Mr Ming Tang

Research project: An investigation into the effect of Whole Ashwagandha powder on academic stress in university students and academic staff


Ashwagandha, an herbal plant, belongs to the Solanaceae/nightshade family and are commonly grown in Africa and Indian. This plant is widely used in Ayurverdic medicine for reducing symptoms of nervous exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety and stress through known interactions with the following bodily systems: neurological, immunity, endocrine and reproductive. 

Ashwagandha can be referred as an adaptogen; essentially a non-toxic substance that helps regulate physiological processes, such as release of stress hormones, during times of elevated stress. 

Studies have concluded that ashwagandha was well-tolerated causing no/mild side effects compared to conventional pharmaceutical medicines. With an increase of anxiety and stress sufferers amongst university students/academic staff due to academic workloads, deadlines and examinations, there has not been any research on the use of Ashwagandha for university students/staff. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of whole Ashwagandha powder to reduce stress caused by academic stressors.

  • Research degree: MSc by Research
  • Title of project: An investigation into the effect of Whole Ashwagandha powder on academic stress in university students and academic staff
  • Research supervisor: Dr Elizabeth Pummell
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Owen Spendiff


I enrolled at Kingston University in 2015 and completed a BSc in Nutrition (Human) with Foundation Year. My dissertation during my final year was investigating the antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory properties of Pukka Herbs' products (Andrographis supplement, Elderberry Syrup, Three Chamomile Tea and Night Time Tea). 

Soon after graduation from Kingston, I developed an even greater interest in learning and finding solutions in the physical and mental health sector. Pukka Herbs proposed a project based on Ashwagandha for relieving stress which I applied for and currently under investigation. After completing this MSc, I hope to take this further by collaborating with additional expertise from different fields.   

Beyond academics, I am an enthusiastic and compassionate individual striving to make a progressive impact across all ethnicities, backgrounds and genders. I like to develop understanding of different topics ranging from agriculture, arts, economics, engineering, philosophy, religions, sociology, sciences, technology and so on. 

Areas of research interest

  • Nutritional Science
  • Psychology
  • Stress Biomarkers (Cortisol and DHEA)
  • Stress Management Methods
  • Menstrual Hormones


  • BSc in Nutrition (Human), Kingston University

Funding or awards received

  • Pukka Herbs