Are you suffering from stress and pressure and looking for a natural solution that is not medicine but more of a plant? You have already heard about Ashwagandha but you are not yet convinced of its effects? Then you should definitely read this article.
In this article, we explain what you absolutely need to know about the effects of the super plant Ashwagandha. We have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions. We have used clinical studies to ensure that the information and facts are reliable. Finally, we explain the basic differences between Ashwagandha capsules, powder and tea.
the essentials in brief
- Ashwagandha is a plant native to India, often referred to as sleeping berries or Indian ginseng. In India, this super plant has been used for its medicinal properties for several hundred years.
- The positive effects of Ashwagandha have already been supported by several investigations and studies. Consumption of this plant has positive effects on blood sugar levels, stress reduction, brain functions and muscle mass.
- You can take ashwagandha in 3 forms, namely in capsule form, powder form or as a tea. All have their advantages and disadvantages. We will explain and compare all of these in this article.
Not a fan of Ashwagandha?
Try magnesium instead!
- Proven to help manage stress⚡
- Supports a healthy sleep cycle😴
- Try it now with a 21% discount
Discount will be automatically applied at checkout
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha, also known as sleeping berries or Indian ginseng, is an ancient medicinal herb. Numerous researches have proven the positive effects of this plant. Ashwagandha may be helpful in reducing depression and stress among others, but may also improve brain function and memory.
Ashwagandha has a positive effect on stress reduction and anxiety disorders, among other things. By consuming this plant, you can lead a calmer and more balanced life (Image source: Zac Durant/unsplash).
Ashwagandha roots contain many alkaloids such as nicotine, anaferine or withasomnine. All of these enhance the effect of the plant.
The Effects of Ashwagandha: What You Should Know
In this section we will explain what you absolutely need to know about the effects of Ashwagandha. Not only will you learn about the numerous positive effects of this plant, but we will mention the possible side effects of consuming this plant. This will give you an overview of the Ashwagandha topic and help you decide if you would like to consume Ashwagandha products in the future.
What positive effects does Ashwagandha have on the body?
We've mentioned some examples of ashwagandha's benefits before, but in the following sections we'll list the main benefits and back studies to prove that ashwagandha really is a super plant.
Lowering blood sugar levels
Blood sugar level is one of the most important factors when it comes to healthy living. When your blood sugar levels are too high, it can have a negative impact on your life. For example, you are always thirsty, you want to go to the toilet more often and you are much more hungry than usual.
But according to a study, ashwagandha can increase insulin response while improving insulin sensitivity in muscles. (1)
If your blood sugar levels are high, you should try ashwagandha instead of medication first.
There was also a 4-week study in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. This study proved that those treated with ashwagandha had their fasting blood sugar levels drop by 13.5 mg/dl. In the placebo group, this value was only 4.5 mg/dl. (2)
There was another small study with only 6 participants with type 2 diabetes who were treated with ashwagandha for 30 days. Fasting blood glucose levels also decreased in this case, but as this study did not include a control group, the results are questionable. (3)
Lowering of cortisol levels
Cortisol is often labeled as a stress hormone. Cortisol is released by your body when, for example, your blood sugar level is too low. Unfortunately, there are cases when cortisol levels are chronically elevated, which can cause higher blood sugar levels and increased fat storage.
However, some studies show that ashwagandha consumption can have a positive effect on cortisol levels. (4.5)
A 2008 study demonstrated that chronically stressed adults treated with ashwagandha had significantly greater cortisol reduction compared to the control group. Those who increased the dose and consumed ashwagandha saw a reduction of approximately 30 percent.(6)
Reduction in symptoms of depression
To date, there is no clear study that has exclusively examined the effect of ashwagandha on depression. But some studies have proven that ashwagandha can have a positive impact on depression.
According to a 2012 study, investigated the effects of this super plant. This study lasted 60 days with 64 adults suffering from stress. Those who consumed 600 mg of ashwagandha extract daily saw a 79 percent reduction in major depression. In the placebo group, a 10 percent increase was noted. (5)
Reduction of stress and anxiety
Ashwagandha is well known and loved for its ability to reduce stress. There are several studies that have examined and proven this ability. Here are some of them.
