Single Dose of Ashwagandha May Support Cognitive Function
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in Asia and Africa. The roots and orange-red fruit of ashwagandha have a long history of use in ayurvedic medicine. According to a recent study, one acute dose of ashwagandha extract may provide cognitive health benefits.
The researchers selected 13 healthy adults to participate in the study. They were given 400 mg of ashwagandha extract or a placebo. They performed cognitive tests at baseline and after taking the supplement to evaluate working memory and reaction time. The tests administered were the Berg–Wisconsin Card Sorting, Go/No-Go, Sternberg Task, and Psychomotor Vigilance Task tests. Participants switched interventions after a 4-day washout period.
Supplementation with ashwagandha resulted in improvements in working memory and response times. It also improved sustained attention as evidenced by maintenance of reaction times, prevention of mental fatigue, and increased vigilance.
The study was conducted by researchers from Texas A&M Universitty. It was published online ahead of print on September 20, 2002 in the journal Nutrients.
A previous study found that bacopa monnieri may help support cognitive health.