Small but mighty is a good way to describe the Ashwagandha plant.
More than just another top-of-the-line supplement, Ashwagandha is a miracle herb with a rich history of providing people with relief for various ailments and needs.
Whether it’s for relaxation, insomnia, or even as an aphrodisiac, the science and evidence behind its effects are, without a doubt, something to look deeper behind. So we’ve spent hours researching this miracle herb to study exactly what it is and how it works.
Read on to learn more.
When Is the Best Time To Take Ashwagandha?
Taking Ashwagandha in the morning or night both provide health benefits.
There is no best time of day to take Ashwagandha, as it depends on its form and the reason for its use.
Choosing to take Ashwagandha in the morning will provide you with an energy boost for the rest of your day.
Its stress-relieving properties can also help set the tone of your mood, allowing you to maintain composure regardless of any stressful situations you find yourself in.
However, you may experience sleepiness or drowsiness throughout the day.
If you opt to take Ashwagandha at night, the herb’s sleep-inducing properties can ensure you get a good night's rest.
It’ll also help you wind down for the evening, assuming you’ve had a hectic day of activities.
Additionally, those with stomach issues may find it more preferable to take Ashwagandha in the evening compared to taking it in the morning.
Capsules or Tablets
Ashwagandha capsules or tablets should be taken with water after a meal to reduce stomach issues and irritation.
Try taking one tablet after lunch and another after dinner to balance your energy levels.
For best results, mix ½ teaspoon of Ashwagandha powder with almond milk or honey.
You can also make it into a smoothie, tea, or latte by adding additional spices.
These include cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa, which work very well.
Drink one cup of Ashwagandha in the morning or at night just before bed.
In India, Ashwagandha churna balls are a popular snack due to their ability to mask the herb’s bitter taste.
Hungry? Try consuming one churna ball of Ashwagandha in the morning to fill up an empty stomach.
What Is Ashwagandha, and How Does It Work?
The Ashwagandha plant (Withania Somnifera), also known as the winter cherry or Indian ginseng, is a leafy shrub found in India, the Middle East, and North Africa.
According to researchers, Ashwagandha consists of several phytochemicals that interact with the body’s brain and nervous, endocrine, and immune system .
These chemicals include triethylene glycol, which is an active component responsible for sleep induction.
Ashwagandha has been utilized in traditional Indian and alternative medicine for thousands of years.
Each part of the plant - including its berries, leaves, and flowers - can be made into a tonic with unique medicinal benefits.
Its most common form is the Ashwagandha powder known as Churna, made from dried roots of the shrub.
Additionally, extracts from the plant have a high concentration of bio-active compounds, which are essential in treating many diseases and conditions.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Ashwagandha?
In Ayurvedic medicine (Traditional Indian medicine), an Ashwagandha supplement is a tonic used for body rejuvenation.
There are numerous benefits to taking Ashwagandha, which we have listed below.
Treatment of Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha is an effective adaptogen, which are non-toxic herbs that assist the body with stress reduction and minimizing the stress response.
Ashwagandha acts on the adrenal gland, which is responsible for regulating cortisol levels (stress hormones).
By regulating stress levels, Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels, lead to better stress management, and treat anxiety disorder.
Body Weight Management
Besides being used to treat diseases, Ashwagandha is also very effective for body weight management and building muscle mass.
As the herb increases energy levels and regulates bodily systems, fitness enthusiasts can use the boost from Ashwagandha in their workout routine to go all out.
This helps individuals improve muscle strength and shed body fat, which leads to an increase in libido and other improvements.
Maintenance of Blood Sugar
Ashwagandha supplements can be used to reduce blood sugar levels, making it an effective alternative treatment for diabetes and schizophrenia.
Additionally, the herb has also been shown to increase the production of insulin sensitivity and secretion - a hormone that is responsible for controlling glucose levels in the bloodstream.
Improves Heart Health
With heart disease being one of the leading causes of death in adults, heart health is a big concern.
Ashwagandha powder can help to promote cardiovascular wellness and keep your heart healthy.
Benefits include antioxidant effects, lowering cholesterol, and regulating triglyceride levels in the body.
Combined, these effects aid in heart health and better circulation.
Treatment of Insomnia
Having trouble sleeping? Take Ashwagandha just before bed, and you’ll drift off into wonderland before you know it.
