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Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?


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24 replies to this topic

#1 navyblue

Posted 14 September 2009 - 09:39 PM


No kidding. I have no idea why this is, but if I do not take Ashwagandha I will be either depressed in bed or in front of the computer. I have NO DESIRE to do anything, chores, errands, and ESPECIALLY work. But when I take Ashwagandha all that changes. I become very determined to get stuff done. Inositol does the same thing, but I can't take that anymore due to the side effects. Other people can attest that if I do not take the Ashwagadha my house will be such a mess you barely see the floor. After taking this supplement my home morphs into an extremely tidy place. The only downer is that the Ashwagandha raises my body temperature quite a bit, but not nearly as much as the inositol.

How could this be? Where is this motivation coming from? No other supplements seem to do this. I really would like to get to the bottom of this as it would help me to better understand my very weird chemistry. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.

#2 niner Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 14 September 2009 - 09:56 PM

Were you unmotivated prior to the first time you used ashwaghanda?

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#3 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:18 PM

Were you unmotivated prior to the first time you used ashwaghanda?


Absolutely! I can remember having been like this all through my life. No desire to do anything unless I was really really interested in it. Unfortunately life does not work that way, and we all have to be able to do things we think suck. The pharmaceutical drug Strattera seemed to help a good deal with the motivation, but the side effects there were just unacceptable. I took DLPA to see if that would mimic the Strattera, but it only gave me a big giant headache and did not really do as much on the side of motivation.

#4 synaesthetic Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:San Diego

Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:18 PM

http://www.ergo-log....asomnifera.html

This page says high dose Ashwagandha boosts testosterone, which would make sense in that it generally increases motivation.

#5 tedsez Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:38 PM

Navyblue,

That sounds like the magic anti-procrastination formula many of us have been looking for.

What brand do you take, and at what dosage? Do you find it sedating?

#6 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:36 PM

Navyblue,

That sounds like the magic anti-procrastination formula many of us have been looking for.

What brand do you take, and at what dosage? Do you find it sedating?


It really helps me to not procrastinate and to actually get things done. I have read that it does the opposite for a lot of people by making the very tired. I have also heard depends on how much you take. If you take a lot you'll get more of a relaxed/tired feeling. If you take only a little then you get more energy. For me, I take anywhere from 29 - 58 drops of the tincture. The brand is called "Nature's Answer" and is sold in at the Vitamin Shoppe. Its about 19 dollars which isn't bad. Below is a picture I took of it.

http://dl.getdropbox...51/DSC00008.JPG

The downside is that it make me feel like I'm having hot flashes, and for a guy this is not a good thing. Not a good thing for anyone really.

#7 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 14 September 2009 - 11:47 PM

http://www.ergo-log....asomnifera.html

This page says high dose Ashwagandha boosts testosterone, which would make sense in that it generally increases motivation.


This could be. Increased testosterone would motivate someone. The 29 - 58 drops I take 3x/day is equivalent to 3g - 6g per day.

Back of the bottle:
Supplement Facts
Serving Size:2ml (approx 56 drops)
Servings Per Container:30
Each serving contains: Ashwagandha root fluid extract (1:1) 2,000mg. Daily Value (DV) not established.
Other Ingredients: Coconut glycerin and USP Purified Water.
Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement take 1-2 mL (approx. 28-56 drops) 3 times a day in a small amount of water.


Keep in mind I take just a little more due to some being left on the side of the cup I mix it in. I also take it with milk which make it taste a lot better.

The only way for me to see if its the increase in testosterone that causing the motivation would be to try another supplement that also increases testosterone. Which supplement do you guys think would do the trick? BodyBuilding.com recommends ZMA.

Edited by navyblue, 14 September 2009 - 11:52 PM.


#8 NDM Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:North America

Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:42 AM

I have taken Ashwagandha at various dosages and have seen no improvement whatsoever in motivation. So it may be one of the three:

1. you have a very peculiar brain chemistry that happens to click with Ashw.
2. the brand you use is contaminated with something else, which does the trick;
3. that form of ashw. (non-alcohol based tincture - coconut glycerine might drastically enhance its effectiveness). So far, I have used only NOW Foods caplets.