In the previous section we already mentioned a study from 2012 where 64 participants were tested with stress for 60 days. Based on the results of the study, we can discover a connection between the reduction in depression and the reduction in stress and anxiety. So the results of this study are also relevant in this case. (5)
Another study has verified this effect of ashwagandha. This study lasted for 6 weeks. 88 percent of participants who consumed ashwagandha experienced a reduction in anxiety, and 50 percent of the placebo group had the same experience. (7)
Improvement in brain functions
There are studies that write about the positive effects of ashwagandha on brain functions. These studies have been conducted on both animals and humans and have proven the effects of Ashwagandha.
A 2012 study looked at rats with epilepsy treated with ashwagandha. Almost complete reversal of spatial memory impairment was observed after treatment. Presumably, this was caused by a reduction in oxidative stress. (10)
Another 2014 study was conducted on humans. The men consumed 500 mg of ashwagandha extract. They reported improvements in response time and task completion. The placebo group did not experience such results. (11)
This 2017 study examined the positive effects of ashwagandha. The participants consumed 300 mg of ashwagandha extract twice a day. You've experienced an improvement in overall memory, task performance, and attention span. (12)
Increase in muscle mass and strength
Some studies prove that ashwagandha can have a positive effect on muscle mass and reduction of fat. Here we have taken 2 of these studies to be able to prove these effects.
As you can see, Ashwagandha has a positive effect on stress reduction, anxiety, brain functions and muscle mass, among other things.
A 2012 study examined the effects of ashwagandha on muscle mass. All participants were healthy males consuming between 750 to 1250 mg of Ashwagandha powder daily. This study lasted for 30 days and the results show that ashwagandha consumption can increase muscle mass. (8th)
Another study from 2015 had the same results. Participants who consumed ashwagandha gained significantly more muscle mass and strength than the placebo group. In addition, the ashwagandha group lost significantly more, almost twice as much body fat as the placebo group. (9)
What side effects can Ashwagandha have?
Although this has not been proven by studies, unpleasant side effects can occur if you consume particularly large amounts of ashwagandha. However, these side effects do not occur in all cases and also depend heavily on individual tolerance.
As in most cases, indigestion can occur as a side effect. However, this does not mean that you should definitely expect an upset stomach when consuming a higher dose of ashwagandha.
Indigestion is one of the most common symptoms of consuming too much ashwagandha. If you experience something like this, you should lower the dosage (Image source: Giorgio Trovato/unsplash).
Stomach cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea and possibly vomiting can also occur as side effects. However, these can occur at extremely high doses. Because of this, you should always start with lower doses and pay attention to how your body responds. Once you have established that everything is ok, you can increase the dose.
Side effects such as stomach upset can only occur with too high a dose of ashwagandha , so you should start with a lower dose.
As Ashwagandha has a positive effect on the entire immune system, it can potentially worsen autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus. However, these are potential side effects, so if you consume ashwagandha, you probably won't have an autoimmune disease. In any case, we recommend that you consult with your doctor about consuming Ashwagandha. (13)
Who is Ashwagandha recommended for?
Regarding the positive effects of ashwagandha, we have already mentioned some examples of those who are recommended to consume such products. However, in this section we will summarize for you again so that you can be sure that you should consume products containing Ashwagandha.
For people with insomnia
Stress is one of the most common reasons why some may experience insomnia. Too much stress can affect the quality and amount of sleep, so you should be calm and possibly not stressed before going to bed.
If you have too many thoughts on your mind, or are just too stressed out, give Ashwagandha a try. As ashwagandha has a positive effect on stress and anxiety, it can be helpful for insomnia. (5.7)
For people with stress and anxiety
If your work or private life is very stressful, it can negatively affect your health. Too much stress can lead to a deterioration in the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. So stress can affect all aspects of your life.
As mentioned earlier, Ashwagandha has a positive effect on reducing stress, so we can only recommend the consumption of this medicinal plant. By consuming Ashwagandha you can lead a calm and therefore healthy lifestyle. (5,6,7)
For people who do hard intellectual work
Brain function and memory play a very important role in everyone's life. As you get older, your ability to concentrate will deteriorate and you will need more time for everything. If you are a college student, or work in an office, or just do hard mental work, you should consider consuming Ashwagandha.
The above studies prove that Ashwagandha has a positive effect on concentration, memory and healthy brain function. (10,11,12)
Not a fan of Ashwagandha?
Try magnesium instead!
- Proven to help manage stress⚡
- Supports a healthy sleep cycle😴
- Try it now with a 21% discount
Discount will be automatically applied at checkout
For people who exercise regularly
Exercising and healthy living go hand in hand. Sport can also help a lot in reducing stress. Through sport you can meet new people, belong to a new community.
Actually, we can recommend Ashwagandha to anyone who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle
If you want to increase your sports performance, but at the same time want to consume a natural supplement, then Ashwagandha and its positive effects can be helpful. Studies prove that consuming ashwagandha can increase muscle mass, but at the same time can significantly reduce fat mass while losing weight. (8.9)
When does Ashwagandha work best?
For ashwagandha to have its best effects, you should be careful about when you consume it. However, the purpose for which you are taking the Ashwagandha product also plays a crucial role.
In general, there is no difference if you take ashwagandha on an empty stomach or after or during a meal. So far, no study has addressed this question, so it is not scientifically possible to answer this question.
|time of application||Short description|
|Before bedtime||However, if you want to improve the quality of your sleep, you should take the full dose just before bedtime. Since ashwagandha is quickly absorbed, its effects also come on quickly, allowing you to sleep more soundly.|
|After getting up||If you feel like you are about to have a stressful day or wake up irritable in the morning, you should take your daily dose in the morning so you can stay calm and balanced throughout the day.|
|On occasion||You have the option to consume Ashwagandha specifically only when you need its effects. Whether it's an intense workout or an important presentation, if you take Ashwagandha right beforehand, you'll feel the beneficial effects almost immediately|
As the table shows, the application of Ashwagandha depends on your personal preferences. There are no rules as to when exactly you need to consume your daily ashwagandha serving. If you want to consume the plant long-term, the time of application is completely irrelevant.
How long does it take for Ashwagandha to work?
As with all vitamins and supplements, it is impossible to predict how many days you will start feeling the positive effects of ashwagandha.
This is partly due to the fact that every body reacts differently to such products, there are some that incorporate the vitamin or nutrient into the body earlier and others that only later.
Generally, it takes at least 2 weeks before you feel the effects of ashwagandha. However, this is also affected by the quantity or quality of Ashwagandha ingested. However, it can happen that you notice the positive effects after a few months.
How should you take Ashwagandha for optimal effects?
Once you are convinced that you want to consume ashwagandha, there is only one final decision you should make: what form do you want to take it in? In this section we will explain and compare the 3 most popular forms of Ashwagandha. But you will also learn which form you should consume when so that you can achieve the best effect.
Ashwagandha capsules are the most popular form of ashwagandha. This is not surprising, however, when dosing in this form is the easiest. The capsules usually contain between 1500 and 2000 mg of active ingredient, but there are high-dose variants that contain around 2500 mg of active ingredient. In addition, most of the products are organic and vegan, so everyone can consume such products without any problems.
Ashwagandha capsules are the easiest and quickest way to start consuming this super plant. If you can swallow the capsules, then don't look for an alternative (Image source: Michele Blackwell/unsplash).
A major disadvantage of the capsule form is that it cannot be dosed as precisely as the powder form. In addition, not everyone can swallow the capsules, for them capsules are not i
If you can swallow the capsules then the capsule form of Ashwagandha products is the most convenient and easy choice for you.
Ashwagandha powder is the second most popular form of ashwagandha. The advantage of such products is that the dosage can be personalized very easily. That is why it is recommended to buy Ashwagandha powder in the beginning as you can start with a lower dose. Also, the powder form is cheaper than the capsule form. In this case, the majority of the products are also organic and vegan, so such products can be consumed by everyone.
The disadvantage of the powder form is that it is very sensitive to moisture. You should be careful not to let any water get into the packaging. Also, dosing is a bit more complicated than capsule form, but it's still doable.
We recommend Ashwagandha powder for those who have just started consuming Ashwagandha. You can dose powder much more precisely and easily than capsules.
Ashwagandha tea is a special form of Ashwagandha products. The dosage is very similar to the powder form, so it's easy to personalize. You can customize it to your liking. Ashwagandha tea is recommended if you are a tea lover or want to consume ashwagandha right before bed or after waking up.
A major disadvantage of the tea is that they are less cost-effective than the other two types of equipment in terms of value for money.
