The Amazing Attributes of Adaptogens
Botanical adaptogens have a long history of use in traditional medical practice for virtually every possible aspect of health. These herbs can help people feel more physically and mentally energized, increase stamina, bolster the immune system, and in general, keep things on an even keel.
Two of the best known, andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) and ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) were recently tested in combination. Each herb is powerful on its own. Andrographis, in particular, is highly sought after for its ability to strengthen immune defenses and shorten the duration of illnesses. Ashawagandha is considered a premier energizer and stress-relieving botanical. The pairing of the two in this study tested the herbs’ abilities to alleviate stress and help foster better focus and concentration.
For the participants – all older individuals with some mild cognitive impairment – the herbal combination worked well. Brain scans showed increased wave activity, focus and attention improved, and sleep patterns were more stable.
This is just one example of adaptogens helping to enhance peoples’ lives. Whether used on their own or in combination, they are some of the world’s most powerful natural medicines, and can protect, preserve, and improve health in many ways.
Dimpfel W, Schombert L, Keplinger-Dimpfel IK, Panossian A. Effects of an Adaptogenic Extract on Electrical Activity of the Brain in Elderly Subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Two-Armed Cross-Over Study. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020;13(3):E45.
Background: The current and potential uses of adaptogens are mainly related to treatment of stress-induced fatigue, impaired cognitive function, mental illness, and behavioral- and age-related disorders. However, clinical evidence regarding the efficacy of adaptogens is limited. The primary aim of this study is to determine whether a combination of adaptogenic plant extracts from Andrographis paniculata and Withania somnifera (Adaptra® Forte) could be used as effective and safe treatment for impaired cognitive, memory, or learning ability functions and sleep disorders.
Methods: The changes in electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency ranges in 17 different brain regions, psychometric tests of cognitive performance, as well as standard questionnaires of assessment of mood and sleep were measured after single and repeated administration of Adaptra® or placebo for four weeks and after a two-week treatment-free follow-up period within a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled two-armed cross-over study.
Results: Adaptra® Forte significantly improved cognitive performance in the d2-Test for attention and the concentration performance test after four weeks' treatment, and was positively correlated with increases in δ and θ power in the quantitative EEG compared with placebo during cognitive challenges.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that Adaptra® Forte exhibits a calming and anxiolytic effect without sedation, and is associated with overall stress-protective activity.