Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub native to India and North Africa, characterized by its distinctive bell flowers and velvety leaves. Ashwagandha can also be grown in parts of North Carolina, thanks to the favorable climatic conditions in the region.
This small woody plant has a long history of 3000 years as an Ayurvedic remedy for various ailments.
Modern science identifies Ashwagandha as an adaptogen and links it to various health benefits, such as strength and vitality. In order for a herb to be classified as an adaptogen, it has to be non-toxic, a stress regulator and should promote overall well-being. Ashwagandha scores well on all these parameters.
Edible forms of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha can be consumed in its fine sieved powdered form with milk, or you can take Ashwagandha capsules containing pure Ashwagandha extracts with milk or water.
Making Ashwagandha part of your routine can help your body adapt to stressful situations and boost immunity.
How to consume Ashwagandha with Milk?
Prepare a thick paste by heating 2 cups of milk and 5g of Ashwagandha in a pan. Let it sit for a few minutes and add sugar to taste. Avoid sugar if you are diabetic. Take one tsp of this paste every morning before breakfast to allow the active ingredients in Ashwagandha to be readily absorbed by your body.
In case you are wondering, “how much ashwagandha should I take”, here’s the straightforward answer.
Ashwagandha is said to provide the best results when consumed within the recommended range of 250g to 5g. The dosage may vary with your age as well as the health condition that you are targeting.
With that out of the way, let’s have a look at various benefits and recommended doses of Ashwagandha.
Manage stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety have become commonplace. Whether it’s due to workload, financial pressures or an underlying health condition, stress can get the best of you.
Ashwagandha is clinically proven to regulate the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that is naturally produced in our body in response to a stressful situation.
While cortisol is crucial to mobilize your body’s response in a fight or flight situation, chronic stress keeps cortisol levels high at all times, which can adversely impact your nervous system function.
Ashwagandha helps in managing the natural rhythm of cortisol so that your body can easily adapt to stressful situations.
Ashwagandha dosage for healthy stress management
Taking 500-600 mg of Ashwagandha every day can help promote normal stress response. By lowering the cortisol level by 10-30%, Ashwagandha can also help with stress-related insomnia.
Normalize blood sugar levels
Ashwagandha is safe to consume within the recommended dosage for both diabetic and healthy individuals. And it starts to show benefits with a dosage as small as 250mg per day. It helps balance normal sugar levels.
Ashwagandha dosage for Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels
The recommended dose of Ashwagandha ranges from 250mg to 3g per day, generally taken in 2-3 smaller doses at equal intervals. Your dosage also depends on various factors, such as an existing medical condition. Diabetic patients must consult their doctor before using Ashwagandha.
Promotes healthy inflammatory response
Ashwagandha supports normal inflammatory response by supporting the immune cells.
Acute inflammation and infection increase C-Reactive Protein levels in the body. Studies have shown that taking Ashwagandha can reduce the CRP levels by 25% over the course of 2 months, with a daily intake between 250 and 500mg.
How much ashwagandha to take per day?
In order to reap the maximum benefits of Ashwagandha against infection and inflammation, the recommended dose for adults per day is 250mg or 12ml.
Increase Muscle Growth and Strength
Ashwagandha may be used as a natural supplement to achieve your fitness goals. If you want to build strength for your strenuous workout sessions, consuming Ashwagandha as a supplement may start to show positive results in as little as 2 months.
Individuals who engage in moderate to strenuous weight training may benefit from a 500mg dose every day when taken after meals. Since Ashwagandha may not be as effective as whey protein, it’s important to manage your expectations before going down that road. And you must give it at least 8 weeks to show results.
Due to chronic stress and the pressing need to multitask, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, and poor productivity have crippled the 21st century corporate workforce. And with little-to-no time left for self care and meditation, getting out of this spiral seems impossible.
Ashwagandha has a long history of being used as a supporter for memory, and even validated by modern science.
Consuming 300mg twice a day may help significantly boost your normal cognitive abilities with great efficiency.
Supports Men’s Health
Ashwagandha is a natural remedy that has shown a significant improvement in men’s reproductive health, as consuming Ashwagandha every day helps increase virility and vitality.
Taking 5 grams of Ashwagandha every day improves men’s reproductive health.
Thanks to its antimicrobial properties, Ashwagandha prevents acne, and helps you age gracefully by stimulating collagen formation in your skin.
Using Ashwagandha powder in a face pack can help improve skin tone, reduce acne, blackheads, and other epidermal conditions.
