Research suggests that regular consumption of Ashwagandha can help adults in a variety of ways, bringing the body back to homeostasis. For women specifically, the Ashwagandha benefits are seemingly endless. After all, our modern, everyday lives are full of stressors that our body has to adapt to, and this stress can show up in our bodies in so many different ways—affecting our hormones in ways that men don’t have to deal with. For instance, stress can affect fatigue, libido, and thyroid, and even worsen PMS or menopause symptoms. One powerful way to beat this stress is by adding adaptogens such as Ashwagandha to your supplement regimen.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a potent flowering shrub that is relied upon heavily in Ayurveda to harmonize mind, body, and spirit. It is native to India, Nepal, and parts of Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland). In Ayurveda, it’s traditionally drunk with milk before bed, and used as a Rasayana (life-prolonging tonic) to rejuvenate and invigorate the body. Most forms of Ashwagandha consist of the root, but the leaves and berries have also been used in various parts of India and Africa.
10 Benefits of Ashwagandha Supplements for Women
Here are some of the benefits of Ashwagandha supplements and how they can help you to maintain balance in your life.
Relieve stress + irritability
Ashwagandha helps reduce the effects of stress by working through the HPA-Axis (an integral pathway to maintain homeostasis in the body). Basically, the HPA-Axis is what produces the anti-stress hormones to calm our bodies down, and Ashwagandha travels through it to help increase that response. This results in reduced cortisol levels in the body, which leaves you less irritable throughout the day.
Might sound too good to be true, but Ashwagandha can help boost energy just as much as it can help calm you down. This is because Ashwagandha, like all adaptogens, is both bidirectional and nonspecific—nonspecific by adapting to your body’s specific needs so that you can find your version of a healthy resting state, and bidirectional by either calming the activity of hyperfunctioning systems or strengthening the activity of low-functioning systems.
Basically, if stress is dragging you to fatigue and exhaustion, then Ashwagandha can perk you up. On the other hand, if stress is making you hit your fight or flight, Ashwagandha can help you stay calm and collected.
Relieve PMS + perimenopause symptoms
For women specifically, Ashwagandha is wonderful hormonally, as it helps support both women of reproductive age, as well as those with perimenopause. One study done on women struggling with PMS found that Ashwagandha helped reduce cortisol levels, which in turn reduced PMS symptoms such as cramps, backaches, and irritability. Another study found that Ashwagandha helped relieve several symptoms of perimenopause, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and chills, therefore helping women cope with the hormonal changes that come with this stage in their life.
When you’re stressed, the adrenals overproduce cortisol levels in the body, which directly disrupts the production of sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When these stress hormones are out of balance, healthy sexual functions like arousal, stimulation, and lubrication take a hit. By promoting balanced cortisol, Ashwagandha also helps the body maintain reproductive hormonal balance. This ends up making sure the sex hormone production stays in check, and that they maintain balance. Did you know that ashwagandha extract is not the only way to increase libido naturally!
Enhance cognitive function
Ashwagandha helps focus and mental stamina by enhancing cognitive function. Studies have shown that taking Ashwagandha consistently over time can improve your memory, help you process information faster, and make sure you stay more attentive when it comes to finishing your daily tasks.
Ashwagandha’s antioxidant-rich properties are superior support for the immune system. This is because when your system is under stress, your immune system also takes a hit, and you need to help regulate your stress responses to regulate your immune system. This is because when your body is under stress, your fight or flight response causes hormones cortisol and adrenaline to flood the body, leading to speeding heart rate, slower digestion, and a burst of energy that’ll later lead to a crash, leaving your body less equipped to deal with other bodily processes. Ashwagandha helps reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, which then trickles down to the immune system.
Keep the inflammatory response in check
Continued consumption of Ashwagandha has been found to target inflammatory pathways in the body, which helps to bring homeostasis and balance back to the body. It helps support healthy inflammatory responses and also reduces irritability. This is because normally, regular inflammation occurs when your body encounters a toxin or pathogen, which is the sign of a healthy immune system—this temporary inflammation is what isolates the foreign substance, which the immune system then destroys. However, when you’re stressed, this balance is disturbed: This increases immune cell counts and prolongs the inflammatory response. Ashwagandha is therefore helpful to reduce stress and keep the inflammatory response in check.
Improve sleep quality
If you have trouble falling asleep or wake up through the night, Ashwagandha can help. It has been suggested that regular consumption of Ashwagandha significantly improves sleep quality, therefore also leaving one more alert upon waking. Since stress can cause stress on the adrenals and prevent you from going into a restful state, reducing stress through adaptogens like Ashwagandha is key for getting a restful night’s sleep.
How to Add Ashwagandha to Your Supplement Routine
There are many ways you can add Ashwagandha to your supplement routine, from powder to capsules. Remember that to experience the full benefits, consistency is key!
Our Ashwagandha Root Powder is a 15:1 full-spectrum root extract. It’s clinically shown to help reduce stress and regulate cortisol levels, enhance focus and mental stamina, and reduce irritability and stress-related cravings.* It pairs well with chocolate, coffee, maple, and baked goods — find recipes to use it in the Moon Juice Manual.
If you prefer capsules, you can find Ashwagandha in SuperYou®, a clinical strength blend of 4 potent adaptogens for daily stress management— Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Shatavari, and Amla for energy, mood, and focus. Knowing how much Ashwagandha to take is key to using this supplement successfully.
What are the Potential Side Effects of Ashwagandha for Women?
One study in 80 healthy men and women showed that taking 600 mg of Ashwagandha extract daily for 8 weeks was safe and did not cause any adverse health effects. Still, it's always best to discuss with a doctor, herbalist, or pharmacist before taking Ayurvedic herbs, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. People with any of the following conditions should be particularly cautious as it can impact their health: hyperthyroidism, hemochromatosis, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.
Ashwagandha powder is great for anyone (including men!) who wants to improve their mood and lives.
- African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines, An Overview on Ashwagandha: A Rasayana (Rejuvenator) of Ayurveda https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252722/
- National Library of Medicine, Effect of an ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) root extract on climacteric symptoms in women during perimenopause: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34553463/
- National Library of Medicine, Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Improving Sexual Function in Women: A Pilot Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609357/
- National Library of Medicine, Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28471731/
- National Library of Medicine, Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24798553/
- National Library of Medicine, Tackling Chronic Inflammation with Withanolide Phytochemicals—A Withaferin A Perspective https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7696210/
- 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/PMC7696210/
- National Library of Medicine, Safety of Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, study in Healthy Volunteers https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33338583/