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Does Ashwagandha Need Black Pepper To Work?

  • Ashwagandha doesn't require black pepper to function, but its addition enhances absorption and effectiveness.
  • Black pepper's antioxidants, when combined with Ashwagandha, create a powerful antioxidant duo.
  • Both ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties and improve brain function.
  • Ashwagandha and black pepper together aid in blood sugar control and may have cancer-fighting properties.
  • Ashwagandha is known for mood regulation, stress relief, and helping with restful sleep.
  • The duo enhances natural mood and mental clarity, balancing cortisol levels and stress.
  • Ashwagandha is both fat-soluble and water-soluble, versatile in various recipes like milkshakes and nut butter balls.

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, offering mood support and boosting testosterone naturally, in addition to increasing endurance 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!

buy ashwagandha

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 brain function. One study on Ashwagandha found that taking 300 mg 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 black pepper 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.

Ashwagandha has also been revered for thousands of years as a natural remedy for mood regulation and stress relief. This potent combination enhances the absorption of Ashwagandha's active compounds, making it more effective in balancing cortisol levels, a key hormone linked to stress and anxiety. The adaptogenic properties of Ashwagandha root powder with black pepper are especially beneficial in promoting a natural mood and mental clarity, which can significantly improve daily functioning.

Ashwagandha has also shown promise in helping individuals achieve a more restful state, aiding those who struggle to sleep through the night. Its calming effect on the nervous system can make it easier to wind down at the end of the day.

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 or Fat 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 organic ashwagandha root 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 supplements in Australia (& the World) and where to buy them.

buy ashwagandha

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of ashwagandha with black pepper?

Ashwagandha with black pepper is generally well-tolerated, but some individuals may experience mild side effects like upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhoea. It's important to note that black pepper can potentially intensify these effects in sensitive individuals.

What should ashwagandha not be mixed with?

Ashwagandha should be used cautiously or avoided when combined with sedative medications, as it may enhance their effects. Additionally, since ashwagandha can lower blood sugar levels, it should be used with caution when taken alongside diabetes medications to avoid potentially dangerous drops in blood sugar.

What can ashwagandha be mixed with?

Ashwagandha can be mixed with a variety of substances for consumption. It is commonly added to milk, water, tea, smoothies, and even baked goods. The choice of mixer often depends on personal preference and the desired purpose.


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!

Darcy Ogdon-Nolan

Holding a Bachelor Of Science (Hons.) combined with close to a decade now in the health food and wellness industry, I believe I'm uniquely positioned to provide a depth of knowledge and first-hand experience on emerging health products, trends and ideas! From greens powders and medicinal mushrooms through to protein powders and workout nutrition - I'm particularly interested in what modern science can uncover about what human cultures have been using to treat ailments for millennia!

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