Everything you Need to Know About Ashwagandha: Benefits, Uses, & More

Everything you Need to Know About Ashwagandha: Benefits, Uses, & More

Ashwagandha - You must have come across this term in your life at some point and the first thing that one connects with it is the medicinal aspect of the herb used for wellness. The term "ashwagandha" derives its name from the aroma of its root, likened to that of a horse. In Sanskrit, "ashwa" translates to horse.

Ashwagandha, derived from the Withania somnifera plant, is a herb extensively utilised in traditional Indian medicine. In the traditional medical practices of Ayurveda and Unani in India, ashwagandha is recognised as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances that are broadly understood to enhance an individual's capacity to withstand, adapt to, or develop resilience against various biological, physical, or chemical stressors.

Ashwagandha Health Benefits You Should Know

Let’s dive into the amazing health benefits of Ashwagandha used for healing and promoting balance between the mind and body. Ashwagandha is widely recognised for its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties and its ability to alleviate stress. Research indicates that it may also lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. An increasing body of evidence suggests ashwagandha can enhance total sleep duration and improve sleep quality, benefiting individuals with or without insomnia.

Stress and Anxiety Relief

Several studies demonstrate ashwagandha’s effectiveness in reducing stress and anxiety levels among participants. Additionally, research suggests that ashwagandha may improve sleep quality, with participants reporting better sleep patterns compared to those who received a placebo.

Blood Sugar and Fat Regulation

Clinical studies indicate ashwagandha can help lower blood glucose levels and reduce triglycerides, a common type of blood fat. Its blood sugar-lowering effects have been likened to those of medications prescribed for type 2 diabetes.

Enhances Exercise Performance

A study from 2021 analysed how ashwagandha can help improve how well people can move and recover after exercise. They found that taking ashwagandha supplements, especially 300–500 mg twice a day, could benefit people doing tough workouts. Ashwagandha has been found to make muscles stronger, fight muscle tiredness, and decrease muscle soreness.

Some studies also suggest ashwagandha might increase VO2 max, a health metric that measures the amount of oxygen your body can use during hard exercise. The higher your VO2 max, the longer you can exercise without feeling tired. VO2 max is a way to measure how fit your heart and lungs are.

Cognitive Enhancement

Evidence suggests ashwagandha may enhance cognition, memory, and psychomotor responses. Studies have shown improvements in reaction times and attention spans among participants, as well as enhancements in immediate and general memory across various cognitive tests.

Male Reproductive Health Improvement

Ashwagandha has demonstrated reproductive benefits for men by improving sperm quality through the rebalancing of reproductive hormone levels. Moreover, using ashwagandha could notably raise sperm concentration, semen volume, and sperm movement in males dealing with low sperm count leading to successful pregnancies in some cases. Furthermore, studies have indicated an increase in testosterone levels among male participants, particularly in stress-related contexts and during assessments of muscle strength.

Ashwagandha - How to Take it

Ashwagandha can be taken in the morning, at night, or whenever it suits you best. The timing mostly depends on your preferences, how well you tolerate it, and the type of ashwagandha you're using. Most people take it as a tablet or powder, which can be consumed at any time of the day. The best high-quality Ashwagandha tablet in the market is by Steadfast Nutrition. Take one tablet any time of the day.

Some choose to take it at night to help with sleep, while others prefer taking it in the morning. Since the ashwagandha tablet takes time to show its effects, you have the flexibility to take it whenever it fits into your schedule. However, if you experience any stomach discomfort, you might want to take it with food or before bed. Ultimately, it's up to you to find the timing that works best for you.

Side Effects Of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha supplement is generally considered safe, however, its long-term safety is uncertain. Taking large doses of ashwagandha supplement might lead to stomach upset, nasal congestion, cough, drowsiness, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, or vomiting. In rare cases, it could even cause liver problems. Therefore, it's important to use the ashwagandha supplement cautiously and follow recommended dosages. If you experience any adverse effects, it's advisable to stop using it and consult a healthcare professional.

Is it safe to use an Ashwagandha Supplement?

Ashwagandha supplement is considered safe for short-term use, but there isn't enough evidence about its long-term safety.

Additionally, the NCCIH warns that some low-quality Ayurvedic products, including ashwagandha, may contain levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic that are higher than what's considered safe for daily consumption.

Special Precautions and Warnings

It's important to inform your doctor if you plan to add any new supplements to your health routine, including ashwagandha. This is because ashwagandha may interact with other medications you're taking, either enhancing or weakening their effects.

Additionally, there are certain conditions to consider before taking the herb. It may not be safe if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, immunocompromised, about to undergo surgery, or have a thyroid condition. Some individuals who are allergic to nightshades or have specific grass allergies may also not tolerate ashwagandha well. If any of these situations apply to you, it's best to consult with your doctor or an integrative health specialist to determine whether ashwagandha is safe for you.


1. Is taking ashwagandha daily beneficial?

Ans: Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that has been associated with numerous potential health benefits.

Research indicates it may help reduce anxiety and stress, promote better sleep, and enhance cognitive function in certain groups of people.

In the short term, ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most individuals.

2. Who should not take Ashwagandha?

Ans: It's important to note several specific considerations regarding the use of ashwagandha:


Using ashwagandha during pregnancy is likely unsafe, as there's evidence suggesting it could increase the risk of miscarriage.


    There isn't enough reliable information to determine if ashwagandha is safe while breastfeeding. To err on the side of caution, it's advisable to avoid using it during breastfeeding.

      Autoimmune diseases:

      Ashwagandha may stimulate the immune system, potentially worsening symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid ashwagandha.


        Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system. Healthcare providers are concerned that this effect could be amplified by anesthesia and other medications used during and after surgery. It's recommended to stop taking ashwagandha at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

          Thyroid disorders:

          Ashwagandha might increase levels of thyroid hormones. Therefore, individuals with thyroid conditions or those taking thyroid hormone medications should use ashwagandha cautiously or avoid it altogether.

            Ashwagandha is often seen as a potential cure for various health issues, but ongoing modern research is still exploring its effectiveness for different conditions. Some studies indicate that it may help reduce anxiety, enhance cognitive abilities, boost strength, and improve sleep quality.

            While ashwagandha is generally considered safe for short-term use, its long-term effects remain uncertain. Use of any supplement should be done under expert guidance to avoid any harmful effects in the long run.

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