Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb for harmonizing balance — from stress back to center, from daytime wakefulness to nighttime calm. It’s used both as a rejuvenating, invigorating tonic in Ayurveda as well as a sleep supplement to support quality rest. Its proven ability to reduce symptoms of stress and regulate the stress hormone cortisol qualify Ashwagandha as a powerful adaptogen. But how much Ashwagandha per day should you be taking and how should you approach supplementation?
If you’ve never tried this potent adaptogen or have experimented but haven’t experienced the Ashwagandha benefits, let’s talk about Ashwagandha dosage, usage, and quality.
Why Should You Take Ashwagandha Supplements?
First, let’s review what this plant is capable of. Ashwagandha is one of the most potent naturopathic approaches to soothing symptoms of stress in ayurvedic medicine. It’s a calming, mineral-dense nervine that helps regulate the stress hormone, cortisol levels to renew vigor and restore centeredness.
Stress affects all the systems in your body, ricocheting from one to another in a loop of reactions as your body works to regain homeostasis. During chronic stress, your endocrine, muscular, nervous, skeletal, and digestive systems are some of the first to be thrown out of whack. This can disrupt major functions, resulting in symptoms like sluggishness, hair fall, weight gain, and skin problems, to name a few.
Ashwagandha helps support balanced blood sugar levels, healthy inflammatory responses, and the neutralization of free radicals — all of which support brain health, memory, and an uplifted mood. Traditionally, the herb has been used to sharpen minds, deepen clarity, and enhance meditative focus. It’s known to improve sleep and bump virility. Among Ayurvedic practitioners, it remains a go-to for calming and lifting the spirits.
Ashwagandha helps support balanced blood sugar, healthy inflammatory responses, and the neutralization of free radicals.
How Does Ashwagandha Work?
Speaking technically, adaptogens don’t get rid of stress. Instead, they promote the body’s ability to cope with stress and recover from it by boosting the adaptive stores in every one of your biological systems. Adaptogens like Ashwagandha work through two master control systems: the HPA axis (the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which controls endocrine, nervous system, and some immune function), and the SAS, or sympathoadrenal system, which is your fight-or-flight response.
In addition to reducing activity in your HPA axis, Ashwagandha also seems to regulate mediators of stress, like heat shock proteins and of course, the stress hormone cortisol. In one double-blind, randomized study of 58 healthy adults, those who consumed Ashwagandha daily for 8 weeks had a significant decrease in stress symptoms and cortisol levels.
Because stress affects so much in the body, Ashwagandha’s ability to regulate cortisol can have other wide-reaching impacts across health. Ultimately, this harmonizing supplement has the power to replenish your supply of life-force energy in the body, mind, and spirit.
What Forms Does Ashwagandha Come In?
Because of its renowned abilities, Ashwagandha supplements are popular in many forms including tinctures, gummies, edibles, pills, and powders. But there’s a lot of inconsistency when it comes to responsible sourcing, dosing, and bioavailability.
Our organic Ashwagandha root powder extract is hand-harvested in India and 3rd party tested to ensure purity and potency. It’s a 15:1 concentrate, meaning that in every 1/4 tsp, you get 600mg of Ashwagandha.
The blend is a dark brown powder with a bitter, molasses-like flavor that pairs well with coffee, chocolate, maple, and baked goods. If you’re using this Ashwagandha powder, you should take between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon daily.
If a powdered supplement isn’t your thing, you can also find Ashwagandha in pill form in adaptogenic blends like SuperYou®, our daily stress management supplement, and SuperHair®, our superpower hair multivitamin. Take two capsules a day with or without food.
Consistency is key with adaptogens, so whatever form your supplement takes, it’s best to take your Ashwagandha daily for the best results. If you use wearables to track health or if you keep a health journal, make note of your health indicators over time so you can see how Ashwagandha is benefiting your body, mood, and energy.
When Is The Best Time to Take Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha has been clinically shown to enhance focus and mental stamina and is often used to support a healthy circadian rhythm from day to night. Many people like to start their day with Ashwagandha in their coffee, tea, or smoothies.
That being said, you can also take Ashwagandha at night. Though the scientific name Withania somnifera suggests a sedative effect, the herb is merely calming. In other words, it can help you sleep, but it won’t put you to sleep. That being said, Ashwagandha’s proven ability to improve sleep quality makes it a good tonic before bed. In Ayurvedic practice, it’s been traditionally mixed into milk as an evening tonic.
In the small, placebo-controlled study that looked at 58 participants, those who consumed daily Ashwagandha root supplements not only felt less stress, but they also reported significantly better quality of sleep compared to the placebo group.
Those who consumed daily Ashwagandha root supplements not only felt less stress, but they also reported significantly better quality of sleep compared to the placebo group.
Another study of 50 senior adults found that the ones who took 600 milligrams of Ashwagandha each day for 12 weeks experienced significantly better sleep and felt more mentally alert in the mornings compared to the control group.
Since stress, sleep quality, and daytime energy are all inextricably connected, Ashwagandha can offer a powerful support for all three.
Potential Side Effects of Ashwagandha
All adaptogens are classed as plants that are safe and nontoxic. Just make sure the formula you’re looking at is potent, bioavailable, and unadulterated to avoid any side effects. Talk to your health care practitioner about whether you can use an Ashwagandha supplement when pregnant or breastfeeding.
The profound harmonizing effects of Ashwagandha along with its gentleness to your body make this plant a safe and well-rounded everyday ayurvedic herb. Its powerful antioxidant properties counteract free radicals, while its adaptogenic effects diminish the assaults of stress in your system. Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, and modern science is now providing further evidence of its capacity to balance us in body and mind. Taking the proper dosage of this herb consistently each day and making sure to use an extraction that’s been concentrated for purity and potency will help you get the best results.
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- National Library of Medicine, Adaptogenic and Anxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha Root Extract in Healthy Adults: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6979308/
- National Library of Medicine, An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
- National Library of Medicine, Efficacy and Tolerability of Ashwagandha Root Extract in the Elderly for Improvement of General Well-being and Sleep: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7096075/
- Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006238/
- National Library of Medicine, Tackling Chronic Inflammation with Withanolide Phytochemicals—A Withaferin A Perspective https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696210/