Ashwagandha Overview: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosages & More

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Ashwagandha is a remarkable ancient herb with a variety of benefits. From lowering stress to balancing hormones, discover why this herb has been trusted by India’s traditional healthcare system for thousands of years.

-Article written by Ethan Wood, CPT & Registered Nutritionist


What is Ashwagandha?

Woodwell Supplements Ashwagandha Root Extract

Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, a system of natural healing that originated in India 1 2 . It is also know as Indian ginseng or winter cherry 1 .

The name ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit words for horse (ashva) and smell (gandha), because of its distinctive odor 1 . Its scientific name is Withania somnifera, and it belongs to the nightshade family of plants 1 3 .

Ashwagandha is considered an adaptogen, which means it can help the body cope with stress by regulating cortisol levels 2 4 . It may also have other health benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving memory, enhancing immunity, and lowering cancer risks 2 4 .


How Does It Work?

Ashwagandha is an herb that contains various bioactive compounds that support overall health.

One of its main functions is to act as an adaptogen, which means it can help the body cope with stress by regulating cortisol, the primary stress hormone 3 5 .

Another benefit of ashwagandha is its antioxidant activity, which can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals 3 6 .

Ashwagandha also influences several neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA, which are involved in mood regulation and relaxation 6 .

What Benefits Can Be Expected?

Ashwagandha Benefits Woodwell Supplements
Ashwagandha can be used for a variety of reasons, but it may be most beneficial for:


Stress Reduction

Ashwagandha can help reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels and improving psychological well-being in people who suffer from chronic stress or anxiety disorders78.

Ashwagandha has a special ability to help regulate stress mediators such as heat-shock proteins (Hsp70) and stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK-1), which are involved in cellular stress response79.

Ashwagandha also affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a bodily system that controls how the body responds to stress810.


Sleep Quality

Ashwagandha can improve sleep quality and duration by promoting a state of calmness and easing insomnia symptoms1112.

People with insomnia and those who took more than 600mg of ashwagandha daily for at least 8 weeks reported better sleep outcomes than those who did not1213.


Athletic Performance

Ashwagandha can enhance physical performance and endurance by increasing muscle strength, oxygen consumption, and energy levels1415.

Ashwagandha supplementation can significantly improve VO2 max, which is a measure of aerobic fitness, in athletes and other healthy adults1617.

Ashwagandha can also help increase muscle growth and strength in people who engage in resistance training1418.


Hormone Management

Ashwagandha can regulate hormone levels in both men and women by improving thyroid function, testosterone production, and reproductive health1920.

Clinical data has shown that ashwagandha can benefit male fertility and increase testosterone levels1921.

It can also improve sperm concentration, sperm motility, and semen volume in men with low or normal sperm count1921.


Brain Function

Ashwagandha can enhance cognitive function and memory by promoting neural communication, neurogenesis, and neuroprotection2223.

Ashwagandha intake can lead to significant improvements in attention, information-processing speed, and memory in healthy adults and in those with signs of cognitive decline2224.

Ashwagandha may also specifically benefit older individuals suffering from mild cognitive impairment and schizophrenia by reducing inflammation and improving neurotransmitter balance2325.


Inflammation Reduction

Ashwagandha can lower inflammation and pain by blocking pro-inflammatory cytokines and enzymes2627.

The compound withaferin A found within ashwagandha has been shown to suppress specific inflammatory responses in the body such as molecules named nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)2628.

How to Take Ashwagandha (Dosage)

Ashwagandha Dosage Guide
There is no standard dosage for ashwagandha based on current clinical trials2930.

Some research suggests that taking 250–600 milligrams (mg) per day for at least 1 month may help reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels3132.

However, some studies have used much higher doses, up to 6,000 mg per day, but the safety of such high doses has not been established3132.

It’s always best to consult your doctor or medical professional before taking a new herbal supplement, as they can help you determine personal safety and efficacy.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Ashwagandha is generally safe for most people when taken in moderate doses for short-term use (up to 12 weeks)33. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as headache, nausea, diarrhea or allergic reactions3334.

People pregnant or breastfeeding should not take ashwagandha as it may cause miscarriage or harm the baby3334.

People with an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus should also not take ashwagandha as it may worsen their symptoms by stimulating the immune system3335.

Individuals on medications such as blood thinners or antidepressants may need to consult with their healthcare professional before taking ashwagandha as it may interact with them3335.


What Makes Ours So Effective?

Ashwagandha can be obtained from any part of the Withania somnifera plant (leaves, stems or roots), but the root has the highest concentration of beneficial compounds such as withanolides that are responsible for most of its pharmacological effects12.

For this reason, our Ashwagandha is extracted specifically from the root of the plant using a water-based method that preserves its natural potency without using any harsh solvents2.

Our Ashwagandha is also combined with Organic Black Pepper to ensure maximum potency by increasing its bioavailability up to 2000%2.


Grab Yours Today!

With this potent formula alongside such an unbeatable price, Our Ashwagandha (Root Extract) is frequently out-of-stock. Make sure you get yours while you can!

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