In some cases, the teas contain not only ashwagandha, but other additional herbs, which can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. If you only want to consume ashwagandha, you should look for another form of the plant, but if you want to combine the healing effects of several herbs, then such teas are a perfect choice.
If you are a tea lover and want to consume ashwagandha, then you should definitely get some ashwagandha tea for yourself.
From this article you learned that Ashwagandha has many positive effects on the human body. One of the most important of these is the mood-enhancing and stress-relieving effect, which makes Ashwagandha highly recommended for everyone. In addition, those who work mentally and physically can also enjoy the benefits of Ashwagandha.
This super plant is not a new invention as it has been used in India for several hundreds of years due to its many beneficial effects. Numerous scientific studies have also examined the effects of ashwagandha on the body. All have shown that this herb has had a beneficial effect on the human body in almost all cases.
- Gorelick J, Rosenberg R, Smotrich A, Hanuš L, Bernstein N. Hypoglycemic activity of withanolides and elicited Withania somnifera. phytochemistry. 2015 Aug;116:283-289. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2015.02.029. Epub 2015 Mar 18. PMID: 25796090.
- Agnihotri AP, Sontakke SD, Thawani VR, Saoji A, & Goswami VS (2013). Effects of Withania somnifera in patients of schizophrenia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial study. Indian journal of pharmacology, 45(4), 417-418. https://doi.org/10.4103/0253-7613.115012
- Andallu B, Radhika B. Hypoglycemic, diuretic and hypocholesterolemic effect of winter cherry (Withania somnifera, Dunal) root. Indian J Exp Biol. 2000 Jun;38(6):607-9. PMID: 11116534.
- Mahdi AA, Shukla KK, Ahmad MK, Rajender S, Shankhwar SN, Singh V, Dalela D. Withania somnifera Improves Semen Quality in Stress-Related Male Fertility. Evid Based Complement Alternate Med. 2009 Sep 29;2011:576962. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nep138. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 19789214; PMCID: PMC3136684.
- Chandrasekhar K, Kapoor J, Anishetty S. A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul;34(3):255-62. doi: 10.4103/0253-7176.106022. PMID: 23439798; PMCID: PMC3573577.
- A Standardized Withania Somniferia Extract Significantly Reduces Stress Related Parameters in Chronically Stressed Humans: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Biswajit Auddy, Jayaram Hazara, Achintya Mitra, Bruce Abedon, Shibnath Ghosal. 2008, 50-56.
- Andrade C, Aswath A, Chaturvedi SK, Srinivasa M, Raguram R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled evaluation of the anxiolytic efficacy ff an ethanolic extract of withania somnifera. Indian J Psychiatry. 2000 Jul;42(3):295-301. PMID: 21407960; PMCID: PMC2958355.
- Raut AA, Rege NN, Tadvi FM, Solanki PV, Kene KR, Shirolkar SG, Pandey SN, Vaidya RA, Vaidya AB. Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in healthy volunteers. J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2012 Jul;3(3):111-4. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.100168. PMID: 23125505; PMCID: PMC3487234.
- Wankhede S, Langade D, Joshi K, Sinha SR, Bhattacharyya S. Examining the effect of Withania somnifera supplementation on muscle strength and recovery: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Nov 25;12:43. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0104-9. PMID: 26609282; PMCID: PMC4658772.
- Soman S, Korah PK, Jayanarayanan S, Mathew J, Paulose CS. Oxidative stress induced NMDA receptor alteration leads to spatial memory deficits in temporal lobe epilepsy: ameliorative effects of Withania somnifera and Withanolide A. Neurochem Res. 2012 Sep;37(9):1915-27. doi: 10.1007/s11064-012-0810-5. Epub 2012 Jun 15. PMID: 22700086.
- Pingali U, Pilli R, Fatima N. Effect of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera on tests of cognitive and psychomotor performance in healthy human participants. Pharmacognosy Res. 2014 Jan;6(1):12-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.122912. PMID: 24497737; PMCID: PMC3897003.
- Choudhary D, Bhattacharyya S, Bose S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions. J Diet Suppl. 2017 Nov2;14(6):599-612. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2017.1284970. Epub 2017 Feb 21. PMID: 28471731.
- Mishra LC, Singh BB, Dagenais S. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Aug;5(4):334-46. PMID: 10956379.