Home -Herbal Extracts 8 Ashwagandha Benefits for Your Optimal Health, Discover Them Today 
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8 Ashwagandha Benefits for Your Optimal Health, Discover Them Today 

Do you feel anxious or stressed? Do you need help staying focused on your tasks? Do you find yourself sleepless and low in spirits and energy? Know how Ashwagandha benefits your body!

It’s not a remedy for all ills, but it supports mood, brain, and body. Unlock the wonders of this ancient herb:


  • Health benefits

  • How it impacts your body

  • Sources from food and supplements

  • Risks and possible side effects

  • Dosage and timing

  • Safety and efficacy

What are the Potential Ashwagandha Benefits?

Ashwagandha benefits various body systems based on many studies. This plant grows in India, China, Nepal, and Yemen. It’s also known as Withania somnifera, Asgandh, Indian winter cherry, and Indian ginseng. Its use dates back thousands of years as a Rasayana or tonic in Indian Ayurvedic therapy.

This ancient herbal remedy has become a popular holistic approach to better health. Science describes it as an anti-stress agent or adaptogen. It works by supporting your brain and nervous system functions. Additionally, it improves your energy and sexual health. 

1. Alleviates Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

Experts suggest that ashwagandha lowers cortisol levels linked to reduced stress. At the same time, other scientists ascribe mood problems to inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s response to harmful agents, like injury, toxins, or certain foods. During inflammation, the body produces C-reactive proteins. A study of 73,131 people showed this link between high C-reactive proteins and an increased risk of depression.  

Ashwagandha has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action based on a review. Moreover, it enhances fat cell formation, which modestly helps people with anxiety. It includes people with schizophrenia, substance abuse, attention hyperactivity, and obsessive-compulsive problems. But the review cautions people in interpreting the result, which needs more clinical studies.

Another review gathered proof of use from various texts and clinical studies. The findings show that ashwagandha is a potential therapy for anxiety and central nervous system problems. 

At the same time, a review looked into 12 studies of 1,002 participants aged 25 to 48. It reveals that ashwagandha supplements significantly reduced anxiety and stress levels more than placebo (fake pill). 

2. Benefits Sleeping Pattern

You might have trouble falling asleep or having a restful sleep. The exact action of this herb on sleep is unknown. Experts suggest GABA helps reduce nerve signals in the brain.

An increase in GABA means better sleep. A study on mice claims that ashwagandha affects neurons through the GABA(A) receptor. It can mimic GABA activity. 

Researchers performed a systematic review of five trials with 400 people. Adults with insomnia or who had trouble sleeping saw most significant results than others. They took >600 mg/day of the herb extract. 

Moreover, the review found it improved anxiety and mental alertness. The people reported no severe side effects. Regardless, the review recommends more studies to assess the safety of ashwagandha for long-term use.

Another study involves 130 healthy adults aged 20-55. They took ashwagandha capsules or a placebo for 90 days. Among the 130 adults, only 125 completed the study. The results reveal that those who took ashwagandha had better sleep quality. They also showed better well-being with no reported side adverse events.

3. Boosts Memory and Brain Function

Do you often find it hard to remember things? Or do you have executive function issues? These higher brain functions refer to mental processes like planning, multi-tasking, and self-monitoring. 

Ashwagandha benefits memory and brain function based on Ayurvedic therapy. An imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in your body brings about oxidative stress.  

Ashwagandha restores brain neurons caused by oxidative stress based on animal studies. 

Researchers studied people with mild mental process difficulty to look into this claim. Fifty adults received 300 mg of ashwagandha daily or a placebo for eight weeks.

People who took the ashwagandha enhanced their memory more than those who took the placebo. Ashwagandha also boosted higher brain function, attention, and information-processing speed.

Moreover, it works for healthy young adults. Based on a study, 400 mg ashwagandha supplements increased specific measures in higher brain function. It also helped improve attention and short-term/working memory.

4. Helps People with Brain Conditions

Some people develop brain conditions called neurodegenerative diseases as they age. Examples are Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s Disease. There are various reasons why it happens. Yet,  there is no known remedy to stop or slow it down. It all boils down to supporting and managing the symptoms. 

Experts proposed that inflammation plays a role in causing brain conditions. Any imbalance in the good and bad bacteria in the gut leads to inflammation. And this inflammation affects your brain health.

Other experts further claim that inflammation results in oxidative stress.  This condition damages your brain cells. Moreover, it can cause a build-up of plaques in your brain in the long run. 

A narrative review aimed to gather facts to support the use of ashwagandha for brain function. Their findings suggest the massive potential of it as a drug for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, and more. However, they said more studies are needed to understand how it protects the brain.

Moreover, science suggests that Ashwagandha has brain-protecting action. It restores the functions of the tiny structures in cells and cells inside the lining of vessels. As a result, it reduces cell death, inflammation, and oxidative stress. These conditions are all linked to brain decline. 

In 2021, researchers looked into the effects of this natural root extract on Parkinson’s disease. The results show that ashwagandha can increase cell viability and energy levels.

Additionally, it increases antioxidant action and regulates oxidative stress. The researchers suggest it may be helpful to combat cell damage caused by oxidative stress.

