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Ashwagandha: A Comprehensive Guide

15 Mar, 2024
Ashwagandha Root Wellness Supplement from Lily & Loaf

Top Ten FAQ's - Ashwagandha

What does ashwagandha do?

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it may help the body manage stress. It is also thought to support overall vitality and may improve energy levels, reduce anxiety and stress, and boost brain function.1

How much ashwagandha per day is safe?

Ashwagandha dosage varies widely. In general, 250 to 500 mg per day of ashwagandha is considered safe, but it's best to follow the dosage recommended on the product label or by a healthcare provider.1 Ashwagandha can be taken in capsule, powder, or tincture form.

Is ashwagandha good for men?

Yes, ashwagandha is believed to be beneficial for men, particularly for reducing stress and possibly improving testosterone levels and fertility.2

Does ashwagandha increase testosterone?

There is some evidence to suggest that ashwagandha may increase testosterone levels in certain men, along with improving sperm quality.3

Does ashwagandha improve your libido?

While ashwagandha is not specifically known to induce sexual arousal, its potential stress-reducing effects may improve libido in both males and females.4,5

Is ashwagandha a stimulant?

No, ashwagandha is not believed to be a stimulant. Instead, it acts as an adaptogen that may help the body manage stress and maintain balance.1

Does ashwagandha make you sleepy?

Ashwagandha may have a calming effect on some people, which could potentially aid sleep.6 However, it doesn't typically cause drowsiness.

Does ashwagandha help with anxiety?

Yes, there is evidence to suggest that ashwagandha may help reduce anxiety levels.6

Can you overdose on ashwagandha?

Taking more than the recommended dose of ashwagandha may lead to side effects like upset stomach, diarrhoea, drowsiness, and nausea.6 It is important to adhere to dosing guidelines or consult a healthcare provider.

Can you take ashwagandha at night?

Yes, ashwagandha can be taken any time of the day. Some people find that taking ashwagandha at night helps improve their sleep due to its purported stress-reducing effects.

In a world that’s constantly moving, the ancient wisdom of adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha offers a beacon of balance.

From its roots in Ayurvedic medicine to the shelves of modern health food stores, ashwagandha has journeyed through time, proving its worth in managing stress and promoting well-being. This blog post delves deep into the world of ashwagandha, exploring its benefits, uses, and the science that backs it up.

What is Ashwagandha?

Ashwagandha is a small shrub with yellow flowers native to parts of India, the Middle East, and Africa.7 Extracts or powder from the plant's roots or leaves are used to treat a variety of conditions. It’s the adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha that make it particularly enticing; these are substances thought to increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.1

Busy mum multitasking with kids and pets, staying grounded with Lily & Loaf

The Stress-Reducing Power of Ashwagandha

Chronic stress wreaks havoc on the body, leading to everything from inflammation to hormonal imbalances.8 Ashwagandha is best known for its potent anti-stress properties. Several studies have suggested that it may lower cortisol levels, the body's stress hormone. This cortisol-lowering effect is believed to alleviate the feeling of stress and support better sleep, reduced anxiety, and improved mood.6

Ashwagandha for Energy and Stamina

Fatigue is often a side effect of stress. Ashwagandha's adaptogenic effects may extend to boosting energy and stamina. Unlike stimulants that create a quick and often jittery burst of energy, ashwagandha may support sustained energy and vitality, making it a favourite among athletes and those seeking a natural way to enhance physical performance.9

Mental Clarity with help from Ashwagandha from Lily and Loaf

Mental Clarity and Cognitive Benefits

Cognitive decline is a pressing concern in the ageing population. In various studies, ashwagandha has been shown to support brain health by promoting antioxidant activity that may protect nerve cells from harmful free radicals. In enhancing brain function, ashwagandha may improve memory, reaction time, and the ability to perform tasks.10

Ashwagandha and Male Health

For men, ashwagandha may offer specific benefits, such as boosting testosterone levels and increasing fertility. Some research points to its potential to increase sperm count and motility, making it a possible natural option for those dealing with infertility issues.4

Women’s Health and Ashwagandha

Women may also benefit from ashwagandha as it may help regulate hormones, ease the symptoms of menopause, and support reproductive health.11 Its potential stress-lowering effects may also be particularly beneficial for women who juggle multiple roles in their daily lives.

How to Incorporate Ashwagandha into Your Routine

Incorporating ashwagandha into your daily routine is simple. It's available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and teas. The key is consistency; benefits are believed to be best observed with regular, sustained use.

Understanding the Dosage

The optimal dosage of ashwagandha can vary based on the form and concentration of the product. A general guideline is 250-500 mg of ashwagandha per day. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the right dose for you.

Side Effects and Considerations

While ashwagandha is generally safe, it’s not for everyone. Side effects can include gastrointestinal upset, and it should be used with caution in individuals with autoimmune diseases, thyroid conditions, or those on sedatives. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid it due to a lack of safety data.7



  1. Mikulska P, Malinowska M, Ignacyk M, et al. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)-Current Research on the Health-Promoting Activities: A Narrative ReviewPharmaceutics. 2023;15(4):1057. doi:10.3390/pharmaceutics15041057
  2. Ambiye VR, Langade D, Dongre S, Aptikar P, Kulkarni M, Dongre A. Clinical Evaluation of the Spermatogenic Activity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:571420. doi:10.1155/2013/571420
  3. Lopresti AL, Drummond PD, Smith SJ. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study Examining the Hormonal and Vitality Effects of Ashwagandha ( Withania somnifera) in Aging, Overweight MalesAm J Mens Health. 2019;13(2):1557988319835985. doi:10.1177/155798831983598
  4. Chauhan S, Srivastava MK, Pathak AK. Effect of standardized root extract of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on well-being and sexual performance in adult males: A randomized controlled trial. Health Sci Rep. 2022;5(4):e741. doi:10.1002/hsr2.741
  5. Dongre S, Langade D, Bhattacharyya S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:284154. doi:10.1155/2015/284154
  6. National Institutes of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements. Ashwagandha: Is it helpful for stress, anxiety, or sleep?
  7. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Ashwagandha.
  8. Mariotti A. The effects of chronic stress on health: new insights into the molecular mechanisms of brain-body communicationFuture Sci OA. 2015;1(3):FSO23. doi:10.4155/fso.15.21
  9. Bonilla DA, Moreno Y, Gho C, Petro JL, Odriozola-Martínez A, Kreider RB. Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis. J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2021;6(1):20. doi:10.3390/jfmk6010020
  10. Gopukumar K, Thanawala S, Somepalli V, Rao TSS, Thamatam VB, Chauhan S. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract on Cognitive Functions in Healthy, Stressed Adults: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled StudyEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021;2021:8254344. doi:10.1155/2021/8254344
  11. Ajgaonkar A, Jain M, Debnath K. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract for Improvement of Sexual Health in Healthy Women: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled StudyCureus. 2022;14(10):e30787. doi:10.7759/cureus.30787