Ashwagandha Benefits and Side Effects

by John Griffith

Alongside other wellness trends recently, such as spirulina and kombucha, ashwagandha has been gaining quite some popularity. Native to Asia and Africa, this nontoxic herb has been used for thousands of years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, improve concentration, and much more. The herb is part of a class of plants called adaptogens which are known to have amazing qualities when ingested as teas, powders, tinctures and supplements, or even in its  raw form. Ashwagandha is also one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a traditional form of alternative medicine based on the Indian principles of natural healing. Also known as withania somnifera (winter cherry) or Indian ginseng, this plant is famous with it’s many benefits. Fun fact: In Sanskrit, ashva means “horse” and gandha means “smell.” Check out our ultimate guide on ashwagandha benefits, side effects, and more to learn everything you need.

 In Sanskrit, ashva means “horse” and gandha means “smell”

does ashwagandha make you sleepy powder

Ashwagandha Plant

So, what exactly is ashwagandha? Also known by its botanical name Withania somnifera (winter cherry), this magical herb is a small woody shrub with yellow flowers native to India and North Africa. Extracts or powder from the plant’s root or leaves can treat a variety of conditions.

Ashwagandha’s botanical name is Withania somnifera (winter cherry)

ashwagandha health benefits withania fruit

Benefits Of Ashwagandha

Now that we know what ashwagandha is, let’s see what are all these health benefits we keep mentioning.

Ashwagandha has many health benefits

kristin duvall/stocksy united

Stress and Anxiety Relief

Ashwagandha is primarily famous for its stress-relieving properties. As an adaptogen, it prepares the body to cope with stress and anxiety. The herb helps control the stress mediators like cortisol and proteins like heat shock proteins which are the first line of defense cells against stress hormones. Ayurvedic texts also recommend using ashwagandha for alleviating tension, exhaustion, and body aches. Overall, ashwagandha helps you have a better reaction during stressful situations. These could be a physically straining event like an intense workout session or an emotionally taxing day.

The herb helps control the stress mediators

ashwagandha powder woman with book on face

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is a normal response the body has to certain situations like trauma, infections, and toxins. When such situations arise, the body produces anti-inflammatory reactions to help restore balance. However, in cases of chronic pain, such as arthritis, the body fails to release the anti-inflammatory responses resulting in severe inflammation. Studies show that Ashwagandha contains traces of withanolide phytochemicals that play a vital role in reducing inflammation. Taking tea, prepared from the herb’s dried leaves, benefits in dealing with any excess inflammation. Consequently, providing relief.

Improves Sleep

Ashwagandha is a natural remedy that induces sleep. It is from traditional Indian medicine. Studies have shown that the regular consumption of the herb promotes restful sleep. Even its scientific name, withania somnifera, points to its ability to promote a deeper, better quality sleep, as ‘somnifera’ translates to sleep-inducing. Although it has a small impact on the sleep pattern, it has a positive effect on sleep quality. The sleep-inducing properties of ashwagandha benefit people with insomnia. You can mix a tablespoon of ashwagandha powder with a cup of warm milk before sleep for better results.

Regular consumption of the herb promotes restful sleep

ashwagandha health benefits woman asleep

Maintains Healthy Iron Levels

Haematopoiesis is the term for the process by which the body produces new blood. Ashwagandha is an also know hemopoetic. The root is great for maintaining iron levels normal within humans.

Aids Weight Loss

Stress is one of them most common reasons behind weight gain. However, since ashwagandha helps lower stress’s both physiological and psychological markers. Not only that, but as we mentioned it also reduces sugar cravings. This will help you improve your eating habits and allow you to contunue with your weight loss journey.

Ashwagandha helps lower stress’s both physiological and psychological markers

ashwagandha side effects weight loss

Slows Down the Aging Process

Ashwagandha is filled with concentrations of catechins and antioxidants. They help combat conditions related to aging such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis. Free radical damage can increase the speed at which we age. The antioxidants in ashwagandha help protect the body from the free radical damage caused by environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays.