Many individuals that suffer from insomnia also suffer from chronic stress. Ashwagandha provides a soothing effect on the body, blocking stress pathways in the brain, ultimately calming down the nervous system.
This results in improved sleep quality, ensuring you get up the next day feeling refreshed and energized.
Promoting Thyroid Health
Ashwagandha acts on the entire endocrine system, balancing the hormones and body’s response channels.
Within this system is the thyroid gland, which, when functioning incorrectly, can lead to weight gain and a loss of hair.
As one of the many benefits of Ashwagandha includes regulating thyroid levels, it’s an effective herb to treat thyroid disorders and keep your body operating at peak performance.
Ashwagandha powder also contains withanolides, which are responsible for buffing up testosterone and promoting fertility in men.
This increases testosterone levels and positively impacts reproductive health in men.
Additionally, human studies on its effectiveness as a treatment for infertility issues yielded positive results, showing increased sperm count by more than 150% and better quality sperms by the subjects .
Improved Brain Function
For many centuries, Ashwagandha has been used to improve the memory and cognitive function of the brain.
Research has highlighted that taking Ashwagandha supplements helps minimize memory loss, prolong focus and attention span, and improve overall brain activity.
There is a lot of research underway on the potential of Ashwagandha herbs as a possible treatment for cancer.
According to preliminary reports, withanolides found in Ashwagandha powder have the potential to halt the growth and spread of breast, ovarian, colon, and lung cancer cells.
Although research is still in its early phases, there is much hope and potential for the viability of Ashwagandha in treating cancer.
“Traditional medicine systems such as Ayurveda have deep roots in many of these underdeveloped communities and present a great opportunity for battling the global burden of cancer from the standpoint of primary prevention… given the central role of [withania somnifera] in Ayurveda and its promising actions in the realm of modern cancer research, it has potential to move forward as a cancer chemopreventive nutraceutical. ”
- Dushani L. Palliyaguru, Medical Researcher
What Are the Side Effects of Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha powder has minimal side effects as it is a natural herb.
At small to medium doses, the extract is safe, and individuals should not experience any side effects.
On the other hand, heavy doses may result in short-term effects such as drowsiness, sleepiness, and an upset stomach.
In rare cases, taking Ashwagandha may lead to some severe adverse effects.
Again, these consequences do not commonly occur. Some users have reported dermatitis after taking heavy doses of Ashwagandha. Nausea, abdominal pain, the irritation of the mucous and serous membranes, and gastritis may also happen as a result.
Finally, there have been reports that taking between 450 and 1350mg of Ashwagandha daily over a prolonged period has contributed to liver injuries .
If you’re planning to use Ashwagandha, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.
Due to its effects on thyroid hormone levels and blood sugar levels, individuals that suffer from certain illnesses such as type 2 diabetes or clinical hyperthyroidism should proceed with caution.
Additionally, Ashwagandha should not be taken alongside sedatives, as it may cause too much sleepiness.
The Food and Drug Administration has also not approved Ashwagandha as a verified product, meaning individuals should research their manufacturers before consumption.
Can You Take Ashwagandha Before Bed?
You can definitely take Ashwagandha at night just before bed.
Taking Ashwagandha at night helps your mind relax, which will improve sleep quality.
However, keep in mind that to get the most out of it, you’ll want to take Ashwagandha with consistent timing every day.
How Often Should I Take Ashwagandha?
Take Ashwagandha powder in 250 - 500 mg doses on a daily basis in the morning or at night.
This is approximately equal to one teaspoon of powder or two pill capsules a day.
Each person’s needs differ,thus, make sure to adjust your Ashwagandha dosage and frequency to your specifications.
How Long Does It Take for Ashwagandha To Start Working?
With consistent use, one can expect to see results from Ashwagandha within three to four weeks.
Factors that affect this timeframe include the quality and concentration of the Ashwagandha root extract.
Are You Going to Start Taking Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a herb that has been used in alternative medicine for many years to promote a person’s well-being and body balance.
Benefits of Ashwagandha powder include being an aphrodisiac to increase sex drive and energy levels, curing depression and anxiety, reducing stress, and helping those with insomnia fix their sleep cycle.
As an all-natural herb, Ashwagandha powder comes with minimal side effects compared to its considerable number of health benefits.
So if you’re suffering from fatigue or any of the conditions mentioned above, take Ashwagandha powder daily and let us know how it works for you.
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