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Ashwagandha Root Extract Linked to Improved Memory and Cognitive Function

Ashwagandha is a root that is traditionally used in Indian medicine to enhance memory and improve cognition. A recent study suggests that taking an ashwagandha root extract may help memory and cognitive function in people with mild cognitive impairment.

Participants in the study included 50 people age 35 or older with subjective symptoms of memory impairment, a diagnosis of early dementia, and the ability to give consent. Over the course of eight weeks, the participants were given either 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract or a placebo. The placebo pills were stored in a cloth-covered envelope that contained ashwagandha so that they had the same odor as the ashwagandha pills.

After a series of memory tests, the researchers found that the ashwagandha group scored better for visuospatial processing and response, executive function, attention, and speed of information processing, when compared with the placebo. They also scored better than they had at the beginning of the study and compared with the placebo on immediate and general memory test scores. Finally, the researchers noted improvement in executive function, sustained attention, and information-processing speed in the ashwagandha group.

Researchers from India Red Cross Society led the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 21, 2017, in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

Ashwagandha has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years. Previous studies suggest that Ashwagandha may help improve memory, cognitive function and brain health, increase strength, and help with sexual dysfunctions. The best way to consume Ashwagandha is by taking a high quality supplement.

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