Helps Manage Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes the skin to lose skin color in patches. It most happens when pigment cells either die or just stop functioning. Although there is no cure for it, there are some things that may help cure its systems and slow down the process. Ashwagandha is one of many herbs that may help with the condition.

The pigment cells either die or just stop functioning

ashwagandha dosage winnie harlow

Athlete Endurance

As we mentioned, ashwagandha has amazing anti-inflammatory properties.  Combined with anti-stressors it makes a great choice to enhance sports performance. Endurance is a great benefit and one of the major pro’s that men and women can enjoy. One of the ashwagandha benefits for men, is possibly increasing their oxygen levels and decreasing fatigue! This herb can assist you in your fitness and health goals, and help you to achieve a greater level of motivation.

Improves Memory and Focus

Early studies reveal that taking ashwagandha, especially at night, improves cognitive functioning. It helps deal with the mild cognitive impairment and conditions of schizophrenia. Improving cognitive functioning enhances cognitive task performances, attention, and reaction time. Timely intake of ashwagandha improves attention spans and memory while normalizing body imbalances. Ashwagandha also allows the body to utilize oxygen effectively. This helps improve concentration and focus.

Ashwagandha improves cognitive functioning

what is аashwagandha photo memories

Aids with Cancer

The withaferin compound in ashwagandha can help induce apoptosis, which is the death of unwanted cells. This helps kill the cancer cells. Moreover, it even prevents the growth of new cancerous cells in many ways. One of the main benefits recent studies suggest that ashwagandha may possess a potential for treating breast and ovarian cancer.

Heart Health

Ashwagandha increases oxygen levels in the body. It creates a healthy flow of oxygen between the heart and lungs, which is great when doing physical activities. Ashwagandha improves heart health by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol in the body, and chest pains.

Ashwagandha improves heart health

ashwagandha heart baloons

Sexual Stimulant

One of the clinical studies indicates that ashwagandha benefits people who may experience sexual dysfunction. The regular use of the herb can improve sexual arousal, orgasm, and lubrication. Since ashwagandha relieves mental stress, it also induces a good mood, enhancing the blood flow and sexual potency. It is said ashwagandha works as an aphrodisiac and increases the libido.


Ashwagandha can help you achieve flawless and glowing skin. This is beacuse it’s high in antioxidants. They help fight against acne, fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. And since the alkaloids ease anxiety and stress, this will lessen skin conditions to occur. The WA compounds in ashwagandha help clean the impurities and dirt and deeply soothe the dry skin. Moisurizing and cleansing the skin. Better cleansing prevents clogged pores and acne. Both estrogen and DHEA found in the herb help keep the skin youthful while enhancing the skin’s natural oil production and collagen generation. You can also apply the fluid having ashwagandha as a cream for treating bruises, cuts, and skin infections.

The herb helps achieve a glowing complextion 

ashwagandha tea glowing skin

Regulates Blood Sugar Level

Some evidence suggests that this herb can benefit people with diabetes or high blood sugar levels. It has anti-diabetic compounds. Ashwagandha root regulates sugar levels while aiding in controlling frequent sugar cravings. It also help reduce blood fat. Components in ashwagandha, such as withaferin, are potent anti-diabetic properties. This helps encourage your cells to absorb glucose from your bloodstream.

Fertility Enhancer

Ashwagandha is traditionally used to improve sexual performance and libido in both men and women. The plant has great fertility-boosting properties. Ashwagandha increases sperm count and motility and helps inrease tostosterone levels. Moreover, its roots have therapeutic properties that improve the endocrine system in women, regulating adrenal and thyroid glands. These glands play a vital role in balancing the reproductive hormones. Hormonal balance plays a great role in treating female fertility.

Pomegranates are a symbol of fertility 

ashwagandha powder pomegranets

Ashwagandha Benefits For Women

Women can benefit in many ways from ashwagandha. Other than the general benefits, here are more potential advantages women can get from taking this magic herb.

