Ashwagandha Benefits, Side Effects, Uses

Ashwagandha Health Benefits

An evergreen shrub called ashwagandha can be found in portions of Africa, the Middle East, and India. It has been used for a very long time in conventional medicine. There are a lot of benefits of ashwagandha

People have been using the orange-red fruit and roots of ashwagandha for therapeutic purposes for hundreds of years. The herb is also referred to as winter cherry or Indian ginseng.

The word “ashwagandha,” which means “like a horse,” refers to the root’s aroma. Ashwa, by definition, is a horse.

This herb is used by practitioners as a general tonic to increase energy and lower tension and anxiety. Some people additionally assert that the herb may be helpful for anxiety, Alzheimer’s illness, and specific malignancies.

Promising studies into the health advantages of ashwagandha have mostly been conducted on animals; more investigation is required.

This page examines the historical use of ashwagandha, its administration, and the scientific data supporting both its potential health advantages and hazards.

What is the purpose of ashwagandha?

An essential herb in Ayurvedic treatment is ashwagandha. This is one of India’s healthcare systems and one of the oldest medical systems in existence.

Ashwagandha is classified as a Rasayana in Ayurvedic medicine. In other words, it supports the preservation of youth—both intellectually and physically.

The plant may have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits, according to some evidence. Many illnesses are characterized by inflammation, which can be reduced to defend the body from several ailments.

For instance, people utilize ashwagandha to assist with the following conditions:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • pain
  • skin conditions
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • epilepsy

The plant’s leaves, seeds, and fruit are among the parts used in various therapies.

In the West, this herb is becoming more well-liked. Today, Americans can purchase ashwagandha as a supplement.

Ashwagandha benefits and side effects

What health advantages does it have?

According to scientific evidence, ashwagandha has a lot of benefits for a variety of conditions.

However, researchers know little about how the herb interacts with the human body. Because most studies have used animal or cell models, scientists do not know if the same results will occur in humans.

There is some evidence to suggest that ashwagandha can help with the following:

Stress and anxiety

When compared to the sedative and anxiety medication lorazepam, ashwagandha may have a calming effect on anxiety symptoms.

A 2000 study found that the herb had a comparable anxiety-reducing effect to lorazepam, implying that ashwagandha may be just as effective. The researchers, however, conducted this study on mice rather than humans.

In a 2019 human study, researchers discovered that taking 240 milligrams (mg) of ashwagandha daily significantly reduced stress levels when compared to a placebo. This included lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

In another 2019 Source, taking 250 mg or 600 mg of ashwagandha per day resulted in lower self-reported stress and cortisol levels. People usually take ashwagandha for this benefits.

Although this study is encouraging, scientists need to collect a lot more data before recommending the herb to treat anxiety.

Heart condition

Some people use ashwagandha to improve their heart health, such as:

  • reduce high blood pressure
  • lowering high cholesterol levels
  • reducing chest pain
  • heart disease prevention

However, there is little research to back up these claims.

One human study published in 2015 suggested that ashwagandha root extract could improve cardiorespiratory endurance, which could improve heart health. More research, however, is required.


Ashwagandha may act as a pain reliever by inhibiting the transmission of pain signals through the central nervous system. It may have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

As a result, some research has shown that it is effective in treating various types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. This is also one of the best benefits of ashwagandha.

A small 2015 study of 125 people with joint pain discovered that the herb could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Alzheimer’s treatment

Several studies have examined ashwagandha benefits to slow or prevent loss of brain function in people with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, according to a 2011 review.

As these conditions worsen, parts of the brain and its connective pathways are damaged, resulting in memory and function loss. This review suggests that giving ashwagandha to mice and rats during the early stages of the disease may provide protection.


The same 2011 review also mentions a few promising studies that found ashwagandha could inhibit cell growth in certain cancers. In animal studies, this includes reducing lung tumors.

Ashwagandha Dosage

The dosage of ashwagandha and how it is used depends on the condition being treated. Based on modern clinical trials, there is no standard dosage.

Different dosages have been used in various studies. According to some studies, taking 250-600 mg per day can help reduce stress. In other studies, much higher doses were used.

Ashwagandha capsule dosages are typically between 250 and 1,500 mg. Ashwagandha capsule, powder, and liquid extract forms.

High doses can have unpleasant side effects in some cases. Before beginning any new herbal supplement, including ashwagandha, consult with a healthcare professional about safety and dosage.

Does it have any side effects?

Small-to-medium doses of ashwagandha are usually tolerated by most people. However, there haven’t been enough long-term studies to thoroughly investigate the potential ashwagandha side effects.

Large doses of ashwagandha can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This could be due to intestinal mucosal irritation.

Is it safer?

Ashwagandha should be avoided by pregnant women because it can cause fetal distress and premature labor.

Another potential issue with Ayurvedic herbs is that manufacturers are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means they are not held to the same standards as pharmaceutical and food companies.

Herbs may contain contaminants like heavy metals, or they may contain no herb at all. Before purchasing any product, people should conduct some research on the manufacturer. Although there is no major side effect of ashwagandha.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, some Ayurvedic products may contain levels of lead, mercury, and arsenic that exceed what experts consider safe for human daily consumption.


Ayurvedic medicine uses ashwagandha as a herbal treatment. According to some studies, ashwagandha may have a variety of health benefits, including stress and anxiety reduction and arthritis relief.

Before using ashwagandha, pregnant women and people with preexisting health conditions should consult their doctor.

Many of the previous studies were small, conducted on animals, or had flaws in their design. As a result, researchers cannot be certain that it is an effective treatment. More work is required.

If a person decides to use this herb as part of a treatment plan, they should first consult with their doctor.

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply