The Complete Guide to Ashwagandha

The Complete Guide to Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a potent medicinal herb that has been utilized in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. However, it has made its way into modern medicine being used as a supplement to support health and wellness.  

In This Article

What is Ashwagandha
Traditional Uses of Ashwagandha
Scientific Overview of Ashwagandha
Benefits of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha & Sports
Ashwagandha Supplement Forms
Ashwagandha FAQS

In this guide, we will explore the origins, benefits, and traditional uses of Ashwagandha. We’ll also delve into proper dosing, side effects, and applications for Ashwagandha.

Whether you're already familiar with this herb or curious to learn more, this guide will provide you with comprehensive and reliable information to help you make informed decisions about incorporating Ashwagandha into your wellness routine.

Before we begin, as always, we strongly recommend consulting with your healthcare practitioner before beginning a supplement regimen.

Let’s dive in!


What is Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, is a highly regarded medicinal herb that originated in ancient India. It is native to the dry regions of the Indian subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. 

This unique herb has been recognized for its adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps the body respond to and cope with various types of stress. Ashwagandha promotes overall well-being by supporting the body's natural ability to harmonize and maintain balance.

In the next section, we will delve into the traditional uses of Ashwagandha, exploring the various ways it has been employed in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

Traditional Uses of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has held a significant place in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine in India, recognizes the holistic approach to health and emphasizes restoring balance in the body and mind. 

One of the primary traditional uses of Ashwagandha is as an adaptogen, aiding the body in managing stress and anxiety. By supporting the body's natural stress response processes, it helps individuals maintain a sense of calm and well-being even in the face of challenges.

Ashwagandha is also revered for its potential to improve overall energy levels and promote a sense of vitality. It helps rejuvenate the body and combat fatigue, allowing individuals to tackle daily tasks with vigor.

Furthermore, this remarkable herb is known to have immune-boosting properties. It helps fortify the body's defense mechanisms, enhancing overall immune function and promoting resilience against pathogens and environmental stressors. 

Ashwagandha has long been used as a natural remedy for insomnia and sleep disorders. Its relaxing properties help support restful sleep, allowing individuals to wake up refreshed and revitalized.

Finally, Ashwagandha is believed to have potent anti-inflammatory effects, making it a valuable tool for reducing inflammation in the body. By calming the inflammatory response, Ashwagandha may support overall health and well-being.

As we continue in this guide, we will explore the scientific evidence and studies that support the traditional uses of Ashwagandha, providing you with a deeper understanding of its potential benefits.


Scientific Overview of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been the subject of numerous scientific studies, highlighting its potential health benefits and therapeutic properties. Recent research has provided valuable insights into the mechanisms of action and the effects of Ashwagandha on various aspects of health.

Several studies have focused on the adaptogenic properties of Ashwagandha, supporting its traditional use for stress relief. Research has shown that Ashwagandha can help regulate the body's stress response system, reducing cortisol levels and promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

A study published in 2019 demonstrated that participants who consumed Ashwagandha for 60 days experienced a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels compared to the placebo group. Another study published in 2012 found that Ashwagandha supplementation improved cognitive function and attention.

Furthermore, Ashwagandha has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study published in 2016 revealed that Ashwagandha extract exhibited significant anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting pro-inflammatory molecules.

Other studies have indicated that Ashwagandha's antioxidant activity can help protect against oxidative stress, which is implicated in various chronic diseases 

Research has also explored the potential benefits of Ashwagandha in supporting immune function. Another study published in 2019 demonstrated that Ashwagandha extract can enhance the activity of natural killer cells, a crucial component of the immune system.

It is important to note that while these studies and others suggest promising results, more research is needed to further validate the findings and to better understand the full potential of Ashwagandha.  

Dosage and Administration

When it comes to how much Ashwagandha you should take, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional or follow the instructions provided on the product label. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific health needs and any existing medications you may be taking.

The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha extract ranges from 300 to 500 mg per day, depending on the person and the application, however, we recommend starting with 125mg (our standard product dose) to ensure it is well-tolerated.

It is important to note that the appropriate dosage may vary depending on factors such as weight, age, and individual tolerance. To ensure safety and effectiveness, it is important to discuss a new supplement regimen with your healthcare professional to ensure it’s a good fit for your needs.

Remember, responsible use and adherence to recommended dosages are key to obtaining the potential benefits of Ashwagandha while minimizing the risk of adverse effects. 

Safety and Side Effects

Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for most people when used as directed. However, it is important to be aware of potential safety concerns and side effects that have been associated with Ashwagandha use.

While rare, there have been reports of severe side effects associated with Ashwagandha, including liver problems, allergic reactions, and gastrointestinal distress. It is essential to be vigilant and discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur, seeking medical attention if necessary. 

Individuals with specific health conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, may also be at a higher risk for side effects. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using Ashwagandha if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications to ensure their compatibility and safety.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before using Ashwagandha. Limited research is available regarding the safety of Ashwagandha during pregnancy or lactation, so it is essential to err on the side of caution.

If you experience any unusual side effects or have concerns about the safety of Ashwagandha, it is important to reach out to your healthcare provider for professional advice.

Limitations and Considerations

As with any herbal supplement, there are certain limitations and considerations that readers should be aware of when considering Ashwagandha.

Individual responses to Ashwagandha may vary, as factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and overall health can influence its effectiveness. It is crucial to approach Ashwagandha with realistic expectations and consider it as part of a holistic wellness routine that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress management techniques.  

By staying informed and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals, you can make educated decisions about integrating Ashwagandha into your wellness routine and optimize its potential benefits.


Benefits of Ashwagandha

We’ve hinted around at Ashwagandha’s benefits in previous sections, but let’s take a deeper look at them now.

  • Improved Sleep Quality: Ashwagandha has been shown to promote better sleep quality and reduce insomnia, helping you achieve restful and rejuvenating sleep.
  • Enhanced Cognitive Function: Research suggests that Ashwagandha may enhance cognitive function, improving memory, concentration, and overall mental performance.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Ashwagandha exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. By reducing inflammation, it may support joint health and relieve discomfort.
  • Boosted Immune Function: Studies indicate that Ashwagandha may boost immune function, helping increase resistance to infections and supporting overall immune health.
  • Potential Anti-Cancer Properties: Research suggests that Ashwagandha may have potential anti-cancer properties and inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells. However, more studies are needed to fully understand its role in cancer prevention and treatment. 
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Ashwagandha has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
  • Positive Effects on Sexual Health: Ashwagandha has been found to have positive effects on sexual health, including improving libido and fertility in both men and women.
  • Weight Management Support: By reducing stress-related overeating and promoting a healthy metabolism, Ashwagandha may support weight management and help maintain a healthy body weight. 
  • Traditional Use for Vitality and Longevity: In traditional medicine, Ashwagandha has been used to support overall vitality and longevity, promoting optimal health and well-being.

Again, while these benefits are promising, individual responses to Ashwagandha may vary, and this is why we always recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before incorporating any new supplement into your routine.

Ashwagandha & Sports

As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha has also gained popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts for its potential benefits in sports performance. 

  • Improved Strength and Muscle Mass: Research suggests that Ashwagandha may help improve strength and increase muscle mass in athletes, enhancing physical performance.
  • Increased Testosterone Levels: Ashwagandha has been found to increase testosterone levels, which can contribute to muscle growth, recovery, and overall athletic performance. 
  • Enhanced Endurance and Reduced Fatigue: Athletes taking Ashwagandha may experience improved endurance and reduced fatigue, allowing for longer and more intense training sessions.
  • Post-Exercise Recovery: Ashwagandha has demonstrated the ability to reduce markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, which can aid in post-exercise recovery, minimizing muscle damage and promoting faster healing.


Ashwagandha Supplement Forms

Ashwagandha supplements are available in various forms, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your preferences and lifestyle. Let's review some common supplement forms of Ashwagandha:

  • Powder: Ashwagandha powder can be easily mixed into beverages, smoothies, yogurt, or incorporated into recipes. It offers versatility in dosing and allows for personalized consumption.
  • Edibles: Ashwagandha is commonly available in capsule or gummy form, offering convenience and precise dosing. This form is ideal for individuals who prefer a hassle-free method of consumption.
  • Tea: Ashwagandha tea is made by steeping Ashwagandha roots or leaves in hot water. It provides a soothing and calming way to enjoy the herb's benefits. Tea can be a great option for those who prefer a warm and comforting beverage.
  • Liquid Extracts/Tinctures: Ashwagandha extracts or tinctures are concentrated forms of the herb, typically available in dropper bottles. They can be taken directly or mixed with water or other liquids for easy consumption. 

When choosing a supplement form, consider factors such as convenience, personal preference, and ease of incorporation into your daily routine. As always, it's recommended to follow the dosage instructions provided on the product label and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or specific health conditions.


Ashwagandha FAQS

Who should not take Ashwagandha?

It is advised that certain individuals should avoid taking Ashwagandha, including pregnant women due to the risk of miscarriage, and individuals with existing stomach ulcers, autoimmune diseases, or those taking certain medications or scheduled for surgery. 

What does Ashwagandha do to your body?

Ashwagandha is commonly used to help manage stress and is thought to have adaptogenic properties that may help the body adapt to stress.

What is Ashwagandha used to treat?

Ashwagandha is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to address stress, anxiety, memory loss, insomnia, and a variety of other health conditions. 

How much Ashwagandha should you take per day?

The appropriate daily dosage of Ashwagandha may vary depending on the individual and their health status. At NextEvo Naturals, we recommend a starting dose of 125mg. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if a higher dosage is suitable for you.

Does Ashwagandha make you sleepy?

Ashwagandha might interact with supplements that cause sleepiness, such as St. John's wort, kava, valerian, and others. However, it is not widely reported to cause drowsiness as a common side effect.

Why is Ashwagandha not FDA-approved?

Ashwagandha is not FDA-approved as a drug for the treatment of any specific medical condition. This is because it is considered a supplement. While it is available as a dietary supplement, the FDA does not regulate supplements in the same way as prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Is it okay to take Ashwagandha every day?

The suitability of taking Ashwagandha daily can depend on individual health circumstances and it's best to consult a healthcare professional to determine its appropriate and safe use.

Do I take Ashwagandha in the morning or at night?

The timing for taking Ashwagandha may depend on individual preferences and specific health goals. Some may find it helpful to take it in the evening to support relaxation and sleep, while others may prefer taking it in the morning for stress management.

Can Ashwagandha cause a false positive drug test?

There is limited information available on whether Ashwagandha can cause a false positive drug test. It’s advised to inform the testing authority about the consumption of any supplements before the test to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation.