertility, fatigue, and changes in mood.
Ashwagandha KSM-66 works to support human fertility by lowering cortisol — which inhibits the activity of key hormones like LH and FSH. if LH levels are inhibited in the brain, it leads to a reduction in critical hormones such as testosterone and estrogen that are needed to regulate reproductive health and fertility.