Women of all ages can benefit from ashwagandha

benefits of ashwagandha old and yongue woman

Regularize the Menstrual Cycle

Hormonal imbalance is the prime reason behind female reproductive issues, even causing pregnancy-related complications. Things such as delayed periods, irregular periods, period cramps, fertility issues, growth of facial hair, or any physical changes during menopause are usual. Sadly, women often encounter such problems due to increased stress. That’s why ashwagandha can help benefits periods. When you regularly consume ashwagandha with milk, it can help retain these issues. It strengthens the functioning of the adrenal glands, helps balance the hormonal irregularities and even stimulates the blood flow. Hormonal balance will improve fertility and regularize the period cycle.

Combats Vaginal Infection

The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of ashwagandha may help deal with vaginal infections. Many experts recommend using this herb if you suffer from yeast infections often.

Prevents Menopause Issue

Before the beginning of menopause or during it, women experience high hormonal imbalances. This may lead to anxiety, depression, hot flashes, and even trouble sleeping. Ashwagandha impacts the endocrine system and can help with all of these symptoms.

Women experience high hormonal imbalances during menopause

when to take ashwagandha woman in menopause

Ashwagandha Benefits For Men

As we mentioned, ashwagandha is an adaptogen. This means it may work slightly inconsistent from person to person, which is why the effects on men and the effects on women can be different.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen

ashwagandha plant man black and white

Testosterone Booster

Levels of testosterone typically reduce with age, but it can also be affected by life circumstances, such as chronic stress, at any age. Common signs of low testosterone include reduced sex drive, fatigue, erectile dysfunction, increased body fat, loss of muscle and bone mass, and mood changes. Studies have shown that supplementation with ashwagandha in men led to a significant increase in testosterone levels.


Ashwagandha has a long history of being used as an aphrodisiac. It’s thought to be one of the most potent sexual stimulants in history. In men’s bodies, nitric oxide synthesis is enhanced by taking ashwagandha. The blood arteries that deliver blood to the genitals get dilated. Ashwagandha has become quite the popular treatment for libido loss and even erectile dysfunction.

Improves Muscle Mass and Strength

As we mentioned this herb could supercharge your gym sessions. It’s been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, and increase strength in men. A study of 57 men showed taking ashwagandha led to a significant increases in muscle mass and strength and they doubled their reductions in body fat.

This herb could supercharge your gym sessions

ashwagandha benefits for women man lifting

Ashwagandha Side Effects

The herb is considered safe for most people. However, there are some exceptions. If you apply to any of them, it’s best to avoid taking ashwagandha. Always consult your doctor for advice if you feel unsure about taking this supplement.

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • People with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Ashwagandha may also interact with thyroid, blood sugar and blood pressure medications. Consult your doctor beforehand.
  • People who are undergoing surgery.
  • People who are allergic to nightshades or have certain grass allergies don’t tolerate ashwagandha well
  • Larger doses may trigger unwanted side effects, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Pregnant women should not take this herb

what is ashwagandha good for pregnant woman

When To Take Ashwagandha?

Most people take ashwagandha as a capsule or powder that can be taken at any time of the day. While it is most common to divide the dosage in two takes, you can take it based on your needs. You may wish to incorporate it into your nightly routine in order to promote good sleep habits. Alternatively, you may find taking it in the morning suits your routine better.

Divide the dosage in two takes

does ashwagandha make you sleepy watch on hand

Ashwagandha Dosage

Ashwagandha comes in many supplement forms – tea, powder, tinctures, pills, or even raw form. The dosage depends purely on the form you take it, what you wish to treat it with, and the manufacture’s instructions. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow.

Ashwagandha comes in many supplement forms – tea, powder, tinctures, pills, or even raw form

ashwagandha benefits for women

Ashwagandha has most often been used by adults in doses up to 1000 mg daily, for up to twelve weeks. Studies on ashwagandha have used dosages of 250–600 milligrams per day of the root extract. The most common dosing protocol is 600 milligrams per day divided into two doses, with one taken in the morning with breakfast and the other in the evening. Speak with your doctor beforehand to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Speak with your doctor beforehand

ashwagandha benefits for men doctor tools

We hope you found our ultimate guide on ashwagandha benefits, side effects useful. Now you have all you need to know all in one place. With the growing popularity of different wellness and health foods, such as sea moss, it’s good to be informed.

We hope you enjoyed our guide

ashwagandha side effects plant with flower

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.