In any case, I'll buy some of your brand next time, just in case #2 or #3 hold.

#9 NDM Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:North America

Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:45 AM

also, I don't think testosterone boosting alone increases motivation significantly - I used to supplement with Ginseng, and now with Cordyceps, both known testosterone boosters, and I am as f***ing lazy as always.

#10 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:59 AM

I have taken Ashwagandha at various dosages and have seen no improvement whatsoever in motivation. So it may be one of the three:

1. you have a very peculiar brain chemistry that happens to click with Ashw.
2. the brand you use is contaminated with something else, which does the trick;
3. that form of ashw. (non-alcohol based tincture - coconut glycerine might drastically enhance its effectiveness). So far, I have used only NOW Foods caplets.

In any case, I'll buy some of your brand next time, just in case #2 or #3 hold.


Its definitely not the brand or type (tincture, capsules, etc) that I take because I have taken just one pill in the capsule form (vitamin shoppe brand) before and it does the same exact thing, only difference is that the capsule form seems to increase tightness around my head (giving a slight bit of a tension headache). It could be the dosage (470mg) though (see link below).

http://www.vitaminsh....jsp?id=VS-1943

#11 niner Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:29 AM

I don't buy the testosterone hypothesis. I doubt that there's that much change in T, for one thing, and I don't see a small change in T having quite that effect. What I do think is going on is that Ashwagandha is an antidepressant, and it's having an antidepressant effect. The antidepressant activity is based on rodent studies, so effect in humans is still in question. Lack of motivation is an absolutely classic symptom of depression. It may be an atypical depression without a lot of dysthymia. The inability to clean up might even have OCD-ish overtones. The fact that Strattera, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, helped is interesting. Strattera was originally expected to be used as an antidepressant, but it didn't turn out to be very effective at that. It is presently used for ADHD-type conditions. How do stimulants affect your motivation level? When I started taking Green Tea Extract, I noticed a distinct improvement in motivation, which I didn't expect at all. I didn't notice a change in mood. I'm not sure what chemical functionality to attribute it to, but I was getting more done. A lot of people get a big motivation boost from stims.

Asian J Androl. 2002 Dec;4(4):295-8.
Effect of Withania somnifera root extract on the sexual behaviour of male rats.
Ilayperuma I, Ratnasooriya WD, Weerasooriya TR.

Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.

AIM: To determine the effect of a methanolic extract of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal roots on sexual competence of male rats. METHODS: Male rats were orally administered 3000 mg.kg-1.day-1 of root extract for 7 days. Their sexual behaviour was evaluated 7 days prior to treatment, day 3 and 7 of treatment, and day 7, 14 and 30 post-treatment by pairing each male with a receptive female. RESULTS: The root extract induced a marked impairment in libido, sexual performance, sexual vigour, and penile erectile dysfunction. These effects were partly reversible on cessation of treatment. These antimasculine effects are not due to changes in testosterone levels or toxicity but may be attributed to hyperprolactinemic, GABAergic, serotonergic or sedative activities of the extract. CONCLUSION: Use of W. somnifera roots may be detrimental to male sexual competence.

PMID: 12508132



#12 nootrope Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:45 AM

Besides increasing testosterone, two of the main suspected modes of action of ashwagandha include acting like GABA and being an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. One can take GABA supplements but they probably aren't very effective as it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier easily. I don't know other supplements that have GABA like effects; worth looking up. Another supplement that acts as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor is huperzine A. Ashwagandha also increases neurite outgrowth, but I suspect the effects of that take some time.

#13 niner Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:51 AM

What's the evidence that Ashwagandha increases testosterone? Didn't seem to have that effect in rats.

#14 nootrope Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:58 AM

NavyBlue already posted the link:

http://www.ergo-log....asomnifera.html

It mentions an Indian study on humans that showed a 40% increase in testosterone.

A little web surfing suggests these supplements also act on GABA receptors: St. John's Wort, Kava Kava, and Valerian.

