5-HTP & Ashwagandha

5-HTP & Ashwagandha

Emotional disorders and sleep issues are pretty common. Almost all people will experience these issues during their lifetime. At any given time, the majority of people are experiencing these problems. However, very few seek medical attention for these conditions. Moreover, these issues tend to be transient. Hence, lifestyle interventions like exercise, dietary measures, and supplements are the best way to overcome these issues.

Moreover, emotional disorders like stress and anxiety are very complex. These are normal emotions, but extreme stress and anxiety are abnormal. If these issues start disrupting daily functioning, then they become disorders. Many people experiencing these issues remain undiagnosed, as they do not realize that they are already living with severe forms of stress and anxiety. This only underlines the importance of preventive measures and using health supplements.

The two dietary supplements, 5-HTP and ashwagandha, can be quite good for regulating stress responses and enhancing sleep quality. Although both these are chemically very different, they have many similar actions.


5-HTP, or 5-Hydroxytryptophan, is a compound that the body produces from the amino acid tryptophan. It plays a crucial role in the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to mood regulation, sleep, and appetite control.[1]

Since 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, it is especially good for managing mood disorders. It helps reduce stress and increases “feel-good” sensation. Even medications used to treat depression work by boosting the brain’s serotonin levels.[2]

5-HTP is good for promoting sleep. This is because serotonin is a precursor to melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep-wake cycles or circadian rhythm.[3]

5-HTP is also suitable for many other health conditions like appetite control and, thus, weight management. It helps with certain kinds of headaches, like tension headaches. It may also help those living with fibromyalgia.[4]


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is known for its potential health benefits. In recent years, this herb has gained much popularity in the West as science has discovered its numerous health effects.[5]

Ashwagandha is especially good for stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha is classified as an adaptogen, which means it may help the body manage stress more effectively. It is believed to normalize physiological functions during periods of stress. Some studies suggest that ashwagandha may positively impact hormone balance, particularly in relation to stress hormones like cortisol.[6]

Ashwagandha is good for brain health and boosts memory. It is also a good neuroprotective. Ashwagandha has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, so reducing inflammation may have broader health implications.

Ashwagandha is sometimes used to combat fatigue and increase energy levels. It may also help improve physical performance and endurance. This herbal extract also has immunomodulatory effects, which may help regulate the immune system. This could contribute to overall immune system health.

Further, studies show that it is also good for improving sleep. This may happen for various reasons, like reduced emotional stress, inflammation, and lower oxidative stress.[7]

Finally, ashwagandha has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac in Ayurvedic medicine. Some studies suggest that it may have positive effects on male reproductive health, including sperm quality and testosterone levels. In fact, the use of ashwagandha in sports is also rising, as it helps naturally boost testosterone levels and, thus, recovery.

How Do Ashwagandha and 5-HTP Work?

Combining ashwagandha and 5-HTP results in a potent adaptogen, a natural remedy that is especially good for overcoming stress and anxiety and preventing depression. This combination is also good for enhancing sleep quality. The combination of 5-HTP and ashwagandha may boost hormonal health and enhance energy levels and endurance. Regularly using these natural dietary supplements may also reduce inflammation and have anti-aging effects.

At present, there are very few health supplements that combine these two incredible ingredients. Zenkgo herbal Mood Plus supplement is among the supplements that contain both these supplements in moderate amounts. Thus, this supplement is good for prolonged use and is highly useful for reducing stress, burnout, anxiety, and enhancing sleep quality.

The Bottom Line

These days, no one is immune to stress, anxiety, mood disorders, and hormonal issues. These issues tend to be chronic, thus harming physical health and causing chronic fatigue, sleep issues, and metabolic health disorders. Since these issues tend to be chronic, using medications is not an option. Moreover, there are very few medications that can help overcome these problems.

Lifestyle interventions and dietary supplements are the best way to overcome stress-related issues and enhance sleep quality.


[1] Birdsall TC. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. Altern Med Rev. 1998;3:271–280.

[2] Javelle F, Lampit A, Bloch W, et al. Effects of 5-hydroxytryptophan on distinct types of depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrition Reviews. 2020;78:77–88.

[3] Sutanto C, Heng CW, Gan AX, et al. The Impact of 5-Hydroxytryptophan Supplementation on Sleep Quality of Older Adults in Singapore: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2021;5:372.

[4] Rathore FA, Afridi A. Is combination pharmacotherapy effective for management of fibromyalgia in adults? - A Cochrane Review summary with commentary. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2020;20:297–300.

[5] Singh N, Bhalla M, Jager P de, et al. An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines [Internet]. 2011 [cited 2023 May 5];8. Available from: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajtcam/article/view/67963.

[6] Speers AB, Cabey KA, Soumyanath A, et al. Effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) on Stress and the Stress-Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2021;19:1468–1495.

[7] Cheah KL, Norhayati MN, Yaacob LH, et al. Effect of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS ONE. 2021;16:e0257843.

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