ashwagandha improves quality of life, sleep and mental alertness in elderly

This ancient herb from the Ayurvedic tradition of India is easy to get, safe and cheap. And it is emerging as a promising new approach to insomnia.



For the elderly, a good night sleep is important for quality of life. Insomnia may be the most important obstacle to quality of life in the elderly: it can contribute to cognitive issues, pain, depression and other challenges. Getting a good night sleep can be a really frustrating challenge. Could the herb ashwagandha be the answer to that challenge?

To find out, 39 people between the ages of 65 and 80 took place in a double-blind study. They were given either a placebo or 600mg a day of ashwagandha root extract for 12 weeks.

The ashwagandha worked really well: there was a very significant improvement in the people who took the herb compared to the placebo. On the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire, scores in the herbal group improved from 140.53 to 161.84. The ashwagandha group had significantly greater improvement on total score as well as physical, psychological and environmental domains.

The ashwagandha group had significantly greater improvement in sleep, quality of sleep and mental alertness: both important results. They also improved in general wellbeing.

Also important in an elderly population, the ashwagandha was safe for them to take.

This is the second study to discover the sleep benefits of ashwagandha. Another very recent study showed that ashwagandha helps people struggling with the duel problems of insomnia and anxiety.


Cureus 2020 12(2):e7083


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For much more on treating anxiety and insomnia naturally, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For more on ashwagandha, see our book Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Use.


The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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