Side-note/question: Sensoril is often touted because it's standardized to a wider range of chemicals... But as far as I know it's the only ashwagandha supplement that uses leaves as well as roots of ashwagandha. Does anyone have anecdotal experience of how this version may have different effects from other preparations?

What's the evidence that Ashwagandha increases testosterone? Didn't seem to have that effect in rats.



#15 stephen_b Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 15 September 2009 - 03:49 AM

nootrope, I am thinking along the same tracks. Jarrow's product is standardized to "contain a minimum of 8% withanolide glycosides, a minimum of 32% oligosachharides and a maximum of 2% withaferin A". The Nature's Answer has a process that they claim "guarantees that the constituents of the extract are in the same synergistic ratios as in the plant".

Standardization to the active ingredients is not a good thing in the event that you don't understand which ones are really active.

My other thought: is ashwagandha absorption aided by the milk? Is this skim milk or does it have some fat in it?

Thanks for the report. I'm quite happy with the boost I get from rhodiola, but it's good to know that other things work for people too.

StephenB

Edited by stephen_b, 15 September 2009 - 04:31 AM.


#16 niner Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 15 September 2009 - 04:04 AM

NavyBlue already posted the link:

http://www.ergo-log....asomnifera.html

It mentions an Indian study on humans that showed a 40% increase in testosterone.

Oh, I missed that; thanks. I had just seen that rat study with no apparent effect. This new paper is pretty impressive, although they saw 40% only in men with abnormal sperm. In men with normal sperm, they only saw a 15% increase. If you were close to the edge, like total T in the 200's, that might be enough to see a significant mental effect, but for a normal young-ish male, I wouldn't expect a 15% change to do that. I still think the effect on motivation in the OP is something else. Ashwagandha has a lot of effects.

#17 abelard lindsay Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:Mare Serenitatis Circumlunar Corporate Republic

Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:28 AM

I think Ashwaganda might be motivating because it's a muscarinic acetylcholine receptor agonist. I find that if I really want to not procrastinate I take a whole bunch of choline focused supplements and that seems to help me break through the wall and get organized.

#18 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:40 AM

Actually Synaesthetic posted http://www.ergo-log....asomnifera.html which had me thinking that testosterone could be the problem, but what Niner said really match how I feel. I feel depressed but more unmotivated. I don't mind talking to people especially if I already know them, but I just have no motivation or care to do so. If someone offered me a job, then yeah I'd go work there, but to find the job myself is just not happening. Some days I'll stay in bed till like 3 or 4pm not wanting to do anything. Then I pop Ashwagandha and all that changes. Keep in mind that by the time I wake up in the morning, the Ashwagandha has worn off, and I'm back to my old self again. Not sure if milk has much to do with it, as I get the same results when I take it in capsule form with water. By the way I did not know Ashwagandha was studied on rats for depression this is very interesting as I read somewhere once (cannot remember the source) that Ashwagandha helps to regulate nor-epinephrine levels. I took Lexapro for a while, and while it completely took away my depression, I was still unmotivated to do anything. Stimulant (an other) medications affect my motivation a great deal. Here's the breakdown:

~ Lexapro ~
Upside: Made me very social. Completely took away any anxiety/social-anxiety I had. Great drug (for an RX anyway).
Downside: RLS. Wore off if I took it consecutively. Did nothing for my motivation.

~ Adderall ~
Upside: Made me ridiculously motivated. Almost too motivated. Felt like I could take on Donald Trump in the financial game, just give me one week.
Downside: It wore off after a few days and I had to keep upping the dosage which started to make me extremely irritable. The tension headaches were really bad as well. Also would sleep for a long time when this wore off due to the high stimulation my brain received from it.

~ L-Theanine ~
Upside: Could concentrate well and had a relaxed feeling with it.
Downside: I became more anti-social. Less quick with words. This could be the dopamine acting as an antagonist to serotonin. Wouldn't say this motivated me at all though.

~ Strattera ~
Upside: Loved this stuff. Took away any depression and made me more motivated and could concentrate well while still remaining social. It was like a watered down version of adderall, but very very smooth.
Downside: It wore off after a month taking it, and although I could have gone up in dosage, the side effects were just too much to contend with.

~ DLPA ~
Upside: In an attempt to mimic Strattera, it wasn't all that bad.
Downside: It gave me a big headache and made me irritable possibly due to the high dosage of 500mg. Maybe less would have done the trick, not sure.

~ L-Tyrosine ~
Upside: Could concentrate better, thats about it.
Downside: Made me irritable, a little bit of a headache, and still depressed/unmotivated.

~ Inositol ~
Upside: Very motivated. Lifted depression.
Downside: Raised body temperature drastically using 6g 2x/day. Felt a like it was frying my brain, just too overstimulated.

~ Caffeine ~
Upside: Feel important and a bit motivated.
Downside: I pee a lot, get the chills, and get the shakes a little bit. Also, my stomach doesn't like it so much either.


~ GABA (in the form of picamilon) ~
Upside: Helps with any anxiety/social-anxiety I may have, but on a small level. Helps with focus and being able to remain calm.
Downside: Makes me tired. Doesn't really move me to want to do anything.

~ Huperzine-a ~
Upside: Works great for my concentration and focus, and a little bit for my anxiety as well.
Downside: Doesn't really motivate. Great supplement otherwise.


What's crazy is that the Braverman test I took said I was deficient in all the neurotransmitters (shouldn't this be a Guinness record or something). Maybe the Ashwagandha is working on all of them except the serotonin of course. I could even try taking this with the Lexapro or some 5-HTP because now that I recall when I've taken it with Lexapro is when I have felt my best ever. I may try the 5-HTP with it. Crap, maybe this is what I need to do. Not sure.

Edited by navyblue, 15 September 2009 - 06:14 AM.

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#19 TigerMask Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:Dystopia, New Jersey

Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:16 AM

I don't think ashwagandha has a drastic effect on my low motivation, but there's definitely something there that makes me a little more outgoing and motivated.

Keep us updated! This is very interesting.

#20 FunkOdyssey Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

  • Location:Manchester, CT USA

Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:19 PM

Maybe you are hypothyroid and ashwagandha is addressing this problem?

#21 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:01 PM

I thought this may have been the issue as well. My doctor says my thyroid level fine. The only thing is that usually the tests given by doctors don't pick anything up until the situation is extremely bad. Maybe your right. From what I've researched, it seems that the Ashwagandha works on everything except serotonin: acetylcholine, thyroid, testosterone, norepinephrine, and maybe dopamine seem to be its main targets. From what I understand is that the Ashwagandha is supposed to regulate the neurotransmitters with a little increase, not just haphazardly increasing and possibly going over the edge. Let me know if I'm wrong, but below is a report I read on how the drug reduces and reverse Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's. If it can do this then it must be doing something right up top. Just not exactly sure what it is.

http://www.lef.org/m...rt_ashwa_01.htm

Edited by navyblue, 15 September 2009 - 09:02 PM.


#22 stephen_b Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:16 AM

I tried the Nature's Answer ashwagandha today. It had the unpleasant effect of making my nerves more jangly. My startle reflex was very heightened; when running with my dog, my dog lunged after a squirrel and my heart was in my throat.

The run itself went well though. I felt I had a lot of stamina.

#23 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 20 September 2009 - 12:01 PM

I tried the Nature's Answer ashwagandha today. It had the unpleasant effect of making my nerves more jangly. My startle reflex was very heightened; when running with my dog, my dog lunged after a squirrel and my heart was in my throat.

The run itself went well though. I felt I had a lot of stamina.


How much did you take?

#24 stephen_b Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:31 PM

I took 1.5 ml.

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#25 navyblue Re: Why does Ashwagandha motivate so much?

Posted 20 September 2009 - 01:47 PM

I took 1.5 ml.


Hey stephen_b sorry to hear that it didn't go that well for you. The 1.5 ml you took is a bit of a low dose. With Ashwagandha, a low dose is consider stimulating and a high dose is consider relaxing. Although I haven't tried the high dose myself, its something you may want to consider. But if the heart pump and the quick reflex was more from a state of paranoa then it would probably be best to lay off this one.




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