Ashwagandha Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day
Ashwagandha, also known by its botanical name Withania somnifera, is a small woody plant with yellow flowers native to India and North Africa.
Its classified as an adaptogen, as its believed to help your body manage stress better.
The plant particularly its root has been used for over 3,000 years as a natural Ayurvedic remedy against various ailments .
Modern science also links it to health benefits, such as reduced stress and anxiety and improved blood sugar levels, mood and memory.
This article reviews the optimal dosages needed to reap different health benefits.
Ashwagandha: Benefits Uses Dosage Formulations And Side Effects
Ashwagandha, clad by the vernacular names Indian ginseng, Indian winter cherry or poison gooseberry is a powerful remedy for bolstering immunity. This herb is a potent adaptogen i.e. it is a non-toxic herb that helps to normalize all bodily functions, by working on the HPA axis and the neuroendocrine system.
Ashwagandha goes by the botanical name Withania somnifera. The word somnifera means sleep-inducive which means that this drug is a potent sedative and helps to treats conditions like insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Being mostly native to India, and some parts of Mediterranean and Africa, the ashwagandha shrub is perennial in nature and grows to a height of 1.5 metres. The leaves are ovate, elliptic and dull greenish in colour. The plant bears small bell-shaped yellow flowers that slowly turns into an orangish-red fruit on ripening.
Ashwagandha is widely mentioned in various traditional textbooks of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Chinese medicine owing to its wide range of health benefits. Ancient ayurvedic scriptures named this plant ashwagandha which means odour of the horse as its roots smell like horses urine. It is also known as Ashvakandika, Asgandh, Gandhapatri, and Palashaparni. The synonyms are related to a horse since the herb is a potent aphrodisiac and it is said to provide the stamina of a horse.
How To Take Ashwagandha Root
All parts of the plant can be used, but you’ll probably reach for the root. “Ashwagandha root has more of the active constituents-specifically the withanolides-which is most frequently used. However, it is not uncommon to use ashwagandha leaf for making a tea or using a combination of the two parts,” says Enfield.
The plant comes in many forms including tea and capsules, but ashwagandha powder and liquid are easiest for the body to absorb, and a fresh ashwagandha powder is thought to have the strongest effect, she adds. Logman says that the powder is easiest since you can just sprinkle it in your food, smoothies, or morning coffee and it doesn’t have a taste.
A safe starting dosage is 250mg per day, says Enfield, but it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to get a more personalized dosage.
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Lowers Cholesterol And Improves Heart Health
“Ashwagandha’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce cholesterol and decrease inflammatory markers that increase the risk of heart disease,” says Logman. Plus, ashwagandha increases muscle endurance which can indirectly improve the functioning of the heart, adds Enfield. It’s even more powerful for the heart when used in conjunction with another Ayurvedic herb called Terminalia arjuna, she adds.
To Lower Inflammation And Help Fight Infection
Ashwagandha may also help lower inflammation and boost your immunity.
Research shows that 12 ml of ashwagandha root extract per day may increase levels of immune cells, which help fight infection .
Moreover, a daily intake of 250500 mg of ashwagandha over 60 days may reduce C-reactive protein levels by up to 30%, which is a marker of inflammation, .
Ashwagandha may lower inflammation and help fight infection. Supplements containing at least 250 mg of ashwagandha or 12 ml of ashwagandha extract appear to offer the most benefits.
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Ashwagandha For Diabetes Control
Ashwagandha extracts are known to be extremely beneficial in bringing diabetes under control. Ayurveda experts claim that Ashwagandha can help diabetics by influencing the production of insulin and insulin sensitivity. According to them, Ashwagandha extracts can stimulate the secretion of insulin in bloodstream and reduce sugar levels in the blood. It has been found to be especially effective for people with Type 2 diabetes – the most common type of diabetes that accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. The possible side-effects.
To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Ashwagandha is best known for its stress-lowering effects.
The medicinal herb appears to help lower levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands in response to stress. More specifically, daily doses of 125 mg to 5 grams for 13 months have shown to lower cortisol levels by 1132% (2,
In one small, 4-week study in 25 people, ashwagandha reduced fasting blood sugar levels three times more than a placebo .
In another study in people with type 2 diabetes, an ashwagandha supplement taken for 30 days helped lower fasting blood sugar levels as effectively as oral diabetes medication .
Dosages used in these studies varied between 250 mg to 3 grams and were generally split into 23 equal doses spread evenly over the day.
Ashwagandha may help lower blood sugar levels. Benefits appear to start at dosages as little as 250 mg per day.
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Ashwagandha Dangers For Diabetes
Ashwagandha may lower blood sugar levels. If patients are taking a medication to lower blood glucose it could make their levels go dangerously low. And if their levels go too low and blood sugars bottom out, they can pass out. The consequences of low blood glucose can be just as dangerous as high blood sugar.
Controlling Diabetes Naturally With Ashwagandha
If you’re looking for a natural herb to help control the symptoms of diabetes, ashwagandha may be the answer. It may even be able to reduce the risks of heart disease associated with diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease characterized by dysfunctional carbohydrate metabolism in the body that leads to high blood sugar levels. It is considered a growing and serious health threat to populations of both developed and developing areas worldwide. The related cardiovascular complications that develop in uncontrolled type-2 non-insulin-dependent diabetics are particularly dangerous.41
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Reverse Ayurvedic Pharmacology Of Ashwagandha As An Adaptogenic Anti
Volume 1 , Issue 1 , 2015
Page: Pages: 11
Title:Reverse Ayurvedic Pharmacology of Ashwagandha as an Adaptogenic Anti-Diabetic Plant: A Pilot Study
Volume: 1Issue: 1
Ajit K. Thakur, Amitabha Dey, Shyam S. Chatterjee and Vikas Kumar
May Help Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Ashwagandha is perhaps best known for its ability to reduce stress. Its classified as an adaptogen, a substance that helps the body cope with stress.
Ashwagandha appears to help control mediators of stress, including heat shock proteins , cortisol, and stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase .
It also reduces the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a system in your body that regulates the stress response .
Several studies have shown that ashwagandha supplements may help relieve stress and anxiety.
In a small study with 58 participants, those who took 250 or 600 mg of ashwagandha extract for 8 weeks had significantly reduced perceived stress and levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared with those who took a placebo.
Whats more, the participants who took the ashwagandha supplements experienced significant improvements in sleep quality compared with the placebo group .
Another study in 60 people found that those who took 240 mg of ashwagandha extract per day for 60 days had significant reductions in anxiety compared with those who received a placebo treatment .
Thus, early research suggests ashwagandha may be a helpful supplement for stress and anxiety.
However, a recent review of studies concluded that theres not enough evidence to form a consensus on the most appropriate dosage and form of ashwagandha for treating stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety .
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Reduce Blood Sugar Levels In The Body
Ashwagandha is good for lowering the blood sugar levels in the body. The herb helps in increasing the insulin secretion and sensitivity in the muscle cells at the same time. It has been found effective as many oral diabetes medications. Ashwagandha should be taken in prescribed form as it can lower the blood sugar levels to go too low.
Whats Ashwagandha Good For
Adaptogens support the capacity of an organism to deal with stress and thus conserve energy. Ashwagandha rejuvenates the entire system, including the endocrine and immune systems. Health benefits that result include cognitive & brain assistance, energy assistance, immune support, stress support, sleep support for men & women.
This benefit is why people and clinicians are opting for various herbal treatments over a conventional one. Research on Ashwagandha is limited, but many studies suggest that the herb could be useful in addressing many health issues.
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Relatively Safe And Widely Available
Ashwagandha is a safe supplement for most people, although its long-term effects are unknown.
A review of 69 studies found that ashwagandha root appears to be safe and effective for managing certain health conditions, including stress, anxiety, and insomnia .
One study in 80 healthy men and women showed that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha daily for 8 weeks was safe and did not cause any adverse health effects in participants .
However, certain people should not take it. For example, pregnant people should avoid it because it may cause pregnancy loss if used in high doses .
Also, those with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer and those taking certain medications, such as benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, or barbiturates, should avoid taking ashwagandha .
Some side effects have been reported in people taking ashwagandha supplements, including upper gastrointestinal discomfort, drowsiness, and diarrhea .
Additionally, ashwagandha may affect the thyroid, so those with thyroid disease should check with a healthcare professional before taking it .
Dosing recommendations for ashwagandha vary. For example, doses ranging from 2501,250 mg per day have been shown to be effective for different conditions. Consult a healthcare professional if you have questions regarding ashwagandha dosing.
Research findings suggest that ashwagandhas effects arent immediate, so keep in mind that you may have to take it for several months before you start noticing its effects.
May Help Improve Sleep
Many people take ashwagandha to promote restful sleep, and some evidence suggests it may help with sleep issues.
For example, a study in 50 adults ages 6580 found that taking 600 mg of ashwagandha root per day for 12 weeks significantly improved sleep quality and mental alertness upon waking compared with a placebo treatment .
Additionally, one review of five high quality studies found that ashwagandha had a small but significant positive effect on overall sleep quality.
Taking ashwagandha reduced peoples anxiety levels and helped them feel more alert when they woke up .
The researchers noted that results were more pronounced in people with insomnia and in those who took more than 600 mg daily for 8 weeks or longer .
Recent evidence suggests that ashwagandha may be an effective natural remedy to improve sleep and may especially help people with insomnia.
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Manage Stress And Anxiety Related To Diabetes
If you are struggling with constant stress, anxiety and depression related to diabetes, and then Ashwagandha can help you. It blocks the stress pathway of the nervous system. As per a research, the herb helps in reducing stress related issues like insomnia and anxiety by 69 percent.
