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Does Ashwagandha Need Black Pepper To Work?

You’re here for a quick answer, so, while Ashwagandha doesn’t need black pepper to work, the addition of a grind of fresh black pepper can help your digestive system absorb the Ashwagandha better. In turn, it’s easier for your cells to absorb and less is processed as waste.

There are also a number of other potent health benefits to pairing black pepper with Ashwagandha.

So, again, while it isn’t a necessary addition in order for the Ashwagandha to work, you can give your body an extra boost of vitamins and minerals in one simple dose, and significantly increase your Ashwagandha’s effectiveness.

So, what are the health benefits of taking Ashwagandha with black pepper?

ashwagandha and black pepper

What Are The Benefits Of Mixing Ashwagandha With Black Pepper?

The health benefits of Ashwagandha are quite incredible, from boosting testosterone naturally and increasing endurance to helping with blood sugar and brain health. And when paired with black pepper, these benefits are typically increased!

First of all, black pepper itself is super high in antioxidants.

It contains a plant compound called ‘piperine’ which studies have shown can prevent or delay the damaging effect of free radicals. Pair this with Ashwagandha’s powerful antioxidant properties, and you’ve got yourself some serious antioxidant power!

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 Ashwagandha is believed to be able to reduce inflammation, and black pepper is also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is yet to be studied extensively with humans test subjects, but one study conducted on rats showed that black pepper resulted in less joint swelling and fewer blood markers on inflammation.

Another thing that both Ashwagandha and black pepper have in common is the ability to improve cognitive function. One study on Ashwagandha found that taking 300mg twice a day over an 8 week period resulted in significantly improved memory, task performance, and attention.

Meanwhile, a study on black pepper’s brain-boosting power found that piperine extract decreased the formation of amyloid plaques. These are the protein fragments that have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Another double-hit that you’ll get from mixing black pepper with Ashwagandha is blood sugar control. Ashwagandha is believed to reduce blood sugar levels in healthy people and people with diabetes. A study on black pepper found that it could help with controlling blood sugar levels and preventing spikes.

Finally, black pepper is also believed to have cancer-fighting properties. This is again due to the compound ‘piperine’. There haven’t been any human trials on this yet, but test-tube studies have found that piperine is capable of slowing the replication of certain cancer cells including breast, prostate, and colon cancer.

What’s more, just like Ashwagandha, piperine is also believed to induce cancer cell death through apoptosis.

For the reasons listed above, it’s fairly clear to see that black pepper and Ashwagandha make perfect partners. And, as we’ve mentioned previously, it not only complements it but also aids in the bioavailability of the Ashwagandha, helping your body absorb it and put it to use more efficiently.

Ashwagandha powder and capsules

Is Ashwagandha Water Soluble?

This ultimately depends on how your Ashwagandha has been prepared. Ashwagandha is most commonly available as an extract in two forms; powder and capsules.

Ashwagandha powder is partly fat-soluble and partly water-soluble. For this reason, it’s best to mix it with a water-based drink that has a slight fat content.

Coffee with milk is arguably the most common way of preparing Ashwagandha powder, however, if you’re using Ashwagandha as a way of helping you get to sleep at night, it may be better to mix it with something that is caffeine-free, such as herbal tea.

If you’re a coffee purist and really don’t want to add the ‘smell of the horse’ to your morning brew, you might be more inclined to mix it with something like matcha & green tea or even a cacao latte.

If none of this sounds appealing to you, or you simply don’t enjoy hot drinks, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taking Ashwagandha.

Try mixing up this delicious (and very easy) Ashwagandha Banana Milkshake instead:


  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ cup nut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp Ashwagandha powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Place all of your ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth
  2. Serve and enjoy!

You don't necessarily need to drink Ashwagandha either, you can create a delicious snack instead. Try making these Ashwagandha Nut Butter Balls. These are perfect if you’re on the go and haven’t always got time to make a hot drink. They’re also incredibly useful for popping in your mouth a couple of hours before you know you’ll be facing a stressful situation:


  • 16oz of nut butter
  • ½ cup of dried fruit
  • ½ cup of chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ¼ cup Ashwagandha powder
  • ½ tablespoons of ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup of coconut flakes


  1. Grab a large bowl, add all of your ingredients apart from the coconut flakes, and mix them together until they have a cookie dough consistency.
  2. Using your fingers, pinch out portions of the dough and roll them into balls. Aim for the size of a ping pong ball.
  3. Roll each ball in the coconut flakes to coat.
  4. Place the balls on a baking sheet and put them in the refrigerator for at least one hour, preferably overnight.
  5. Serve and enjoy! You can also freeze these in an airtight container. Simply allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator when your stash is running low.

It’s worth noting that, even though Ashwagandha is partly fat-soluble, you can still take it if you’re vegan. Simply use a dairy alternative such as oat milk, soy milk, or nut milk.

If you’ve chosen Ashwagandha capsules, you don’t have to worry about it being water-soluble as the breakdown process will start naturally as your body processes the capsule.

If you’re interested in your first dose of Ashwagandha or need to restock - check out our guide to the best Ashwagandha in Australia (& the World)

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Why Does Ashwagandha Have Black Pepper In It?

This is a common question, which is actually a bit misleading - Ashwagandha doesn’t naturally contain black pepper, it’s just that many supplements add black pepper for all of the benefits we’ve discussed!

Black pepper comes with several different health benefits that can enhance the power of Ashwagandha as well, making them a perfect duo. We’ve outlined some of these above, but some other health benefits that black pepper brings to Ashwagandha include:

There is another reason why black pepper is added to Ashwagandha as well; it improves the taste!

Some people enjoy the taste of Ashwagandha, but there’s no denying that it has a pretty pungent smell and flavour. The addition of black pepper can help to improve this immeasurably making it more pleasant and far easier to drink.


While Ashwagandha doesn’t need black pepper to work, it’s definitely worth considering adding a pinch or two to it!

By doing this, you’ll be stimulating your digestive system and making it much easier for your cells to absorb the nutrients the Ashwagandha contains.

That’s not all, though! Black pepper is believed to possess loads of health benefits of its own. These include reducing inflammation, controlling blood sugar levels, and even helping fight certain cancers.

So, by mixing it with your Ashwagandha, you’re giving your body a double-punch of goodness!

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