5. Benefits Workout/Athletic Performance

You have much to gain from exercise. Working out three times a week for 30 minutes boosts your overall health. However, on some days, you may need help to exert effort. Athletes also experience weakness or get tired after a workout.

Experts suggest how ashwagandha might enhance physical performance. For example, too much exercise causes stress to the body. Ashwagandha changes certain things in the body that reduce stress. As a result, it may be easier for the body to adapt to physical activity.  

A systematic review chose 12 studies to assess ashwagandha’s effect on physical performance. It reveals that ashwagandha supplements worked better than placebo. Specifically, it improved strength/power and heart and lung fitness.  Moreover, they found 120-1,200 mg daily reduced fatigue and enhanced recovery in healthy people. 

Another review points out the effects of this ancient herb on lung function. The researchers chose a total of nine studies with 304 people. They were given a 330-1,000 mg dose daily for 8-24 weeks.

The researchers then measured the maximum oxygen consumption or VO2 max. It’s the most oxygen you can use during exercise or physical training. The results show that ashwagandha supplements might enhance VO2 max in regular people and athletes. However, more studies are needed to support these claims.

6. Improves Fertility and Sexual Function

Did you know that when your nervous system is run down, it can lead to low sexual desire? Ashwagandha retains the normal function of the sympathetic nervous system. It gets people back in the mood.

Ayurveda therapy uses ashwagandha as an aphrodisiac. It helps to maintain and improve the sexual health of men and women. Moreover, it’s an adaptogen that enables people to manage stress.

Your body releases cortisol when you’re stressed. Many studies suggest that ashwagandha can lower cortisol levels. In addition, it can restore the health of the adrenal glands, where cortisol is made. 

At the same time, stress causes your cortisol levels to rise. Many studies suggest that ashwagandha can lower cortisol levels. It also maintains the normal function of the sympathetic nervous system. Take note that a depleted nervous system is linked to low sexual desire.

Scientists studied 50 adult men to see how ashwagandha would affect their sexual function and overall well-being. The men took 300 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo twice daily for their low sex drive. The group taking ashwagandha had higher testosterone levels. They also reported better sexual well-being in a survey about their quality of life.

Similarly, a study on women reveals notable results. Eighty healthy women aged 18-50 joined the study. They had no hormonal problems, but they had low sex desire. They took 300 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo twice daily for eight weeks. The results show that ashwagandha improved their sexual health.

7. Benefits Immune System

Are you prone to catching colds? People have become more aware of immune health since the pandemic started. Ayurveda therapy used ashwagandha for centuries to boost immunity and combat viral infections. 

Scientists suggest that ashwagandha is an immunomodulator. It either stimulates or suppresses your immune defenses. The pilot study shows that ashwagandha contains potent agents that boost the immune system.

Other experts gathered facts about how it can regulate immune function. They identified five components that can impact 15 various pathways. These pathways affect 16 target proteins in the body.  They also suggest that these components can be combined for better outcomes. They identified seven target combinations.

Another study explored the potential of ashwagandha for COVID-19. The results reveal that four withanolides might strengthen the immune system in fighting COVID-19. These four are Withanolide_G, Withanolide_I, Withanolide_M, and Withanolide_Q.

8. Potential Cancer Drug

Withanolides serve as a potent component of ashwagandha. A study credits it to the anti-cancer effects of ashwagandha. It promotes cell death and prevents the spread of cancer. Throughout the years, many studies have supported this claim. 

A review reveals that ashwagandha worked on breast, colon, lung, prostate, and blood cancers. It also points out Withaferin-A and Withanolide-D components have the least side effects. 

Further research was encouraged to understand its action fully. Results from the review of studies are promising. But more studies are required to support its potential as a cancer drug option.

For example, researchers suggest targeting the fatty acid synthesis pathway in breast tumors. Fatty acid synthesis enzymes are more active in breast cancer tissue.  So the researchers fed rats with Withaferin-A. 

As a result, the fatty acid synthesis enzymes and fats in breast cancer tissue decreased. Natural killer cells in the spleen increased at the same time. The researchers urge more clinical trials using fatty acid synthesis enzymes and fatty acids as biomarkers. 

Other Potential Ashwagandha Benefits

Ashwagandha benefits may also extend to other health problems. Over the years, researchers performed more studies on animals than people. These health problems are linked to inflammation. 

  1. StrokeResearchers fed mice 200 mg/kg of ashwagandha or a placebo. The results show that ashwagandha-fed mice did better and had less brain damage. The researchers credit it to ashwagandha’s ability to help protect cells from dying. It also seemed to help with blood flow. Thus, they suggest it could be a potential stroke repair and recovery agent.
  2. DiabetesExperts conducted a 2020 review of 24 studies on animals and people. The findings reveal that ashwagandha restored blood sugar and insulin levels. It included serum and oxidative stress, which show diabetes status. The review suggests ashwagandha’s potential for diabetes. But the studies were short-term, with only a few participants.
  3. ArthritisA study looked into 10 of the 77 clinical trials and published articles in India. Most studies were in phase 2, located in one common place. The study reveals that taking 8 grams of ashwagandha powder, or 500-1,000 mg capsule for 8-12 weeks, might help with arthritis symptoms.

