A Guide to Ashwagandha – Benefits And Side Effects

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogenic herb originating from Ayurveda, an ancient root widely used as a herbal medicine in India. Ashwagandha is known for its wide range of potential benefits helping our body to cope effectively with anxiety as well as stress. Ashwagandha is also known as Withania somnifera. It is a shrub belonging to the nightshade family. This herbal plant is native to the northeast zones of India. There are several Ashwagandha benefits recognized by the ancient science of Ayurveda as well as in several modern forms of medicine.

Effects of Ashwagandha

Traditionally Ashwagandha was prescribed for revitalizing the immune system after illness or injury. In the modern era of advanced medicine and healthcare, this amazing herb is being used for treating a wide range of conditions including depression, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, insomnia, chronic liver diseases, and aches.

In Sanskrit terminology, the term “Ashwagandha” means “horse odor” and the traditional belief was that ingesting this herb could provide you with the strength and stamina of a horse. Along with traditional beliefs, there have been research based Ashwagandha reviews by scientists as well as experts in the field of medicine.

If you are opting for something natural, then you can research Ashwagandha as the natural herb suitable for a variety of benefits. Ashwagandha, also known by the names Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, is rich in natural antioxidants. As there are no Ashwagandha side effects, improved immunity offered by this traditional herb can assist with your weight loss journey rather than taking fat burners.

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Ashwagandha and Cortisol

Cortisol is referred to as the stress hormone. The adrenal glands of the body release cortisol in response to your body reacting to stress, as well as when blood sugar levels in the body fall below normal levels. However, in some cases, cortisol levels in the body could remain elevated chronically, leading to high blood sugar levels and increased abdomen fat.

Studies have revealed that Ashwagandha can help in reducing cortisol levels in the body, thus implying that Ashwagandha supplements can reduce the cortisol levels in those who suffer from chronic stress.

Ashwagandha and Testosterone

Ashwagandha supplements are known to have significant effects on testosterone levels and also improving reproductive health. In a study involving Ashwagandha supplements, it was observed that men receiving Ashwagandha supplements experienced increased levels of antioxidants in the body that in return improved the overall sperm quality.

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Ashwagandha and Muscle Growth

Since supplementing with ashwagandha, including ashwagandha powder, can benefit men with low testosterone levels, it also results to an increase in muscle mass as well as boosting overall strength. In a study carried out to determine the benefits of ashwagandha, it was observed that men who consumed a dose of 750-1250 milligrams of the ashwagandha powder every day, experienced muscle strength gains after just 30 days. In another study, it was observed that taking ashwagandha helped in increasing the mass of muscle tissue.

Ashwagandha Benefits for Overall Health

Most of the Ashwagandha benefits are attributed to the presence of withanolides found in high concentrations in Ashwagandha. The presence of this natural compound has been associated with the ability of Ashwagandha to reduce inflammation.

Ashwagandha itself has many benefits, it can reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol, it exhibits anti-cancer properties, it reduces cortisol levels, it reduces the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, it can also boost testosterone levels.

The root, as well as the berry of the herb, have been used in India as part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries as well as in other parts of the world. Ashwagandha tea or tonic is also known to improve the overall physical and mental health.

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Ashwagandha and Infertility

Ashwagandha helps in boosting fertility and promoting reproductive health, especially in men. In a study conducted over 75 men (experiencing infertility issues) for a period of 3 months, around 5 grams of Ashwagandha powder daily, helped in increasing sperm count as well as motility. In another study involving men with chronic stress, consumption of 5 grams of Ashwagandha powder led to the increase of sperm count as well as sperm quality.

Ashwagandha and Brain Health

Various studies in test tubes, as well as animal samples, have revealed that consuming ashwagandha on a regular basis can reduce problems associated with memory as well as improve brain function.

When taken in the appropriate ashwagandha dosage, it can help in promoting antioxidant activity and protect nerve cells from harmful free radicals. Ashwagandha supplements, including teas & powders, can help in improving brain function, memory, reaction times, and the ability to perform various tasks.

Ashwagandha and Heart Health

As we mentioned previously, Ashwagandha is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to this, ashwagandha benefits also account for improving heart health by reducing the levels of cholesterol and triglyceride in the body. In a 60 day study involving adults that are stressed chronically, the group that took the highest Ashwagandha dosage experienced as much as 17 percent decrease in the bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and as much as 11 percent decrease in the levels of triglycerides in the body.

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Ashwagandha and Blood Sugar

Ashwagandha also helps in reducing the blood sugar levels in the body, both in individuals with diabetes as well as in healthy individuals. In a small study of 4 weeks involving 25 individuals, ashwagandha helped in reducing blood sugar levels as much as 3 times more in comparison to placebo. In another study that involved individuals having type-2 diabetes, consuming ashwagandha supplement helped in lowering fasting blood sugar levels, quite effectively. The ashwagandha benefits started appearing in individuals who took a dose of 250mg to 3 grams daily for 30 days.

