what are withanolides in ashwagandha
Ashwagandha,  Ashwangandha - Tutorials, FAQs & More

What are Withanolides in Ashwagandha – All You Need to Know, Advice, & More

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If you want to find out the importance of Withanolides in Ashwagandha, you have come to the right place.

We understand that modern life is stressful and you have all the right to be calm and relax once you get the chance.

If a good diet, an adequate amount of sleep, and exercise are not enough for you then you may need additional help in the form of prescriptions to relax. 

Your health practitioner might have already told you that Ashwagandha is known for its famous properties that inhibit cortisol production and anti-inflammation.

Yet if you are skeptical about Ayurvedic medicine and this particular jargon, this article shall do the leg-work for you.

Note: If you want to know How to Grind Ashwagandha Root click HERE.

Quick Summary

In this guide, you will read about:

  • What are Withanolides?
  • What is Ashwagandha?
  • What are the types of Withanolides found in Ashwagandha?
  • What is the significance of Withanolides in Ashwagandha?

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What Are Withanolides? 

A group of at least 300 naturally occurring steroids, built on the ergostane skeleton are called Withanolides.

These active compounds coined as Withanolides in pharmacological terms are widely found in Solanaceae plants,

Moreover, they have a wide range of functions, specifically anti-inflammatory properties.

The best part is that Withanolides could help with a variety of illnesses which are 

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Constipation
  • Edema
  • Headache
  • Hepatopathy
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Parasitic disease
  • Postpartum pain
  • Glaucoma 
  • Skin diseases

Note: If you want to know What is the Best Time to Eat Ashwagandha click HERE.

You would be intrigued to find out that many researchers have found positive findings related to cancer and Ashwagandha use. 

What Is Ashwagandha? 

Withania Somnifera is an annual evergreen shrub, a medicinal plant that grows in the Continents of Asia and Africa. It is known commonly as Ashwagandha or winter cherry. 

You might be aware of the fact that Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling, lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system.

Dr. Lin says, “Ashwagandha has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to increase energy, improve overall health and reduce inflammation, pain, and anxiety.”

As Ashwagandha is a proper adaptogen, you can find it in form of;

  • Supplements
  • Powder 
  • Liquid drops
  • Gummies
  • Pills 

in markets.

If stress has become one of the most eminent problems in your life, you might find Ashwagandha helpful.

We would also recommend you to use Ashwagandha if you are a health junkie. 

What Is the Significance of Withanolides Found in Ashwagandha?

What is Stress

Withanolides are a component of Ashwagandha. I would not be wrong to say that Ashwagandha is made of Withanolides, as in its plant form or its refined supplement form.

The amount of Withanolides in Ashwagandha ranges from between 2-10%.

Withanolides are primarily steroids. There are at least 300 types of naturally occurring Withanolides.

Ashwagandha has two types of Withanolides in its roots and leaves naturally. They are;

  • Withanolide A
  • Withaferin A

What Are The Types Of Withanolides In Ashwagandha?

You might not know, Withanolides naturally have a greater concentration in the roots and leaves of the Ashwagandha plant. 

The two key constituents of Ashwagandha are Withanolide A and Withaferin A (WL-A)

They both produce

  • Analgesia
  • Mild sedative
  • Antistress
  • Antioxidant 
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Immunomodulatory effect in acute and chronic models of stress.

Withanolide A

Steroids are obtained from a plant called Withania somnifera whose roots have been used in ayurvedic medicine to improve cognitive function in the elderly specifically.

Withaferin A (WL-A)

A bioactive component also obtained from Withania somnifera, acts against the growth of cultured human breast cancer cells and prevents the development of breast cancer cells. 

Yet if you are intrigued to find out how withanolides help reduce stress, continue to read. 

So, What Is Stress?

When you are in a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances, it is called stress.

Stress is of three types:

  1. Acute stress
  2. Episodic acute stress 
  3. Chronic stress,

However, our concern is only with one particular type which is chronic stress as many researchers have studied the effects of Withanolides present in Ashwagandha on chronic stress particularly.

Chronic stress 

When you have a consistent sense of being overwhelmed and pressurized for a prolonged period, you are a patient of chronic stress.

The symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Lack of interest 
  • Distorted and unfocused thoughts

Chronic stress arises from threats that are a part of your daily routine. 

Whenever you suffer from threats of routine-based work, for example, job insecurity, bills payments, fees, shopping, etc, stress becomes long-term and chronic. 

Under such circumstances, the flight and fight system of your body naturally retires. Your glucose level stays high and hence the stress hormone level of the body remains very high. 

Stress hormone

Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. If you have increased cortisol levels, you have stress.

Long-term stressful conditions are responsible for persistent inflammation in your body. 

When you have persistent inflammation, it can lead to diseases such as;

  • Cancer 
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension 
  • Insomnia
  • Anemia
  • Osteoporosis,
    and yet many others. 

Ashwagandha is proven to reduce inflammation. Research has found that the key ingredient that targets this inflammation is the Withanolides.

This is why people who suffer from chronic stress and anxiety turn to Ashwagandha for help. 

Note: If you want to gain complete guides and tips about Ashwagandha click HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Are Withanolides steroids?

Yes, they are naturally occurring steroids.

Can I consume Ashwagandha in powder form only?

Ashwagandha is available in the market in the form of drops, chewable tablets, powder, and tablet forms. It can be used in any form.

Does Ashwagandha always need withanolides?

Withanolides are a natural part of Ashwagandha. They are also a key ingredient of Ashwagandha.

Are withanolides safe to consume?

Yes, Ashwagandha has a low toxicity form of Withanolides in very bearable concentration. 

Is Ashwagandha a steroid?

No, it is not a steroid but its active ingredients are steroids. 

Is Ashwagandha fast-acting?

If taken properly with a good diet and exercise however results begin to show by the end of two weeks, approximately.

Is it safe to take Ashwagandha daily?

Yes, it is safe to take Ashwagandha daily but not beyond the prescribed doses.

What are the side effects of taking Ashwagandha?

The side effects of Ashwagandha include vomiting, nausea, and sometimes diarrhea. However, in rare cases liver problem has also been caused.

Note: If you want to learn more about Ashwagandha we have a complete guide click HERE.

What are Withanolides in Ashwagandha – Conclusion 

As we have mentioned earlier, the ancient herb of Ashwagandha has gained modern recognition for its wide variety of benefits yet many hearts are in disbelief of its magical properties. 

We would recommend Ashwagandha for its significance to cope with stress. By far, you know Ashwagandha contains Withanolides which are naturally occurring steroids. 

If you want to get rid of the inflammation of joints or reduce your cortisol level, Ashwagandha will do the magic for you.

However, as you have been told priorly that Ashwagandha has Withanolides with low toxicity, it is not harmful to you at all to be used daily.

If you think to rely only on Ashwagandha for a healthy life, the answer might disappoint you. 

It will work out best for you if you work out at least twice a week and choose a good healthy diet along with a routined sleep for a healthy, stress-free life. 

If you want to gain information about how you can care for your body and mind click HERE.