If you don’t have the time or means to prepare and apply a face mask, you can use Ashwagandha-based soaps to cleanse and nourish your skin every day – an effective way to avoid skin infections.
Ashwagandha hair benefits
Owing to its anti-inflammatory properties, Ashwagandha can help keep your scalp healthy and strengthen your hair. It has antioxidants, flavonoids, glucose, potassium, and nitrate, which help your hair retain melanin for growth and shiny texture.
Ashwagandha skin benefits
Ashwagandha is considered a superfood with high levels of antioxidants, which are good for skin. It gives you beautiful, glowing skin that ages gracefully.
Since there’s a direct correlation between chronic stress and skin health, Ashwagandha helps you keep your youthful glow by managing stress and anxiety.
When used in your skincare routine, Ashwagandha offers long-term skin benefits as a nourishing and moisturizing agent.
Ashwagandha contains withanolides, which thoroughly cleanse your skin and open clogged pores to prevent problems like acne and blackheads.
Apart from the beauty benefits, Ashwagandha can heal bruises, cuts, and mild skin infections.
Ashwagandha benefits for weight management
Ashwagandha works in several ways to help you manage weight.
Being rich in antioxidants, Ashwagandha is a natural weight balancer. You can have it in the powdered form with milk (or water, if you are lactose intolerant).
What makes Ashwagandha beneficial?
Almost every plant on the planet possesses special compounds called phytochemicals. These phytochemicals protect plants from insects and foreign antibodies.
Ashwagandha possesses these phytochemicals in large quantities. When consumed, these phytochemicals stimulate the immune system and have positive effects on our bodies in multiple ways.
Besides ensuring overall wellbeing, Ashwagandha is a herbal supplement that helps with gender-specific ailments as well. Children can also benefit from Ashwagandha in several ways, which we will discuss later in this article. But first, let’s have a look at how Ashwagandha helps men and women deal with health concerns that are unique to them.
Ashwagandha benefits for men
Ashwagandha supports men’s reproductive health by promoting sustained energy levels.
Ashwagandha shows maximum benefits for men when consumed 250–500 mg every day for at least 30 days.
Ashwagandha benefits for women
With its antimicrobial property, Ashwagandha can also help with vaginal infections.
The recommended dosage for women is 700mg per day – subject to vary depending on your tolerance and health benefits you are after. If you can’t tolerate the smell or taste of Ashwagandha, you can take it in the form of pills or capsules.
Ashwagandha benefits for children
Children fall sick because of various reasons. While it may not be possible to protect your kids from the elements at all times, boosting their immunity is the best way to keep them active and healthy. Ashwagandha is an immunomodulator that increases the WBC and platelet count to strengthen the immune system and stave off bacterial infections.
Children or teenagers may find it difficult to fall asleep due to a lack of playground activities or an underlying health condition. Irregular sleep patterns or sleep deprivation can negatively affect the behavior and mental health of growing children, especially in their teenage years. A small dose of Ashwagandha before bed can lull your kids to sleep so that they wake up feeling fresh, positive, and energized. Also, it’s a clinically proven memory booster that helps improve focus and enables kids to retain their learning and academic knowledge.
The recommended Ashwagandha dosage for kids is 600mg per day.
Ashwagandha pros and cons
Now that you are aware of the various benefits of Ashwagandha, let’s have a look at various pros and cons of consuming this herb.
Ashwagandha is available in various forms: powder, capsules, liquid, and pills. People who find it difficult to swallow pills and capsules can consume them in powder or liquid form.
It’s a natural supplement with a usage history of thousands of years, and it cuts across various mental and physical ailments.
Men, women, and children can consume Ashwagandha in the recommended dose to enjoy its health benefits.
Ashwagandha is easily available online. You can buy Ashwagandha tablets from Kerala Ayurveda and have it delivered to your front door anywhere in the US.
Single remedy for many health concerns, Ashwagandha can be used as an adaptogen, skin and hair care product, immunity booster, muscle builder, and a natural herb to enhance sexual drive in both men and women. Its many benefits make it a crown jewel of Ayurveda.
Ashwagandha has so many benefits that it leaves little-to-no room for cons. Since nothing is perfect, using Ashwagandha may also have certain side effects. But that totally depends on your body type, existing health condition, and dosage.
Some of the side effects of Ashwagandha include diarrhea, nausea, fever, lowered blood pressure, and lack of sleep to name a few.
These side-effects are mostly seen in individuals overdosing on Ashwagandha or using it for a long time. Anything more than 5g a day may do more harm than good. For how long can you take ashwagandha? Not over 3 months on end.