Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a botanical herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Today, it is commonly available as a churna, or fine sieved powder, which can be mixed with water, ghee (clarified butter) or honey. Ashwagandha is said to enhance the function of the brain and nervous system, improve memory and promote a healthy sexual and reproductive balance.
Uses, Benefits & Effectiveness
Various studies have been conducted on the potential health benefits of ashwagandha, and while more research is needed, there is some evidence to suggest that this herb may indeed offer a wide range of health benefits. Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help:
- Reduce stress levels and improve anxiety symptoms
- Enhanced sex drive and libido
- Act as a natural anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects
- Lower blood pressure and alter the immune system
- Increase levels of testosterone
Side Effects of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is possibly safe when used for up to 3 months. The long-term safety of ashwagandha is not known. Large doses of ashwagandha might cause:
- Stomach upset
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Rarely, liver problems might occur
If you are considering taking ashwagandha, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider first to ensure it is safe for you.
Though it is generally considered safe for most people, there are some precautions that should be taken. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, for example, should avoid ashwagandha due to the lack of research on its safety during pregnancy and lactation. People with autoimmune disorders should also avoid ashwagandha, as it may exacerbate symptoms. Finally, those taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or immunosuppressants, should check with their doctor before taking ashwagandha, as it may interact with these medications.
Dietary Sources & Available FormsAshwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It has a long history of use in traditional medicine. For hundreds of years, people have used the roots and orange-red fruit of ashwagandha for medicinal purposes. The herb is also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry.
How to Take it & Ashwagandha Dosage
The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha varies depending on your needs. For general preventative health, 250–500 mg per day is a good starting point.
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Nootropics Australia and its editors do not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or illness. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a qualified healthcare professional.