Ashwagandha Side Effects

Ashwagandha supplements that are typically taken to manage stress or anxiety tend to be well tolerated when taken in typical recommended dosages. However, some of the potential ashwagandha side effects might include sleepiness, mild headaches, and an upset stomach. In rare cases, rapid heartbeat and allergic reactions are also reported. There are no long-term side effects with consumption of ashwagandha supplements. Moreover, if you are diabetic, it might interfere with your regular medication. These possible side effects are rare and will vary from one person to another in occurrence and severity. If for any reason you experience any adverse effects, immediately discontinue use of the product and consult with your doctor.

Where to Buy Ashwagandha

You can purchase Ashwagandha at most supplement stores such as Amazon, Walmart, GNC, or Whole Foods. It is readily available in capsules, tablets, powder – Ashwagandha root extract or liquid form. Our recommendation is to either buy Ashwagandha supplements directly from the manufacturer or purchase from trusted online retailers such as Amazon where you can find promotions combined with excellent delivery and return terms.

Ashwagandha products we like on Amazon

Tribe Organics, KSM-66 Ashwagandha Organic Pure Root Extract

Highly recommended product by current users. Tribe Organics ashwaganda is definitely a quality product, with hundreds of actual reviews, according to actual reviews, this product seems to be of high potency and bioavailability. While some anxiety medications can be addictive or cause drowsiness, this is natural non-addictive and will cause no negative side effects. In fact, you will be sleeping better than ever and have more energy throughout the day! As a bonus, if you are on a diet plan, you will also benefit through your weight-loss journey with this supplement.

Physicians Choice, Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder Extract

With many subpar products on the market, this is a high-quality supplement that actually work. Made with 100% USDA certified organic ashwagandha root powder and no fillers. Just pure potent ashwagandha root with black pepper extract. Its organic ingredients are made in the USA at a facility which is FDA NSF GMP certified. This Ashwagandha Powder acts as a stress support supplement, made with organic ashwagandha extract powder in capsules provides natural anxiety support.

NutriRise, Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder & Black Pepper Extract

Made with 100% certified organic ashwagandha root powder and organic black pepper extract for improved absorption, these pure ashwagandha capsules offer a potent formula with 1300mg per serving for superior anti-stress, anti-anxiety and adrenal support. This Supplement is produced in a FDA-approved facility in the USA following stringent GMP regulations. In addition, this Ashwagandha supplement offer a 90-day money back guarantee.

NaturaLife Labs, Organic Ashwagandha Capsules

This organic ashwagandha root supplement delivers 2100 mg per serving and comes in 100 vegan capsules bottles. With the addition of black pepper extract to assist with improved absorption while still being gentle on your stomach. The NutraLife Labs Aswagandha does not contain any fillers, magnesium stearate, dioxides, preservatives, gluten, soy, sugar, yeast or starch, and as expected with top quality products, is manufactured in a FDA approved facility in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices.

Active Adrenal, Advanced Adrenal Fatigue Supplement

This product is an adrenal fatigue support supplement designed to boost adrenal function with a balanced combination of essential nutrients and adaptogen herbs. The formula includes nutrients like B vitamins, Magnesium, and Vitamin C which are important in energy production and serve as the building blocks of certain stress hormones. In addition it includes herbs known as ‘adaptogens’ that assist the body with stress by balancing stress hormones as needed. The liquid delivery method has been shown to outperform standard capsules in terms of potency and availability. The manufacturer offer a no-questions-asked refund in the event you are not satisfied with the product.

How to Take Ashwagandha?

Whether you are taking ashwagandha capsules or ashwagandha powder, it is recommended to follow the recommendeddosage for optimal results. The preferred form of ashwagandha for best health benefits is in its root form or from the ashwagandha root extract. Some of the highly active compounds in ashwagandha are flavonoids referred to as the “withanolides.” Any type of ashwagandha supplement should contain as much as 4 percent of withanolides and it is recommended to be taken with food.

Should you supplement with Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is regarded as a safe supplement for most individuals. However, breast-feeding or pregnant women should avoid taking ashwagandha supplements. People having auto-immune disorters should also refrain from taking ashwagandha unless they consult their medical practitioner.


Ashwagandha is a popular medicinal herb that is known for its wide range of potential health benefits. It can help managing stress, anxiety, depression, boosting testosterone and fertility in men. Supplementing with ashwagandha can be an effective option if you wish to improve your overall health as well as the quality of your life. Moreover, ashwagandha is a natural supplement and safe to stack along with other supplements such as protein, multi-vitamins, and minerals.