The Ashwagandha plant, also known as Withania somnifera in botanical terms, is a woody plant native to India and North Africa with yellow flowers.
In terms of classification, it is an adaptogen because it’s believed to improve your body’s stress management.
For more than 3,000 years, ayurvedic medicine has used this plant – particularly its root – to treat a variety of ailments.
Modern science also links it to improved blood sugar levels, mood, and memory, as well as stress reduction and anxiety reduction.
In this article, you’ll learn the optimal doses to achieve various health benefits.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha is most famous for its stress-reducing properties. The medicinal herb reduces cortisol levels, an adrenal gland hormone that is produced when you are stressed. A daily dose of 125 mg to 5 grams for 1–3 months has been shown to lower cortisol levels by 11–32%.
In addition, people with anxiety and stress disorders may experience less insomnia when taking ashwagandha, 500-600 mg per day for 6-12 weeks.
Due to its benefits, the popular supplement Resurge also includes the extract of ashwagandha in its ingredients to help people relax and improve sleep quality. In fact, in one actigraphy-based study, participants reported better sleep after taking ashwagandha for six weeks.
However, since the supplement industry is barely regulated, you might want to read some Resurge reviews before making any purchase.
In summary, Ashwagandha appears to reduce stress and anxiety symptoms. Generally, the majority of benefits are associated with dosages of 500–600 mg per day taken for at least one month.
Lowering Blood Sugar Levels
Both healthy people with diabetes and those without may benefit from Ashwagandha’s blood sugar lowering properties.
According to one small study conducted on 25 people, ashwagandha cut fasting blood sugar levels three times more effectively than a placebo.
Besides, the use of an Ashwagandha supplement for 30 days for people with type 2 diabetes reduced fasting blood sugar levels as well as oral diabetes medications, in another study.
In these studies, the doses varied between 250 mg and 3 grams, which were generally divided into 2 to 3 equal portions spread evenly over the day.
In summary, Ashwagandha may contribute to lowering blood sugar levels. As little as 250 mg of the supplement appears to be beneficial.
To Boost Fertility
Ashwagandha may promote fertility and reproductive health, especially in men. Among 75 infertile men, ashwagandha increased sperm counts and motility in a study conducted over 3 months.
Another study found that five grams of ashwagandha per day improved sperm quality in highly stressed men. Also, 14% of their partners became pregnant within the first three months of the study.
Similar results have been reported in other studies with comparable dosages.
In summary, the use of five grams of ashwagandha per day may help boost men’s fertility in just three months.
Enhancing Muscle Growth and Strength
Strength and mass might be increased by using ashwagandha in addition to other supplements. During an 8-week study, men receiving 500 mg of this medicinal herb per day increased their muscular power by 1%, while the placebo group showed no improvement.
Aswagandha was found to increase muscle strength by 1.5–1.7 times and muscle size by 1.6–2.3 times greater than a placebo in another study.
Ashwagandha, taken for 30 days at 750-1,250 mg per day, had similar effects.
In summary, within eight weeks, an intake of 500 mg of ashwagandha daily may result in modest gains in strength and muscle mass. Although most studies have focused on men, some research suggests women can also benefit from meditation.
Reduce Inflammation and Aid in the Fight Against Infection
Ashwagandha is believed to support immunity and lower inflammation. In studies, ashwagandha root extract may increase immune cell count, which helps fight infections.
Furthermore, ashwagandha intake of 250-500 mg daily for 60 days may lower inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein levels by as much as 30%.
In summary, Ashwagandha may reduce inflammation and fight infection. It appears that supplementation with ashwagandha containing 250 mg or 12 ml of extract offers the most benefits.
Some scientific studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help improve memory in Ayurveda practice.
One study found, for example, that 300 mg of ashwagandha root supplement twice a day markedly improved general memory, attention and task performance in comparison with a placebo.
A second study found that when healthy men were given 500mg of the herb every day for two weeks, they performed superiorly on performance tests and reaction time tests compared to controls.
However, there is a lack of human research in this area, and more research is needed before strong conclusions are drawn.
In summary, Ashwagandha root extract might improve memory on several levels when taken 500-600 mg per day. The effects must be confirmed by more research, however.
Safety and Side Effects
Ashwagandha is generally safe for most people. That said, pregnant or nursing women and people with autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes type 1 and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, may need to avoid the supplement.
It may also interact with medications for thyroid problems, blood sugar problems, and high blood pressure.
Before supplementing with medicinal herb, patients taking these medications should consult their doctor.
You should be aware that most studies on ashwagandha have been small and of poor quality. This can affect the accuracy of information about dosage effectiveness and safety. It is necessary to conduct further research.
Ashwagandha is a herb that has been used for centuries to deal with diabetes, inflammation, stress and anxiety, and to improve the quality of life.
For at least one month, you should take between 250 and 500 mg per day, depending on your needs.