The findings may be promising. But, they are an unlikely therapy for chronic diseases. Other researchers need to confirm the results of these studies. You should talk to your healthcare provider if you have health problems. 

How Does Ashwagandha Work?

Ashwagandha benefits various parts of your body based on science. How it works is complex. A comprehensive review points out its impact on body systems. Based on various studies, let’s break it down into the five roles of ashwagandha.

Where Can You Get Ashwagandha?

Some people grow the herb and prepare it themselves. Marketed ones pulverize or extract the roots, then make them into capsules, powders, and tinctures. 

You can find it in drug stores, specialty stores, and online shops. If you’d notice, manufacturers produce varied formulations. It contains about 0.3% and 1.5% withanolides, the potent substance of ashwagandha. 

When selecting an ashwagandha supplement, choose the one with higher withanolides. Also, check if the product’s gluten-free with no artificial ingredients or flavors. Look for products that don’t contain GMOs, soy, and fillers for better health.

What are the Risks and Side Effects?

It’s safe to take it by mouth for a short term. Studies noted 1,250 mg daily for up to six months as safe. It is generally well-tolerated, except for its use on skin. More studies have yet to confirm its safety and efficacy on the skin.

People have reported diarrhea, stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting at high doses.  But these discomforts are uncommon with typical doses. Other rare cases are itchiness and liver problems. 

Moreover, some people talk about emotional blunting. So, they take the ashwagandha supplements for two weeks on and off.

What are the Dose and Timing?

It depends on the manufacturer. Doses may vary from 1,000 mg daily for up to 12 weeks. At the same time, concentrations may range from a low of 0.3% to a high of 35%. It may contain alkaloids, amino acids, sugars, calcium, iron, and vitamin A.  

There have been no known toxicity studies. But taking too much can cause gut symptoms. People can take it either in the morning with a meal or in the evening.

Ashwagandha Benefits, But Is It Safe?

Two things help you decide to take any supplement.  First, learning how it works for your specific health problem is vital. And second, it’s wise to know if it’s safe. 

A 2021 study looked into the safety of ashwagandha in 80 healthy adults. Two groups took 300 mg of ashwagandha or a placebo. After eight weeks, the results reveal no abnormalities in vital signs. It included factors like blood, chemical, and thyroid profiles. Additionally, the participants reported no harmful effects. Thus, ashwagandha was considered safe.

Who Can Not Take Ashwagandha

Most people take ashwagandha without adverse reactions. But, you should not take it when you have any of these health conditions.

  • Sensitivity to ashwagandha or nightshade family can cause gut discomfort. Examples include tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, and potatoes.
  • Autoimmune disorders – Ashwagandha might worsen the symptoms by stimulating immune action. Healthcare providers warn people with lupus, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis to refrain from taking it. 
  • Thyroid disorders – Thyroid levels may increase and worsen the condition.
  • Around the time of surgery – Ashwagandha has a calming effect. However, it might cause increased sleepiness and depressed blood pressure with anesthesia or numbing agents.  

Who else should not take ashwagandha? Pregnant women should not take ashwagandha since it can cause miscarriage. There is little evidence of its effects on children and breastfeeding women. So, it is best to refrain from giving it to your child or taking it while nursing.

How It Interacts with Other Drugs and Nutrients

Experts note that ashwagandha interacts with these seven agents. So here are why you shouldn’t take them.

  1. Antidiabetic drugs – Ashwagandha might increase the risk of low blood sugar levels. 
  2. High blood pressure drugs – You might experience a drop in blood pressure.
  3. Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants – You may feel more sedated.
  4. Immunosuppressants – Ashwagandha might decrease the effectiveness of the drug.
  5. Thyroid hormone drugs – You might have an increased risk of adverse effects.
  6. Herbs used to sedate – LIke CNS depressants, you may feel drowsier.
  7. Herbs to lower blood pressure – Ashwagandha might increase low blood pressure effects.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have or suspect to have any of these health issues. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What are the benefits of ashwagandha? 

Ashwagandha benefits mood and sleep. It protects the brain, boosts energy, and enhances sexual function. Moreover,  it acts as an adaptogenic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. It also supports the immune and nervous systems.

Question 2: What is the recommended dose of ashwagandha?

The dose varies. But the effect of ashwagandha benefits can be felt with a typical amount of 300 mg for 8-12 weeks. Check the manufacturer’s label for the correct dose and frequency for best results. It can be taken in the morning or evening.

Question 3: Is it safe to take ashwagandha?

A3 Many studies support using ashwagandha in the correct dose and short-term use. In days or weeks, people may experience ashwagandha benefits. However, taking excessive amounts or using them for more than 12 weeks could lead to side effects. 

Final Thoughts

This remarkable ancient herb has been used for centuries, and now you know the reasons why. It may enhance mood, sleep, workout performance, and sexual health. Researchers continue to study its potential as a drug for various chronic health problems. For safety reasons, seek advice from your healthcare provider if you intend to take this supplement.

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