Inflammation causes insulin resistance in the body. This can cause diabetic condition related to arthritis, cardiovascular diseases etc. High blood sugar levels trigger inflammation causing damage to the blood vessel. Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties. It acts as cyclooxygenase inhibitor. The herbs have components like steroidal lactones, alkaloids, and saponins which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Increases Insulin Sensitivity and Insulin Production
Ashwagandha has been found very effective in dealing issues related to insulin in the body. It has been found to be effective for Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes Type 2 patients. Here are the benefits:
- It helps the make body cells to be less resistant or more sensitive in response to insulin.
- Lowers high serum insulin levels, glycosylated haemoglobin and blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Improves glucose tolerance of the body.
- Protects pancreatic beta cell from damaging or reducing causing insulin production to fall.
Helps Prevents Fatty Liver
Balances Lipid Levels
Improves Metabolic System
May Prevent And Treat Stress
Lifestyle factors such as stress are among the primary causes of diabetes. A study has shown that ashwagandha can help in the prevention and treatment of several stress-induced diseases, including diabetes. The presence of vital active constituents such as alkaloids, saponins and steroidal lactones in this vital herb contribute to its anti-stress activity.
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Helps Reduce High Cortisol Levels
Cortisol levels or stress hormones are made by the adrenal glands. A hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone by the pituitary glands affects the high cortisol levels. Cortisol levels are responsible for the smooth working of the body for generating energy.
Ashwagandha helps in lowering the high levels of Cortisol in the body. High Cortisol levels mean high blood sugar levels in the body. It helps convert the blood glucose or sugar and fat for better metabolism. The herb is effective in controlling the levels of Cortisol by 28 percent, as per a study.
May Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Diabetics are often diagnosed with high cholesterol levels. Studies say that root and leaf of ashwagandha possess cholesterol-lowering, triglyceride-lowering and phospholipid-lowering effects. However, in diabetics, both the root and leaf of ashwagandha can raise the sugar levels along and with increasing the LDL . But, with only ashwagandha root, the levels of HDL or good cholesterol may increase along with a decrease in cholesterol levels. The antioxidants in ashwagandha can also help lower cholesterol levels.
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What Should You Look For In An Ashwagandha Supplement
Ashwagandha comes in a variety of forms. Its available in gummies, capsules, liquid drops and powders that you can mix into drinks. Regardless of the direction you go in, Dr. Lin says dosing is usually 500mg twice a day.
When it comes to safety, she says it mostly depends on the quality of the supplements. Her advice is to look for supplements that have been independently tested and verified by an outside company such as ConsumerLab, United States Pharmacopeia , or National Sanitation Foundation International .
What Are The Benefits Of Ashwagandha
Dr. Lin says during stressful moments, the cortisol levels in your body become elevated, and this causes your heart to pump harder and faster. You breathe rapidly and your body generates more glucose for a quick burst of energy. Your mind becomes hyper-focused on any threats, and your body goes into fight or flight mode. When the stressful event is over, cortisol levels normalize and the associated symptoms resolve.
Unfortunately, when a threat is chronic whether its stress from finances, work or the pandemic the stressful response also becomes chronic. Over time, long-term stress can contribute to persistent inflammation and increases the risk for developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.
Dr. Lin points out that research has shown that ashwagandha can help normalize cortisol levels, thus reducing the stress response. In addition, ashwagandha has also been associated with reduced inflammation, reduced cancer risks, improved memory, improved immune function and anti-aging properties. This is why people who are stressed or anxious, or people with chronic conditions might turn ashwagandha to help ease their conditions.
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Ashwagandha Dangers For Surgery
Ashwagandha can slow down the central nervous system. Patients going on anesthesia need to consult their physician if they are on Ashwagandha. They should stop taking Ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before surgery. Your central nervous system is responsible for breathing. If anything happens during surgery you can suffer respiratory arrest and die.
Adverse Events And Treatment Compliance
Participants were questioned about capsule tolerability and adverse events at days 15, 30, 45, and 60. Ashwagandha was well tolerated with no significant adverse events reported by participants. Good tolerability of ashwagandha intake was also further confirmed by the ability and willingness of all participants to complete the 60-day trial. Compliance with capsule intake was also high as all participants consumed > 90% of allocated capsules .
Pre and posthematological measures comprising a full blood count and lipid profile confirmed no statistically significant, between-group differences in the measures over time.
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To Enhance Muscle Growth And Strength
Supplementing with ashwagandha may also increase muscle mass and strength.
In one 8-week study, men given 500 mg of this medicinal herb per day increased their muscular power by 1%, whereas the placebo group experienced no improvements .
In another study in men, 600 mg of ashwagandha per day for eight weeks led to a 1.51.7 times larger increase in muscle strength and 1.62.3 times higher increase in muscle size, compared to a placebo (
Daily doses of 500 mg of ashwagandha may provide small increases in muscle mass and strength in as little as eight weeks. While most studies have focussed on men, some research suggests women may reap the same benefits.
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